This post first appeared on The Arty Semite blog at the Forward.
A number of leading Jewish and Israeli authors have signed on to an appeal in defence of civil liberties against surveillance by governments and corporations. The petition by Writers Against Mass Surveillance was made public on December 10 and came a day after the world’s largest tech companies, including Apple, Yahoo, Google and Microsoft, put out a call for changes to US surveillance laws in a bid to restore public the public’s trust in the internet.
Among the 500 signatories of the “A Stand for Democracy in the Digital Age” petition are Israel writers Amos Oz, David Grossman, Assaf Gavron, Zeruya Shalev, Etgar Keret, Sami Michael, and Yitzhak Laor. The American signatories include Jonathan Lethem, Ben Marcus, James Salter. Jewish writers from other countries back the stand, including the Argentinean-Chilean-American writer Ariel Dorfman and French-Canadian writer Martin Winckler.
Five Nobel Prize Winners have signed the petition: Orhan Pamuk, J.M. Coetzee, Elfriede Jelinek, Günter Grass and Tomas Tranströmer.
This global pledge was organized by an independent group of writers and was published in 30 different newspapers around the world.
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© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.