How We Fight for the Future in 2023

We’re a small organization with a modest budget, but we pack a punch and we’ve got the receipts. Here we explain the impact that Fight for the Future had in 2022 and lay out some of our top priorities for 2023. Our work is only possible with your support, so please sign up today to become a monthly sustainer, or consider making a year-end gift.

Heading into 2023, humanity is at a crossroads.

The Internet has given more people a voice than ever before, but with our online infrastructure increasingly privatized and controlled by a small handful of giant companies, freedom of expression has never been more imperiled. Authoritarians and violent bigots are mobilizing online. Governments and lobbyists are funding sophisticated disinformation campaigns. Opportunistic politicians across the political divide are seizing on the moment, often proposing regulations that would do more harm than good.

Meanwhile, corporate and government surveillance is spiraling out of control. In the wake of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, law enforcement agencies are already weaponizing corporate data collection to enforce draconian anti-abortion policies. Police in San Francisco just pushed for approval to use a killer robot. Retail stores around the world are experimenting with facial recognition surveillance. Libraries’ rights to own and preserve surveillance-free digital books are eroding. Governments are using advanced spyware attacks to target journalists and human rights activists. Artificial intelligence systems are going mainstream, while questions abound about ethics, bias, and impact on society.

Our most basic human rights are more precarious than ever before. And the pace of new threats seems to accelerate daily. But Fight for the Future has remained steadfast amidst the chaos, uncompromising and undistracted from our core mission. And despite the uphill battle, we’ve won some massive victories in the last year, from beating back dangerous bills like the EARN IT Act to defeating Apple’s misguided phone-scanning plan to getting the IRS to stop its use of facial recognition.

This page is long, but you should read it. We’re a small organization with a modest budget, but we pack a punch and we’ve got the receipts. Here we explain the impact that Fight for the Future had in 2022 and lay out some of our top priorities for 2023. Our work is only possible with your support, so please sign up today to become a monthly sustainer, or consider making a year-end gift.

Our 2022 10 year anniversary video:

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2022 Victories

Blocked discriminatory facial recognition at the IRS

No one should be forced to submit their biometric data to a shady company in order to access government benefits. Facial recognition company had been on our radar since states started using it during the pandemic to scan people applying for unemployment benefits. When we learned that the IRS started using and that had lied about its tool’s scope, we knew we had to go hard. Working closely with our friends at Algorithmic Justice League and EPIC, we called on the IRS to Dump and rallied organizations, lawmakers, and journalists to demand the IRS reject facial recognition for identity verification. And we won! In a huge victory, the IRS announced that it would provide alternative ID verification options and would end its use of after the tax season.

Cemented victory on our NoSpyPhone campaign

In 2021, we rallied online and IRL against Apple’s plan to forcibly install client-side spyware on all of its devices. If this update had materialized, a pre-encryption backdoor would’ve enabled constant surveillance of our digital lives. But this year—in a dramatic about-face—Apple announced that it’s fully abandoning its plan to secretly scan users’ photos, and is actually stepping up for our privacy by expanding end-to-end encryption for iCloud. After we made Apple’s secretive new feature relatable to every user and mobilized our base, the backdoor plan bit the dust.

Headed up massive coalition for Big Tech antitrust

This year presented us with a once-in-a-generation chance to pass bipartisan antitrust laws, and we took the bull by the horns. Even though we knew we’d be taking on some of the most powerful and resourced companies in the world, we went all in on the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA) and the Open App Markets Act (OAMA),** working both the inside and outside games to build support for these good antitrust bills.** First, we led a coalition of 113 organizations and businesses to organize an Antitrust Day, connecting more than 3,100 calls to Congress and sending more than 66,000 emails to lawmakers. Then we declared #AntitrustSummer to pressure Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to call a vote on these bills, because we knew they had the votes they needed. The antitrust fight grew larger in the public eye—John Oliver even did an entire segment about Big Tech monopolies on Last Week Tonight

After we identified Schumer as the key blocker, we turned all of our pressure on him, driving a video billboard truck around his neighborhoods in D.C. and New York and flying an airplane banner over NY beaches. We launched to push for a vote before the end of the year and called for Schumer to recuse himself due to his familial ties to Big Tech companies. All the while we were up against the record amounts of money being spent by Big Tech and a slimy fake grassroots organization. Ultimately we know that our movement has gained tremendous ground on this issue, even though AICOA and OAMA still await passage. From a narrative perspective, we also think it’s been a game changer to refocus lawmakers’ and tech critics’ attention on monopoly power and surveillance capitalism as the root causes of Big Tech harm, and move them away from misguided attacks on online free expression.

