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Showing posts with label BORDC/DDF. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BORDC/DDF. Show all posts

Monday, October 19, 2015

STANDING FOR LIBERTY WHEN OUR GOVERNMENT WONT

October 2015, Vol. 14 No. 10


Dear Friend,
Liberty really does require eternal vigilance. Over the past several years, an energetic and diverse movement has established hundreds of sanctuary cities across the country to take the burden of enforcing federal immigration law off local police. It’s a movement most police departments support, because it strengthens community relations and allows police to focus on crime, rather than immigration enforcement.
But Congress wants to put a stop to the sanctuary cities movement by withholding money from sanctuary cities. This will force police to do what their communities do not want them to do: collect information about the citizenship or immigration status of people in the community, and to honor unconstitutional immigration “detainers,” which require police to hold people beyond when they would have been released.
BORDC/DDF has been a part of this movement, because requiring local police to enforce federal immigration law leads to widespread racial profiling, indefinite detention without due process, damage to public safety, and many privacy and civil rights violations.
In July, the House passed a bill to penalize sanctuary cities, and this week, the Senate will take up similar legislation.
Please help us prevent Congress from rolling back the progress we’ve made across the country. Tell your Senators to vote against the Stop Sanctuary Cities Act.


Sue Udry
Executive Director, BORDC/DDF





To get involved in any of these campaigns, please email BORDC/DDF's Organizing Team. We are eager to hear from you and to help support your activism.


North Carolina: Films About Entrapment and Islamophobia Screen in North Carolina
Activists in North Carolina are confronting Islamophobia, and learning how the FBI promotes Islamophobia through its controversial anti-terrorism tactics. Two award-winning documentaries look at how FBI entrapment criminalizes Islam by luring at-risk young men into terror plots orchestrated by FBI paid informants. Read more
California: Activism and Theater Combine in If the SHU Fits
A mini-grant from BORDC helped fund this innovative project that tells the real stories of real people locked in solitary confinement. If the SHU Fits–Voices from Solitary Confinement is a flexible piece of performance art that can be adapted for use by professional actors, people who have experienced solitary confinement, students, or anyone with a desire to share the truth about the torture that is called solitary confinement. It has been performed over a dozen times in California so far this year. Read more

Bay Area: Stop Urban Shield Ramps Up Efforts to End Expo
After successfully campaigning to force the City of Oakland to stop hosting its annual Urban Shield convention in 2014, Stop Urban Shield, a broad coalition of West Coast anti-police militarization organizations and activists, is now turning its efforts towards getting Urban Shield out of the Bay Area altogether. Urban Shield describes itself as “a planned training exercise involving local, national, and international first responder agencies.” Read more
New York: Constitutional Rights and Occupy Wall Street
On the 4th anniversary of the birth of Occupy Wall Street,a class-action lawsuit was filed in New York City, charging the NYPD with failing to uphold the First Amendment Rights of protesters. The lawsuit centers on the arrest of 185 protesters who gathered to mark the 1st anniversary of Occupy. Read more
Chicago:  Five Years Later, Last Target of FBI Witchhunt Faces Jail, Deportation
Five years ago, the FBI raided the homes of anti-war activists across the Midwest, as well as the offices of the Minneapolis based Antiwar Committee. The FBI deployed SWAT teams and even sent medics—no hostage negotiators were present, but they were on call. As they hauled away the personal belongings of activists, FBI agents asked them about their membership in political organizations, including socialist ones, and if they could provide them names of other members. It was the culmination of a years’ long undercover operation of supposed ‘material support for terrorism.’ None of the dozens of activists targeted have been charged with material support, but one has been convicted of lying on her immigration application. Read more
South: BORDC/DDF Goes to CHRONIC
BORDC/DDF field organizer George Friday joined scores of individual activists and groups gathered in Greenville, South Carolina for the second annual Carolinas Human Rights Organizing Conference (CHRONIC). The conference rallied activists behind the slogans “Getting high on human rights” and “Human rights while there are humans left.”  Read more




