October 5, 2016
The group that originally began this Web site/blog was concerned with the expansion of government surveillance outside that allowed by the FISA Court; then-Senator Obama voted in favor of warrantless wiretapping in July 2008, and as his administration closes 8 years later it seems that the FBI is about to get new surveillance abilities. We supported Barack Obama in 2008, drifted away to various degrees by 2012, and largely moved on to individual projects. However, when something related comes up, one of us will pop over here to spread the word. Here is the correspondence from Sen. Wyden:
An obscure committee in the federal bureaucracy recently voted to allow the FBI to hack into your personal devices and access your personal data without obtaining an individual warrant to do so.
The changes approved by the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules to what is known as “Rule 41” would allow the government to get a single warrant to hack into an unlimited number of computers and digital devices owned by law-abiding Americans if their device was merely affected by criminal activity.
This dramatic and constitutionally questionable expansion of the government’s hacking and surveillance authority is poised to go into effect on December 1 – unless Congress acts. Such a change should be debated by Congress in the light of day – not handed down by unelected bureaucrats.
Here is the link to Sen. Wyden’s petition: https://standtallforamerica.com/petition/stop-mass-hacking/e/
June 14, 2016
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)
June 13, 2016
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!
June 12, 2016
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/
January 13, 2016
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
October 8, 2015
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!