Fight for the Future


Countdown to Reset the Net this week! Some of the world’s largest websites are planning a coordinated action Thursday to oppose mass surveillance online.

Posted 11:25 EDT on June 2, 2014

UPDATE: #ResetTheNet is now on the frontpage of The Guardian, please share this article to help spread the word: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jun/02/reddit-imgur-boing-boing-reset-the-net-campaign-nsa-surveillance-privacy

Dear Fight for the Future member,

Just writing quickly to make sure you’ve heard the news and you’re all ready for Thursday?

We’re going to Reset the Net and block mass surveillance on the Internet. Are you ready? Help make sure others are too.

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We finally have a chance to directly intervene in mass surveillance and make the Internet safer for everyone, but we literally need everyone who gets this email to join in securing their devices. No more excuses. It’s time to show our power and make the web a safer place for everyone.

We’ve been working tirelessly behind the scenes on this, and we are pumped. There are a bunch of things we have to keep secret for now to ensure we have the element of surprise, but let’s just say there are going to be some incredibly exciting announcements on June 5th. Reset the Net isn’t a single protest or day of action, it’s the beginning of a movement that will change the future of the Internet forever. We’ll be making history together, and showing the true power that Internet users have when we stand up for our rights.

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Everything is ready to go, we just need you. Click here to get all the details on how to participate, and then share this page with everyone you know.

As we count down to the big day on June 5th, we’ll making major announcements each day, and we’ll ask you to help out with one thing each day to spread the word.  If we all pitch in, when we Reset the Net it will send a message to every government in the world that mass surveillance is illegitimate and won’t be tolerated on our Internet.

Stay tuned, we’ll be in touch with more soon.

Please share this link far and wide, everywhere you know how: http://resetthenet.org

Excitedly,

-Evan and Tiffiniy

Fight for the Future


P.S. One of the easiest ways to help Reset the Net and promote the use of encryption tools  is to join this Thunderclap with your Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. We’re already reaching 3 million people, help us get to 5 million by June 5th: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/10619-reset-the-net?locale=en

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It’s hard to ignore millions of voices calling for net neutrality—but the FCC was doing a pretty good job of it until we showed up on their doorstep with tents.

Posted 17:07 EDT on May 27, 2014

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Hey team,

Here’s the latest. Three weeks ago, we organized a game-changing encampment outside of the FCC building in DC to shine a spotlight on the agency’s terrible plan to move ahead with a corrupt “net neutrality” proposal that could allow for Internet discrimination and censorship.

What started as a rag tag band of die-hard Internet freedom activists camped out on the FCC’s doorstep with tents quickly blossomed into a full-on popular revolt against the FCC’s proposal that – according to TIME Magazine – caused utter chaos on the executive floor.

For decades, the FCC building has been visited almost exclusively by lobbyists from Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon. When we showed up and put out the call to Occupy the FCC, everything changed, and we put REAL net neutrality back on the table.

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This encampment would not have been possible without the incredible outpouring of support from our list and the Internet in general. Your donations, tweets, and encouragement made this happen – and we all owe an extra special thanks to the dedicated people on our list who jumped on buses to Washington, DC to join the camp.

As we camped out for nine days outside the FCC, hundreds of thousands of Internet activists called, e-mailed, and commented on the FCC’s net discrimination proposal and lent support to the activists at the encampment.

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Even with rain pouring down on us, we kicked off our encampment with a bang. Our friends at PopularResistance.org were first on the scene with their huge SAVE THE INTERNET banner. After the first night they started to set up tents. With the support of online activists like you, our firewall of tents grew quickly and the impact was immediate.

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Everyday, we were awake at 6AM, energized and ready to hand out flyers and talk to FCC employees as they came into work. By being out at the FCC earlier and later than any of their employees, we made sure every single employee, manager and security guard saw us, talked to us, and took a flyer from us. It was fun to think about our net neutrality flyers filling the FCC building, sitting on people’s desks and inspiring lunch room conversations.

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We received an inspiring amount of positive support from FCC employees. Employees would thanks us for camping outside the FCC, give us high fives, or discrete thumbs ups.