Launched major campaign to secure your DMs

We launched to pressure all companies with a messaging tool to encrypt DMs by default, because private messages should be private. Unencrypted spaces are a critical point of failure for our privacy, especially now that messages are being used to incriminate and charge people seeking abortions (like in this terrifying case of a teen’s DMs being used to incriminate her). Some companies, like Meta, are already moving forward with end-to-end encryption and just need an extra push to speed things up. And Apple recently announced that it will roll out end-to-end encryption for iCloud backups. But there are still far too many unprotected communications platforms, and we need to make sure end-to-end encryption is standard everywhere that privacy can be expected. Our campaign has built up support from more than 60 organizations.

Kept up the fight for net neutrality

Industry opposition to Gigi Sohn’s nomination to the FCC has been a real buzzkill when it comes to net neutrality, but it also proves that she’s the person we need to ensure we can win it back. We’ve called for her confirmation over, and over, and over, and over again this year. We even called for Leader Schumer to strip Senator Cantwell of her committee gavel for holding a second confirmation hearing for Gigi. This comedy of errors might be funny if it wasn’t keeping the agency from doing critical work that impacts real peoples’ ability to access affordable internet services.** **There is still a chance to get a floor vote during the lame duck, and we may have even better luck when the new Senate is sworn in. We’ll keep pushing for a fully functioning FCC so we can win back net neutrality.

Prevented biometric surveillance at an iconic music venue

Last year we launched the first major campaign against palm scanning, and this year we won! When we heard that iconic venue Red Rocks was using Amazon’s biometric palm scanning technology, we knew we had to get them to cancel their contract and make sure other event venues didn't start using this surveillance technology. We organized 30 human rights groups and more than 200 artists including Tom Morello, Sean Ono Lennon, Amanda Palmer, and Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill, to call on Red Rocks Amphitheater and AXS to cancel their new Amazon One palm scanning contract (building on past work to keep facial recognition out of music festivals). After our successful pressure campaign, Red Rocks abandoned their plan to use palm scanning on concert-goers.

Demanded digital privacy for abortion seekers

The reversal of Roe v. Wade, among many other things, has highlighted just how dangerous our surveillance economy is for so many. Data harvesting by Big Tech and other tech companies exposes people to life-threatening violations of privacy. We’re calling on companies—Google in particular—and lawmakers to protect the privacy of people seeking, providing, and facilitating abortions. As a partial result of our work, Google announced it would delete abortion-related entries from location history “soon after they visit,” but this move falls short of actively protecting vulnerable people. And, again, our point is that companies should collect way less data. Since the Dobbs decision, we’ve been quoted in many outlets on this issue and had an op-ed published by Reuters about privacy in a post-Roe America.

Took on Big Publishing with a posse of over 1,000 authors

As a part of our work to support open access to knowledge and information, we are boldly speaking out against the twisted dynamics of big publishers attacking libraries and undermining their ability to own and preserve digital books. The Internet Archive’s Open Library is facing a dire lawsuit from major publishers, and we’re responding in classic Fight style: organizing the many against the moneyed and powerful few. This work really sparked when we organized a first-of-its-kind letter from over 1,000 prominent authors like Neil Gaiman, Chuck Wendig, Saul Williams, Naomi Klein, and Hanif Abdurraquib calling out anti-library behavior from publishing titans and their lobbyists. As Techdirt put it, our widely-covered letter made “publishers lose their shit”—the hallmark of a campaign that hits the heart of an issue!

Muted the launch of Ring Nation

We were disgusted (but not surprised) when Amazon announced it would use its own TV company to produce a bald-faced advertisement for its home surveillance tech. Ring Nation airs footage from people’s Ring surveillance cameras: America’s Funniest Home Videos with a dystopian bent. Along with our friends at Media Justice, we led a campaign to cancel the show, quickly mobilizing 40 civil rights organizations and over 60,000 people to denounce MGM for putting a happy face on Amazon’s surveillance dragnet. We received tons of media coverage and successfully pressured MGM to walk back its initial rollout plan for the show. Instead of the high-profile rollout on Amazon Prime originally reported, Ring Nation had a quiet premiere at early or late night hours in small media markets. We need to stop the normalization of mass surveillance, so we’ll continue to pressure MGM until Ring Nation is canceled.

