February 11th: The Day We Fight Back Against NSA Surveillance

January 11, 2014 at 3:50 pm 1 comment

From: Portside moderator <moderator@PORTSIDE.ORG>
To: PORTSIDE@LISTS.PORTSIDE.ORG 
Sent: Saturday, January 11, 2014 2:32 AM
Subject: February 11th: The Day We Fight Back Against NSA Surveillance

 
 
 
 
1. A civil liberties coalition calls for a day of protest against NSA abuses on Feb. 11. 2. Daniel Ellsberg debunks the “oath of secrecy” myth.
 
 

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In January 2006, EFF [the Electronic Frontier Foundation] filed our first lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of NSA mass surveillance.
In January 2012, the Internet rose up to protest and defeat SOPA, legislation that sought to censor the Internet in the name of copyright enforcement.
And in January of last year, we lost a dear friend and fierce digital rights advocate, Aaron Swartz. We vowed to defend the rights of Internet users everywhere in his memory.
Now we have a new challenge: ending mass surveillance by the NSA.
The Snowden revelations have provided us with disturbing details and confirmation of some of our worst fears about NSA spying. The NSA is undermining basic encryption standards, the very backbone of the Internet. It has collected the phone records of hundreds of millions of people not suspected of any crime. It has swept up the electronic communications of millions of people indiscriminately, exploiting the digital technologies we use to connect and inform.
But we aren’t going to let the NSA ruin the Internet. Inspired by the memory of Aaron, fueled by our victory against SOPA, EFF is joining forces with a coalition of liberty-defending organizations to fight back against NSA spying.
Today, on the eve of the anniversary of Aaron’s death, we ask you to join us in stepping up to the plate once again. Bring your creativity, your networks, your art, and your dedication and join us in a month of action, culminating in an Internet-wide protest on February 11.
Join us. Fight back.
On Secrecy, Oaths, and Edward Snowden
January 8, 2014
By Daniel Ellsberg Follow @DanielEllsberg
These two pieces, the first by Marcy Wheeler, in part commenting on the second by Amy Davidson in the New Yorker (along with Snowden himself, in his interview with Bart Gellman) are the first I’ve seen making a point I’ve been making for years: contrary to the frequent assertions in the last week (including by Fred Kaplan) that Snowden is particularly reprehensible because he “broke his OATH of secrecy,” neither Snowden nor anyone else broke such a secrecy “oath.”
Such an oath doesn’t exist (look up “oath” on the web). Rather he—and I—broke an agreement (known as Standard Form 312) which was a condition of employment.  It provides for civil or administrative penalties (e.g., losing a clearance or a job) for disclosing classified information: serious enough to keep nearly everyone quiet about…anything classified, no matter how illegal or dangerous.
The reason this matters is that Snowden, as he said to Gellman and as I’ve repeatedly said, did take a real “oath,” just one oath, the same oath that every official in the government and every Congressperson takes as an oath of office. He and they “swore” (“or affirmed”) “to support and defend the Constitution of the U.S., against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
They did not swear to support and defend or obey the President, or to keep secrets.  But to support and defend, among other elements of the Constitution, the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments in the Bill of Rights, and Article I, section 8, on war powers. That’s the oath that, as Snowden correctly said to Gellman, he upheld (as I would say I eventually did) and that Clapper and Alexander broke (along with most members of Congress).
As Snowden and I discovered, that oath turns out to be often in conflict with the secrecy agreements that he and I signed, and which we later chose to violate in support of our oath.
 
 
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Entry filed under: PeaceSmiths Calendar.

PS February Coffeehouse: Friday, Feb. 7th, 2014 8PM Peacesmiths March Coffeehouse Friday March 7th 8pm

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Calendar

Fri. Dec 1st
8pm
John Myles
and
Zack Reyes
plus
OPEN MIC

*
Fri. November 3rd

8pm / Jazz & more
Coincidence Machine
and
Jimi Durso & friends
and
Rudel Drears, jazz piano
plus
Open Mic!

***

Fri. October 6th
8pm
Bluegrass and Jazz!
PLUS
Open Time.

The PeaceSmiths Coffeehouse is the first Friday of the month, from October to June.

Public Access TV

PeaceSmiths Monthly Coffeehouse and Monthly Forum can sometimes be seen on Public Access TV on the Woodbury Cable system channel 20 on the following shows:

Church of Comedy

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The banner photo is PeaceSmiths friends and banner in Washington, D.C. for a peace march on January 27, 2007. Susan is waving on the left, above the "e". Photo copyright Merly Thinanyi of Thihanyi Photography in Valley Stream.


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