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First POST: Sim Pickings

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, February 20 2015

Using stolen encryption keys, the NSA and GCHQ can intercept and decrypt communications between billions of phones without notifying the service provider, foreign governments or users; get to know Sarah Harrison, the WikiLeaks editor who helped Snowden gain asylum in Russia; a profile of the Fight for the Future leaders; how the new wave of black community organizing is not hashtag activism; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Scenarios

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, February 6 2015

Inside the campaign to defend net neutrality; NBC's Brian Williams' credibility under attack by social media; Twitter's plans to police abuse and trolls; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Saving Face

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, June 2 2014

The NSA's facial recognition data collection program; why to keep an eye on the Email Privacy Act; Zephyr Teachout and her battle with NY Governor Andrew Cuomo; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Battle for the Open Net

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, May 8 2014

Start-ups and big tech alike are speaking out against the FCC's draft net neutrality proposal; activists start an "Occupy FCC" protest outside its DC HQ and promise to spread it; a House bill to end some dragnet surveillance advances; and much, much more. Read More

Interview: Why Fight For the Future Is Supporting Bitcoin

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, December 3 2013

Bitcoin banknote

Last week, Fight for the Future, the Internet freedom group that played a big role in kicking off the movement that stopped the SOPA and PIPA bills, announced that it was taking on a new cause: Bitcoin. Together with Bitcoin evangelist Jon Holmquist, they put together ">BitcoinBlackFriday.com" as a hub for more than 250 online vendors who are accepting the digital currency, some of them offering special deals through the site. The vendors include OK Cupid, Reddit, CheapAir.com, and the Internet Archive. What follows is a short interview with the group's co-founders as to why they're backing the controversial digital currency. Read More

First POST: Step Right Up

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, September 18 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: A first look at AskThem, a new portal for citizen questions of public officials and figures; an embarrassing data dump for the Indiana GOP; the NSA's spying empire in one handy map; and much, much more. Read More

In Tumblr, Yahoo Acquires an Audience and an Activist Edge, Too

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, May 20 2013

David Karp, May 16, 2013. Photo: Flickr/Digitas Photos

With a sticker price of approximately $1.1 billion, Yahoo's Tumblr acquisition doesn't just come with an audience CEO Marissa Mayer expects will grow Yahoo's footprint by 50 percent. Whether Yahoo knew it or not, the struggling Internet ur-company has also bought itself an activist constituency. Read More

As Countries Meet Over New Telco Regulations, Worry Grows Among Internet Activists

BY Nick Judd and Miranda Neubauer | Monday, December 3 2012

Fully operational: Will WCIT spell the end of the ad-hoc Internet? Photo: Michael Wifall

While advocates paint WCIT as the potential death knell of Internet freedom, experts suggest the real conversation in Dubai will be about the possibility of a fee structure on international Internet traffic — which could be described as a global attack on net neutrality and worthy of serious debate all on its own. The advocates' pitch, then, might at first sound like some combination of the Agenda 21 conspiracy theorists and the beardo libertarian open-source crowd after a long night snorting bath salts. Fight for the Future's Tiffiniy Cheng says all the fuss is warranted because they're not attacking the ITU of today. Instead, they're trying to defend the Internet from the monster she says the U.N. regulatory agency could become. Read More

Internet Defense League Hopes to Man a "Bat Signal" for Citizens of the Internet

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, June 1 2012

Maybe "cat signal" is a more apt description. Image: Internet Defense League

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and the U.S. activist group Fight for the Future have launched the the Internet Defense League, an initiative to grow a list of website owners willing to use their sites to urge visitors to take action whenever the signal — let's call it a cat signal — goes out to warn against something that may change the structure of the net as we know it. Read More

Geeks Gear Up To Fight Online IP Bills, PIPA, SOPA

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, January 11 2012

Picture: Isaac Mao

Activists advocating an open Internet and worried that the Senate could fast-track a controversial online intellectual property protection bill are coalescing on the web and getting together to set up meetings with their ... Read More