Lit up the FTC with thousands of anti-surveillance comments

When the FTC launched a rulemaking process to address commercial surveillance and data security, we dove in to ensure the agency would develop strong rules using the full force of its authority. We created a campaign page to drive comments directly to the FTC and recruited 20 groups to share this page with their members. In total, we helped drive nearly 10,000 comments in support of a strong rule that addresses issues like biometric data collection, surveillance, and data security. Corporations obviously want any FTC rule to be as weak as possible, so this broad show of support will help provide cover for the FTC to rein in the surveillance and data abuses that pose a threat to all of us, and disproportionately harm marginalized people.

Called out Zoom’s plan to analyze our emotions

In May, we learned that Zoom was exploring an AI tool that claims to analyze people’s emotions as a tool for sales clients. We’ve opposed this pseudoscience in the past because we’re concerned that emotion recognition can be used in manipulative, disciplinary, and discriminatory ways. To pressure Zoom to cancel their emotion AI, we organized an open letter that was signed by thousands of individuals and more than 25 human rights organizations and was widely covered in the tech media. We’ve made progress: Zoom has met with our coalition and has committed to ongoing discussions about their future plans. They also plan to implement a product process that considers human rights.

Defended human rights-promoting decentralized technology and open source software

Right at the start of 2022, Fight for the Future and 27 other human rights and civil society organizations called for legislators to adopt a human rights framework in any regulation of decentralized technologies. This framework led us to push back on multiple pieces of bad legislation and political opportunism. Then, in August, the US Treasury sanctioned Tornado Cash, an open source protocol that anonymizes cryptocurrency and allows the withdrawal of more-private cryptocurrencies. We fought back against this threat to financial privacy in statements, meetings, and a widely-shared op-ed. The Treasury attempted to clarify the sanctions but they no doubt have a chilling effect on the right to code and the right to privacy, both of which we continue to center in our advocacy.

Fought for Amazon workers via fierce shareholder advocacy

In 2022, we continued to organize the resistance to Amazon’s abusive business practices and surveillance empire. With the Athena Coalition, we supported an Amazon shareholder effort to end workplace surveillance, worker retaliation, and discriminatory policies. A historic moment came at an investor roundtable and protest at Vanguard’s headquarters (Amazon’s largest shareholder), where, for the first time, a delegation of warehouse workers directly addressed the meeting. Workers provided firsthand accounts of working conditions at Amazon and delivered their demands directly to shareholders and Amazon executives. And, in an unprecedented move, Daniel Olayiwola, a warehouse worker and movement leader from San Antonio, put forth a floor resolution to end worker surveillance and quotas at Amazon. Following the shareholder meeting, we designed and built a campaign that calls on Congress and federal agencies to end the policing and surveillance practices Amazon uses to suppress workers’ organizing and infringe on their safety.

Fought back against Proctorio’s attempts to bully students, and us!

We’ve been outspoken critics of eproctoring tools that invade students’ privacy and function like gussied-up spyware. Our advocacy made us into targets for Proctorio, an especially litigious eproctoring app we’ve inventively satirized as worse than a proctology exam. We spent the first part of 2022 fighting Proctorio’s grossly overbroad subpoena for a ridiculous amount of information in a last-ditch effort to slow our activism and distract from their harmful software and repetitive lies. We filed a motion to quash and helped set the Streisand effect in motion. After months, this case ultimately settled, but our principled legal resistance sent a clear message: we won’t be intimidated by legal harassment, and we’ll continue to fight for students against creepy surveillance apps like Proctorio.

Spearheaded a call for surveillance-free digital cash

Based on our analysis of the dire threat that financial surveillance poses to marginalized communities as well as abortion patients and their supporters, we are leading the charge to ensure that any government-issued digital dollar preserves the privacy of everyday people by design. We organized a coalition and submitted a formal comment to the Biden administration to that effect this summer. Then, in September, we launched a new campaign at with the ACLU and other civil society organizations. While government-issued digital currency could in theory help reclaim eroded privacy rights, we believe it’s more likely to make our current surveillance situation worse. For us, it is non-negotiable that essential human rights like privacy and anonymity are preserved when it comes to digital cash, and we are monitoring this emerging issue area closely.

