Fight for the Future


Internet activists stand in solidarity with striking Verizon workers

Posted 12:27 EDT on April 13, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 13, 2016
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

Leading net neutrality advocates Fight for the Future say Verizon’s greed is bad for workers as well as the Internet

Today, more than 40,000 Verizon workers went on strike, demanding fair treatment from the telecom giant that grossed more than $4 billion in profit last year. Fight for the Future, a leading digital rights group best known for organizing some of the largest online protests in history, including the massive online protests against SOPA and in support of net neutrality, issued the following statement in support of Verizon workers, which can be attributed to campaign director, Evan Greer:

“Given everything we know about how terribly Verizon treats their customers and Internet users as a whole, it’s no surprise to us that they fail to show their employees basic respect as well.

Last year, they attempted to strike down net neutrality rules that protect the Internet as a platform for freedom of expression and exchange of ideas. The Internet rose up and we defeated them, gaining even stronger protections than the ones they sued to strike down.

Rather than treating their customers and employees fairly, Verizon has chosen to rely on political influence and corruption in a never ending quest to increase short term profits regardless of the long term cost to society.

We at Fight for the Future stand in solidarity with the striking Verizon workers, and with all Internet users who are fighting to defend the Internet from the attacks of monopolistic ISPs like Verizon.”

Verizon’s customers fought for net neutrality, and won. Verizon’s workers deserve to win fair treatment too, and we wish them success in their struggle.”

Please note: Greer’s correct pronouns are she/hers.

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 continuing to work on defending net neutrality and the open Internet, as well as running campaigns against mass government surveillance, online censorship, and the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which contains problematic copyright provisions that will negatively impact Internet users’ right to freedom of expression.

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Nearly 100,000 Internet users call for Copyright Office to improve Fair Use and Free Speech protections in DMCA

Posted 08:28 EDT on April 4, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2016
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

Flood of comments from viral campaign and YouTube video launched by Fight for the Future and Channel Awesome crashed regulations.gov website last week

With hours to go before the U.S. copyright office’s deadline to receive comments about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA’s) “notice and takedown” process, digital rights group Fight for the Future and popular YouTube channel ChannelAwesome launched an online campaign and viral video encouraging Internet users to submit comments about the many ways that the DMCA is abused to censor and take down legitimate content from the Internet, stifling innovation, cultural creation, and freedom of speech.

See the online campaign here: TakedownAbuse.org

See the video here: https://youtu.be/NoIL5qUI1p8

The campaign was launched late Thursday afternoon. As Monday morning the video has already been viewed more than 360,000 times. The campaign has already generated more than 86,000 comments before the Copyright Office’s Friday deadline, and has since collected an additional 11,000, which will be delivered to the Copyright Office as a petition. The comments are in support of stronger fair use and free speech protections in the DMCA. Before the launch of the campaign last week, the Copyright Office had only received 80 (yes, eighty) comments. As of March 2nd, they had only received 23.

The flood of new submissions late last week repeatedly crashed the website that the government set up to receive feedback. Given that this site is the only method for concerned Internet users to submit comments, Fight for the Future is calling on the Copyright Office to consider the additional comments that came in after the deadline.

“The DMCA affects all Internet users and they should have an opportunity to express their concerns with the ways content is censored from the Internet, causing damage to free speech that can’t be undone,” said Tiffiniy Cheng, co-founder of Fight for the Future, “The Copyright Office has a responsibility to make sure these voices are heard.”

“Copyright laws are among the biggest threats to freedom of expression in the digital age,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future. “Taking down content from the Internet en masse doesn’t benefit artists and individual creators, it benefits large corporations. I supported my family as a musician for years before coming to Fight for the Future, and I believe creators should be compensated for their work. But the Internet is the best thing to ever happen to creative people and independent artists. We need to fight to defend it from those pushing censorship in our names,” she added.

“We need to have real open discussions on how to adapt copyright law and the DMCA to account for the modern Internet,” said Michael Michaud, who made the video for ChannelAwesome, “While we’re sure the DMCA is being used the right way at times, it’s also being used to silence speech, hold videos hostage, steal, and destroy content creators.  It’s also being used by companies that fail to account for Fair Use.“

Follow Fight for the Future on Twitter for breaking updates on this campaign, and contact press@fightforthefuture.org if you’d like to schedule an interview.

