Fight for the Future’s first campaign targeted Senate bill 978, which would have made it a felony for anyone to post a video of themselves singing a copyrighted song to YouTube or any other online website. The campaign prompted 200,000 petition signers, 50,000 Facebook likes, coverage in hundreds of news and blog articles, and even gained the attention of Justin Bieber himself. Ultimately, Senate bill 978 died without a vote.
American Censorship Day
Over 6,000 websites — including Wikipedia and Firefox — participated in American Censorship Day to protest the dangerously misguided SOPA and PIPA leglislation. More than two million people signed our online petition, while one million people sent emails and 84,000 made calls to Congress.
The Internet Goes on Strike
In the largest Internet protest to date, more than 115,000 websites joined forces to educate the public about the dangers SOPA and PIPA legislation represented to digital freedom. Over 12 million messages of protest were delivered to Congress, causing the bills to be shelved indefinitely.
Our opponents never give up. But neither do freedom fighters. After CISPA was reintroduced to Congress, we collected more than 300,000 signatures from people opposed to the bill and delivered them to our lawmakers in Washington. We also rallied support from Reddit, Mozilla, Imgur, and 30,000 other websites to oppose this historically unpopular legislation. Once again, this bill was shelved.
On July 4th, we participated the largest online privacy protest in history… and then we took the protest offline and into the streets. As part of the StopWatching.Us coalition, we helped draw national attention to the NSA’s privacy abuses while delivering 575,000 signatures on a pro-privacy petition to Congress.
Occupy the FCC
In May, more than 15 protesters held a week-long vigil outside of the FCC to advocate for the reclassification of broadband Internet under Title II protections.
Battle for the Net
Battle for the Net launched on June 15th and has become the most used net neutrality action site on the Internet, driving millions of comments to the FCC, emails, and phone calls to lawmakers.
The worlds’ most popular websites participated in the Internet Slowdown day of protests, submitting more than 4 million comments to the FCC in support of net neutrality. And driving tens of thousands of phone calls to Congress.
Reset the Net
We took back our privacy by building a coalition of tech companies and human rights organizations that protect your sensitive information using security measures like SSL and end-to-end encryption.
Net Neutrality Victory at the FCC
On February 26th, the FCC voted to protect net neutrality using Title II classification, effectively ensuring that broadband providers could not slow traffic, block access to websites, or impose unfair fees on American Internet users. Traditional DC logic said this victory was impossible. Our Internet-powered campaigns made it inevitable.
Rock Against the TPP
In collaboration with Tom Morello’s Firebrand label, Fight for the Future launched the Rock Against the TPP festival on July 21st. The festival featured a variety of artists including Morello, Anti-Flag, Flobots, Talib Kweli and Jolie Holland playing music to raise awareness and promote opposition to the secretive TPP legislation. Ultimately, the United States withdrew its support for the TPP.
Don’t Break Our Phones
When the FBI obtained an unprecedented court order trying to force Apple to crack their own security measures, we sparked hundreds of snap protests outside of Apple stores across the nation. Apple held firm, and eventually the FBI abandoned their legal efforts against the tech giant, a huge victory for privacy and human rights.
Hugs for Chelsea Manning
We launched an online petition asking the Obama administration to commute the sentence of tech whistleblower Chelsea Manning. The hugs poured in as the campaign went viral, and activists such as Tom Morello, Graham Nash, and Michael Stipe collaborated on a benefit album. Ultimately, we collected over 100,000 signatures in support of the jailed whistleblower, whose sentence was commuted. We’ve continued to support Chelsea as she faces jail time for resisting an unjust Grand Jury.
Our revolutionary HelloVote chatbot made it easy to register to vote by text message or Facebook Messenger.
When Ajit Pai’s FCC announced plans to eliminate net neutrality, Fight for the Future organized major digital platforms like Tumblr, Reddit, Tinder, Netflix, and more to inform the public of the impending danger. Nearly 3,500,000 emails were sent to Congress and more than 1,600,000 comments were made on the FCC’s website in support of net neutrality.
Break the Internet
Ahead of the FCC’s vote to eliminate net neutrality, we launched a major protest online, supported by in-person events all over America. Nearly one million emails were sent to Congress, while over 450,000 phone calls were made in favor of strong net neutrality protections. The FCC ignored the overwhelming majority of Americans and repealed net neutrality, but the unprecedented backlash we generated has laid the foundation for its return.