Reframed Musk’s Twitter: “He’s the lord, we’re the peasants”

When Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter went though, we added nuance to the conversation about what this means for the future of the Internet. In a Time op-ed, Evan argued that we need to move past the debates about content moderation that amount to working the referees in a game we always lose, and start envisioning and building the liberatory Internet that we want in the future—where a single person cannot own or control the spaces but where individuals and communities have power over their online experiences. Lia delivered the same message on Al-Jazeera.

Stalled a totally absurd copyright bill

We’ll always oppose bad policies that threaten creators, democracy, and access to information. This year we fought a real stinker: the so-called SMART Copyright Act. This bill would put artists and creators at risk for frivolous and censorious takedowns by requiring automated copyright chokepoints across the web. The only people this “smart” bill is good for are execs at corporate behemoths like Disney and Amazon. In May, we teamed up with our friends at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and sent a letter to lawmakers from nearly 3,000 creators and more than 6,000 petition signers in opposition to this absurd bill. Since our action, this bill has not moved forward despite the legislators’ formerly aggressive timeline.

Called out Amazon and Google’s support of Israel’s apartheid regime

We’re fighting Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion cloud computing contract between the Israeli government and Amazon and Google, because it fuels Israel’s military surveillance infrastructure and enables the unlawful collection of Palestinians’ data. We took action against this anti-human rights contract by assisting MPower Change with the No Tech for Apartheid campaign, which called on Amazon and Google to pull out of Project Nimbus. Fight’s designers and developers built the action hub for the campaign's National Day of Action and we provided media support, amplified in-person protests in several major US cities, and signed supporters onto a petition campaign demanding Google and Amazon cut ties with Israeli apartheid.

Pushed FTC to investigate Amazon’s iRobot purchase

After we heard that Amazon was attempting to buy Roomba’s iRobot, we successfully lobbied the FTC to dig deeper into the acquisition. 20+ other groups signed onto our letter that outlined how the purchase would entrench Amazon’s monopoly in the smart home market and give the company access to granular data about peoples’ homes.

Fought for tech policy that protects LGBTQ+ people

For Pride month, Fight led a letter signed by two dozen LGBTQ+, sex worker, racial justice, and human rights groups outlining tech policy priorities for lawmakers and the FTC to protect LGBTQ+ people’s rights online. The letter calls for decision makers to pass the antitrust bills to rein in Big Tech monopoly power, address corporate and government surveillance that puts LGBTQ+ people at risk, and protect Section 230 and marginalized people’s right to online freedom of expression. Fight director Evan Greer was also on the advisory council for GLAAD’s yearly Social Media Safety Index report this year. Fight’s input helped ensure the report included a focus on content moderation tradeoffs and the ways LGBTQ+ people are disproportionately silenced online.

Smacked down a link tax in the final Congressional hours of 2022

The fight to stop the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) reached crisis mode in the 2022 Congressional lame duck session, and we threw down as a part of a broad bipartisan coalition. This bill would force tech platforms to carry and pay for links to articles from outlets the government designates as news. This expansion of copyright and imposition of a link tax is so extreme that even the Copyright Office recommended against it, saying that it “would raise significant policy and Constitutional concerns.” We raised these concerns in the fall, and when the bill sponsors still tried to attach it to the NDAA during the lame duck session, we quickly organized what one observer named “severe backlash”  and kept this ridiculous bill from passing its final hurdle into law.

Advocated for SESTA/FOSTA study bill

We commemorated the anniversary of SESTA/FOSTA in April by partnering with Reframe Health and Justice and the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center to call on Congress to pass the SAFE SEX Workers Study Act. This bill would require the US government to study the catastrophic effects of SESTA/FOSTA, so that lawmakers have the context they need to legislate in an informed manner, instead of continuing to push for reckless changes to Section 230 (like the still-undead EARN IT Act, which we called out after it was re-introduced earlier in the year, and will continue to fight until the final nail is hammered into its heinous coffin).

Led the conversation on how to build an internet where users have more power

Fight continues to push for deep thinking on the opportunities of decentralized technologies, speaking at several events and hosting a monthly decentralized tech x human rights salon series with Amnesty International. Topics included privacy-promoting software and the right to code, regulating crypto without betraying human rights, anti-colonial perspectives on building the next-gen internet, and the environmental impact of decentralized technologies. Guests included Amelia Winger-Bearskin, Anil Dash, Cory Doctorow, Wendy Hanamura, and many more essential thinkers in the emerging technology space.

