The movement against mass government surveillance is at a crossroads.
Today the US House of Representatives passed a dangerously watered down version of the USA Freedom Act. The bill, which was originally intended to scale back some domestic NSA spying, now contains huge loopholes that not only allow bulk spying to continue, but could could make it even worse, depending on how the NSA’s “creative” lawyers interpret the law.
Now is a good time to reflect, regroup, and strategize. It’s imperative that whatever we do next in the fight against Orwellian government surveillance, we do it right and we fight to win.
The reality is that the USA Freedom Act was a weak bill to begin with — even before backroom deals in Congress led to last-minute changes that made it even weaker. This should be a reminder and a lesson: if we let the government think we’ll settle for mediocre reform, they won’t even give us that.
We need to stick to our one clear demand: an end to all forms of mass, suspicionless surveillance. Internet users and people all over the world deserve to communicate and express ourselves freely without someone watching over our shoulders. Governments that indiscriminately spy on their citizens lose their legitimacy. It’s up to us to build a global movement to keep each other safe and keep the Internet free.
No single piece of legislation can get us what we want. No single protest will save the day. No single encryption product can protect the entire web from prying eyes. This is, and has always been, a fight that we can only win if we’re ready for the long haul, and if we’re willing to work together.
We expect and deserve laws that protect our basic rights, but we can’t wait around exposed while politicians move slowly and feebly. We need to act right now to secure as much of the web as we can, and defend privacy and freedom of speech on our own terms.
This June 5th, 2014 is the anniversary of the first groundbreaking NSA story revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. On this symbolic day, we have an opportunity to draw a line in the sand, and show U.S. Congress and governments around the world that we intend to take our privacy back, now. Their laws can follow our lead.
We are calling for everyone to join us this June 5th for a coordinated push called Reset the Net. On a single day thousands of tech companies, people, and organizations will take significant technical steps towards securing the web from mass surveillance.
In the year since Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA’s most lurid abuses, the movement against mass surveillance has grown rapidly. Millions have taken action online, hundreds of thousands have called Congress, we’ve protested in the streets and developed an arsenal of new privacy technology. That’s what we’ve been doing well. We’re commanding the headlines, we have the public on our side. If we keep growing in momentum and turning up the heat, we are going to win.
On June 5th, the Internet will rally and we will once again realize our power. Everyone has a role to play, from tech companies with millions of users to the smallest political blog. If we all take the first step together, we will be well on our way to making the Internet ours again.
Join us: http://ResetTheNet.org