BORDC/DDF is your voice in the Nation's Capitol. We advocate and agitate in Congress and with the Executive branch. Here are just a few of the issues we raised last month:
TAKE ACTION:
Stop CISA: It's not Cyber Security, It's Cyber Surveillance
Oppose the Stop Sanctuary Cities Act
Immigration Fraud as a Tool of Repression: Statement on the Prosecution of Rasmea Odeh
BORDC/DDF strongly supports the Constitutional safeguards meant to ensure a fair trial for everyone. We are also concerned with the implications this case holds for the right to dissent: it looks, smells, and tastes like politically motivated selective prosecution of the kind that has contributed to the continuous criminalization of dissent in the United States.
Open Government Groups Call for New USTR Transparency Officer
BORDC/DDF joined 22 groups and individuals committed to government openness and accountability to urge the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to reconsider the recent decision to appoint the USTR General Counsel as its new, congressionally-mandated “transparency officer.” The letter was initiated by OpenTheGovernment.org, a coalition that includes BORDC/DDF.
Thirty Years Without Justice: Alex Odeh's Murder Raises Questions of a Terrorism Double Standard
On October 11, 1985, Alex Odeh was killed when a bomb exploded at the California office of the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). This was not the only bombing of ADC offices: in 1985 two other offices of the national civil rights organization were bombed. At the time, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and President Ronald Reagan labeled the assassination an act of terrorism. To date though, no one has been brought to justice.



The People's Blog for the Constitution and The Dissent NewsWire feature news and analysis beyond the headlines on a daily basis, and offer an easy way to stay up-to-date and informed.

Highlights include:
Time for a Closer Look at National Security Letters?
NSLs are a type of non-judicial subpoena, a “search procedure which gives the FBI the power to compel the disclosure of customer records (often multiple customers) held by financial institutions, telephone companies, Internet Service Providers, and others.” In 2014, the FBI used NSL's 21,900 times. Read more
Recycling Repudiated Bush-Era Arguments, Obama Administration Seeks to Deny Humanitarian Release of Gitmo Prisoner
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the mean weight for a ten-year old boy is 74.2 pounds. Tariq Ba Odah weighs roughly the same amount. He is 36. For an adult male to weigh so little is a medical anomaly and occurs usually only in end term cancer or AIDS patients. Ba Odah, however, has been imprisoned at Guantánamo since February 2002. Even though he was cleared for transfer five years ago, he remains detained unsure when—if—he will ever leave. Read more

Pope Honors Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, But the FBI Sure Doesn't
After the Pope honored four Americans—Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton—many Americans asked the question: who are Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton? The FBI knows who they are, and keeps tabs on the groups and activist who follow in their footsteps. Read more
CPD Routinely Spies/Spied on Activst Groups
According to documents released to the Chicago Sun-Times after a legal battle, the Chicago Police have been routinely spying on protest groups, even when no threat of any criminal activity was suspected. And, according to the documents, there is currently an “ongoing investigation” of a local protest group, but the records are redacted, so we don’t know which group. Read more
Groups Sue to Overturn Controversial Data Privacy Law
A diverse coalition of conservation, press, academic, and animal-protection groups filed suit today in federal court seeking to strike down a pair of Wyoming state laws that stifle freedom of speech and make citizen science illegal in the state. Read more


To help encourage outreach, public education, and grassroots mobilization, BORDC/DDF provides microgrants to grassroots coalitions pursuing local campaigns to advance civil rights and civil liberties.

  • Grants up to $500 are available to help active coalitions expand their local visibility and/or host events. To apply for a grant please email the BORDC/DDF Organizing Team.
Grassroots Toolkits

Volunteer Opportunities





Bill of Rights Defense Committee & Defending Dissent Foundation
www.bordc.org • info@bordc.org • (413) 582-0110 • Fax: (413) 582-0116



Help BORDC/DDF restore the rule of law

  • Get involved! Volunteer, organize, raise your voice—we have an opportunity that's right for everyone.
  • Read our blog. We publish the latest civil liberties news, plus analysis beyond the headlines.
  • Support our work! Donate online or mail a check or money order to:
Bill of Rights Defense Committee & Defending Dissent Foundation
8 Bridge Street, Suite A
Northampton, MA 01060 
  • Follow BORDC on Facebook and TwitterConnect with other supporters and help build the movement.
  • Spread the word! Forward this email newsletter to your friends and family.