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Fight for the Future is a digital rights nonprofit with more than 1.4 million members that works to defend the Internet as an open and powerful platform for freedom of expression. They are best known for organizing the largest online protests in history against SOPA, for net neutrality, and against government surveillance. Learn more on twitter or at FightForTheFuture.org

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Copyright censorship is no joke. YouTubers and other Internet users deluge Copyright Office with 50,000 comments to fix the DMCA

Posted 07:52 EDT on April 1, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1st, 2016 (not a joke)
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

Flood of comments crashes regulations.gov server, Fight for the Future calls on Copyright Office to extend deadline to ensure all comments are received

With hours to go before the U.S. copyright office’s deadline to receive comments about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA’s) “notice and takedown” process, digital rights group Fight for the Future and popular YouTube channel ChannelAwesome have launched an online campaign and viral video encouraging Internet users to submit comments about the many ways that the DMCA is abused to censor and take down legitimate content from the Internet, stifling innovation, cultural creation, and freedom of speech.

See the online campaign here: TakedownAbuse.org

See the video here: https://youtu.be/NoIL5qUI1p8

The campaign was launched late Thursday afternoon. The video has already been viewed more than 170,000 times, and the campaign has already generated more than 50,000 comments in support of stronger fair use and free speech protections in the DMCA. Before the launch of the campaign last night, the Copyright Office had only received 80 (yes, eighty) comments. As of March 2nd, they had only received 23.

The flood of new submissions over the last several hours appears to have repeatedly crashed the website that the government set up to receive feedback. Given that this site is the only method for concerned Internet users to submit comments, Fight for the Future is calling on the Copyright Office to extend its deadline to ensure that all comments are received and there is adequate time for the public participation. The tens of thousands of comments submitted to TakedownAbuse.org are being stored in a queue, and will be submitted to the Copyright Office’s form as quickly as they can reliably receive them.

“The DMCA affects all Internet users and they should have an opportunity to express their concerns with the ways content is censored from the Internet, causing damage to free speech that can’t be undone,” said Tiffiniy Cheng, co-founder of Fight for the Future, “The Copyright Office has a responsibility to make sure these voices are heard. They need to extend the deadline and make sure their website stays up and can receive comments the entire time.”

“Copyright laws are among the biggest threats to freedom of expression in the digital age,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future. “Taking down content from the Internet en masse doesn’t benefit artists and individual creators, it benefits large corporations. I supported my family as a musician for years before coming to Fight for the Future, and I believe creators should be compensated for their work. But the Internet is the best thing to ever happen to creative people and independent artists. We need to fight to defend it from those pushing censorship in our names,” she added.

“We need to have real open discussions on how to adapt copyright law and the DMCA to account for the modern Internet,” said Michael Michaud, who made the video for ChannelAwesome, “While we’re sure the DMCA is being used the right way at times, it’s also being used to silence speech, hold videos hostage, steal, and destroy content creators.  It’s also being used by companies that fail to account for Fair Use.“

Follow Fight for the Future on Twitter for breaking updates on this campaign, and contact press@fightforthefuture.org if you’d like to schedule an interview.

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Fight for the Future is a digital rights nonprofit with more than 1.4 million members that works to defend the Internet as an open and powerful platform for freedom of expression. They are best known for organizing the largest online protests in history against SOPA, for net neutrality, and against government surveillance. Learn more on twitter or at FightForTheFuture.org

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Fight for the Future condemns Internet Association’s support for TPP

Posted 21:40 EDT on March 30, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2016
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

Trade group representing Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Netflix endorses non-transparent, anti-user agreement that promotes censorship

Today the Internet Association, a trade group representing major web companies including Google, Twitter, and Facebook, endorsed the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP). Leading digital rights group Fight for the Future launched an online campaign in response, calling for the companies to drop their misguided support, and issued the following statement, which can be attributed to campaign director Evan Greer:

“This is when we find out which tech companies really support their users’ basic rights and which ones are only pretending to.

The TPP is an anti-user, anti-Internet agreement. It was negotiated in almost complete secrecy by corporate lobbyists and government bureaucrats––including the ones who pushed Internet censorship bills like SOPA.

