Problem: Government is moving to take over the average citizen's chance to participate in the dialogue on contested public issues by peaceably protesting, using the internet and yup their cell phones.
What is remarkable is that Obama was had peaceful protesters advance causes for him in the ramp up to his election, Organizing for America used cell phones to make in-state and out-of-state contacts for not just fund raising, but getting out the vote and OFA & the DNC used the internet to fund raise and organize at record levels of efficiency.
Now an all too willing Congress is taking steps that will chill Americans first amendment civil rights--that is why we need changes in business as usual in Congress.
So what has been happening??
(1) the federal government has given access to crowd disbursal technology without the restriction that it can't be used on peaceful and lawful public protests by US citizens;
A LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device) was used to disperse a rally at
Plaza in downtown Detroit on Friday, July 18, 2014 at 2:43pm. There has
been previous use of an LRAD in Detroit on May 1, 2012 when Occupy
Detroit gathered on the public sidewalk outside Grand Circus Park after
park closing hours of 10pm. The use in 2012 was as a public address. The
use in 2014 was to cause distress to those hearing the sound.You can
hear the sound emitted in the video footage at 50 minutes
into this clip (the final minute of the clip). Those who were on the
platform to speak felt vibration throughout their body and some clutched
at their chest during the deployment which last about 2 minutes
Solution: Introduce legislation and codes of federal regulation banning the use of such technology on peaceful protesting by US citizens
(2) Tom Wheeler, the newly appointed FCC chair, recently
proposed rules that would allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to
divide the Internet into fast lanes for wealthy corporations and slow
lanes for the rest of us, which if adopted will allow corporate takeover of the Internet and the death of Net Neutrality and reduce grass root organizers and leaders for political change equal access to the internet.
Net Neutrality is important because the Internet is an essential
Federal court cases have made it clear that the
FCC has the power to enforce strong Net Neutrality rules, but only if
the FCC goes through the process of undoing a terrible Bush-era decision
to deregulate broadband instead of treating it like the vital public
utility it has become.
Solution(s): Reclassifying the Internet as a public
utility, which is the only way to establish Net Neutrality regulations
(3) After local law enforcement was given dragnet type technology by the feds, the feds are asking the police to keep quiet about cellphone data collection equipment they are using.
Jack Gillum, Associated Press reported [http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/22/police-keep-quiet-about-cell-tracking-technology/?page=all] on the problem.
"Stingray" is reportedly one such invasive technology being used, one which has been described as an innovative way for law enforcement to track cellphones used
by suspects and gather evidence--the problem, it captures & records EVERYONE's cell phone traffic! How?? Stingray reportedly tricks cellphones into
identifying their owners’ account information and transmitting data to
police as if it were a phone company’s tower. That allows police to
obtain cellphone information without having to ask for help from service
providers, such as Verizon or AT&T, and can locate a phone without
the user even making a call or sending a text message.
Solution: Pass regulations that capture the criminal conduct and communications related thereto and purge the rest.