Someone submitted over one million anti-net neutrality comments to the FCC using stolen names and addresses. We called for an investigation.
Businesses for Net Neutrality
During National Small Business Week, we rallied more than 6,000 businesses from across America to sign our open letter asking Congress to restore Title II net neutrality protections. Dozens of small business owners even volunteered to hand-deliver the letter to their representatives. Small business support for a free and open Internet became a key point in the debate for net neutrality on the Senate floor.
Red Alert for Net Neutrality
When the Senate scheduled a vote to overturn the FCC’s disastrous decision to repeal net neutrality, Fight for the Future launched a Red Alert across the entire Internet. In coordination with tech companies such as Etsy, Postmates, and BitTorrent, we sent over 200,000 emails and 80,000 calls to Congress, helping the Senate to pass a CRA to restore net neutrality on May 16th.
US tech companies play a significant role in the human rights abuses carried out by agencies like ICE. As public outcry grew in the wake of the family separation crisis, we launched a number of online and in-person protests targeting tech companies' contracts with ICE and border patrol. Dozens of immigrants rights and racial justice groups have continued to carry that fight forward.
Fight for the Future launched SpeakOut.tech, a campaign that directly calls on employees of big tech companies to blow the whistle on unethical uses of technology. This campaign came as a response to the increasing number of tech employees organizing and calling out their companies for powering human rights abuses. SpeakOut.tech serves as a hub of resources, support, and encouragement for tech workers who want to blow the whistle on Silicon Valley.
Ban Facial Recognition
Facial recognition surveillance technology is unreliable, biased, and a threat to basic rights and safety. BanFacialRecognition.com helps users see where facial recognition is being used around the United States, and demand that Congress put a stop to government use of this dangerous technology. It’s the most widely shared campaign on facial recognition surveillance, and has been endorsed by more than 30 major organizations.
Ban Facial Recognition at Live Shows
In the summer of 2019, Fight for the Future learned that major event producer and ticketing company LiveNation, which owns TicketMaster, had invested in a facial recognition company with the intention of implementing the technology as a method of event entry. After massive blowback from artists, fans, venues, and events, LiveNation publicly announced that it would cease research on facial recognition at shows.
Make Zoom Safe
In April 2020, right after quarantine began, Zoom experience massive growth as a platform. At the time, it was not end-to-end encrypted, and announced that it would begin offering the feature for a fee. Fight for the Future organized social justice and digital rights groups calling out Zoom for this decision, stating that charging for secure communication would harm everyone and disproportionately impact marginalized people. After several weeks of blowback, Zoom announced that it would offer end-to-end encryption for all accounts, regardless of payment status.
Fight for the Future was the first group to expose how Amazon Ring's doorbell camera is being used by more than 1,700 law enforcement departments to access surveillance data without probable cause. Among other tactics, Fight has called on tech review sites to suspend their endorsement of the product in their holiday guide, prompting the New York Time’s Wirecutter to reverse its recommendation.
The EARN IT Act is one of the most dangerous piece of tech legislation ever. If passed, it would end online free speech by gutting Section 230 and bring an end to encryption. Fight for the Future's petition went viral, with over half a million people urging their lawmakers to stop the EARN IT Act.
In 2021, Congress passed the Biden infrastructure package, and it contained some terribly misguided cryptocurrency provisions. During the vote, Fight for the Future helped crypto advocates make over 40,000 calls to Congress, drawing attention to the issue and leading to legislation being introduced to fix the harmful provisions.
Fight for the Future organized nationwide protests against Apple's proposed backdoor in iOS 15. This day of action amplified a nearly unanimous call for Apple to cancel its plans to implement the change - and they did just that.
In 2021, Frances Haugen blew the whistle on Facebook's dangerous behavior, including algorithmic manipulation that intentionally sowed hate and anger. In response, Fight for the Future led 78 organizations and thousands of people to sign on to a petition calling on Congress to shut down Facebook's surveillance machine by passing real data privacy law.
Amazon Doesn't Rock
Iconic event venue Red Rocks Amphitheater introduced Amazon palm scanning technology as an optional form of “convenient” ticketless entry. After Fight for the Future organized major backlash from artists and music lovers, the venue has ended its use of the technology.
Fight for the Future, Algorithmic Justice League and others won a campaign to get the IRS to end plans to use ID.me and facial recognition for verification. Now we must ensure that all government agencies using this tool cancel their contracts and reject facial recognition for identity verification.