30,000 more signatures needed, then Obama will have to take a position on warrantless access to email and texts


Looking for a response even after the silence on the 141k-signature petitition on Edward Snowden ?



The position is going to be, “America does not torture.”


Since I’m getting spied on too, can I vote, even though I live outside America?


No. Shut up. You foreigners are supposed to be spied on. It’s only bad when it’s Americans.


In order to sign the petition at WhiteHouse.gov against unwarranted spying of electronic media, I need to set up an account, providing all my contact info. So, I come back to boingboing.net to comment on this small irony to find that in order to comment here, I also need to set up an account, providing contact info.



Yesterday, Mark F. posted a clip from The Daily Show that demonstrates the futility of a petition like this one.


Let’s all do nothing then. That’s sure to be more effective.


Might I suggest an alternative ? Do something POSITIVE. Encrypt with GnuPG. Use HTTPS Everywhere. VPN whenever possible.

Speak with your congresscritter and Senator’s offices. Maybe even find a challenger who feels the same way you do, and work to get them elected. . .

Indeed. It’s a worthless system. I’m not going to make myself a target while pretending it works.


I’m sorry, I cannot seem to locate that section of my one-sentence post in which I write, “Better to do nothing at all.” Could you help me find it?

Do you want to have an honest conversation on this topic? I am more than willing to do so, but maybe you should check your pique at the door.

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This is not the first time I’ve run into people getting indignant over the We The People petitions.

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One wonders what the signatories – or Drabula in particular – hope to accomplish by participating in an online petition of this nature.

Q. Want to register your discontent with the spy program?
A. The Obama administration knows you are unhappy. For this reason, President Obama held a press conference to explain that you should not be unhappy with the program. See Mark F.'s post from yesterday.

Q. Want to hold the Obama administration accountable for the spy program?
A. There is no enforcement mechanism built into the act of public petition, or this White House petition program specifically.

Q. Want to force the Obama administration to take a position on the issue?
A. Obama made his position very clear over the past few months, mostly notable in his recent press conference in which he explains that you should not be unhappy with the program. See Mark F.'s post from yesterday.

Q. Want to force Congress to act on this issue?
A. There is no enforcement mechanism built into the act of public petition, or this White House petition program specifically. Many members of Congress, most notably those who hold key positions as Chairpersons of relevant committees, have expressed support for the spy program.

Q. Want to express your opinion on the matter in a public forum?
A. You have done so.


petitions.whitehouse.gov is a complete waste of time. It’s an embarrassment to the administration, one they no doubt wish they had never come up with at this point, and there’s no point to signing these petitions.

Look through the list of responses. The highest level answer I found was by a deputy director of a minor agency. The responses are almost all condescending and not only make no commitments to action, but often fail even to address the main question or subject of the petition. So why even bother? You think they haven’t answered the Snowden petition, among various others hanging fire, because of press of work?


Well, yes, because at least it’s not wasting everyone’s time. But of course there are far more effective ways to register political displeasure, even today.

Where are the crowds of angry peasants with pitchforks and torches when you REALLY need one ??? (grin)


I have to agree with the other comments that “We the People” petitions are just theater and accomplish nothing of significance.

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What used to hold the politicians accountable and keep their feet to the fire was a free press with access to mass communications. Nixon, pentagon papers, etc.

That’s mainly been co-opted now, and by design. All that’s left is small-timers with theoretical, but not actual, access to millions of eyeballs on the net. They can prate all they want, but the mass public will only be exposed to the agenda that the powers that be want put out there.

The new managed democracy is something we’ve yet to find a meaningful response to. It is damn hard to care about symbolic actions which are rendered meaningless before they are even accomplished.


I sign these petitions precisely because they are an embarrassment to the administration.

Every non-response can be used as a talking point for political opponents, so I want to give this administration all the rope it needs, as good a shovel as possible, [insert favored analogy], to contribute to the defeat of its preferred successor administration in the next election.


I’m pretty sure his opinion is that you should ask his friend Deez.

Go ahead, ask him “Deez who?” That’s really what he wants for this holiday season.