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February 11, 2014.

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This Tuesday, February 11th is The Day We Fight Back (against mass surveillance), and we need your help.

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.

This Tuesday, February 11th, dozens of major websites and organizations are joining together to demand an end to mass surveillance.  We're calling it, simply, The Day We Fight Back, and we need your help to make it as powerful as possible.

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 to the NSA's subversion of encryption and other data security measures.

We're letting you know about it today because we need your help to make Feb. 11th all that it can be. We have built a banner that people can post on websites they run, in order to encourage their visitors to take action on the 11th.  The banners will look like this:

Click here to visit TheDayWeFightBack.org and learn more. 

While you're there, please use the social media tools there to spread word, and if you have a website, please install the banner code to make it appear on your site on Feb. 11th.

Why bother with all this clicktivism? Well, this is what worked during the fight against another bill that threatened to undermine our civil liberties: The Stop Online Piracy Act, which would have instituted a new Internet censorship scheme.  You might remember that thousands of websites mobilized their visitors to defeat that legislation two years ago.

As in other major battles for Internet Freedom, we think an online uprising can work again now, as we stand up for online privacy, and against the chilling effects caused by mass surveillance. And we're not 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. Recent revelations of NSA spying on Congress Members can only help motivate Congress to act.

Please use the internet in every way you can to spread this link around, along with some of these facts:

FACT: A federal judge called the NSA's mass surveillance program "Orwellian" and ruled the activities were likely unconstitutional

FACT: President Obama's own hand-picked review board criticized the NSA's spying program and found no evidence it stopped a single terrorist act

FACT: The NSA is even sending spies into online video game worlds like Second Life and World of Warcraft

FACT: The NSA collected 97 billion pieces of data in March 2013 alone, including 3 billion from US computers.

FACT: The NSA has built a surveillance network that has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic.

FACT: The NSA collects data on people’s porn usage habits.

FACT: The NSA can exploit mobile apps -- even games like Angry Birds -- to extract key personal information about users.

FACT: The NSA collects on the order of 5 BILLION phone records each day

FACT: The NSA is regularly tracking the locations of hundreds of millions of cell phones.

FACT: Members of Senate Intelligence committee says there’s NO EVIDENCE bulk data collection has made Americans safer.

FACT: Director of National Intelligence lied to Congress by saying the NSA does “not wittingly” collect info on millions of Americans.

FACT: The NSA is so out of control that the author of the Patriot Act is the sponsor of the leading bill to rein it in.

Please forward this email widely to like-minded friends, and perhaps to anyone unaware of some of these facts.

-- The RootsAction.org team

P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, Frances Fox Piven, and many others.

P.P.S. This work is only possible with your financial support. Please donate.


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