Fight for the Future


“Fast Track” legislation fails Senate test after digital rights groups and tech companies drive thousands of phone calls and emails to Congress

Posted 12:09 EDT on May 13, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2015

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

WASHINGTON, DC –– Yesterday, the Senate voted against advancing Trade Promotion Authority legislation, more commonly known as “Fast Track.” Fight for the Future, a digital rights group that has been rallying websites and Internet users to oppose Fast Track and has driven tens of thousands of contacts to Congress in recent weeks, released the following statement, which can be attributed to campaign director Evan Greer:

“The writing is on the wall, the only question left is whether our lawmakers can read it. It’s obvious that people from across the political spectrum overwhelmingly oppose secretive trade negotiations, “Fast Track” legislation, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

A few months ago, Fast Track looked inevitable. But as people across the country learned that government bureaucrats and corporate lobbyists were trying to legislate through backroom deals with virtually no public oversight, they stood up in massive numbers. When it became clear that Fast Track and the TPP would be detrimental to Internet freedom, thousands of websites and tech companies joined the fight as well.

People, advocacy groups, and startups are uniting against Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership because policies that could lead to decreased online privacy, stifled innovation, and global Internet censorship affect everyone. This isn’t a battle between “liberals” and the Obama administration. It’s a battle between the overwhelming majority of people and small businesses that stand to lose if this deal goes through, and a few select industries that have been spending millions lobbying to protect their own power at the expense of everyone’s basic rights.”

Fight for the Future, a group that was founded in the lead up to the fight against SOPA, has been one of the most active online groups opposing Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. They were lead organizers of the Internet Vote, which has generated more than 6,500 phone calls and 75,000 emails to Congress, and gathered the support of more than 7,500 websites and tech companies. They also built the StopFastTrack.com coalition site, which has garnered the support of more than 100 organizations working on a wide range of issues.

Last month, Fight for the Future made national headlines when they followed Senator Ron Wyden around his home state of Oregon with a 30’ blimp as part of ongoing protests against Fast Tracking the TPP. They also parked a JUMBOTRON on Capitol Hill as part of an anti-Fast Track film fest. Last year, the group delivered a letter to Senator Ron Wyden signed by more than 25 companies including reddit and imgur opposing Fast Track legislation.

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Leading Internet freedom group calls for Senate to oppose Fast Track

Posted 17:03 EDT on May 12, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2015

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

WASHINGTON, DC –– Today the Senate will vote on whether or not to advance Trade Promotion Authority legislation, more commonly known as “Fast Track.” Fight for the Future, a digital rights group that has been rallying websites and Internet users to oppose Fast Track, released the following statement, which can be attributed to campaign director Evan Greer:

Today, every United States Senator has a decision to make: will they stand with the overwhelming majority of their constituents who oppose the dangerous secrecy inherent in the Fast Track / Trade Promotion Authority process, or will they bow down to the White House and the incumbent industries who have been spending millions lobbying to protect their power?

Many media outlets frame this as a fight between “liberals” and the Obama administration, which couldn’t be further from the truth. People from across the political spectrum oppose both Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, due to extreme copyright and Internet policy provisions that could lead to decreased online privacy, stifled innovation, and global Internet censorship.

Millions of Internet users and thousands of websites, startups, and tech companies have spoken out. Today, we find out who the Senate is listening to. If they value democracy and the future of the Internet, they will oppose advancing Fast Track / Trade Promotion Authority legislation, and demand that the public have access to agreements negotiated in their name.

Fight for the Future, a group that was founded in the lead up to the fight against SOPA, has been one of the most active online groups opposing Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. They were lead organizers of the Internet Vote, which has generated more than 6,500 phone calls and 73,000 emails to Congress, and gathered the support of more than 7,500 websites and tech companies. They also built the StopFastTrack.com coalition site, which has garnered the support of more than 100 organizations working on a wide range of issues.

Last month, Fight for the Future made national headlines when they followed Senator Ron Wyden around his home state of Oregon with a 30’ blimp as part of ongoing protests against Fast Tracking the TPP. They also parked a JUMBOTRON on Capitol Hill as part of an anti-Fast Track film fest.

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URGENT: NSA surveillance on track to be extended and expanded this week.