Called for protection of abortion speech online

Another repercussion of the loss of Roe protections is the online censorship of abortion content, and we’ve been one of the few groups speaking out about the impact of Dobbs on online free expression. Fight’s Evan Greer and Lia Holland wrote an op-ed for Wired explaining how the Supreme Court decision could lead to mass censorship of online content and fundraising around abortion access, and why it should be a wakeup call for Democrats who have misguidedly called to weaken Section 230. We plan to organize a series of Hill meetings with key Democrats in the hopes that we can get them to plot a more thoughtful course on Section 230 and content moderation issues more broadly.

Got the Trevor Project to back out of a child surveillance partnership

When the Trevor Project accepted a $25,000 donation from the school surveillance software vendor Gaggle (who our friends at CDT exposed for routinely outing LGBTQ+ students to administrators), Evan tweeted about it and it started to go viral. Four hours later, the Trevor Project announced that they were returning the donation and cutting ties with Gaggle. Gaggle removed the misleading page on their website touting their partnership with the Trevor Project and falsely claiming their software benefits queer kids. We've been calling on the Biden admin's Department of Education to issue guidance against the use of software like Gaggle in K-12 schools, and will keep working to keep surveillance out of schools.

Celebrated 10 years of advocacy for a better Internet

2022 marked Fight for the Future’s 10th anniversary. Much has changed since we launched in an effort to fight against SOPA/PIPA, which threatened to end the free and open Internet as we knew it. Despite our victory 10 years ago, the future of the Internet still hangs in the balance. When wielded for good, technology has the power to upend existing power structures, democratize our society, and give more people a voice than ever before—but it can also be used to automate oppression at a previously impossible scale. And the surveillance capitalist monopolists that have seized control of most of the current Internet are making a play to control and define the next generation of the Internet. We put together a short video with interviews with some of our friends and colleagues about the role that Fight for the Future has played over the last 10 years, and the work that lies ahead.

2023 Priorities

Net Neutrality 

Net Neutrality and Internet Access

In 2023, we need the FCC to use every ounce of its rulemaking authority to protect democracy and basic rights by cracking down on telecom and tech monopoly abuses and ensuring everyone has access to affordable Internet. Deplorably, the agency has been handicapped for over a year by the Senate’s refusal to confirm commissioner appointee Gigi Sohn. We’ve raised hell about this, and will continue to make a concerted push to restore the agency—because net neutrality, broadband privacy, and the collection and sale of location data all hang in the balance. We’ll be pushing to get Gigi confirmed to the FCC and then urging the FCC to move as quickly as possible with key priorities like restoring Title II.

Government Surveillance

Opportunities for bipartisan action under the next Congress will be few and far between, but there’s reason to hope for cross-the-aisle agreement on initiatives to rein in government surveillance. While we continue to support the strong facial recognition moratorium bill introduced last Congress, we'd also support narrower measures that have bipartisan support, like prohibiting the use of federal funds on facial recognition in schools, by the IRS, for federal housing, or for other specific use cases.
Free SpeechCensorship 

Online Free Expression, Section 230, and Human Rights

Republicans control of the House means that tech policy conversations around content moderation and Section 230 will get significantly stupider (if you can imagine such a thing). The GOP, which continues to noisily claim that social media platforms “censor conservatives,” will likely trot out a series of bills that reform or repeal Section 230. 

Our hardest task on the free expression front will be to prevent the kinds of unholy alliances that led to bad bills like the EARN IT Act gaining mainstream acceptance. We’re less worried about Republican grievance bills than we are about bills that are framed as being about "protecting kids" or "stopping opioid sales.” We are especially concerned with possible changes to Section 230 in the wake of the Dobbs decision. Republican state lawmakers are eager to introduce bills that criminalize hosting or sharing abortion information online. Similarly, Republicans’ attacks on transgender and queer people may expand into direct internet censorship of, for example, a social media platform that hosts groups for trans kids or parents seeking gender-related health care. As we’ve said before, Section 230 is the last line of defense for online speech about abortion and LGBTQ+ issues.

