With the recent disclosures about NSA surveillance, the issues we talked about during Get FISA Right’s birth in 2008 are back in the spotlight. There are some big differences, though. The FISA Amendment Act passed. We now know a lot more about what the NSA has actually been doing, enough to see that the concerns we voiced about the lack of meaningful oversight and the potential for very broad orders allowing bulk collection of huge amounts of data were on target. The political situation has changed, so civil liberties are a much more bipartisan issue in Congress. The successful battle against SOPA and CISPA show the potential for online civil liberties activism. The list goes on …
So as part of the revived discussions of FISA, the Patriot Act, and government surveillance, Get FISA Right would like to invite our members from 2008 to share their thoughts today. For example:
- what the same and what’s changed: how the landscape is and isn’t different from 2008
- “told you so!”: how what people said during the 2008 FISA Amendment Act battle and the subsequent Patriot Act and FISA reauthorizations have been borne out by events since
- “wow, even I didn’t suspect that…” : things about recent revelations (including the Verizon court order, PRISM, and BOUNDLESS INFORMANT) that have surprised or shocked even you
- what we can learn: even though our efforts haven’t yet led to significant changes, there’s a lot to build on. What’s worked well? What should we be doing differently?
If we can get enough momentum to get media attention, it’s a great opportunity to reinforce the great organizing that so many others are doing by highlighting the July 4 protests Restore the Fourth is organizing and StopWatching.us‘ email and calling campaign.
We welcome contributions in various ways:
- Leave a comment here on the blog, in our Facebook group, or our Google+ community — or if it’s really short, just tweet it to us at @GetFISARight.
- If you’ve got more to say, write a blog post and share the link with us.
- Make a short video, and we’ll add it to our Youtube channel and share it with our community
We’d like to get things started around the middle of next week — stay tuned for details on the exact time.
Please join us and get involved!