Rallies against FBI demand for iPhone backdoor planned at Apple stores in more than 30 cities this Tuesday
In Washington, DC protesters will gather at FBI Headquarters
Concerned iPhone users and digital security supporters will gather at Apple stores in more than 30 cities this coming Tuesday, February 23rd, exactly one week after a court order that attempts to force Apple to write software that would undermine the safety and security of millions of people.
Protesters will oppose the FBI’s demand carrying giant 10 foot long iPhone banners (see example), and iPhone shaped signs reading “FBI: Don’t Break Our Phones” and “Secure Phones Save Lives.” Participants will also be able to turn their phones, laptops, or tablets into a glowing protest sign using ProtestSign.org
The rallies are being organized in a grassroots manner by Fight for the Future members who agree to host an event in their town. Fight for the Future then provides those members with banners and support with recruitment. More events are being added all the time, so check back before Tuesday if you don’t see one in your area yet.
Rallies are already planned across the U.S. in small cities like Anchorage, Alaska, and major ones including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Palo Alto at Apple’s headquarters, and Boston. Supporters outside the U.S. have planned rallies at Apple stores in Hong Kong and Munich.
In Washington, DC, protesters will gatherat the FBI’s headquarters, the J. Edgar Hoover building.
This past Wednesday, after Fight for the Future issued the call for rallies at Apple stores, there was so much interest that they decided to organize one in San Francisco that day on just a few hours notice. Dozens of people turned out to protest the FBI’s position. See photos here.
“People are rallying at Apple stores because what the FBI is demanding here will make all of us less safe, not more safe,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, “their unconstitutional attack on our digital security could put millions of people in danger, so we’re giving those people a way to get their voices heard.”
Fight for the Future senior staff are available for interviews in advance of the Tuesday events, and can connect journalists with Fight for the Future members who are hosting these events in various cities.
Fight for the Future works to defend the Internet as a free and open platform for expression and creativity, and is best known for their role organizing the massive online protests against SOPA, the Internet Slowdown for net neutrality, and the Reset The Net campaign for online privacy, which was endorsed by Edward Snowden.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA –– Dozens of people, ranging from privacy advocates to casual iPhone users, rallied in front of Apple’s flagship store in San Fransisco this evening to protest the U.S. government’s unlawful attempt to force the company to help the FBI hack into an iPhone, which would set a dangerous precedent and threaten the safety and security of millions of iPhone users worldwide.
Fight for the Future is planning a large number of events nationwide this coming Tuesday, a week from the date of the court order, to continue highlighting the danger posed by government mandated backdoors or weakening of encryption and security features in our devices.
iPhone users will gather outside stores with a simple message for the government: “Don’t Break Our Phones.”
On the heels of an unprecedented court order that would require Apple to build a software “backdoor” to help the FBI break into an iPhone, digital rights group Fight for the Future is calling for nationwide rallies outside Apple stores to demand that the U.S. government drop its dangerous request, which would undermine the safety and security of millions of iPhone users worldwide.
A separate website for the protests will be launched later today.
iPhone users and civil liberties supporters will rally outside Apple stores one week from the date of yesterday’s court order, at 5:30pm local time in each city on Tuesday, February 23rd. Protesters will be encouraged to bring signs, but will also have the option of loading a “Protest Sign” on their phone using Fight for the Future’s ProtestSign.org, which can turn any phone, tablet, or laptop into a light-up protest sign.
“Governments have been frothing at the mouth hoping for an opportunity to pressure companies like Apple into building backdoors into their products to enable more sweeping surveillance. It’s shameful that they’re exploiting the tragedy in San Bernardino to push that agenda,” said Evan Greer, Fight for the Future’s campaign director, “Security experts agree that any weakening or circumvention of security features on a phone puts everyone in danger. Encryption is what protects our airports, power plants, and hospitals. If the FBI succeeds in forcing Apple to help them hack into an iPhone, it will open the floodgates and set a dangerous precedent that will inevitably lead to more suffering and loss of life.”
The protests will carry the message “Don’t Break Our Phones” and “Secure Phones Save Lives”. The FBI is asking Apple to write software that would disable one of the iPhone’s most important security features, which deletes data on the phone after 10 wrong password attempts. If they succeed in forcing Apple to do this, it would create a backdoor that could be used on all iPhones, and open massive potential for security breaches and cyber attacks.
The Facebook event for the protest was launched this morning, and will soon list specifics for events being planned in each city. The protests will happen in a 100% grassroots fashion, organized by Fight for the Future members in each city who will step up to bottomline each event. The group used similar tactics last year to organize widespread rapid response protests in support of net neutrality.
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