This morning the Senate fell one vote short of attaching a rider to a spending bill that would give the FBI sweeping new surveillance authority, including warrantless access to browsing history. Now, Senate leaders are trying to turn just one more senator in favor of the rider before doing a re-vote. This process is being spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who introduced the rider (McCain Amendment 4787) late on Monday and is trying to sneak it through using a cloture process that limits any debate.Read More...
June 21, 2016
Every County Court in America is about to have the power to issue warrants that would give the FBI the ability to hack anyone in the world, millions at a time. The new rule would be so broad that if you have malware or are using certain privacy software, you could be targeted by the FBI. This authority is brand new — until this rule goes into effect, courts have only been able to issue warrants for the areas they serve.
Fight for the Future is joining over 45 organizations concerned about digital security in a day of action today, June 21, to speak out against this change to Rule 41. (Read the coalition letter here)
Here’s the deal: The Department of Justice is using an amendment to a procedure, Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, to sneak through a whole new policy without Congressional action, and it would represent a sweeping expansion of law enforcement’s ability to engage in hacking and surveillance. If Congress does nothing, this massive change will automatically go into effect on December 1.
The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure are supposed to set the rules for day-to-day procedural details involved with federal criminal prosecution, and are definitely not supposed to change substantive rights. But the modification to Rule 41 isn’t procedural at all. It would grant a judge the ability to issue a warrant to remotely access, search, seize, or copy data when “the district where the media or information is located has been concealed through technological means” like VPNs, or whenever the computer appears to be involved in a botnet.This could turn the millions of unknowing victims of such malware into targets of government hacking themselves. The modified rule would grant this broad authority to any judge in any district where activities related to the crime may have occurred. It creates new avenues for government hacking that were never approved by Congress. 
Write to your reps now and post about Rule 41 on your blog and social media. Let’s make sure the FBI can’t change the rules and expand their power unchecked.
Thanks for all you do,
Tiffiniy, Lizzy, Sean and the whole Fight for the Future team
 SMH Act; S. 2952; H.R. 5321Read More...
Fight for the Future and other pro-net neutrality groups plan June 28th online protest—recruit websites to participate in mass day of action to fuel awareness and drive public comments to EU telecom regulators.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, email@example.com
On June 28th, 2016, websites from across the globe will participate in “The EU Slowdown,” an online protest showing people what the Internet would be like if Europe fails to protect net neutrality. Websites will display a spinning “loading” icon based on Europe’s flag and provide visitors with tools for easily submitting pro-net neutrality comments to BEREC, the European Union regulatory body currently deciding on the issue.
The day of action is being organized by Fight for the Future, the group that built the Battle for the Net and Internet Slowdown actions that helped to win net neutrality in the United States. The group has launched www.savenetneutrality.eu and is currently organizing websites to participate in the action. Mozilla, makers of popular web browser Firefox, has already begun encouraging its European users to file comments, at savetheinternet.eu.
In 2014, when Fight for the Future ran a similar campaign around US net neutrality negotiations, over 40,000 websites participated and more than 2 million people took action, setting a record for the number of comments received by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) in a single day. Those comments were cited as influential in the the FCC’s decision to support strong net neutrality rules.
“Europe is the world’s largest economy,” said Tiffiniy Cheng, co-director at Fight for the Future. “If we let Europe’s cable and telecom companies undermine the Internet with loopholes in the net neutrality regulations, it would be a huge hit for innovation and freedom of expression globally. We need strong net neutrality rules in Europe if the global Internet is to fulfill its promise and bring democracy and opportunity to the masses.”
The Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) is currently holding a public consultation period on their proposed rules for net neutrality that ends on July 18, 2016. Fight for the Future and other open Internet advocates, startups, investors, and academics, believe that BEREC’s proposed rules are not strong enough to actually protect net neutrality, and they are urging them to fix to fix several loopholes before they issue the final ruling.
Specifically, they are concerned that the rules allow Internet service providers to prioritize their own content, or their partners’ content, through “zero rating” certain content against subscribers’ monthly data caps. They are also concerned about ISPs ability under the rules to throttle entire classes of Internet traffic—things like bittorrent, video chat, or VPNs—under loopholes in the “network management” provisions.
