Today, we fight back against mass surveillance

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
- First Amendment, U.S. Constitution
 
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
- Fourth Amendment, U.S. Constitution

But whatever our differences may have been in the past, we strongly agree that the dragnet collection of millions of Americans’ phone records every day — whether they have any connection at all to terrorism — goes far beyond what Congress envisioned or intended to authorize. 
More important, we agree it must stop.
 – Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.)  & Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (Wis.), Co-sponsors of the USA FREEDOM Act (H.R.3361, S. 1599),  The Case for NSA Reform

If I did the code right, you should be seeing a big old banner at the bottom of this page, encouraging you to contact your representatives in government and demand an end to the NSA’s unconstitutional mass surveillance.

From EFF:

Since June, ongoing revelations about the NSA’s activities have shown us the expanding scope of government surveillance. Today is the day people around the world are demanding an end to mass spying.

A broad coalition of organizations, companies, and individuals are loudly voicing their stance against unwarranted mass spying—over 6,000 websites have joined together today to demand reform. EFF stands by millions of users—represented by groups like Demand Progress, ACLU, PEN, and Access as well as companies like Google, Twitter, Mozilla, and reddit—to reform governmental collection of innocent users’ information.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen the Internet as a political force make waves in Washington. From our defeat of the Internet censorship bill SOPA to our battles over CISPA, TPP, and patent reform, history has shown that we can activate our networks to beat back legislation that threatens our ability to connect, as well as champion bills that will further our rights online.

We can win this. We can stop mass spying. With public opinion polls on our side, unprecedented pressure from presidential panels and oversight boards, and millions of people speaking out around the world, we’ve got a chance now to change surveillance policy for good.

Last year, we were presented with a new opportunity—an opportunity in the form of leaks that showed us the truth about deeply invasive surveillance programs around the world. This is the year we make good on that opportunity. Let’s ensure that sacrifices made by whistleblowers and risks taken by brave journalists were not done in vain.

Join us in fighting back. We’ve laid out below how you can speak out against mass spying.

Calling Congress takes just five minutes and is the most effective action you can take right now to let your elected officials know that mass surveillance must end.

Here’s what you should say:

I’d like Senator/Representative __ to support and co-sponsor H.R. 3361/S. 1599, the USA Freedom Act. I would also like you to oppose S. 1631, the so-called FISA Improvements Act. Moreover, I’d like you to work to prevent the NSA from undermining encryption standards and to protect the privacy rights of non-Americans.

Outside the US? Take action now.

Mass spying affects all of us worldwide. Demand an end to mass surveillance by signing the 13 Principles petition.

Please, take a few minutes and make a phone call. I’m sure that you, like me, feel cynical and disempowered (especially here in California, where our completely corrupt and useless senator Dianne Feinstein has become one of the NSA’s most vocal and ardent defenders, even though she’s supposed to be providing “oversight” in the senate), but this is not a fight that we’re going to win by sitting down and shutting up. Quoting EFF again: “We can win this. We can stop mass spying. With public opinion polls on our side, unprecedented pressure from presidential panels and oversight boards, and millions of people speaking out around the world, we’ve got a chance now to change surveillance policy for good.”

I encourage you to read more at the Reddit blog, where they’ve put together a comprehensive and easy to understand rundown of what’s at stake, and what we know about NSA spying. Talk to your friends and your family, and let’s do whatever we can to restore our fundamental rights to privacy.

 

17 thoughts on “Today, we fight back against mass surveillance”

  1. Just did it. It’s very easy. Call the number, put in your zip, talk to a few people for some seconds about the bills in the prompt. I’m sure I just became a number, but there’s power in numbers!

    So yeah, even if you hate the phone as much as I do this is an easy way to be heard. I also found out that my representative was a Co sponsor of the USA freedom act. So that’s cool, good on Oklahoma for doing something right for once.

  2. One annoying thing that I noticed earlier in the day (which seems to have been fixed now, thankfully) was that the banner popped up full size on EVERY PAGE for a given site, even after you minimized it. I’ve seen the number of signatures jump from about 80k at roughly 8 this morning to (as of this writing at about 3pm) over 161k. Saweet!

  3. A well regulated militia being necessary to the survival of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Second Amendment to the Constitution.

    1. What misogyny would that be? Their Executive Director is a woman, their Legal Director is a woman, I think >50% of the staff are women and they are all (both women and men) awesome. A heartfelt thank-you to each and every EFF staff member!

  4. So how did it go? What was the final tally? And what impact did it make? I sent personal letters to my congressmen, but just curious how the final count came out.

  5. Five years ago we were not allowed to post political comments on this website. Has something changed? There is someone above the NSA where the buck stops.

  6. “Security” of a free state, not “survival”. Incidentally, some folk might want to pay a bit more attention to that “well-regulated” part…

  7. When does “well regulated” become “infringement” ? If guns are outlawed, this country will have one-hundred million new outlaws.

  8. Let me know this succeeds, so I’ll know to never leave the house again (security will be impossible for internal and external threats).

    I’ll also need to start stockpiling stuff for an underground bunker for when the nation collapses, since all nations must have foreign and domestic surveillance to prevent collapse from such threats- just as America has had surveillance since before the founding of the nation.

    The only difference is now a satellite is used as opposed to a guy sitting in the tavern eavesdropping on your conversation to report back necessary information and threats to leadership.

    Everyone wants pure freedom and privacy in a world full of idiots, in and out of the nation (see: Tea Party), looking to kill you. I’d like those protecting me to have information.

  9. The rest of the world is asking itsself, why does usa spy out its friends. Nsa also spied out the european govs cell phones. Europe is not amused about that. You should stand up and fight for ur rights, like we do in germany and france.

  10. Good stuff. Have you also considered the issue of child safety? Having being spied on my mobile phone not once, but twice while on two web sites in November 2012, I have been extremely worried about the NSA revelations. This technology can be used by pedos to access and track children online: far and away the worst possible use to which it can be put. What’s more, I am certain hackers are accessing this technology – and they’re not working for NSA.

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