The TRUTH will set you FREE.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Constitution in Crisis :: August 2015

September 2015, Vol. 14 No. 9


Dear Friend,
Next week, we celebrate Constitution Day. We have resources for teachers -- by law, every school that receives federal funding must teach a lesson about the Constitution on Thursday, September 17. In addition to urging teachers to include substantive analysis of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and how they are threatened, we'll spend Constitution Day the way we spend every day: working with our grassroots partners to challenge repression in states and cities across the country, and fighting on Captiol Hill against repressive legislation, speaking with reporters and the public to help them understand the ways our rights are under siege, and how we can fight back.
We invite you to celebrate Constitution Day this year by making a contribution to BORDC/DDF.

Sue Udry
Executive Director, BORDC/DDF





Every month, we honor an individual(s) who has made an outstanding contribution in his or her community to the movement to restore civil liberties and the rule of law.
Filmmakers Lyric Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe Win Septeimber Patriot Award
Lyric and David’s first film, (T)ERROR, premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival where it received the Special Jury Award for Best First Feature. The critically acclaimed documentary not only explores a controversial FBI sting-operation, but may be the first documentary to ever do so in real time. The film is gripping and powerful, and features a cameo by BORDC/DDF's Shahid Buttar.


To get involved in any of these campaigns, please email BORDC/DDF's Organizing Team. We are eager to hear from you and to help support your activism.

Civil Rights Groups Demand Transparency, Accountability, Community Involvement
The Collaborative for a Safe, Fair, and Just Cleveland, the Cleveland Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and other civil rights leaders today released an open letter to the City of Cleveland and the Department of Justice criticizing the process for selecting a monitor required under the consent decree. The monitor will be awarded a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract to oversee implementation of the reforms needed to resolve allegations of unconstitutional policing by the Cleveland Division of Police.
The groups charged that the process is largely being conducted behind closed doors without public input or comment, and therefore lacks requisite transparency and public accountability. Read more.
Thousands Rally for Civilian Police Accounability Council in Chicago
A diverse crowd of thousands took to the streets in Chicago on August 29 to rally support for a civilian oversight of Chicago Police. Read more.
Bay Area Organizes Against Urban Shield
Urban Shield is a national war games, SWAT training and weapons expo, held each year in Alameda County, with exercises all over the Bay Area, and attended by hundreds of local, federal and international agencies.
This year, the event takes place on September 11- 14. Organizers have spent the summer educating the public and preparing to Stop Urban Shield. Read more.
Protesters Demand Prosecution of "Beat Up Squad"
On Thursday, August 27, the Hudson Valley Black Lives Matter Coalition and Samuel Harrell’s family and friends gathered in Hulme Park to call for justice for Mr. Harrell, a Black prisoner diagnosed with bipolar disorder who was killed by corrections officers at the Fishkill Correctional Facility. Read more.
Activists Seek Civilian Oversight for Police Accountability
In the year since protests rocked Ferguson, Missouri, after the police killing of an unarmed black man named Michael Brown, a lot has happened around the issue of police accountability in Chicago.Read more.
Some Black Lives Matter Charges Dropped in Mall Of America Protests
The demonstration at Mall of America in Minnesota led to numerous arrests, but some charges have now been dropped according to Minnesota Public Radio. There was never a clear order to leave given to the demonstrators before their arrest, therefore the charges of “trespassing” have been dropped. Read more.
Dutch Artists 4 Orwell: Party Hats on Surveillance Cameras?
George Orwell was celebrated by a group of Dutch artists recently who placed vivid party hats of scores of surveillance cameras in the city of Utrecht. (Not part of the BORDC/DDF network, but a fun story, and easy to replicate in your town.Read more.