“For too long, Europeans have been stuck with inferior Internet access because ISPs have been allowed to create fast lanes and slow lanes,” said Holmes Wilson, co-director at Fight for the Future. “BEREC has an opportunity to bring Europe’s Internet up to speed with the rest of the developed world, but if they fail to close these loopholes they will continue to lag behind, and Internet users in Europe will be cut off from the social and economic benefits that only a free and open Internet can provide.”
To participate in the June 28th Internet Slowdown, people who own websites, blogs, or Tumblr accounts can easily host a “slow loading” widget by embedding a line of code provided by Fight for the Future. The widget will pop up and greet everyone who visits sites that use the code, drawing attention to the issue and making it simple for them submit comments to BEREC urging the to close the loopholes and enact strong rules to protect the Internet in Europe.Read More...
Rock Against the TPP: Tom Morello and actress Evangeline Lilly to headline kick-off event for nationwide concert tour opposing the Trans-Pacific PartnershipPosted 09:15 EDT on June 15, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2016
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, firstname.lastname@example.org
July 23 event in Denver will launch multi-city roadshow featuring high profile performers and speakers to defeat dangerous, anti-democratic deal
DENVER, CO––Legendary guitarist Tom Morello (Prophets of Rage, Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave), popular punk band Anti-Flag, Golden Globe nominated actress Evangeline Lilly (Lost, The Hobbit, Ant-Man), Denver-based hip-hop outfit Flobots, and buzzworthy bi-lingual rockers Downtown Boys will perform at a free concert in Denver at Summit Music Hall on Saturday, July 23rd to mobilize opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The event will kick off the Rock Against the TPP roadshow. Organized by Morello’s new label, Firebrand Records and digital rights group Fight for the Future, the roadshow features a nationwide series of activism-fueled music events designed to raise awareness about the dangers of the TPP and build opposition to the toxic deal that was negotiated in secret with hundreds of corporate advisors. The TPP has little to do with trade, but would provide multinational corporations with new rights and powers that threaten good paying jobs, Internet freedom, the environment, access to medicine, and food safety.
See a full lineup and Rock Against the TPP tour dates here: RockAgainstTheTPP.org
Additional Rock Against the TPP tour dates and line-ups in other cities will be announced in the coming weeks.
“Working people everywhere have had enough,” said Tom Morello, “The TPP is nothing short of a corporate takeover of our democracy. That’s why people are rising up to stop it. Corporate lobbyists want to sneak the TPP through Congress quietly; that means it’s time for us to get loud.”
“This fight against the TPP is not about right and left, it’s about right and wrong,” said Evangeline Lilly, “Whatever you’re passionate about, whether it’s human rights, internet freedom, climate change, or food safety, the TPP is a bad deal for humanity, and a threat to the future of democracy. The more people learn about the TPP, the less they like it. It’s our responsibility to sound the alarm, before it’s too late.”
The Rock Against the TPP Tour is being organized by Fight for the Future, the viral Internet freedom group best known for organizing the largest online protests in history against online censorship and in favor of free speech and privacy. Firebrand Records, the new social justice infused record label co-founded by Tom Morello and Ryan Harvey, is acting as the tour’s artistic partner. The roadshow is sponsored and co-organized by a diverse coalition of groups fighting against the corporate power grab that is the TPP, including Citizens Trade Campaign, Communications Workers of America, CREDO, Demand Progress, the International Labor Rights Forum, Public Citizen, the Sierra Club, and the Teamsters.
Additional performers for the Denver kick-off include Firebrand Records artists Ryan Harvey, Lia Rose, and Son of Nun, Puerto Rican vocalist Taina Asili, and riot-folk singer / Fight for the Future campaign director Evan Greer, the tour’s lead organizer. Speakers from a broad coalition of organizations opposing the TPP will address the crowd, explaining the many dangers posed by the agreement.
“The TPP is not a trade deal, it’s a corporate coup––an attack on the future of democracy and free speech,” said Evan Greer, “people from across the political spectrum overwhelmingly oppose it, and we’re going to fight not only to stop the TPP, but to make sure that decisions that affect all of us are never made behind closed doors in the future.”
