Call the Rules Committee Tonight!

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:; 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!

Defund the NSA


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.

#restorethe4th roundup: resources, media attention, and videos

July 1, 2013

RestoreThe4thAs we head into the July 4 rallies, I thought it would be useful to collect some useful links.

For organizers — or people wanting to get the word out — the best place to start is Restore the Fourth’s website at, where there’s a a FAQ, list of protests, , the June 18 press release, and a resources page (including logos, flyers, and guides for organizers on media and outreach).  There’s also a wiki page with more resources on Reddit; and of course r/RestoreTheFourth subreddit which is the best place to go for links, questions, and discussions.  Bill of Rights Defense Committee’s How to protest against NSA surveillance on Fourth of July and the reddit threads on first-time protestors and  talking points all have great tips, tricks, and general advice.

The rallies are starting to get more and more attention. For example:

Read the rest of this entry »

NSA Gathers Far More Than Phone Data (Julian Sanchez)

June 19, 2013

FISA expert Julian Sanchez of the Cato Institute discusses internet metadata and more.

Why The FISA Court Is Not What It Used To Be

June 18, 2013

Why The FISA Court Is Not What It Used To Be

Few if any experts in the Bush or Obama administrations believe that the FISA court has the enforcement teeth it once had. Many of those teeth were pulled out by the 2001 Patriot Act and the 2008 amendments to the foreign intelligence surveillance law. For good or ill, as one expert put it, the court has been defanged, at least until and unless Congress decides to restore some of its powers.

Good article by Nina Totenberg of NPR.

Well, it has been a long time. . .

June 6, 2013

. . . but today’s news brings me back here to process the insanity. It has been revealed that Verizon has been sending records on all telephone traffic to the NSA. The entire Twitter community, it seems, is sharing a joke—800,000 Tweeting, “Can you hear me now?” And, courtesy of the Washington Post, we have details about just how much our government is spying on us: shows that they are mining data from nine Internet service providers.
Did the 23,000 of us who originally formed the group that ultimately set up this blog make the wrong call back in July 2008 and after, when we told our candidate, “You made the wrong choice on the FISA warrantless wiretapping act, but we will support you anyway”? Would we have been better to walk away and support a third-party candidate? There is no way to know, of course; the much-desired glimpse into an alternative universe for comparison is not possible except in science fiction. The clear truth is that we are at least disappointed, at most frightened for our democracy.
While we can still post here, spied upon or otherwise, welcome back to the conversation!

FISA Amendments Act Redux

May 27, 2012

The FISA Amendments Act is back, and our candidate from 2008 is sadly acting true to the form he established, which caused so many of us such distress back then. As he voted in July 2008, so now he is asking for full reauthorization of warrantless wiretapping. See the following article for details:

Here is a petition to sign and forward (Thanks, ACLU!)

Time to get active again!