A panel of judges ruled today to uphold the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules—which prohibit blocking legal content or throttling based on type, as well as disallowing the so-called “fast lanes” for preferred content. Although the rules do not include mobile services that do not include streaming that does not count against a user’s data cap, they nonetheless protect the basic concept of an Internet that “plays fair”, allowing users free choice of the legal content they choose without artificial, marketing-based restrictions. Score one for us! (and keep watching in case we need to defend this further)
I got an e-mail from Fight for the Future an hour or two ago (they were still answering the phone when I called), asking for a quick phone call to tell the Congressional Rules Committee, which will be voting on FISA amendments, to take another step toward restoring the privacy that we once had.
Here is the link: http://tinyurl.com/2ffltx; Decide the Future gives the phone number to call, asking that we let the committee know that we support the Massie-Lofgren Amendment to defund mass surveillance under Section 702 of FISA. The group that created this blog have been asking the president, Congress, anyone who will listen to “GetFISARight” for almost a decade now—through President Obama’s full 8-year administration (we grew out of a My Barack Obama group opposed to the then-senator’s support for warrantless wiretapping in July 2008), so don’t stop now! Pick up the phone, make the call, and Tweet the link!
Back when this page was first started, NSLs—national security letters—were a big topic of conversation. Secret, without accountability, they were a large part of what we saw as wrong with FISA and its implementation. They are an integral part of the PATRIOT Act, which was passed hurridly in a time of fear, and we have called the repeal, or at least reform, of that misnamed legislation from the beginning.
Well, it seems as though others share our concerns, and thanks to Yahoo! for their publication of three of these after the wildly inappropriate gag orders were lifted. Here is the story, from ActivistPost:
The story quotes a Yahoo! representative as follows: “The release of these documents and information regarding NSLs today is consistent with our commitment to share as much information as we legally can regarding government data requests. We believe there is value in making these documents available to the public to promote an informed discussion about the legal authorities available to law enforcement.
“Each NSL included a nondisclosure provision that prevented Yahoo from previously notifying its users or the public of their existence,” the company ominously stated.
And these NSLs are not uncommon; again quoting from the above article, “as of 2013, the Obama administration admitted an average of 60 per day were being issued. Alarmingly, in its latest transparency report, Apple claimed the number of “national security orders” — including NSLs — had doubled in just six months.”
I am not sure that I have any solutions to suggest—keep pushing for transparency, of course, and maybe check into the People’s Convention in Philadelphia before the Democratic Convention; they are developing a People’s Platform; some sort of reform might be a good suggestion. Here is their Web site (full disclosure: I will be attending the convention and have worked with organizers before on this and other projects): https://thepeoplesrevolution.org/
We don’t need another such bad deal—NAFTA and CAFTA have done enough damage, and we are hearing the same unrealistic promises about the #TPP.
Today is the last day to tell the U.S. Trade Rep “hell, no!” (until 11:59 p.m.) They are specifically asking about effects on jobs and employment, but will accept comments on any issue with the TPP.
Read more and find the regulations.gov link (and links to more details) here: http://interoccupy.net/blog/tell-the-ustr-the-tpp-is-bad-for-jobs
There is a petition on whitehouse.gov asking the president to support strong encryption: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov//petition/publicly-affirm-your-support-strong-encryption
This is an important issue for those who value their privacy, and is approximately 50% to the 100,000 goal needed for a presidentail response.
GetFISARight has a history with these petitions; in our first days, we joined with other groups to reach #5 in the Ideas for Change—scroll down (or use the month menu in the right column) to revisit our glory days—let’s do it again!
These issues still matter—maybe more than ever, with the TPP and related trade agreements being negotiated—so let’s do what we can to push this over the top by the Oct. 30 deadline!
My report from the briefing. Special bonus photo at the end, so read the whole thing.
As reported in ThinkProgress and elsewhere, experts from across the political spectrum convened in the Cannon House Office Building on Tuesday afternoon to strongly advocate the Surveillance State Repeal Act (SSRA) before an audience of press, public, and congressional staff. The act, numbered HR1466, was released by Representatives Pocan (D-WI) and Massie (R-KY) last week; they are seeking additional co-sponsors in the House and a partner bill in the Senate. In his own brief comments, Rep. Pocan pointed out “this isn’t just tinkering around the edges, this is a meaningful overhaul of the system.”
On hand to discuss the proposed legislation — and the urgent need for it — were Patrick Eddington (CATO Institute, former senior policy adviser to Rep. Rush Holt), Zack Malitz (CREDO Action), Shahid Buttar (Bill of Rights Defense Committee, BORDC), Norm Singleton (Campaign for Liberty), and…
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Legislation would end NSA Dragnet Collection of Personal Communications
Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced the Surveillance State Repeal Act. The legislation would repeal dragnet federal surveillance laws, while overhauling the NSA’s domestic surveillance program.
“The warrantless collection of millions of personal communications from innocent Americans is a direct violation of our constitutional right to privacy,” said Rep. Pocan. “Revelations about the NSA’s programs reveal the extraordinary extent to which the program has invaded Americans’ privacy. I reject the notion that we must sacrifice liberty for security- we can live in a secure nation which also upholds a strong commitment to civil liberties. This legislation ends the NSA’s dragnet surveillance practices, while putting provisions in place to protect the privacy of American citizens through real and lasting change.”
“The Patriot Act contains many provisions that violate the Fourth Amendment and have…
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