BORDC/DDF is your voice in the Nation's Capitol. We advocate and agitate in Congress and in the Executive branch. Here are just a few of the issues we raised last month:
Take Action: It's Not Cyber Security, It's Cyber Surveillance
For five years, privacy and internet freedom advocates have successfully fended off cyber “security” bills that encourage corporations to share personal customer information with each other, and with the government. In July, we forced the Senate to delay a vote on the latest surveillance bill masquerading as a cyber security bill: the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (S 754), known as CISA. But the Senate will return to Washington shortly, set to vote on the bill. And they've been hearing from groups like the Chamber of Commerce and some giant tech companies who support the bill. It's time they heard from you. Take action. 
Justice Department Must Address Illegality of "Muslim Free Zone" Businesses
The Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Defending Dissent Foundation and 80 other civil liberties, human rights, immigrant rights, faith, and cultural organizations today asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate the growing phenomena of so-called “Muslim-free zone” businesses nationwide.
The coalition requested that the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s Housing and Civil Enforcement Section conduct a full federal investigation into all businesses that have declared themselves as “Muslim-Free Zones” and “bring civil enforcement proceedings against business owners who have violated the law.” Read more.


The People's Blog for the Constitution and The Dissent NewsWire feature news and analysis beyond the headlines on a daily basis, and offer an easy way to stay up-to-date and informed.

Highlights include:
When Feds are Done Playing Dress-Up, Who's Left to Pick Up the Pieces?
Whether it’s the CIA staging a phony polio vaccination scheme in Pakistan or paid FBI informants working subterfuge in New York and California mosques, government agents frequently misappropriate identities to conduct undercover stings. Unfortunately, this duplicity jeopardizes the safety and credibility of those impersonated and has a chilling effect on innocent bystanders once the feds are done playing dress up. Read more.
Free Speech Doesn't Kill People
The twisted smears attempting to demonize the Black Lives Matter movement are not only racist, the logic leads to the conclusion that oppressed communities can never fight back without “getting blood on their hands.” Read more.
F*LM The Police
Which of these are illegal for you to videotape: The president exiting the White House, a train pulling into Penn Station, or a police officer making an arrest during a traffic stop?
The answer: all are legal. Taking photographs and video of things that are plainly visible in public spaces is a constitutional right, and this includes the outside of federal buildings, as well as transportation facilities, and police carrying out their duties. Now if someone would just tell the police. Read more.
New Technologies Are Not Exempt from the Fourth Amendment
Last week the Department of Justice (DOJ) released new guidelines on federal law enforcement's use of Stingray devices (which track cellphones). BORDC/DDF joined with other groups in commending the DOJ for paying attention to the issue. But the guidelines fall far short of what is needed.
The guidelines begin with lofty language about the need to use technology in a way that is consistent with the Constitution and the Fourth Amendment. Yet, this language is misleading as the DOJ guidelines make clear that the warrant requirement is only a matter of “policy,” (i.e. not mandated by the Fourth Amendment) and the new policy is meant to “improve internal management,” not protect the Constitutional Rights of the citizenry. Read more.
License Plate Readers Know Where You Go
As part of the state’s plan to fight its burgeoning heroin problem, Maryland officials announced this week it may purchase license plate reading technology for the Ocean City police department to track interstate drug carriers. While this technology has been used for this purpose by other police departments across the state, around the country and by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), major concerns exist about how this technology will be monitored to prevent abuse by law enforcement or how long the collected information of innocent drivers will be stored. Read more.
In Effort to Stifle Dissent, St. Louis County Charges 100 Activists One Year Later
In a surprise move, just before the statute of limitations was about to expire, St. Louis County Counselor Peter Krane filed charges in August against at least 100 people who were arrested a year ago peacefully protesting the murder of Michael Brown outside of the Ferguson Police Department. Read more.
No Free Speech Zone at the Supreme Court
In a blow to First Amendment rights, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has upheld as “reasonable” a 60-year old federal statute criminalizing expressive First Amendment activity on the Supreme Court plaza. The appeals court’s ruling reverses a lower court decision in Hodge v. Talkin, et al., that found the ban to be “repugnant” to the Constitution and “unreasonable, substantially overbroad, and irreconcilable with the First Amendment.” Read more


Maryland Issues Statewide Guidelines Against Profiling
Maryland has become the first state to adopt guidelines against profiling based on race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or gender identity to any degree. While the guidelines are important, and break new ground, they do not carry the force of law. In order to be enforceable, the guidelines must be adopted by each of the state's over 100 police departments.
Black Chicagoans Detained by the Thousands at Secret Detention Facility
Chicago police have detained thousands of Black Americans at what amounts to an off-the-books interrogation facility. The Homan Square facility is “where detainees are still held for minor crimes with little access to the outside world, despite police denials that site is an anomaly. The Chicago Police “warehouse” has held some 3,500 persons, most of them Black and poor according to a review of recently released documents that were pried out of police hands only after a lawsuit filed by the Guardian. And the numbers reflect only the past ten years for the facility that has been used for a much longer time. Read more.