The TPP exports the worst parts of the United States’ broken copyright system without ensuring protections for freedom of expression, innovation, and human rights. It’s great for incumbent monopolies, but terrible for individual Internet users, startups, and the tech community as a whole.

We call on all member companies of the Internet Association to disavow this misguided position and stand with their users. Secretive trade agreements are unacceptable venues for making policy that affects billions of Internet users. The customers of these companies expect and deserve better.”

UPDATE: Moments before Fight for the Future launched its campaign, reddit, one of the most popular sites on the Internet and a member of the Internet Association, issued a tweet distancing themselves from the association’s position, saying they do not support the TPP. reddit has supported Fight for the Future’s campaigns against the TPP in the past. Cloud-computing firm Salesforce also confirmed in an email to Fight for the Future that they have not taken an official position on the TPP, casting doubt that there is consensus in support of Internet Association’s statement even among its member companies.

Fight for the Future is a digital rights non-profit best known for organizing some of the largest online protests in history including the massive Internet blackout against SOPA, the Internet Slowdown for net neutrality, and the Reset the Net campaign against government surveillance.

Last year, Fight for the Future organized a fierce online backlash to tech companies who signed on to a letter endorsing the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA,) which lead to many of those companies dropping support for the bill, including Salesforce, Apple, Dropbox, and Google. Later, the group released a scorecard grading companies based on their positions on privacy and security.

Fight for the Future has been active in campaigning against the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, helping organize the StopFastTrack.com coalition that successfully delayed the passage of Trade Promotion Authority legislation, bringing together a unique group of tech companies, unions, environmental groups, and others opposing the secretive trade deal. The group even captured headlines when it flew a 30’ blimp over several of Senator Ron Wyden’s town hall meetings calling for the Senator to drop his support for Fast Tracking the TPP.

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If the FBI doesn’t tell Apple how they hacked the San Bernardino iPhone, they’re putting lives at risk

Posted 18:32 EDT on March 29, 2016

March 30, 2016

Press contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

Following public outcry about the dangers of government-mandated backdoors, the FBI backed down and opened the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone without Apple’s help. If they really care about public safety, they must disclose the vulnerability they used to Apple to prevent criminals, hackers, and terrorists from exploiting the same security flaw and using it to do harm.

Encryption protects our hospitals, airports, power plants, and water treatment facilities. Sensitive information about critical infrastructure is stored on phones, computers, and in the cloud. The only thing preventing it from falling into the wrong hands is strong security technology.

Security experts agree that when a government agency discovers a security flaw that it can exploit for surveillance purposes, the best thing to do is to disclose that flaw to the company so that it can fix it for future products. That’s because vulnerabilities are never just used by law enforcement. Time and time again, security flaws that were created or hoarded by agencies like the FBI and NSA have been used by criminal hackers and foreign governments to carry out attacks.

Even the White House agrees, and has created a program specifically for the government to share vulnerabilities in cases exactly like this. But so far, the FBI is dodging the question, and won’t say whether they’ll do the right thing here.

The FBI claimed to the court at least 19 times that there was no way they could unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter without forcing Apple to build a government backdoor into their operating system. They maintained this repeatedly. Under oath. But the consensus among security experts is that this was never true; the FBI misled the court and the public in pursuit of a dangerous precedent.

Now that they’ve opened the iPhone in question, the mainstream media is already speculating as to how they did it. And it goes without saying that hackers, other governments, and those wishing to exploit this security flaw to do harm to the public are already hard at work trying to figure it out. Worse, the FBI has a terrible track record of protecting it’s own data. Just recently they leaked personal information about more than 20,000 FBI agents. They’re clearly not capable of keeping this exploit from falling into the wrong hands.

The only responsible thing for the FBI to do to protect all of our safety and security is to disclose the method they used to Apple so they can fix it and make sure it can’t be used to carry out future attacks.

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Fight for the Future is a grassroots advocacy group with more than 1.4 million members that fights to protect the Internet as a powerful platform for freedom of expression and social change. They’re best known for organizing the massive online protests against SOPA, for net neutrality, and against government surveillance. Learn more athttps://www.fightforthefuture.org and https://www.twitter.com/fightfortheftr.

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