The FCC itself is split, with a majority its employees seemingly siding with us. According to an article in the Daily Caller, after just a few days of our encampment, employee morale at the FCC was so low that Tom Wheeler had to call a special meeting to address internal concerns with his bogus proposal.

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As our numbers grew, the number of tents wrapping around the FCC grew as well. Our encampment was made up of activists who came all across the country from San Francisco to DC. We demonstrated that the Internet community has real power to defend itself against corporate attacks on net neutrality.image

Everyday as rush hour traffic picked up around 5pm, we would picket and chant outside the FCC as employees left the building. Cars, trucks and buses would honk in support as we made sure every single FCC employee leaving work had to listen to us.

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Media coverage of the encampment skyrocketed as our encampment grew and the FCC lost leverage. This is Elise Hu of NPR interviewing activists at the encampment. As time went on more and more reporters and photographers came from the New York TImes, BBC, Washington Post, ABC News, CNN, The Guardian, Democracy Now – as a matter of fact, the only network that didn’t show up was NBC (which just happens to be owned by Comcast/Universal…)

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The FCC took notice of us. A majority of the commissioners personally came down to listen to our demands and speak to us. Above, Commissioner Ajit Pai engages in a friendly debate with Dr. Margaret Flowers, who made it clear we want Title II reclassification and nothing less.

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Less than 24 hours before he pushed for a vote on his flawed proposal that could gut net neutrality, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler came down to our encampment to meet with us. He listened carefully to our demands, and did his best to paint a picture where we were on the same side. He even got his picture taken with a sign that said “Honk for the Open Internet” and then had a member of his staff tweet it.

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But if Tom Wheeler really wanted the open Internet, he could do more than ask people to honk for it. Based on our conversations with the other Commissioners, if Wheeler pushed forward a proposal to reclassify the Internet as a common carrier and protect net neutrality, he’d have the votes to get it passed and could be a hero for the web.

So why doesn’t he? Well, it could have something to do with the fact that he was an industry lobbyist for cable companies for 20 years before becoming the FCC Commissioner.

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On May 15, the 9th day of the encampment and the day of the open Internet FCC hearing, dozens of groups worked together on a major rally to Save the Internet. As the rally kicked into high gear, the meeting on net neutrality was starting inside the FCC.

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During the meeting inside the FCC, protesters were forcefully removed from the room, including this Vietnam veteran. As they were removed from the building, press were already outside and ready to interview them about their experience inside.

With protesters inside and outside the FCC, Tom Wheeler decided to move forward with his proposal that includes discriminating Internet users and websites into slow lanes.

Even though Wheeler pushed his proposal through, we’ve made a huge win – reclassification of the Internet (real net neutrality) is now on the table - something that was not possible two months ago when we petitioned him. If you’d like to read more about Tom Wheeler’s decision, read this article.

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Now that our demands are on the table, we’ll have to continue to ramp up the pressure on the FCC in the coming months to win real net neutrality once and for all. Not only will we have to maintain the pressure on FCC, but we’ll have to take the fight to the White House and Congress as well.

For starters, we’re telling the President Obama to fire Tom Wheeler and replace him with a FCC Chair who will actually serve the public good by reclassifying the Internet as a public utility.

You can tell President Obama to fire Tom Wheeler by clicking here.

Our fight to win reclassification for real net neutrality has only just begun – you can subscribe to our e-mail list and we’ll let you know about new actions you can take to step into the fight.

One last note – with the anniversary of the Snowden leaks coming up on June 5th, we’re moving to Reset The Net to take back privacy and stop intrusive mass surveillance. Together we can reclaim privacy on our own terms by making surveillance too difficult and too cumbersome for government agencies to intrude.

Join our campaign to Reset The Net!

Stay tuned after June 5th for more important updates in the fight to keep the Internet free, open, and dare we say, awesome.

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No single law will save us from the NSA. It’s time to Reset the Net to take our privacy back.

Posted 18:32 EDT on May 22, 2014

The movement against mass government surveillance is at a crossroads.

Today the US House of Representatives passed a dangerously watered down version of the USA Freedom Act. The bill, which was originally intended to scale back some domestic NSA spying, now contains huge loopholes that not only allow bulk spying to continue, but could could make it even worse, depending on how the NSA’s “creative” lawyers interpret the law.

