How the NSA’s Overstep Harms the Internet
How the NSA’s Overstep Harms the Internet
How the NSA’s Overstep Harms the Internet

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    It was recently reported that the National Security Agency (NSA) is going above and beyond what should be legal and is spying broadly on people’s internet and phone records.  We think that’s wrong and here’s what you can do to help.

    One might think that recent allegations that the NSA is spying on everyone’s internet activity and phone records is just a privacy issue, but it is also an affront to the free flow of information on the internet and jeopardizes our ability to promote the ideals of an open internet abroad.

    Any massive collection of information on internet activity, whether it be incidental or directed, is bound to cause some internet users to change their activity. That is wrong. People, both internationally and in the US, shouldn’t have to think twice about what they do, where they go, and what they say on the internet out of fear that the government may be watching. People will now be hesitant to use and create new things, and because of that, the growth of the internet as tool for creativity, innovation and democratic discourse will be stunted.

    Public Knowledge fights against threats to free speech and innovation on the internet (See data caps, net neutrality, SOPA/PIPA). This overreach by the NSA has the potential to do just that; so naturally Public Knowledge is working to stop it!

    Public Knowledge recently joined a large, diverse and bipartisan coalition (from the DailyKos to Freedomworks) of over 100 organizations, companies, and influential individuals on a joint letter to Congress. We are asking them to address the reports of massive surveillance and collection of data from the internet and telephone calls.

    The letter calls for Congress to STOP WATCHING US and end blanket observations of phone and internet activity. It also asks Congress to clarify the law to prevent this from happening again, and to create a special committee to investigate and report to the public the extent of domestic spying (as more may yet be revealed).  It also calls for those responsible to be held accountable for their actions.

    Join Public Knowledge in telling Congress to STOP WATCHING US by signing the petition here.

    Together we have helped stop affronts to the internet before, now we must work together to do so again.

    Image by flickr user Jonathan McIntosh. (AKA rebellious pixels.)