From Electronic Frontier Foundation’s press release –
US Rep. John Conyers Jr., “Pentagon Papers” whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and actor Maggie Gyllenhaal join a chorus of prominent voices calling for an end to mass suspicionless surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA) in a new short video released by the StopWatching.us coalition. Directed by Brian Knappenberger (We Are Legion: The Story of the Hackivists) and produced by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the PSA-style video draws parallels between the privacy invasions perpetrated by the Nixon administration and the dragnet telecommunications data collection confirmed this summer by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The video, “Stop Watching Us: The Video,” is a call to action released in support of the Stop Watching Us: Rally Against Mass Surveillance being held in Washington, DC, on Saturday, Oct. 26, the 12th anniversary of the Patriot Act. Formed in June 2013, the StopWatching.us coalition is comprised of more than 100 public advocacy organizations and companies from across the political spectrum demanding that Congress investigate the full extent of the NSA’s spying programs.“I’m very honored to help EFF and StopWatching.us get out the word and make the rally in DC as big and as informed as possible,” Knappenberger said. “This is the moment for a large scale debate on the future of this thing we all love, the Internet, the way we communicate, our relationship with our government and how technology and its progress can blend with more traditional notions of privacy, liberty and democracy.”
A diverse cast of media, academic, political and legal figures and truth-speakers unite in the video to sound the alarm over unconstitutional government surveillance. The full list, in order of appearance, includes:
Daniel Ellsberg, “Pentagon Papers” whistleblower
Phil Donahue, television talk-show pioneer
US Rep. John Conyers Jr., (D-MI), ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee
David Segal, executive director of Demand Progress
Maggie Gyllenhaal, actor and activist
Oliver Stone, director of The Untold History of the United States and Nixon
John Cusack, actor and activist
Wil Wheaton, actor and writer
Molly Crabapple, artist and writer
Jesselyn Radack, U.S. Department of Justice whistleblower and national security and human rights director at the Government Accountability Project
J. Kirk Wiebe, NSA whistleblower
Mark Klein, AT&T whistleblower who revealed the telecommunications company’s collaboration with the NSA in collecting customer data
Thomas Drake, NSA whistleblower
Cindy Cohn, Legal Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation
Dan Choi, LGBTQ activist and Iraq War veteran
Lawrence Lessig, Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School
Thomas Drake and Daniel Choi will also speak at the rally, which begins with a march from Columbus Circle to the Capitol Reflecting Pool at 12 p.m. EST on Saturday, Oct. 26. StopWatching.us will also deliver more than 500,000 signatures opposing the NSA’s mass surveillance to Congress. The coalition is calling for a full Congressional investigation of America’s surveillance programs, reform to federal surveillance law, and accountability from officials responsible for hiding this surveillance from lawmakers and the public.
For more information on the full list of organizations involved in the coalition and the joint letter sent to Congress, please visit: https://stopwatching.us/.
More information about the rally is available here: https://rally.stopwatching.us.
To speak to a StopWatching.us spokesperson about the video, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.716.1953 or Christina@fitzgibbonmedia.com.
To learn more about the video and rally click – https://www.eff.org/press/releases/new-psa-featuring-rep-john-conyers-and-actor-maggie-gyllenhaal-warns-against-nsa
The revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA’s spying programs.
We write to express our concern about recent reports published in the Guardian and the Washington Post, and acknowledged by the Obama Administration, which reveal secret spying by the National Security Agency (NSA) on phone records and Internet activity of people in the United States.
The Washington Post and the Guardian recently published reports based on information provided by an intelligence contractor showing how the NSA and the FBI are gaining broad access to data collected by nine of the leading U.S. Internet companies and sharing this information with foreign governments. As reported, the U.S. government is extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time. As a result, the contents of communications of people both abroad and in the U.S. can be swept in without any suspicion of crime or association with a terrorist organization.
Leaked reports also published by the Guardian and confirmed by the Administration reveal that the NSA is also abusing a controversial section of the PATRIOT Act to collect the call records of millions of Verizon customers. The data collected by the NSA includes every call made, the time of the call, the duration of the call, and other “identifying information” for millions of Verizon customers, including entirely domestic calls, regardless of whether those customers have ever been suspected of a crime. The Wall Street Journal has reported that other major carriers, including AT&T and Sprint, are subject to similar secret orders.
This type of blanket data collection by the government strikes at bedrock American values of freedom and privacy. This dragnet surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which protect citizens’ right to speak and associate anonymously, guard against unreasonable searches and seizures, and protect their right to privacy.
We are calling on Congress to take immediate action to halt this surveillance and provide a full public accounting of the NSA’s and the FBI’s data collection programs. We call on Congress to immediately and publicly:
- Enact reform this Congress to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, the state secrets privilege, and the FISA Amendments Act to make clear that blanket surveillance of the Internet activity and phone records of any person residing in the U.S. is prohibited by law and that violations can be reviewed in adversarial proceedings before a public court;
- Create a special committee to investigate, report, and reveal to the public the extent of this domestic spying. This committee should create specific recommendations for legal and regulatory reform to end unconstitutional surveillance;
- Hold accountable those public officials who are found to be responsible for this unconstitutional surveillance.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.