To help encourage outreach, public education, and grassroots mobilization, BORDC/DDF provides microgrants to grassroots coalitions pursuing local campaigns to advance civil rights and civil liberties.

  • Grants up to $500 are available to help active coalitions expand their local visibility and/or host events. To apply for a grant please email the BORDC/DDF Organizing Team.
Grassroots Toolkits

Volunteer Opportunities






Help BORDC/DDF restore the rule of law

  • Get involved! Volunteer, organize, raise your voice—we have an opportunity that's right for everyone.
  • Read our blog. We publish the latest civil liberties news, plus analysis beyond the headlines.
  • Support our work! Donate online or mail a check or money order to:
Bill of Rights Defense Committee & Defending Dissent Foundation
8 Bridge Street, Suite A
Northampton, MA 01060 
  • Follow BORDC on Facebook and TwitterConnect with other supporters and help build the movement.
  • Spread the word! Forward this newsletter to your friends and family.
Bill of Rights Defense Committee & Defending Dissent Foundation
www.bordc.org • info@bordc.org • (413) 582-0110 • Fax: (413) 582-0116


The TRUTH will set you FREE.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Constitution in Crisis :: August 2015

August 2015, Vol. 14 No. 8



Dear Friend,
We've changed the format of our newsletter. We hope you find it easier to read and to find the stories and resources that interest you most. We welcome your feedback (just reply to this email). Please be patient while we merge our mailing lists (it's more complicated than you would think!). We apologize if you have received two copies of this newsletter because you are on both lists.
Stay loud and strong,

Sue Udry
Executive Director, BORDC/DDF


To get involved in any of these campaigns, please email BORDC/DDF's Organizing Team. We are eager to hear from you and to help support your activism.
California Organizes, Educates, to End Solitary Confinement
Solitary confinement is a form of torture. That’s the message behind the movement to end solitary confinement of prisoners in the United States. Actions take place on the 23rd of every month—representing the 23 hours per day that many prisoners stay locked behind bars. Over the past two years what began as a statewide grassroots movement to end solitary confinement of prisoners in California merged with prisoner support groups nationwide in spreading the word and staging public actions in numerous states.
Cleveland 8 Reject Tamir Rice Grand Jury as a Secret Trial
A group of activists and clergy condemn the prosecutor’s office for ignoring the judge’s finding of probable cause for arrest, deciding to rely on a grand jury process instead. “It is not the grand jury’s role to file the initial charges,” the letter points out. “For the vast majority of people, charges have already been filed against them prior to a prosecutor seeking an indictment before the grand jury”.
Bay Area Organizes Against Urban Shield
Last year, activists made sure the heavily militarized police and rescue event would not return to Oakland. Instead, it will be held in nearby Pleasanton.
Get Ready for Constitution Day: September 17
Each educational institution that receives Federal funds is required to hold an educational program about the U.S. Constitution for its students on Constitution Day, September 17. BORDC/DDF has lesson plans and other resources to help you help teachers talk about the Constitution.

Can We Fax This Zombie Bill to Death?
For five years, privacy and internet freedom advocates have successfully fended off cyber “security” bills that focus on data sharing and surveillance rather than sensible security measures. Will grassroots faxtivism finally drive a stake through its heart?

The People's Blog for the Constitution and The Dissent NewsWire feature news and analysis beyond the headlines on a daily basis, and offer an easy way to stay up-to-date and informed.