About Tom Morello: Incendiary rock guitarist and acoustic troubadour Tom Morello, known for his innovative guitar solos and thunderous chords, is a groundbreaking artist whether in his solo career or as an original member of the rock bands Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, two acts responsible for multiple Grammy Awards and a combined 30 million albums sold worldwide. He’s released four solo albums as The Nightwatchman and formed the band Street Sweeper Social Club with Boots Riley of The Coup in 2009. Morello has also been recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the “100 Greatest Guitar Players of All-Time (#26).” Morello has produced or collaborated with artists of diverse genres including WuTang Clan, Johnny Cash, Tool, John Fogerty, Anti-Flag, Public Enemy, Joe Strummer, Crystal Method, Calle 13, Dave Mathews Band, Johnny Cash, Linkin Park, Travis Barker and Pete Seeger. In addition, he joined Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band for their 2014 world tour in support of Springsteen’s studio album High Hopes (Columbia Records) on which Morello is featured on eight tracks. Most recently, Morello has joined forces with fellow Rage Against The Machine bandmates Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk, as well as Cypress Hill’s B-Real and Public Enemy’s Chuck D and DJ Lord to form the band Prophets of Rage. The group came together as a politically charged response to 2016’s tumultuous election year and after three sold-out club shows announced the launch of a 35-city trek across North America this summer.
About Evangeline Lilly: Evangeline Lilly is an actress best known for her role as Kate Austen in LOST and films including The Hurt Locker, Real Steel, The Hobbit and Ant-Man. Evangeline is also a cross-genre writer, who writes for multiple demographics, and is a published author of her children’s book series, The Squickerwonkers. With a background in International Relations and Political Science, Evangeline has long held a passion for social justice and is a strong advocate for Fight for the Future - and for democracy.
About Anti-Flag (performing an acoustic set): After more than 20 years writing smash hits about smashing the state, ANTI-FLAG has cemented themselves as the premiere political punk band around with an unparalleled ability to write high-energy, riffy, fist-pumping, sing-along anthems that never lose sight of the band’s anti-war, anti-imperialism, pro human rights ethos. Equal parts circle pit and picket line, their blistering and earnest live show brings a sense of community to the stage that unites people of all backgrounds and struggles.
About the Flobots: Denver, Colorado’s revolutionary hip-hop act Flobots bring it on real with their signature anthems dedicated to creating a better world. Since forming in 2005, Flobots have released three full length albums, toured throughout the US and Europe, and appeared on late night programs including The Tonight Show and Late Night. Flobots are internationally known for their 2008 platinum single “Handlebars” and widely recognized for using their music as an inspiration for social change.
About Downtown Boys: Downtown Boys are a bilingual political sax punk party from Providence, Rhode Island in the northeast United States. Rolling Stone called them “America’s Most Exciting Punk Band” and NME has declared them a Band to Watch in 2016. They write songs about smashing the prison-industrial complex, racism, queerphobia, capitalism, fascism, boredom, and all things people tell us that try to close our minds, eyes, and hearts. The band is known for their live performances, which are equal parts punk show, political rally, and religious revival. Frontwoman Victoria Ruiz delivers moving speeches between songs, working the crowd into an angry but hopeful frenzy. The songs themselves are delivered with an earnestness, fun, and intensity that’s stunned audiences on their tours throughout North America.
About Fight for the Future: Fight for the Future is a non-profit with more than 1 million members dedicated to defending and expanding the Internet’s transformative power for good. They’re best known for their vibrant, viral campaigns, and for organizing the largest online protests in history against SOPA, for net neutrality, and against mass surveillance. Last year, the group drove tens of thousands of phone calls and emails to Congress opposing the TPP through its StopFastTrack.com coalition page. They also made headlines for flying a 30 foot blimp opposing the TPP over Senator Ron Wyden’s town hall meetings in Oregon. Fight for the Future conceived of the Rock Against the TPP effort, and are leading the organizing of the tour, with support from a wide range of public interest groups, labor unions, and grassroots volunteers.