Now is a good time to reflect, regroup, and strategize. It’s imperative that whatever we do next in the fight against Orwellian government surveillance, we do it right and we fight to win.

The reality is that the USA Freedom Act was a weak bill to begin with – even before backroom deals in Congress led to last-minute changes that made it even weaker. This should be a reminder and a lesson: if we let the government think we’ll settle for mediocre reform, they won’t even give us that.

We need to stick to our one clear demand: an end to all forms of mass, suspicionless surveillance. Internet users and people all over the world deserve to communicate and express ourselves freely without someone watching over our shoulders. Governments that indiscriminately spy on their citizens lose their legitimacy. It’s up to us to build a global movement to keep each other safe and keep the Internet free.

No single piece of legislation can get us what we want. No single protest will save the day. No single encryption product can protect the entire web from prying eyes. This is, and has always been, a fight that we can only win if we’re ready for the long haul, and if we’re willing to work together.

We expect and deserve laws that protect our basic rights, but we can’t wait around exposed while politicians move slowly and feebly. We need to act right now to secure as much of the web as we can, and defend privacy and freedom of speech on our own terms.

This June 5th, 2014 is the anniversary of the first groundbreaking NSA story revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. On this symbolic day, we have an opportunity to draw a line in the sand, and show U.S. Congress and governments around the world that we intend to take our privacy back, now. Their laws can follow our lead.

We are calling for everyone to join us this June 5th for a coordinated push called Reset the Net. On a single day thousands of tech companies, people, and organizations will take significant technical steps towards securing the web from mass surveillance.

In the year since Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA’s most lurid abuses, the movement against mass surveillance has grown rapidly. Millions have taken action online, hundreds of thousands have called Congress, we’ve protested in the streets and developed an arsenal of new privacy technology. That’s what we’ve been doing well. We’re commanding the headlines, we have the public on our side. If we keep growing in momentum and turning up the heat, we are going to win.

On June 5th, the Internet will rally and we will once again realize our power. Everyone has a role to play, from tech companies with millions of users to the smallest political blog. If we all take the first step together, we will be well on our way to making the Internet ours again.

Join us: http://ResetTheNet.org


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Congress waters down USA Freedom Act to allow even more spying. Time to Reset the Net to take our privacy back.

Posted 10:31 EDT on May 22, 2014

Yesterday, Congress sold you out. House leadership watered down their version of the USA Freedom Act with an amendment that creates vast new loopholes for the NSA. The new version will allow most bulk government surveillance to continue – and it might even make it worse [1].

We can’t trust the government to solve this problem. But we knew that already, so we have a plan. It’s time to Reset the Net.

The crazy thing is, the USA Freedom Act was already just a baby step in the right direction. Fight for the Future hesitated to throw our full support behind it because we felt it didn’t go nearly far enough to reign in the NSA, and left activists, journalists, and people outside the U.S. vulnerable.

This new, weakened version of the bill is an insult to the millions of people worldwide who have spoken out calling for an end to abusive government spying. And so-called privacy champions in Congress are saying this is the best “we’re going to get.” [2]

I mean, we’re not surprised, but think about that: after the most lurid and earth-shattering leaks in the history of the NSA, this is the best Congress can do. Seriously?

If this is the best they can do, we need to take matters into our own hands. Let’s do everything in our power to make spying harder. It’s time to take our privacy back.

This just goes to show that, when you settle for a mediocre reform bill, you’ll get an even worse one. We need to push onward and continue to grow the movement against mass surveillance until we can’t be ignored.

On June 5th, the anniversary of the first NSA story leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, thousands of people, companies, and tons of your favorite websites, will harness their collective power to strengthen the security of the web through technology and mass action. Together, we’ll encourage mass adoption of easy-to-use encryption tools that directly interfere in dragnet surveillance, and tech companies and websites will announce a cascade of security improvements that protect users’ basic rights and make mass surveillance much harder.

Everyone has a role to play. Click here to help Reset the Net.

Today everyone should be feeling outrage that those in power in Washington, DC continue to ignore the overwhelming public cry for an end to mass surveillance. But we need to channel that outrage into action that will really work.

See you on June 5th when we Reset the Net.

