Statement from digital rights group Fight for the Future on Senate use of Congressional Review Act to sell Internet users’ personal information to the highest bidder
Today, the U.S. Senate voted to use the Congressional Review Act to gut the FCC’s broadband privacy rules that prevent Internet Service Providers like Comcast and Verizon from selling their customer’s personal information to advertisers without permission. Fight for the Future, a leading digital rights group that played an instrumental role in securing the FCC rules last year, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to campaign director, Evan Greer (pronouns: she/her):
“Today, 50 members of the U.S. Senate voted to sell their constituents most personal information to the highest bidder.
They used a blatantly undemocratic Congressional procedure to gut basic protections that prevent Internet Service Providers like Comcast and Verizon from selling their customers personal information to marketers without their permission.
These lawmakers – many of whom accept large campaign contributions from the industry groups who lobbied for this move – should be ashamed that they allowed partisan politics and corporate corruption to strip Internet users of our right to use the web safely and privately. The controversial measure passed by a narrow margin. This is evidence that many members of Congress are still scared of angering the Internet. And they should be. Internet users are increasingly aware of how legislation and FCC rules impact our basic rights, and we are prepared to fight to defend them. The Senators who voted today to sell out their constituents privacy will soon learn that the money they get from Cable companies can’t buy back our trust.”
By using the CRA to gut the FCC broadband privacy rules, Senators voted to allow ISPs to:
Monitor and sell all your location data, search history, app usage, and browsing habits to advertisers without your permission
Hijack your search results, redirecting your traffic to paying third parties
Insert ads into web pages that would otherwise not have them
Fight for the Future was instrumental in the massive grassroots campaign that successfully pushed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to enact the strongest net neutrality protections in US. history last year. They built the page BattleForTheNet.com, which was responsible for more than ¼ of all the net neutrality comments received by the FCC during its feedback process, and were behind the Internet Slowdown protest, which was supported by more than 40,000 websites including some of the largest on the Web like Kickstarter, Etsy, Netflix, and Tumblr.
The group also helped take the fight for net neutrality into the streets with creative protest campaigns like Occupy the FCC and the nationwide Internet Emergency protests.
Fight for the Future is best known for their role in the massive online protests against SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, and continues to organize many of the largest protests in the history of the Internet. Over the summer, they organized the high profile Rock Against the TPP tour featuring many celebrities and well known musicians. Learn more at FightFortheFuture.org
Today, Thursday, March 23rd, Congress will voteon whether to use a special legislative mechanism called the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to roll back the FCC’s landmark broadband privacy rules for Internet Service Providers (like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon) that many of us fought hard for last year.. The 22 senators behind this controversial resolution havereceivedmore than $1.6 million from the very same companies that would profit from this.
This is going to be a close vote. Below are the names, numbers, and twitter handles of key members of Congress who could vote to uphold current broadband privacy rules.
If you want to call them now to ask them to protect our privacy, here’s a sample script you could use:
“Hi, my name is ____ , I’m calling to ask Senator ____ to vote against the CRA proposal to roll back the FCC’s broadband privacy rules. Please don’t let Internet Service Providers sell my personal information without my permission.”
You can also tweet at your representatives, something like:
Dear @RepTwitterHandle please protect #BroadbandPrivacy. Don’t let ISPs sell my personal information.
Here are the key lawmakers:
Sen. Lisa Murkowski * (202) 224-6665 * @lisamurkowski
Sen. Susan Collins * (202) 224-2523 * @SenatorCollins
Sen. Jerry Moran * (202) 224-6521 * @JerryMoran
Sen. Cory Gardner * (202) 224-5941 * @SenCoryGardner
Sen. Benjamin Sasse * (202) 224-4224 * @BenSasse
Sen. Dean Heller * (202) 224-6244 * @SenDeanHeller
Fight for the Future has launched #GetSafe, a new online resource that makes it easy for everyone to take the first steps toward protecting the sensitive information stored on their phones and computers. In this post are outreach materials that advocacy organizations, school leaders, communities of faith, and others can use to help get this important information to their members.
Please feel free to tailor these to make them more relevant to your audience. If you create new graphics that other groups can use or have great ideas, let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copy and paste these tweets to help spread the word. Add hashtags relevant to your community. You can attach some of the graphics below to your tweet as well.
No more excuses. Take these 6 simple steps to protect your phone & computer from stalkers, thieves & cops: letsgetsafe.org #GetSafe
Trump is targeting immigrants, activists & communities of color with surveillance. Time to defend ourselves LetsGetSafe.org #GetSafe
Protecting your personal information on your phone and computer can feel overwhelming. This makes it easy: letsgetsafe.org #GetSafe
If you’re not taking these simple steps to secure your phone & computer, you could be putting your friends in danger letsgetsafe.org
Joining #TheResistance to fight injustice? Make sure your friends and family #GetSafe and protect themselves at letsgetsafe.org
You lock your door when you leave your home, but do you lock your phone & laptop too? Visit letsgetsafe.org to #GetSafe online!
Don’t be the reason someone’s nude pictures leak. Lock down your phone and #GetSafe online: letsgetsafe.org
The security of your DMs, photos, texts, banking info, browsing history, & real-time location could all be at risk. LetsGetSafe.org
Use these images for use on Facebook, Instagram, your blog, and other social media channels. Click here for a gallery with the full size versions, and then right click to download. Be sure to include a link to https://www.letsgetsafe.org
Here’s a sample email text that you can send to your members. Add some information that makes it relevant to them.
