FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture
Adam Schiff (D-CA), Angus King (I-ME), Mark Warner (D-VA) targeted by online campaign from Fight for the Future
Digital rights group Fight for the Future has launched a new online campaign at DemocratsForAFascistDystopia.org, humiliating “progressive” lawmakers who are supporting legislation that reauthorizes Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, a law that the U.S. government abuses to conduct mass warrantless surveillance, including of U.S. citizens. Even worse, all of these members have opposed fixing the “backdoor search” loophole, through which the government searches specifically for U.S. persons without a warrant.
“We are Democratic lawmakers who believe that the best future for our children is an Orwellian dystopia where governments have absolute control over their citizens’ thoughts and actions through pervasive mass surveillance. That’s why we support the reauthorization of Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act,” the page mockingly states, listing Congress members Adam Schiff (D-CA), Angus King (I-ME), and Mark Warner (D-VA) as “members” of a faux organization, “Democrats for a Fascist Dystopia.”
Under the heading ‘Our Mission,’ the page continues: “Our goal is to reauthorize Section 702, which would let Donald Trump - and any future president - engage in warrantless monitoring and mass collection of Internet and telephone communications.”
A “Who we are” section of the site pairs real quotes from each lawmaker about Donald Trump with satirical endorsements of Trump’s potential use of Section 702 surveillance powers.
“Mass surveillance doesn’t work. It’s not about public safety—it’s about government control,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, the group behind the page. “In these times it’s unconscionable for any lawmaker that claims to care about free speech or human rights to support the reauthorization of warrantless surveillance of Americans under Section 702,” she added.
Fight for the Future is encouraging its 1.4 million+ members to oppose any legislation that reauthorizes Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act without closing the backdoor loophole. If Congress fails to secure this necessary minimum, supported even by Senator Feinstein, a long-time surveillance hawk, members of Congress should let this unconstitutional law expire at the end of the year..
Yesterday afternoon the House subcommittee that provides Congressional oversight for the FCC held an important hearing about the agency’s current plans, including current Chairman (and former Verizon lawyer) Ajit Pai’s move to gut Title II net neutrality protections that prevent ISPs from controlling what we do online with throttling, censorship, and extra fees.
With Capitol Hill’s attention now on the FCC, and Pai’s final plan to gut net neutrality protections expected in the coming weeks, it’s extra important that Congress gets flooded with phone calls from Internet users telling them to stand up and defend the open Internet.
Ajit Pai is expected to circulate the text of his rule killing net neutrality on November 22, the day before Thanksgiving. Once that happens, it will move to a vote at the FCC’s open meeting in December, and it will become much much harder to stop him.
It’s clear that the FCC remains set on killing net neutrality. But Congress can stop the FCC from gutting the rules that keep the web open, affordable, and awesome.
Joe Manchin (D-WV), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT) are among the first Democrats to be listed as “Team Cable” on BattleForTheNet.com congressional score board
The four Democratic Senators who ignored overwhelming public support for net neutrality protections and voted to reconfirm former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai as chairman of the FCC are among the first from their parties to be listed as part of “Team Cable” on a prominent “Congressional Scorecard” on net neutrality campaign site BattleForTheNet.com, run by Demand Progress, Free Press Action Fund, and Fight for the Future..
Fight for the Future also announced that they will target these lawmakers in their districts with crowdfundedbillboards informing constituents of their Senator’s controversial vote. The group has previously targeted 9 members of Congress who have publicly supported Ajit Pai’s plan to slash Title II protections, but these four represent the first Democrats to be targeted as part of the crowdfunded campaign.
See a mockup of what the billboards will look like here.
“Every member of Congress needs to understand that you can’t vote against the free and open Internet and get away with it,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, “let this be a lesson to any lawmaker considering going against the interests of their constituents to support legislation or FCC action that undermines existing net neutrality rules.”
“The only interests Ajit Pai represents are those of the few gatekeeper media companies that want to charge people more for nothing and give them less of everything,” said Candace Clement, Free Press Action Fund Campaign Director. “Those in Congress who voted to confirm Ajit Pai did so against the demands and interests of their constituents. Pai stands against an open internet, online privacy, local control of local media and affordable access for everyone. Team Internet will continue to remind Congress that you can’t do harm to the people you represent without hearing from us every day and everywhere. You can’t sell out our rights in Washington without consequences.”