Highlights include:
To Be a Domestic Terrorist, Hug an Animal
Was the shooter at the Louisiana movie theatre a domestic terrorist? What about the man who killed four marines and a sailor in Chattanooga, Tennessee? While the debate about the motives of the people responsible for these heinous acts continue, there’s no ambiguity about who the FBI and DOJ consider domestic terrorists: animal activists.
The Office of Propaganda and Censorship
A new bill would create a Countering Violent Extremism Office in the Department of Homeland Security. That’s not a great idea… These are the folks that brought us Terror Assessment reports that warn of girl scouts conducting voter registration drives.
What is Investor-State Dispute Settlement? TPP’s Lesser-Known Threat to Democracy
Giving foreign companies such power strips away the people’s voice and directly undermines our democracy. Economic prosperity—if the TPP can guarantee even that—cannot come at the cost of our welfare and freedom.
Shapeshifting Material Support and Apple
Could the DOJ prosecute Apple if terrorists use its end-to-end encryption? Yes. The material support statute doesn’t require knowledge or intent to support terrorism. It’s been used against charities and activists, why not Apple?
Liberal Counterinsurgency vs. the Paramilitary Right
Opinions about civil liberties and government repression range across the entire political spectrum. The Dissident Voices Series highlights these views without necessarily endorsing them. In the wake of the terrorist murders in Charleston, there are calls for a government crackdown on Right-Wing racist and paramilitary groups. This essay raises questions that should be considered in this public debate.
Expert on Right Wing Groups Challenges Federal Policies
“In short,” says Mudde, he believes US government federal agencies should “rely on and develop more expertise, invest in more desk research, conduct less surveillance, and reduce the use of informants."



BORDC/DDF is your voice in the Nation's Capitol. We advocate and agitate in Congress and in the Executive branch. Here are just a few of the issues we raised last month:
Whistleblower Appreciation Day: Let's make it official
Congress should pass a law designating July 30th as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. The date has historical significance, it's the anniversary of the United States' first whistleblower law, which our Founding Fathers unanimously passed on July 30, 1778, recognizing the right of all citizens to report “misconduct, frauds and misdemeanors” to the “appropriate authority.”
Coalition to Obama: Veto CISA
BORDC/DDF joined a group of 68 security experts, tech companies, and civil society organizations on a letter urging President Obama to threaten to veto the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA, S. 754). CISA raises many of the same concerns that were the basis of the Administration’s two veto threats over a previous information sharing bill titled CISPA. It could undermine Internet security, and it threatens privacy and civil liberties, as well as the traditional civilian control of cyberspace.
Why Do 48 Civ Lib and Civil Rights Groups Oppose CVE?
The bill threatens the freedoms of speech, association, and religion. HR 2899 tasks the Office for Countering Violent Extremism with coordinating DHS efforts aimed at “identifying risk factors that contribute to violent extremism in communities in the United States and potential remedies for Government and non-government institutions.”  The risk factors that government agencies put forward often include common behaviors associated with religious practice and political activism. It is profiling, plain and simple.
Quick Action by Coalition Prevents FOIA Exemptions in Highway Bill
The Senate nearly passed a highway bill full of FOIA exemptions big enough to drive a truck though, but members of OpenTheGov.org (including BORDC/DDF) raised concerns in a hastily drafted letter, as well as through social media. At the last minute, the problematic provisions were removed or changed to protect Freedom of Information.

To help encourage outreach, public education, and grassroots mobilization, BORDC/DDF provides microgrants to grassroots coalitions pursuing local campaigns to advance civil rights and civil liberties.
  • Grants up to $500 are available to help active coalitions expand their local visibility and/or host events. To apply for a grant please email the BORDC/DDF Organizing Team.
Grassroots Toolkits
Volunteer Opportunities



Help BORDC/DDF restore the rule of law

  • Get involved! Volunteer, organize, raise your voice—we have an opportunity that's right for everyone.
  • Read our blog. We publish the latest civil liberties news, plus analysis beyond the headlines.
  • Support our work! Donate online or mail a check or money order to:
Bill of Rights Defense Committee & Defending Dissent Foundation
8 Bridge Street, Suite A
Northampton, MA 01060 
  • Follow BORDC on Facebook and TwitterConnect with other supporters and help build the movement.
  • Spread the word! Forward this email newsletter to your friends and family.