About Firebrand Records: Firebrand is a bold new project from Ryan Harvey (Riot-Folk) and Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, Prophets of Rage) dedicated to the global release and distribution of radical, socially conscious music. In recent years, people around the world have surprised each other with their courage, strength, and willingness to stand against injustice, militarism, and corruption. And where there has been protest, there has been music. Born from these times, Firebrand gives a platform for such voices. We know that music alone does not change the world, but we recognize that it is an integral part of the movements that do.Read More...
The DC Circuit has decided in favor of net neutrality in U.S. Telecom Association v. FCC. This cements a decisive victory for the millions of people, companies, websites, and organizations who worked together to secure strong protections for the open Internet against one of the biggest lobbies in the United States.
WASHINGTON––The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s use of the legal authority behind its Open Internet Order today. The decision comes after a long-fought battle between major telecommunications services and millions of open Internet advocates from across the political spectrum.
Fight for the Future, the prominent digital rights group best known for their role in spearheading the massive online and offline net neutrality protests, including sit-ins in front of the FCC and the Internet Slowdown which broke a one-day comment submission record to the FCC, celebrates this dramatic victory. The Battle for the Net campaign, spearheaded by Fight for the Future, lead to over 4 million public comments submitted to the FCC, setting a new record for public engagement in a FCC proceeding. The campaign also generated more than 10 million emails to Congress, and 500,000 calls to Congress and the FCC.
Fight for the Future and many other civil rights and digital rights groups mobilized millions of people and thousands of companies to call on the FCC to use their legal authority to enact the most legally-defensible and strongest protections for net neutrality, which required the reclassification of ISP’s as Title II Telecommunications services. The FCC, headed by Chairman Tom Wheeler, voted for the Open Internet Order in February 2015. The US Telecommunications Association brought a suit against this order shortly after. Now, over a year later, the DC Circuit has decided in favor of the FCC. The group’s representatives issued the following statements about today’s historic victory:
“In 2015, startups, investors, activists, academics, policymakers, and millions of individuals joined together in agreement that net neutrality was vitally important, and that Title II was the best, most legally sound way to do it.” said Holmes Wilson, co-founder of Fight for the Future. “Now, the courts agree with us too. This victory means that people all over the world can rely on smart policies in the US to protect the Internet as a platform for freedom of expression, economic growth, and social change.”
“The people have spoken. The courts have spoken. Cable giants like Comcast need to get over it and start actually providing great Internet service—not mounting these sneaky attacks in Congress, using lobbying dollars to turn Congress against the will of the people,” said Fight for the Future campaign director Evan Greer.
“Today, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit confirmed what Fight for the Future and our allies have argued for years: The Federal Communications Commission has the power to apply the strongest powers it has in the interest of guaranteeing an open and free Internet.”
“This is the largest victory against monopolies this decade. Big telecom lost the number one handout they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying for over the last ten years,” said Tiffiniy Cheng, Co-Director of Fight for the Future. “They were able to skirt net neutrality rules by successfully lobbying the FCC to pretend they’re not monopolies or telecommunications services. After four million people and thousands of companies worked tirelessly to show that this handout was bad for everyone but the ISPs, we were able to defeat one of the biggest and fiercest lobbies in the US. This watershed victory is testament to the ability of people to organize using the Internet against corruption and the status quo.”
Now, all eyes turn towards Europe, where a coalition of activists and policy experts rallying as SaveTheInternet.eu are in the final weeks of a years-long push for net neutrality rules covering the entire European Union. These coming weeks will determine whether European regulator BEREC matches or surpasses the US rules, or whether they fall short in the face of strong lobbying pressure from powerful European telecoms. Right now, BEREC has an open public consultation that runs until July 18th (analogous to the FCC comment periods which drew millions of submissions.) Fight for the Future will work with EU activists to launch a massive day of action to deliver hundreds of thousands of public comments to BEREC.
Additionally, the FCC is currently developing rules for zero rating plans, in particular. The FCC’s Open Internet Order allowed an examination of zero ratings programs on a case by case basis. A letter from companies and organizations and 100,000’s of people has been sent to the FCC calling for an open process to examine these plans, including programs such as Comcast’s preferential treatment for their own content, or AT&T and Verizon’s program that exclude paying websites from data caps.Read More...