We’ll continue to push for more support of the Safe Sex Workers Study Act, which would direct the government to study the damaging impacts of the last major change to Section 230, SESTA/FOSTA. Congress must do its due diligence before rushing to amend or repeal 230—especially when there are so many other ways to approach Big Tech accountability, like privacy and antitrust legislation. Finally, we’ll be watching Gonzalez v. Google, a high-stakes Supreme Court case that could wipe Section 230 from the books. Whatever the Court decides will likely lead to Congressional chaos—but could also create an opportunity for us to act.


Cryptocurrencies, Decentralized Tech, and the Future of the Internet

Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter has led to an explosion of interest in more decentralized social media networks like federated Mastodon and just-getting-off-the-ground Bluesky. This is helpful as we continue trying to educate progressive lawmakers about the importance of decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer technologies and the need for regulation in this area to be thoughtful and center human rights. Nobody but billionaires want a future that only the richest own, and we are working to carve out legislative breathing room for real, community-owned alternatives so that Elon et al can’t buy up our whole digital world.

At the same time, the spectacular collapse of FTX already has the Treasury department promising more crackdowns. The crypto industry, like the rest of the tech industry, needs robust consumer protection, especially around privacy and security. But we’ll need to continue pushing back against overly broad or poorly crafted regulatory efforts that undermine the basic First Amendment rights of software developers, or make it harder to build privacy tools that protect people from financial surveillance. For example, we wrote for Lawfare about how OFEC’s hamfisted attempt to sanction TornadoCash poses a threat to privacy, free expression, and human rights. Crypto policy has become somewhat partisan in Washington, but it’s possible Republicans in charge could push progressive Democrats to start engaging more seriously on this issue. We organized dozens of meetings with progressive offices over the last year, and plan to continue those educational efforts, advocating for crypto regulation that centers human rights and the needs of marginalized people.

We are also seeing a lot of these issues come to a head as the Biden Administration considers the creation of a digital dollar. We recently launched our No Spy Cash campaign with the ACLU to demand that this attractive vehicle for government surveillance of our everyday transactions instead be private by design. As proposals for such a technology move forward, we will be fighting for a future of privacy-preserving financial transactions. Such protections will likely prove to be existential for people like abortion patients and those seeking gender-affirming healthcare.

And on the horizon we are starting to organize a sign-on letter to the new Congress from open source and decentralized projects on the necessity of privacy as a human right. If your project would like to be involved, get in touch.


Facial Recognition and Biometrics

Surveillance companies continue to expand where they peddle their technologies to collect peoples’ biometric data in abusive and invasive ways. We’ve seen facial recognition popping up in more industries—including sporting arenas, stores, travel, healthcare, and schools. Every time our team sees a new use case we feel a sense of loss. But at the same time we know we have a winning strategy: we target facial recognition use in a specific area and organize critical constituencies, garner press attention, and change the narrative so that its use becomes politically toxic. We’ll continue this strategy that’s led to major music festivals, colleges, and retailers rejecting the technology, as we also support legislation at the local, state, and federal levels to ban it entirely. We’ve also expanded our efforts against facial recognition to target other tools of biometric data collection—like Amazon palm scanners—and will continue to fight emerging surveillance technologies that disproportionately target already over-policed and vulnerable groups.
SurveillanceBig Tech 

Amazon’s Surveillance and Data Abuse

Amazon’s smart home surveillance ecosystem and products, like Ring, are at the forefront of the harms caused by widespread, unregulated corporate surveillance. Any win against Amazon is a victory in the fight to end surveillance and data abuse. We’re launching several campaigns to address the dangers stemming from Amazon’s smart home surveillance technology and devices––the cornerstone of Amazon’s surveillance empire.

In coalition with racial justice and privacy advocacy groups, Fight is launching a new arm to our campaign to pass local resolutions banning these Amazon-police partnerships. Amazon-police partnerships give law enforcement direct access to a dragnet of surveillance footage via home doorbell cameras in neighborhoods across the country. This warrantless surveillance system functions with no oversight or accountability and poses a direct threat to our rights, our democracy, and the lives of Black and brown people. It’s time to put an end to Amazon-police partnerships. We’ll work in targeted communities to build powerful coalitions, engage the community, and target decision makers to pass the first-of-its kind policy.

