An Appeal in Defense of Civil Liberties in The Digital Age

Published on 10th December 2013

Public Intervention: 560 authors from 83 countries have signed an appeal in defense of civil liberties in the digital age.
• 560 renowned authors from around the world have signed an appeal against mass surveillance.

• 5 Nobel Prize winners have signed: Orhan Pamuk, J.M. Coetzee, Elfriede Jelinek, Günter Grass and Tomas Tranströmer.

• Amongst the signatories are Umberto Eco, Margaret Atwood, Don DeLillo, Daniel Kehlmann, Nawal El Saadawi, Arundhati Roy, Henning Mankell, Richard Ford, Javier Marias, Björk, David Grossman, Arnon Grünberg, Angeles Mastretta, Juan Goytisolo, Nuruddin Farah, João Ribeiro, Victor Erofeyev, Liao Yiwu and David Malouf

BERLIN – The initiative called “Writers Against Mass Surveillance” today published a pledge demanding that “all states and corporations” respect the right "for all people, as democratic citizens, to determine to what extent their personal data may be collected, stored and processed.” To protect civil rights in the digital age, the authors are also urging the United Nations “to create an International Bill of Digital Rights.”
This global intervention was organized by a small and independent international group of authors (Juli Zeh, Ilija Trojanow, Eva Menasse, Janne Teller, Priya Basil, Isabel Cole, Josef Haslinger) within the last few weeks.

The authors are asking people around the world to join their call by signing on to their public pledge against surveillance at The full list of writer signatories can be viewed there as well.
"Surveillance violates the private sphere and compromises freedom of thought and we no longer want to watch decision makers refuse to take action,” says German writer Juli Zeh. “We all have to take a stand now, and we as writers are doing what we can do best: using the written word to intervene publicly.”

The call to action has been featured in more than 30 international media outlets such as The Guardian, F.A.Z., El País.
Media contact:

Paula Hannemann, [email protected], 0176 843 226 28

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