“By voting to confirm Ajit Pai, these senators fundamentally failed Americans who rely on, or are in need of an open and affordable internet,” said Mark Stanley, Director of Operations for Demand Progress. “A vote for Pai was a vote to end net neutrality protections. It was a vote for less affordable broadband service for those who need it most. And it was a vote for greater media consolidation, which will lead to higher costs and worse service for consumers. Pai’s vision for our country’s communications networks is overwhelmingly unpopular among the public. Constituents are watching intently, and going forward it is incumbent on lawmakers from both parties to unequivocally oppose Pai and his policies that place the interests of Big Cable over those of ordinary Americans.”
Demand Progress, Free Press Action Fund, and Fight for the Future were the leading groups behind the massive July 12 net neutrality day of action, which drove a record breaking number of comments, calls, and emails, to the FCC and Congress.
Dozens of Internet users from across the country are traveling to the Capitol to meet directly with Congress about Internet freedom
WASHINGTON, DC – More than 60 Internet users traveling from as far away as Alaska, California, Kansas, and Utah are participating in a unique advocacy effort this Wednesday, September 27 descending on the U.S. capitol not for a rally but to meet directly with their Senators and Representatives in support of Title II net neutrality protections.
The participants, recruited through an online campaignspread through email and social media include small business owners, students, IT professionals, startup founders, single parents, and people from a wide range of political perspectives and representing more than 20 states. Fight for the Future launched a crowdfunding page where net neutrality supporters who couldn’t attend the meetings in DC could chip in to help cover travel costs for others who need assistance.
“The companies trying to kill net neutrality are spending millions on lobbyists who are hitting the Hill constantly to spread fear and misinformation,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, “Internet users, entrepreneurs, and small business owners have such critically important stories to tell about how Title II net neutrality protections directly impact their basic rights and their ability to put food on the table. Tomorrow, we’re harnessing the power of the Internet to make sure that those stories are heard over the noise of the telecom lobby.”
“A free and open internet is the lifeblood of small business in America, and Net Neutrality as protected in Title II, is what guarantees that the internet remains free and open,” said Sean Frame, who runs a video production company in California and is traveling to DC to participate in the meetings, “My business, and the businesses of my clients cannot survive if we are placed in the internet slow-lane while larger competitors buy faster access.”
Lesley Perg, who is traveling from Minnesota, said, “I am a PhD climate scientist on the American Care Act, an avid backpacker in our National Parks, and I tutor mainly immigrants and people of color in Adult Basic Education and Citizenship. A free and open internet is imperative for a functioning democracy, and if we give away our infrastructure now, I believe it will be difficult to impossible to overturn in the future. Net Neutrality underlies all the causes that are important to me - that’s how I picked my battle.”
“As a small business owner net neutrality is very important to me to make sure I can compete against large corporations,” added Alison Stanton, who is traveling from Illinois, “ I’m scared I wouldn’t be able to reach potential customers if we lose net neutrality because it would be too expensive to communicate with them.”
In addition to Fight for the Future, organizations supporting the Day of Advocacy include Public Knowledge, Center for Media Justice, Common Cause, EFF, Consumers union, Free Press, and Writers Guild of America West.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, August 31, 2017 Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, firstname.lastname@example.org
Businesses from across the US tell lawmakers how losing net neutrality would threaten their ability to reach customers and grow their businesses online
August 31, 2017 – Late yesterday, a group of over 500 small businesses and trade associations from across the country signed an open letter raising concerns over the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) plan to repeal net neutrality. The letter, filed with the FCC by the American Sustainable Business Council, warns that “weakening or rolling back the 2015 protections would be disastrous for the country’s business community” who for decades have relied on open access to the open Internet to do business.
The signatories–ranging from dentist offices to sporting goods stores–highlight how the FCC’s proposed changes would put smaller business at a disadvantage with larger companies. Without strong protections Internet service providers (ISPs) would be permitted to block websites, slow traffic, or charge new access fees. The businesses warn policymakers that, “While big companies might be able to afford a pay-to-play prioritized ‘fast lane’ to users, small and medium sized enterprises like ours cannot.”
“These businesses represent their founders’ dreams for a better life and a better world—and they’re how many families put food on the table and pay their bills each month,” said Fight for the Future co-founder Holmes Wilson, “The FCC’s plan to end net neutrality puts businesses like these—and the livelihoods of the millions of people that depend on them—in grave danger.”
The letter was filed on the final day of the FCC’s controversial net neutrality consultation, which sparked millions of comments, emails, and phone calls in support of Title II following the July 12th day of action. Earlier this week digital rights group Fight for the Future released a second wave of billboards targeting members of Congress who support the FCC’s repeal, building on an initial round of six billboards from earlier this month. The ads are currently running in nine different states while lawmakers are back in their home districts.
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. They recently organized the high profile Rock Against the TPP tour, as well as historic July 12th Internet-wide day of action to save net neutrality. Learn more at FightFortheFuture.org