Fight for the Future opposes the USA Freedom Act; calls for end to all mass government surveillance
So-called “reform bill is intended to enshrine modern surveillance state into law
Fight for the Future, a digital rights group with more than 1.4 million members that has been at the forefront of the fight against mass surveillance and organized the Reset the Net campaign endorsed by Edward Snowdenand thousands of major tech companies, strongly opposes the USA Freedom Act, dangerous legislation that fails to end mass government surveillance and in fact codifies some of the worst practices into law.
Congress should not consider any legislation that reauthorizes Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. Instead, Congress should let this dangerous provision expire and pass much-needed reforms, including ending mass surveillance under section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, Executive Order 12333 and other authorities, and enhancing Congressional oversight of secret intelligence agencies.
Fight for the Future co-founder Tiffiniy Cheng said, “No expert would disagree – the USAFreedom Act does not end bulk collection. This bill looks like it was crafted at the behest of intelligence agencies seeking to maintain the status quo and contains a series of loopholes that seem to negate every reform the bill purports to make. At a time when the public is outraged that Congress has done nothing to rein in abusive government spying, we should not enshrine the modern surveillance state into law under the guise of meager reform.”
“The USA Freedom Act is an insult to the millions of people around the world who have spoken out online and taken to the streets demanding that the U.S. government respect their human right to privacy,” added FFTF’s Campaign Director, Evan Greer, “Freedom cannot exist in a world where everyone is constantly looking over their shoulder, wondering if their government is watching. The USAFreedom Act is an abuse of the word “freedom” and organizations and lawmakers who truly support liberty and freedom of speech will oppose it.”
Fight for the Future representatives are available for comment on the USA Freedom Act and other surveillance and internet freedom issues. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an interview.
Bad news first: Fast Track legislation to ram through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has now passed out of committee in both the U.S. House and Senate, and it’s moving fast.
Now the good news: just this morning, the House Majority Leader admitted that “the votes aren’t there yet” to get this anti-democratic, censorship-enabling legislation passed. 
But both the Obama administration and corporate-backed Republican leadership are working together to spread propaganda and claim there is “nothing secret” in the TPP – while the entire text is still classified!  Worse, they are literally bribing reps with a fancy dinner if they vote for the Fast Track bills .
The vote is going to be painfully close. Every second counts and every voice matters. Will you speak out today?
This is a huge opportunity. If we can defeat Fast Track legislation in the U.S., it’s very likely that the entire TPP will fall apart. This is our chance to change history and to make it clear we won’t accept a future where decisions that affect our lives are made by governments in secret.
Thanks for all you do, -Evan at Fight for the Future
P.S. Rep Nancy Pelosi now plays a key role in whether these Fast Track bills move ahead. Will youclick here to tweet at her or call her office at (202) 225-4965 to tell her to oppose Fast Track for the TPP?
Thousands of Internet companies strike back against “Fast Track”
More than 7,000 websites join rapid-response “Internet Vote” to protest Trade Promotion Authority legislation that threatens online free speech
Less than a week after Congress introduced Fast Track / Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation, thousands of websites and tens of thousands of Internet users have united against it, citing the rampant lack of transparency and accountability in the trade negotiations process, as well as dangerous provisions in agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that undermine freedom of speech on the Web.
More than 7,000 websites and tech companies joined an emergency action on Thursday including well known services like MediaFire, DreamHost, Internet Archive, Private Internet Access, and DailyKos. As the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on the proposed legislation, phones in Washington, DC were ringing with the voices of constituents opposing TPA and the TPP. Websites participated by displaying an “Internet Vote” message on their sites that directs users to https://battleforthenet.com/internetvote or by encouraging their users to take action through social media.
Thousands of Internet users also participated by speaking out on social media, with the #InternetVote hashtag being used more than 19,000 times since the Fast Track bills were introduced.
The Internet Vote is being organized by Fight for the Future, a small but mighty digital rights nonprofit best known for its role organizing the massive SOPA protests and the Internet Slowdown, that shifted the tide of the net neutrality fight.
“It’s inspiring to see thousands of websites and tens of thousands of Internet users coming together so quickly to condemn this outdated and dangerous TPA legislation,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, “Senators Wyden and Hatch must have thought that their bill had some magical powers, or that the Internet was sleeping. They should know by now that any law that threatens Internet users’ rights to communicate, share, learn, and express themselves will be defeated, and the politicians who attach their names to these toxic policies will pay the price at the polls.”
“The Internet is showing that secretive vehicles for deciding policy for billions of people will get interrupted and stopped until they become a thing of the past,” added Fight for the Future’s co-founder Tiffiniy Cheng, “It used to be ok to have a broken system with a manipulative process that only serve a few, but in the age of the Internet, that’s obviously no longer ok. When people can participate in systems that work and have the means to demand an open, transparent and reasonable process, they come to expect it in our politics too. That’s going to be the future, so politicians may as well get used to it now.”
“This Trade Promotion Authority bill is a disaster for the Internet, for government transparency, and for our democracy,” said David Segal, executive director of the Internet advocacy group Demand Progress, who also supported the Internet Vote effort, “The Internet is simply too important to our economy and to our basic rights for decisions that affect it to be made in secret by lobbyists and bureaucrats. The public deserves a voice. Today, the public is demanding a voice.”
Last week, three anonymous artists put up a statue of Edward Snowden in a public park in Brooklyn. They crafted this bronze bust as ‘a gift to the city’, a memorial meant to spark conversations about issues central to our freedom.
Within hours, it was confiscated and turned over to the NYPD. 
But this morning, free speech advocates in NYC held a press conference to demand the confiscated Snowden bust be returned to the artists.
A local gallery has already agreed to exhibit the work while the artists submit an application to legally install the sculpture through the New York City Parks Department. In other words, New York could soon have a permanent monument to the whistleblower who challenged NSA surveillance. But first we need to free the statue!
Snowden may still be in exile for exposing the NSA’s crimes, but we can honor his efforts to hold the US government accountable by making sure this artwork gets released. Sign the petition now, and share it widely!
Thanks for all that you do,
-Susan, Evan, Holmes, Tiffiniy, Jessica, Vasjen, Charlie and Jeff Fight for the Future
P.S. Want to make sure the NYPD hears you? Click here to tweet at the NYPD Commissioner or call the Commissioner’s direct line for public interest inquiries: (646) 610-6700.