Journey through Space and Time with COSMOS in T-Minus 4 hours! Watch a clip from tonight’s episode here: http://bit.ly/TheCosmicCalendar
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This Tuesday, February 11th, is The Day We Fight Back (against mass surveillance) — and we need your help to make it as impactful as it can be.
We understand the United States to be a democracy, founded upon a Constitution that affords us critical rights, and governed by the rule of law.
Yet for years, the NSA has exploited secret legal interpretations to undermine our privacy rights — thus chilling speech and activism, and thereby threatening to subvert the very underpinnings of our democracy itself.
They range from the left (sites like DailyKos) to right (the Koch Brothers’ group FreedomWorks), with plenty in between. Together, they wield a tremendous amount of influence.
On Tuesday, February 11th, we are mobilizing thousands to call on Congress to:
- Pass the USA FREEDOM Act, which would end the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records and institute other key reforms.
- Defeat the so-called FISA Improvements Act, which would entrench — and potentially expand — the spying.
- Create additional privacy protections for non-Americans.
- End the NSA’s subversion of encryption and other data security measures.
You might think this seems different from the way we usually fight for or against legislation, and you’d be right. But this sort of activism has proved particularly successful at defending the Internet against bad policies.
In particular, it is very similar to what worked during the fight against another bill that threatened to undermine our civil liberties:The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which would have instituted a new Internet censorship scheme. You might remember that thousands of websites mobilized their visitors to help defeat that legislation two years ago.
And we’re not even that far from winning on at least one key front:
The USA FREEDOM Act has more than 100 bipartisan sponsors, including two powerful lead sponsors: Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), who was the original author of the PATRIOT Act and is furious that it has been abused to spy on Americans en masse.
This summer an amendment that’s very similar to parts of the USA FREEDOM Act failed to pass in the House of Representatives by just a handful of votes. Enough lawmakers now say they would have voted in support that it would pass if it came up for a vote today.
That’s in large part because of the groundswell of grassroots energy that Demand Progress members like you brought to bear in support of the amendment.
Now it’s time to move the ball forward once more.