Onward,

-Evan, Tiffiniy, and Holmes
Fight for the Future

P.S. Many of you have been asking us what comes next in the fight for net neutrality after our successful encampment outside the FCC. We’re planning the next moves, so stay tuned! And if you want to send a message to the FCC right now, you can do it here.

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BREAKING: FCC Chair Tom Wheeler comes out to meet with us at Occupy the FCC encampment for net neutrality

Posted 13:57 EDT on May 14, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2014

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Email: press@fightforthefuture.org
Margaret Flowers - 410-591-0892
Kevin Zeese: 301-996-6582
Kevin Huang: 510-648-5048
Evan Greer: 978-852-6457

FCC Chair Tom Wheeler comes out of FCC building to meet with net neutrality protesters who have been camped out on his doorstep since May 7th. Events planned tomorrow in more than 20 cities.

Activists from Popular Resistance and Fight for the Future tell the Chairman that the only path toward lasting net neutrality is reclassifying the Internet as a common carrier to protect it in the public interest

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WASHINGTON, DC – This morning at 10:00am net neutrality protesters saw further evidence of the impact of grassroots organizing as FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler came out to meet with the Occupy the FCC encampment which has surrounded the FCC headquarters in Washington, DC with tents, protest signs, and banners since May 7th.

He was followed later by Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. This means a majority of the five commissioners have visited the encampment to talk with protesters.  On Friday, Ajit Pai meet with the protesters.

Activists from Occupy the FCC say they are glad that the FCC has been responding to public pressure, but won’t be satisfied until the agency takes meaningful action. The encampment will continue until after the FCC proposal is announced tomorrow. A variety of organizations have called for simultaneous gatherings at FCC buildings in more than 20 U.S. cities tomorrow, May 15th at 12:00noon.  After tomorrow, the groups pledge to escalate their organizing to mobilize people to shape the future of the Internet as an open, democratic tool with equal access to all – real net neutrality.

Below are quotes from organizers of Occupy the FCC in response to Tom Wheeler’s remarks at the camp. Please contact us if you’d like to schedule an interview with one of the activists who spoke with the Chairman.

“It is great that Wheeler came to the encampment to talk with us but he is still in favor of a solution that will not work,” said Kevin Zeese of PopularResistance.org, who has been camped out at the FCC since May 7th. “Section 706 does not give the FCC the authority it needs to ensure real Net Neutrality protections. This approach has lost in court twice. The only reason he will not take the approach necessary, reclassifying the Internet as a common carrier, is because the mega-telecom companies – whom he used to work for – do not want it.”

“We want the Chairman to understand that we won’t settle for anything less than making the last mile of the Internet net neutral,” said Tiffiniy Cheng, co-founder of FIght for the Future. “Chairman Wheeler, saying that you promise to keep pre-peer  ‘open,’ meaning according to your rules that there will be fast and slow lanes, is obviously not enough. The only way to ensure that we have a net neutral Internet is to reclassify under Title II.”

“Wheeler came to the encampment because public pressure is mounting,” added Margaret Flowers also of PopularResistance.org, “We have gotten strong media coverage, not only in the online community, but in Time Magazine, the Washington Post and other corporate media outlets. He has backtracked from his initial proposal – that would have ended net neutrality and set up a tiered Internet based on fees – because of public pressure. He has received more than a million emails favoring net neutrality as well as thousands of phone calls while our encampment has been growing on his doorstep. It is going to take escalating public pressure to respond to the telecom giants who will be fighting the public interest every step of the way.”

Kevin Huang of Fight for the Future, who was also at the encampment when Wheeler visited, said, “Wheeler is speeding towards the quickest solution by proposing rules instead of structural change through reclassification. His plan is a bandaid that can easily be peeled off  by the courts or the next chair. The people want the Internet to be returned to its original status as a common carrier so that the FCC has real power to represent the public’s interest against telecom giants and the public has a mechanism for accountability.”

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“Wheeler was forced to come to the camp at Occupy the FCC because it is growing and the majority of the public, FCC employees, tech companies and media are united in their support for returning the Internet to common carrier status,” Margaret Flowers concluded. “Now what we need is action, not photo ops. Let’s open this debate up to the people in a public forum. We say “no” to backroom deals with industry giants.”

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