Fight for the Future


Amid Facebook scandal, anti-privacy CLOUD Act becomes law without Congressional debate as Trump signs omnibus spending bill

Posted 15:59 EDT on March 23, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2018
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

President Donald Trump just signed the 2,232 page omnibus bill, making the CLOUD Act law after it was attached to the government spending package despite privacy concerns from human rights, civil liberties and privacy advocates. Companies like Facebook and Google lobbied for the legislation.

Digital rights group Fight for the Future strongly opposed the CLOUD Act and its inclusion in the budget bill, and mobilized more than 14,000 people to contact Congress in recent days. 

Following Trump’s signing of the omnibus bill, Fight for the Future Deputy Director, Evan Greer (pronouns: she/her) release the following statement:

“Decisions that affect the future of the Internet should never be made behind closed doors or snuck into law through budget proceedings.

It’s outrageous that Congress would rush to enact legislation that undermines Internet privacy while the entire Internet is in uproar over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The CLOUD Act exposes the sensitive information that we entrust with big tech companies by granting police in the US and other countries new powers to access our information without judicial oversight or warrant requirements.

It creates an end-run around the Fourth Amendment and endangers all internet users’ basic right to privacy, security, and free expression.

Congress has failed time and time again to rein in corporate and government surveillance and privacy invasions. It’s time for Internet users to organize en masse to demand change.”

The CLOUD Act will:

  • Give U.S. law enforcement the power to access our data anywhere in the world, no matter what country that data is stored in, while bypassing current privacy requirements.
  • Allow the U.S. president to enter international agreements, without Congressional approval, that allow foreign governments to directly obtain data in the U.S.—while ignoring U.S. privacy laws.
  • Allow foreign governments to collect data directly from U.S. companies without requiring a U.S. warrant.

###

Read More...
Share on:

Fight for the Future opposes controversial CLOUD Act, calls on Congress to keep dangerous legislation out of omnibus spending bill

Posted 16:33 EDT on March 19, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 19, 2018
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

Media reports indicate that US lawmakers are considering including the controversial CLOUD Act in a must-pass omnibus spending bill that Congress will vote on this week. Thousands of people have already taken action calling on their lawmakers to oppose this move. 

Digital rights group Fight for the Future strongly opposes the CLOUD Act and its inclusion in the budget bill, and issued the following statement, which can be attributed to Deputy Director, Evan Greer (pronouns: she/her):

“The breaking story on Facebook user data being manipulated by Cambridge Analytica underscores the ways that data, when collected en masse, can be used to undermine democracy rather than expand it.

The CLOUD Act would recklessly expose the sensitive information that we entrust with big tech companies, creating loopholes for police in the US and other countries to access our information without judicial oversight.

It creates an end-run around the Fourth Amendment and endangers all internet users’ basic right to privacy, security, and free expression.

This controversial legislation would be a poison pill for the omnibus spending bill. Senate and House leadership should not use the budget process to sneak through legislation that impacts Internet users’ privacy and security. Decisions like this requires rigorous examination and public debate, now more than ever, and should not be made behind closed doors as part of back room Congressional deals.”

The CLOUD Act would:

  • Give U.S. law enforcement the power to access our data anywhere in the world, no matter what country that data is stored in, while bypassing current privacy requirements.
  • Allow the U.S. president to enter international agreements, without Congressional approval, that allow foreign governments to directly obtain data in the U.S.—while ignoring U.S. privacy laws.
  • Allow foreign governments to collect data directly from U.S. companies without requiring a U.S. warrant.

Joining organizations like the ACLU and EFF who also oppose this bill, Fight for the Future has launched a rapid response campaign opposing the inclusion of the CLOUD Act in the omnibus spending bill, and already more than 8,500 people have contacted their lawmakers through this site or by texting CLOUD to 384-387 (message and data rates apply, reply STOP to stop receiving messages.)

###

Read More...
Share on:

Fight for the Future applauds California net neutrality bill, which would provide the most comprehensive protections in the US

Posted 14:06 EDT on March 14, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, March 14 2018
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

New bill would ensure over 39 million Californians have protections as strong as those repealed by the FCC late last year.

This morning California State Senator Scott Wiener introduced California Senate Bill 822, which would ensure Californians enjoy net neutrality protections as strong as those repealed by the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in December. The bill, which is being commended by experts, ensures that Internet service providers (ISPs) operating in the state of California will be prohibited from blocking content, slowing certain sites or services, or charging new fees for users and companies to reach audiences online. It also bans harmful “zero rating” practices that benefit large incumbent companies while harming innovation.

Responding to this morning’s news, Evan Greer, Deputy Director for Fight for the Future (pronouns she/her) had this to say:

“It’s amazing to see more and more states join the fight for net neutrality, and help fill the massive hole left by the FCC’s reckless repeal. Today’s news from California shows that constituents in the country’s most populous state are deeply concerned about the loss of real net neutrality protections. The fact that state lawmakers have drafted such comprehensive net neutrality protections should send a strong signal to members of Congress who will soon vote on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to block the FCC’s December repeal.

Momentum is growing for net neutrality, as California joins the ranks of states like Montana, Washington, and over a dozen others currently debating what can be done to prevent their residents from ISPs blocking, throttling, and charging them new fees. Internet users and businesses cannot afford to be left unprotected while Congress decides what they’re going to do about the FCC’s deeply unpopular repeal. Thankfully states like California are stepping up, but Congress needs to follow suit and support the CRA to restore protections for all.”