We’re campaigning the FCC to use its rulemaking authority, and additional authorities derived from existing rules and enforcement abilities to protect against invasive data collection practices. Wi-fi enabled smart home technology relies on the FCC for approval. Poor FCC leadership and blanket approvals have led to wiretapping technology, like Alexa, being purchased and placed in millions of homes across the country. These data-collecting, wi-fi enabled devices can eavesdrop and record the private conversations of others without their permission. Amazon’s Ring doorbell cameras and related wireless devices have been found to record audio conversations as far as 25 feet away. Fight will build support for the confirmation of Gigi Sohn, and then campaign the FCC to protect our privacy and stop Big Tech from producing eavesdropping devices that record and track us. 

Continuing our fight to end worker surveillance, we’re working with worker advocacy groups to address the surveillance of domestic workers. While campaigns we’ve done in partnerships with worker advocacy groups and the Athena coalition have been sounding the alarm about the surveillance of warehouse workers and drivers have resulted in national attention, a Congressional investigations, and initial action from regulators, very little has been done to address the surveillance harms and privacy violations of domestic worker surveillance. Smart home devices force nannies, household cleaners, and homecare workers to relinquish their privacy rights to work and take care of their families. Often resulting in mostly women of color, immigrants, mothers, and low-wage workers being recorded and their data abused by exploitative employers and corporations.  We’re going to work to bring national attention to the surveillance of domestic workers and call for federal agencies to take immediate action to address the subsequent harms.

As the FTC engages in rulemaking to protect privacy rights, Fight will continue to campaign the agency to use its authority to stop Amazon’s data acquisitions like its proposed acquisition of the iRobot corporation. In the past few years, Amazon has been aggressively acquiring smart home device businesses with access to incredibly personal data, like Ring. These acquisitions have made Amazon a fixture in our homes, have given it more access to countless data sets of private, sensitive information, and once the data is collected it can be used for more intrusive surveillance, subject to abuses like discrimination, and to further Amazon’s anti-competitive behaviors. We’ll keep pressuring the FTC to do everything in its power to challenge and fight these data acquisitions by Amazon, while also campaigning for rulemaking that puts an end to abusive surveillance and data practices.


Copyright, Libraries, and Internet Freedom

Fight for the Future has long fought for a world where people have universal access to human knowledge and creativity, while artists and creators are fairly compensated for their labor. This past year, we’ve helped beat back misguided legislation, like the JCPA, modeled after Australia’s notorious “link tax” provision. We also made a huge stand organizing authors to speak out for libraries as greedy publishers continue to chip away at their digital futures. We look forward to continuing this work in 2023 and fighting for a better internet for creators. We’re also concerned about rumors that Senator Tom Tillis (R-NC), aka Disney’s favorite Senator, will make another push for a draconian rewrite of the DMCA next Congress. You can bet we’ll get all hands on deck for another SOPA-like moment if that happens.

Data Privacy

The FTC launched its rulemaking on surveillance and data security in 2022. We helped drive in over 10,000 comments in support of this process and calling on the agency to use its full authority to address commercial use of facial recognition, data harvesting, using personal data to power algorithmic recommendations that lead to harmful or discriminatory outcomes, collection and sale of location data, and more. But there is still more to do. We'll be pushing the agency hard and working to outfox GOP plans to defund regulatory agencies, activists will need to keep up the pressure and demand that Lina Khan push forward over disingenuous opposition. We’ll also keep engaging in the work for a federal data privacy bill. It’s possible that the American Data Privacy and Protection Act could still have support in 2023, and we’ll push to keep it as strong as possible and fight bad provisions that would weaken it.

Abortion Surveillance

The overturning of Roe has only made it more urgent to make end-to-end encrypted messaging more widely accessible. While the mainstream press has focused on things like period tracking apps, people on the frontlines—abortion providers, abortion funds, and activists—are most concerned about having their communications obtained via subpoena or otherwise monitored. 

This fall, we launched, a major campaign that’s still gaining steam. We’ve partnered with 60+ rights organizations to call on Meta, Google, Apple, Twitter, Discord, Slack and other messaging services to implement end-to-end encryption by default wherever possible. Several of the companies have already reached out to us offering to meet, and we’re continuing to escalate. The goal here is twofold: get more companies to offer end-to-end encryption to more people, and build public understanding and support for secure messaging, so that we can push back on corporate and government attacks (like Apple’s on-device scanning proposal or pending regulations in the UK).