Fight for the Future


TODAY: Consumers Rally at 40+ Apple Stores to Protest DOJ Demand for Weakening iPhone Security Features

Posted 08:03 EST on February 23, 2016

Media Advisory For: February 23, 2016

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

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

Protesters will Carry Giant 10-foot iPhone-Shaped Banners Reading “Don’t Break Our Phones.” In Washington, DC, Protesters will Gather at FBI Headquarters

Concerned iPhone users and digital security supporters will gather at 5:30 pm local time at Apple stores in nearly 50 cities today, Tuesday, February 23rd, exactly 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 millions of people.

See a map listing the rallies in nearly 50 cities here: DontBreakOurPhones.org

WHAT: Protesters will oppose the DOJ’s demand, carrying giant 10-foot long iPhone banners (see example), and iPhone shaped signs reading “FBI: Don’t Break Our Phones” and “Secure Phones Save Lives.” Participants will also be able to turn their phones, laptops, or tablets into a glowing protest sign using ProtestSign.org. The giant iPhone banners will be on hand in most of the larger cities, but not at every protest.

WHO: The rallies were called for by Fight for the Future and are supported by Demand Progress, CREDO, and other advocacy organizations.

The rallies are being organized in a grassroots manner by individuals who agree to host an event in their town. Fight for the Future then provides those members with banners and support with recruitment. More events are being added all the time, so check back on Tuesday if you don’t see one in your area yet.

WHERE: Rallies are already planned across the U.S. in small cities like Anchorage, Alaska, and major ones including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Palo Alto at Apple’s headquarters, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Boston. Supporters outside the U.S. have planned rallies at Apple stores in London, and Munich. In Washington, DC, protesters will gather at the FBI’s headquarters, the J. Edgar Hoover building.

WHEN: Tuesday, February, 23 at 5:30pm local time in each city.

“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.”

“Apple’s stand today 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.”

This past Wednesday, after Fight for the Future issued the call for rallies at Apple stores, there was so much interest that they decided to organize one in San Francisco that day on just a few hours notice. Dozens of people turned out to protest the FBI’s position. See photos here.

Fight for the Future and Demand Progress staff members are available for interviews and can connect journalists with the hosts of rallies in specific cities upon request.

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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 privacy, which was endorsed by Edward Snowden.


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