Below are resources containing more information on California Senate Bill 822 and other state level-initiatives:

###

Read More...
Share on:

Louisiana small businesses slam Senator John Kennedy’s anti-net neutrality bill, call on him to support the CRA

Posted 10:39 EST on March 8, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 8, 2018
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6456, press@fightforthefuture.org

Nearly 20 Louisiana-based businesses signed a letter calling on Kennedy to support resolution to block FCC repeal of open Internet protections

Louisiana businesses are expressing anger and frustration after Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) announced the introduction of anti-net neutrality legislation that would legalize Internet fast lanes and new fees, and prevent states from enacting their own open Internet protections, which are essential for startups and small businesses that drive the states economy.

Nearly twenty Louisiana-based small businesses signed an open letter, along with more than 500 other businesses across the US, calling on Senator Kennedy and other lawmakers to support a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality and restore rules that prevent Internet providers from imposing new fees, throttling apps and websites, or blocking online content.

“Users and businesses need certainty that they will not be blocked, throttled or charged extra fees by Internet service providers. We cannot afford to be left unprotected while Congress deliberates,” the letter reads. Louisiana businesses signing include Anntoine Marketing + Design, Concurrent Processing Inc, CotingaSoft, EPK Louisiana, Lookfar, inDEPTH Media, Intuitiv Designs, Made in the Shade Blinds and More, New Orleans Secrets Tours, and The Parlor. See the full list here.

“It is unfortunate that Senator Kennedy has come out on the side of large, out of state companies instead of on the side of Louisiana-based small businesses and individuals,” Chris Reade, President and CEO of New Orleans startup studio Lookfar, “I certainly hope he realizes that he’s siding with taking away people’s freedom and decides to support the CRA.”

“Net Neutrality keeps us from being punished in a pay-to-play system that hurts new and creative businesses. This issue isn’t about politics or party lines, it’s about preserving the democratic nature of the internet, said Greg Tilton, Co-Founder of inDEPTH Media, “If Senator Kennedy really cares about listening to constituents he’ll drop his bill and support the CRA to restore net neutrality as soon as possible.“

Senator Kennedy’s proposed bill is a companion to a widely criticized bill introduced by Rep Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), which is not a “compromise” or even a “weak net neutrality bill,” but rather a bill that destroys the core principles of net neutrality while claiming to save it. Unlike the CRA, which would restore net neutrality protections for small businesses, this bill would:

  • Legalize paid prioritization, opening the floodgates for ISPs to charge new fees and discriminate between online content
  • Kneecap the FCC’s ability to prevent abuse from ISP monopolies, and
  • Prevent states from enacting their own net neutrality rules (like the ones Washington and Oregon just passed and dozens of other states are considering.)

Senator Kennedy has told Politico that he is still considering support for the CRA resolution, despite the introduction of this bill. Small businesses in his state, and millions of Internet users across the country, are hoping he will withdraw his legislation and instead commit to voting for the CRA, which would ensure protection from ISP abuses while Congress deliberates.

###

Read More...
Share on:

Updated: Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) just announced bill that would betray the open Internet, now claims he’s still open to CRA

Posted 14:45 EST on March 7, 2018
image

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, March 7, 2018
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

After claiming he was considering support for the CRA to save net neutrality, Sen. Kennedy ignores Louisiana small businesses and millions of Americans and pushes widely-criticized legislation that undermines the open Internet while claiming to save it

UPDATE: Politico is now reporting that Senator Kennedy says he is still considering supporting the CRA. If he truly cares about the open Internet, he should publicly state his support for the CRA and withdraw this legislation that would undermine net neutrality. 

Today Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana betrayed his constituents, Louisiana small businesses, and millions of Internet users by introducing a widely-criticized piece of net neutrality legislation for consideration in the Senate. The bill is a companion to legislation proposed by Rep Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), one of the most notorious anti-Internet lawmakers in Congress, who has taken more than $600,000 from the telecom lobby and is widely perceived as a shill for the industry.

Fight for the Future issued the following statement, which can be attributed to deputy director Evan Greer (pronouns: she/her):

“Louisiana residents, small businesses, and Internet users from across the political spectrum asked Senator Kennedy to be a hero. Instead, he stabbed them in the back. Honestly, the Senator should resign over this. The fact that he thinks his constituents would be fooled by this trojan horse legislation is insulting.

If Senator Kennedy cares one iota about protecting businesses and residents in his state, he should support the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolutions to restore net neutrality rules, rather than offering a bill that was basically written by Comcast’s lobbyists, and that has no chance of passing anyway.

Senator Kennedy will be forever remembered as a lawmaker who could have stood up to telecom monopolies and been a hero, but chose instead to betray the entire Internet. Hopefully other Republican Senators do not make the same mistake.”

Senator Kennedy’s move shows blatant disregard for the massive momentum behind the movement to restore net neutrality rules. 3 out of 4 Republican voters oppose the FCC’s repeal, and a net neutrality bill in Washington State just passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

Fight for the Future has pledged to notify large numbers of voters about where Senators and Representatives stand on the CRA resolutions to save net neutrality ahead of the 2018 election.

###

Read More...
Share on: