Why you should join the EFF right now
John Perry Barlow, co-founder of the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF), on why you need to join right now. Because these are seriousaly dangerous times, and because the EFF is a serious fighter for privacy and civil liberties – that’s why
Thomas Pynchon on bad acid couldn’t dream up the paranoid nightmares now pouring out of Washington.
Today we learn that the CIA has been given authority to kill any American citizen who is *suspected* of terrorism. Say again? You mean they *all* have a license to kill? And not just the other, but us. Summarily. Without trial. Yikes.
Then there is John Poindexter’s new Information Awareness Office – about which I have much more to say in my next screed – which is being extended authorization to combine and data-mine every database, commercial or public, in a massive search for evil-doers and behavioral patterns that match up with evil-doing. Records of your buying habits, your medical problems, the books you take out of the library, your driving skills, your telephone calls are all available to the Government without a warrant or a suspect.
The Pentagon is working on a new version of Internet protocols called eDNA that would render digital anonymity impossible. (I’ll write more about this in my next spam as well.)
The Homeland Security Administration is being given a 150 billion dollars, 170,000 employees and few legal constraints to become a massive internal surveillance force with vastly streamlined access to your electronic records.
Meanwhile, the Content Industry is working on redesigning the architecture of both the Internet and your computer so that they – and anyone else who might be interested – will be able to see what’s on your computer and control what can pass between it and any other digital devices.
Fair use, the ability to share information with your friends, indeed – the very right to know – is being criminalized. With these legally ordained control methods, it becomes trivially easy to stop the flow of dissent since it might contain copyrighted material.
The bats of Facism have left the cave. Against this cloud of leather-winged horrors, there are few organized forces of opposition.
But the Electronic Frontier Foundation is there. Indeed, we’re practically all that’s there.
In a country where the corporations just bought the most expensive and incumbent Congress in history, few are standing up for the rights of the individual.
But the Electronic Frontier Foundation is still defending your tattered liberties.
I suspect you feel scared, hopeless, and impotent against this anti-patriotic betrayal of American principles. You can’t register your opposition. They ignore your demonstrations. You could send them a letter, but the White House no longer opens mail because it might contain anthrax. E-mails are utterly irrelevant to the them.
Much of what is being decreed is profoundly unconstitutional. But nothing is unconstitutional until someone has proven it so in court. Someone has to be willing to plead the case for liberty. This is what EFF does. And we need to do it before the Judiciary has been completely subverted by Bush/Ashcroft appointees. In 18 months it may be too late.
This is why I believe it is very important right now that you join the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I would say that even if I hadn’t help start the thing. There just isn’t anything else like us out there. Without our technically sophisticated interventions, the Internet will become the most penetrating and through surveillance tool ever conceived.