Bill of Rights Defense Committee & Defending Dissent Foundation
www.bordc.org • info@bordc.org • (413) 582-0110 • Fax: (413) 582-0116



The TRUTH will set you FREE.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

It's Not Cyber Security, It's Cyber Surveillance

July 2015, Vol. 14 No. 7



It's Not Cyber Security, It's Cyber Surveillance

For five years, privacy and internet freedom advocates have successfully fended off cyber "security" bills that encourage corporations to share personal customer information with each other, and with the government. Our luck may be running out.
Cyber hawks have been on the attack, using recent high-profile hacks to sound the alarm over cybersecurity and force legislation through Congress. The House passed the Protecting Cyber Networks Act in April, and the Senate will soon vote on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (S 754), known as CISA. Just like in the anti-terrorism arena, the emphasis is less on sensible security measures, and more on data sharing and surveillance.
The bills aren't cyber security, they are cyber surveillance!
Both bills offer a "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" deal between corporations and the government that encourages corporations to share massive amounts of customer data with the government in exchange for legal immunity from privacy lawsuits.
Yes. Immunity.
The Senate could vote on CISA as early as next week, and groups like the Chamber of Commerce arelobbying hard for the bill. Grassroots action is desperately needed. Take Action: Ask your Senators to Oppose CISA.
Here's why we're opposed to CISA:
  • CISA allows companies to share nearly any type of information with the government, including our personal information;
  • The FBI and NSA automatically get all the shared data. And they can use it for purposes beyond cyber security;
  • CISA creates a vast new exemption to the Freedom of Information Act;
  • CISA allows "hackbacks" that could harm third party networks.
Notably missing from the bill is any requirement for basic cyber hygiene like encryption, or strong passwords, which most experts affirm would be the most effective cyber security measures.
Related: CISA isn't Cybersecurity, it's Cyber Surveillance
In fact, as Jennifer Granick, Director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Societyexplains, the bills "gut legal protections against government fishing expeditions" and don't do much to keep us safe:
And none of the recent cyberattacks—not Sony, not Target-and not the devastating grab of sensitive background check interviews on government employees at the Office of Personnel Management—would have been mitigated by these bills.
Take Action: Ask your Senators to Oppose CISA

Read the latest news and analysis from the People's Blog for the Constitution

The People's Blog for the Constitution features news and analysis beyond the headlines on a daily basis, an offers an easy way to stay up-to-date and informed.
Highlights include:

Grassroots News

To get involved in any of these campaigns, please email BORDC's Organizing Team. We are eager to hear from you and to help support you activism.

BORDC in the news

June 1, Sections of the Patriot Act just expired. What now? Sue Udry on Section 215.
June 3, En Español: Sue Udry on the NSA
June 8, USA Freedom Act Falls Short on Reforming NSA Dragnet Surveillance Peddling the illusion of reform: Sue Udry on the shortcomings of the USA Freedom Act.
June 20, Beyond the Patriot and USA Freedom Acts to the end of the American surveillance state Sue Udry explains why the American people deserve a full audit of government spying programs, and how it will take way more than just voting to get it.

Resources and Opportunities

To help encourage outreach, public education, and grassroots mobilization, BORDC/DDF provides microgrants to grassroots coalitions pursuing local campaigns to advance civil rights and civil liberties.
  • Grants up to $500 are available to help active coalitions expand their local visibility and/or host events. To apply for a grant please email the BORDC Organizing Team.
BORDC/DDF is hiring!



Help BORDC/DDF restore the rule of law

  • Get involved! Volunteer, organize, raise your voice—we have an opportunity that's right for everyone.
  • Read our blog. We publish the latest civil liberties news, plus analysis beyond the headlines.
  • Support our work! Donate online or mail a check or money order to:
Bill of Rights Defense Committee & Defending Dissent Foundation
8 Bridge Street, Suite A
Northampton, MA 01060 
  • Follow BORDC on Facebook and TwitterConnect with other supporters and help build the movement.
  • Spread the word! Forward this email newsletter to your friends and family.

Bill of Rights Defense Committee & Defending Dissent Foundation
www.bordc.org • info@bordc.org • (413) 582-0110 • Fax: (413) 582-0116


The TRUTH will set you FREE.

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