Fight for the Future


PHOTOS: Protesters at Apple Stores in 40+ Cities and Outside FBI HQ Push Back on Government’s Demand for Weakened iPhone Security

Posted 18:56 EST on February 23, 2016
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For Immediate Release: February 23, 2016

Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org



Christina DiPasquale, 202-716-1953 (backup number)

Protesters Carry Giant 10-foot iPhone-Shaped Banners Reading “Don’t Break Our Phones”

View photos here: http://imgur.com/a/WIzWH

Concerned iPhone users and digital security supporters gathered at 5:30 pm local time at FBI headquarters in DC and at Apple stores in nearly 50 cities today, Tuesday, February 23rd. Today marks one week after the Justice Department won a court order that attempts to force Apple to write software that would undermine the safety and security of hundreds of millions of people.

Photos submitted from protests can be seen here: http://imgur.com/a/WIzWH

“People are rallying at Apple stores because what the FBI is demanding of Apple is going to make all of us less safe, not more safe,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future. “Encryption and security technology is what protects our hospitals, our airports, our water treatment facilities. If we allow the government to start forcing private companies to punch holes in these critical defenses, it’s not a question of if those backdoors will be exploited by those wishing to do harm, but when.”

Protesters opposed the DOJ’s demand, carrying giant 10-foot long iPhone banners, and iPhone shaped signs reading “FBI: Don’t Break Our Phones” and “Secure Phones Save Lives.” Participants also turned their phones, laptops, and tablets into glowing protest signs using ProtestSign.org.

The rallies were called for by Fight for the Future and are supported by Demand Progress, CREDO, and other advocacy organizations. Residents across the country immediately began to offer to host an event in their town and submitted the event to Fight for the Future, who provided banners and support with recruitment. Rallies were planned across the U.S. in small cities like Anchorage, Alaska, and major ones including New York, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Boston. Outside the U.S., residents in London and Munich hosted rallies to express their concern about companies being forced to weaken encryption as a result of government pressure. This past Wednesday, San Francisco organizers hosted a rally with dozens of San Francisco residents that day on just a few hours notice.

Map with all submitted events by independent organizers: DontBreakOurPhones.org

“Apple’s stand will help keep security threats at bay” said David Segal executive director of Demand Progress.  “But we will all be less safe if the FBI succeeds at its politically expedient, but shortsighted, approach.  Our devices will become more vulnerable and the sensitive data they hold will be more accessible to people who want it for malicious purposes.”

For interviews with Fight for the Future and Demand Progress staff members, please email press@fightforthefuture.org.

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Fight for the Future works to defend the Internet as a free and open platform for expression and creativity, and is best known for their role organizing the massive online protests against SOPA, the Internet Slowdown for net neutrality, and the Reset The Net campaign for online security and privacy.


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