As AP and other news sources have written, the Democratic and Republican party leadership worked to extend the expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act with as little debate as possible. They did this at a time when the Federal government is secretly interpreting the PATRIOT Act in ways that broaden the act in ways the Congress did not intend. Indeed only eight Senators voted for more discussion of the extension of the expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act. Senator Kerry voted for it and Senator Brown did not vote, though he later voted for it.
Also, this morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve the pro-censorship PROTECT IP Act. Its supporters will attempt to advance it to the full Senate and then on to the House of Representatives.
We have to fight this bill that will poison the internet as we know it, unless we want to:
- allow the Attorney General of the US, without due process, to censor a website by blocking search engines from linking to it, forcing the site’s internet service provider to take it down, forcing payment processors and online advertising network providers from doing business with censored sites;
- allow copyright holders to use many of the same due-process free tools that the Attorney General of the US has;
- encourage service providers to voluntary censor websites that they deem to be infringing on copyright laws;
Thankfully, Senator Ron Wyden has put a hold on the bill giving us more time to fight it.
We ask you to:
1. contact your Representative and Senator and urge them to oppose the PROTECT IP Act. You can email them or call them at the numbers listed below:
- 1st Congressional District – John Olver – (202) 225-5335 / (413) 532-7010
- 2nd Congressional District – Richard Neal – (202) 225-5601 / (413) 785-0325
- 3rd Congressional District – James McGovern – (202) 225-6101 / (508) 831-7356
- 4th Congressional District – Barney Frank – (202) 225-5931
- 5th Congressional District – Niki Tsongas – (202) 225-3411 / (978) 459-0101
- 6th Congressional District – Jonathan Tierney – (202) 225-8020 / (781) 595-7375
- 7th Congressional District – Ed Markey – (202) 225-2836 / (508) 875-2900
- 8th Congressional District – Michael Capuano – (202) 225-5111 / (617) 621-6208
- 9th Congressional District – Stephen Lynch – (202) 225-8273 / (617) 428-2000
- 10th Congressional District – William Keating – (202) 225-3111 / (617) 770-3700
To find out who your representative is, please visit Where Do I Vote MA and enter your address.
You can reach our Senators at:
2. tell your neighbors, friends and family to oppose the PROTECT IP Act;
3. help spread the word about the PROTECT IP Act’s threat to freedom of speech on the internet. You can help by writing letters to your local news paper opposing the PROTECT IP Act, putting together eye catching posters that people can print out and distribute in their communities, or pamphlets people can hand out on street corners. We need to get the word out about the harm this bill will do by allowing our government, corporations and individuals to censor the internet.
Most of all, we need your active involvement in stopping the creation of the Great Firewall of the US. We hope you will join us on Sunday, May 29th, for our monthly meeting / social. The meeting starts at 2pm. We will start the grill around 4pm and go until 6pm. It will be at 25 Moore St., Somerville, MA. Please tell us whether you will attend by signing up at our Facebook event or via Tweetvite.
If you cannot make our meeting/social on Sunday, then please contact us with how you can help out. Thanks!