Protecting your personal information on your phone and computer can feel overwhelming, but it’s necessary to keep yourself, your family, and your community safe.
It’s called #GetSafe, and it makes it easy to start protecting yourself from identity thieves, stalkers, and intrusive government surveillance.
The more people who take these basic steps, the safer we’ll all be.
Visit letsgetsafe.org to see how easy it is to start protecting your phone and computer today.
Thanks! -YOUR NAME
Sample Blog Post
Here’s a sample blog post that you can use on your website or Tumblr. Be sure to adapt it to explain to your members why they should particularly be concerned about their digital security, and include one of the images above..
In this day and age, everyone needs to be thinking about protecting the information stored on our phones and computers. Our most personal information: private messages, credit card numbers, real-time location, home address, can be easily stolen by identity thieves or stalkers, or monitored by law enforcement or immigration officials.
Protecting yourself online can feel overwhelming, but our friends at Fight for the Future have built a new tool that makes it easy, even for those who us who struggle with technology!
It’s called #GetSafe. Check it out here and learn what steps you can take to protect yourself and your family: https://www.letsgetsafe.org
Encryption may sound complicated, but the reality is that there are simple and important ways that all of us can protect ourselves that make it much much harder for our private information to fall into the wrong hands.
We know that the government routinely scans our digital communications without a warrant and many companies sell their customer’s information, online activity, and purchasing habits for profit. Identity theft is on the rise, and can be costly and time consuming if it happens to you.
Fortunately, there are a few basic things that all of us can be doing right now to #GetSafe, and the more of us who take these steps, the safer we all are.
Visit letsgetsafe.org today to take the first steps towards digital safety and security!
CNN is reporting that Donald Trump’s first executive action will be to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. It’s important for the public to understand the context of how the TPP was defeated. By the time the deal came up for a vote in Congress late last year, all the leading Presidential candidates opposed it, due to widespread opposition from across the political spectrum, sparked by a grassroots, years-long, international movement. This piece in The Guardian chronicles some of that history.
Fight for the Future, the digital rights group who organized many of the largest protests against the TPP in the United States, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to campaign director, Evan Greer:
“The victory against the TPP belongs to the people, not to Donald Trump or any other politician.
An unprecedented international movement of people and organizations from across the political spectrum came together, and lead nothing short of an uprising that stopped an outright corporate takeover of our democratic process. Together we sounded the alarm, and made the TPP so politically toxic that no presidential candidate who wanted to be elected could support it.
The TPP would have lead to widespread Internet censorship, undermined human rights, and devastated our economy and the planet. Corporations attempted to turn the deal into a wishlist for policies they knew they could not pass through a more transparent process. But an unlikely band of labor unions and tech companies, environmentalists, hackers, and Tea Party patriots took on the world’s largest and most powerful corporations, and we won.
As we enter a new stage in history, let the movement that stopped the TPP serve as a reminder to the incoming administration: we the people are organized and powerful. We will not tolerate attacks on our basic rights, whether they come from corporations or the government. If you come for our freedom, we will fight you and we will win.”
Fight for the Future has been instrumental in the movement against the TPP. They spearheaded the coalition behind StopFastTrack.com that drove hundreds of thousands of emails and phone calls to Congress in opposition to Trade Promotion Authority legislation needed to pass the TPP, and organized creative stunts like flying blimps outside of fence-sitting Congress member’s offices. They organized thousands of websites for an online “Internet Vote” protest against the TPP, and sent “rubber stamps” to Republicans who were considering supporting Obama’s trade deal.
Most recently, the group lead the largest ground mobilizations against the TPP to date on the Rock Against the TPP concert tour, which featured an array of well known musicians and celebrities including Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, actress Evangeline Lilly, hip hop icon Talib Kweli, comedian Hari Kondabolu, and punk legends Anti-Flag, and Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys. The tour drew large crowds across the country and helped opposition to the TPP reach into the cultural mainstream, with high profile media coverage and a large multigenerational following.
Fight for Future is best known for organizing the massive online protests against the SOPA internet censorship bill in 2012, and has since won major victories for net neutrality and against government surveillance. Learn more at https://www.fightforthefuture.org
The White House just announced that President Obama has commuted the majority of imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s sentence 35 year sentence. She will be released on May 17th, 2017 having already served more than 6 years, longer than any other whistleblower in U.S. history.
Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, who has been an ardent supporter of Chelsea’s and speaks to her on the phone on a regular basis, released the following statement:
“Chelsea’s release is massive victory for free speech, human rights, and democracy. As someone who has become friends with Chelsea over the last year, but has never had a chance to see her face or give her a hug, I’m overjoyed that she will be able to share her beautiful self with the world. She has so much to offer, and her freedom will be a testament to the power of grassroots organizing. I’m so excited for the world to get to know her as the compassionate, intelligent, and kind person who she is.”
More than 100,000 people signed an official Whitehouse.gov petition, meeting the threshold to require a response from the President.
Hundreds of thousands have signed previous petitions organized by Fight for the Future and other groups decrying Chelsea’s treatment while in prison
The ACLU and more than a dozen prominent LGBT organizations sent a letter to President Obama calling for Chelsea’s commutation
Human Rights Watch sent a letter to President Obama supporting clemency
Dozens of other human rights, free speech, government transparency, and civil liberties organizations have called for Chelsea’s release
A wide range of notable people have publicly supported Chelsea including Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Morris C. Davis, journalist Glenn Greenwald, Sean Ono Lennon, REM lead singer Michael Stipe, comedian Margaret Cho, Thurston Moore, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine,, and many others.