Posted 14:36 EDT on May 12, 2015
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On May 7th, 2015, the Second District Court of Appeals ruled that the NSA’s bulk collection of phone call data using Section 215 of the Patriot Act, as revealed by Edward Snowden, is illegal.

This decision, if upheld, would end the NSA’s capability to suck up bulk phone call data.

Now Congress is trying to pass a bill— the Orwellian “USA Freedom Act”—that would give this power back to the NSA through new legal loopholes while appearing on the surface to reign-in the NSA.

The bill is getting voted on this week. Don’t be fooled. It is designed to appease the public while cementing the government’s surveillance authority for years to come.

USA Freedom Act doesn’t just fail to reform mass surveillance; it extends and expands it.

  • Extends Section 215 of the Patriot Act until 2019 while modernizing it so it can suck up more information on the devices we use most commonly.
  • Expand the type of information the government can access. The bill expands call data from landlines to include VoIP calls and video chats, and likely will allow the government to access all data related to smartphone activity.
  • Claims to end bulk collection, but would allow the government to continue collecting huge amounts of data by using broad search terms to target big portions of the population and then conducting surveillance on anyone who is “connected” to those targets.
  • Provides legal immunity to companies that violate privacy laws and pays them to participate in handing over data to the government.
  • Creates broad “emergency” powers for the government to collect all kinds of personal data without prior court approval. The government could use this authority to suck up and retain massive amounts of data.
  • Allows the FBI to access data collected for counterterrorism investigations and use it for investigations outside of counterterrorism cases. The FBI can then set up permanent gag orders to prevent public oversight into their use of this data.
  • Creates a new public advocate at the FISA court but lets the government block the advocate from seeing any and all information they choose to keep secret from them.
  • Takes wind out of the sails of real reform by appearing to have addressed mass surveillance (without actually doing anything to fundamentally alter mass surveillance).

Click here to tell Congress to sunset the PATRIOT Act. 

Read more about Congress’ fake reform bill: www.usafreedom.fail

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URGENT: Senate votes tomorrow to advance “Fast Track” for the TPP

Posted 18:02 EDT on May 11, 2015

The Senate is voting TOMORROW to advance Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The vote is going to be close and we need everyone to contact their Senators right now and demand they oppose Fast Tracking Internet censorship.

TAKE ACTION NOW

Everyone has said that we have no hope of stopping Fast Track in the Senate — that the House is our only hope. But after the last few weeks, it’s looking more and more like we can stop Fast Track in the Senate.

If we can win in the Senate tomorrow, it’d be a huge victory for the Internet. It would set back plans for the Trans-Pacific Partnership months, if not kill it entirely.

Click here to take action now and let’s stop this secret trade deal.

Evan at FFTF

Learn more:

1. http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2015/may/08/trans-pacific-partnership-obama-irony

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Facebook is supporting Fast Track for the TPP

Posted 10:34 EDT on May 7, 2015

Facebook’s billionaire CEO Mark Zuckerberg is screwing over the Internet. Again. We are so close to stopping Fast Track for the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but now Facebook is lobbying for it.

Tell Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to stop promoting Internet censorship!

Internet users from across the political spectrum overwhelmingly oppose the secretive Fast Track process, which would allow government bureaucrats and industry lobbyists to make important internet policy decisions in secret. Thousands of websites and tech companies oppose Fast Track too, from tiny startups to hugely popular services like Tumblr, imgur, and reddit.

But at a time when every vote counts and Congress is taking stock of where tech companies stand on these bills, Facebook is stabbing their users in the back and endangering all of our rights.

Sign the petition to tell Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to stop supporting Fast Track for the TPP

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has built his fortune on the back of the free and open Internet. He should be ashamed that his company is now helping hasten the passage of the TPP’s draconian copyright provisions.

If enough of us sign this petition, it will send a message to other tech companies at a time when we need as many of them as possible to vocally oppose the Fast Track bills.

Click here to tell Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg not to put us on the Fast Track to censorship!

For the Internet,
-Evan at FFTF

P.S. We are now up against two deadlines: trying to stop the TPP and the reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act in the same month. Will you chip in $5 to help us go hard on both?

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