More than 250,000—one-quarter million!

February 17, 2014

So our site did not participate, but I hope that everyone visiting here did—and that we all keep fighting. This from EFF:

So we have been silent. . .

February 12, 2014

. . . but that does not mean that we are not aware of what is happening, fighting on our own. Speaking for myself, I came here a couple of days ago to figure out how to put up the banner for “The Day We Fight Back”, yesterday (ugh!) and failed miserably—tech challenged. My time would have been better spent writing a post, as I am doing now.

The letter that was sent by those who clicked on the links presented in that banner hit on various Internet issues, including our own FISA, but also SOPA, the TPP, etc.

I hope everyone has been following the TPP information—TransPacific Partnership. It seems that, from what has been leaked/reported about these secret negotiations, the main elements of SOPA—the Stop Online Piracy Act that was defeated by public outcry last year—are included in the TPP. This takes it out of U.S.A. jurisdiction, makes it global and gives our government a pass—they can say that their hands are tied, they are just following the international agreement. Please, get involved—there are weekly conference calls on Sundays, “TPP Tuesday” Twitter storms weekly, and probably more where you live.
Yes, we still care—we are also very busy, but let’s all find a bit of time to keep abreast of these issues, and communicate wherever we are.

Banner drop at Fort Meade: “Save America – Close the NSA”

December 8, 2013

Thomas Nephew:

So we kicked the surveillance state in the shins a little bit yesterday.

Originally posted on Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition:

Save America – Close the NSA

On Saturday, December 7, 2013, two carloads of activists drove to the NSA headquarters at Fort Meade to demonstrate against the U.S. surveillance state.

They unfurled banners over US-295 with a simple message:

Save America – Close the NSA.

[videography, sound by N. van der Sluys, T. Nephew; for a sharper image while playing
the videos, click the settings "gear" icon (lower right menu) and select 720p HD]

- – -

NSA headquarters, Fort Meade, MD

The action, organized by the Bill of Rights Defense Committee with activists from Code Pink, Restore the Fourth, and the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition, helps kick off similar protests around the country leading up to the Bill of Rights Day on December 15th.

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Innovation Act: stop the patent trolls/Reform ECPA

December 6, 2013

Please check out for information on our 48-hour window (closing soon!) to comment on the Innovation Act on which the House of Representatives will be voting next week.  It is meant to stop the big patent trolls from intimidating small companies and individuals with lawsuits, etc.  Here is a link to the call campaign:

Also, see The Consent Chronicle’s petition to reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act by requiring the IRS, FBI, DEA, and local law-enforcement agencies to obtain warrants for E-mail spying.  The petition is on White House site, so you need an account to sign: There is a goal of 100,000 signatures: they are just past halfway, with 57,000+.  Please help!


Thousands join weekend DC rally demanding “Stop Watching Us!”

October 28, 2013

Thomas Nephew:

A report back on Saturday’s great rally here in the DC area.

Originally posted on Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition:

2013-10-26-Stop Watching Us rally

Click the photos to see our growing photo story of the #StopWatchingUs rally. To arrange to share your own rally photos here, contact us at

On a beautiful fall afternoon, demonstrators from around the country marched to within shouting distance of the Capitol to demand that the U.S. government “Stop Watching Us.”

Many MCCRC activists, supporters, and friends were there, too, of course, and several provided some great answers to the question what should come next after the rally.  As the march began, we were also fortunate to talk briefly with Naomi Wolf and get her response as well.

Below is a playlist leading with a video of those responses; the background also gives a sense of the high energy and good spirits of a well-organized, well-attended march and rally.

[click the "PLAYLIST" button to choose other videos in this playlist; for sharper video, click the 'gear' icon after…

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Thank Edward Snowden – by acting on these NSA-related bills!

October 12, 2013

Thomas Nephew:

Note especially Rep. Rush Holt’s Surveillance State Repeal Act, H.R.2818, which flatly repeals the ‘PATRIOT’ and FISA Amendment Acts.

Originally posted on Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition:

Snowden, 6/9/13 : “I really want the focus to be on these documents and the debate which I hope this will trigger among citizens around the globe about what kind of world we want to live in.” He’s done his part — now let’s do ours.

The revelations by Edward Snowden have stunned the public — and they’ve even stunned Congress, so that a raft of bills have been sponsored addressing various aspects of the NSA scandal.

We’ve identified some of the best ones below — and link them to POPVOX email tools you can use to send letters of support (or opposition) to your Representative and Senators:

While we give our…

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NSA legislative overview

September 30, 2013

Thomas Nephew:

Here’s an overview of some of the major legislation being considered about the NSA and the FISA Amendments Act right now, based on documents by ACLU, BORDC, CDT, and EFF among others.

Originally posted on Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition:

Time to push back! Call your Congresspeople — and don’t forget the Oct.26 rally!

Below is a current checklist of NSA-related legislation introduced in the wake of Edward Snowden’s summer revelations.

  • Links like “H.R.####” for each bill lead to the “OpenCongress” summary page for that bill, where you can find the full text, sponsor list, and current status of the bill.
  • Alternating gray and white zones divide the bills into five types: multiple, collection, transparency, secret law, and FISC court reform.
  • Bills with an olive green or bright green bar are particularly good or excellent bills, in the estimation of key civil liberties advocacy groups; links are provided to their reviews.

Our distinction between “good” and “excellent” bills is subjective; it’s either about the scope of the bill or about its power to stop NSA abuses.  For example, MCCRC has joined the Center for Democracy and Technology’s…

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