Fight for the Future


Small businesses plan massive push for net neutrality ahead of senate CRA vote

Posted 10:41 EDT on April 9, 2018
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 9, 2018
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

Thousands of small businesses will deliver a letter to Congress during national Small Business Week on May 2nd

Thousands of small businesses, ranging from construction companies to tech startups are planning to deliver an open letter to Congress on Wednesday, May 2nd calling on lawmakers to support the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to block the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. Small business owners will host delivery events at congressional offices across the country, where they will deliver the letter and complete list of signers, and host a short press conference about the impact of losing net neutrality on small businesses.

See the letter here: https://www.businessesfornetneutrality.com

To date, nearly 3,000 businesses have signed the letter since it began circulating, including veterinary offices, graphic design shops, restaurants, medical startups, music venues, attorneys, tutoring services, chiropractors, engineering firms, and an amusement park machine supplier. Businesses are being listed publicly on the letter in a rolling fashion as they are verified. More details about the May 2nd delivery events will be announced in the coming days.

The nationwide deliveries are supported by a range of groups representing startups and small businesses including the American Sustainable Business Council, Engine Advocacy, Etsy, Main Street Alliance, Good Business Colorado, and Small Business Majority, along with digital rights nonprofit Fight for the Future.

“The loss of net neutrality will hurt all small businesses, not just high tech ones like those I work with,” said Chris Reade President and CEO of Lookfar in New Orleans, LA,  “Without these basic protections, businesses that put food on the table for hard working Americans won’t be able to compete with big corporate giants.”

“My small business has been able to grow in part because of net neutrality. Strong rules have ensured people can find me and shop my online store,” said Mickki Langston, owner of Tellicherry Trading Company, maker of skincare products in Denver, CO. “Small businesses like mine will be hit the hardest if Internet service providers decide to charge us new fees to reach customers. Everyone in Washington says they support small businesses. I want them to show us that they support small businesses by supporting the CRA.”

“Our small Alaska-based technology business depends on affordable access to an open, neutral Internet to deliver training, software updates and data to customers around the state,“ said Julie Olsen, President of OfficeTECH, Inc. in Anchorage, AK. "We need lawmakers to just say “NO” to deep pocketed ISPs plans for fast lanes online and, instead, vote to protect Alaskan businesses and their employees by supporting the CRA resolution to overturn the FCC’s repeal and put strong net neutrality protections back in place.

“Almost everyone who works at Fight for the Future has run a small business at one time in our lives, and we’ve connected with thousands of them through the massive online protests we’ve organized,” said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, who helped coordinate the letter, “without net neutrality, the largest companies will become even more dominant, while family owned businesses, innovative startups, small shops, and freelancers will be squeezed out. It’s a tax on the entire economy for the benefit of a few giant telecom companies.”

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BREAKING: Privacy, civil liberties, and human rights groups launch groundbreaking “Security Pledge” campaign in wake of Facebook data scandal

Posted 09:34 EDT on April 2, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 2, 2018
Contact: Evan Greer, press@fightforthefuture.org, 978-852-6457

Tech and legal experts propose concrete steps companies can take to ensure their products are not used to undermine democracy

A group of prominent privacy, civil liberties, and human rights organizations have launched SecurityPledge.com, a major new campaign calling on tech companies to take concrete steps to protect their users in the wake of widely reported abuses like the harvesting and manipulation of Facebook data conducted by Cambridge Analytica. The site asks Internet users to add their name to an open letter calling on tech companies to take the data security pledge and make needed changes to ensure their users’ data isn’t used against them.

“Tech companies need to change,” reads the headline on the site, backed by the 18 Million Rising, the American Civil Liberties Union, Demand Progress, Coworker, Color of Change, Fight for the Future, and Sum of Us, grassroots groups that represent millions of people. The pledge outlines a detailed set of technological and policy commitments that tech companies must make in order to “ensure the Internet is used to expand democracy, not undermine it.”

Specifically, the pledge calls for companies to:

  • Limit the amount of data they collect in the first place, and give users control over how it is shared.
  • Offer end-to-end encryption by default to ensure that users’ communications are protected from corporate and government surveillance
  • Provide users with full transparency about what data is collected, how it is used, and what measures are in place to prevent it from being abused.
  • Support legislation and policy reforms that limit government access to user data except with a warrant and judicial oversight.

The organizations behind the campaign will encourage users to flock to services that have taken these steps and avoid those that haven’t until they do.

“The internet can be made a tool for transformational change for the better,” said David Segal, Executive Director of Demand Progress, “but it can also be used for the extraction of sensitive private information and manipulation towards the benefit of large corporations or for social control by governments. The major online platforms are facing a reckoning: How they respond in this moment will help determine whether the utopian vision that inspired so many internet pioneers and users stands a chance of becoming a reality, or whether companies will ignore the public interest turn the internet against its users towards the end of private benefit.”

“This is a watershed moment for the Internet,” said Evan Greer, Deputy Director of Fight for the Future (pronouns: she/her),  Millions of people now understand how their data can be weaponized and used against them, and they are demanding change. Cambridge Analytica is just the tip of the iceberg, and this problem doesn’t begin and end with Facebook. If the largest tech companies take the steps outlined in the security pledge, it will change the course of human history for the better, and protect billions of people’s basic rights.”

“It’s time that companies take steps to ensure that using their products doesn’t mean that users have to sacrifice their rights,” said Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU legislative counsel. “The way companies treat data can affect whether you are wrongly excluded from job or housing ads because of your gender, targeted for dubious financial products, or have your security compromised. Many companies have for too long ignored their obligation to treat data responsibly, prevent information from being used to discriminate, and provide users’ full control over how it is handled.”

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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.

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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.)

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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:

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