Sign the ACLU petition to reform American electronic spying laws


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The right for a large group to make a physical protest to the leadership has been compromised mostly in the A part of the ACLU.

Could a million human march fit in a free speech zone?

I believe that tangible space is the space that needs to be taken back before we can begin to expect the digital representations of those spaces and concepts … like digital petitions that we establish and create to ask for liberty … to be taken seriously.

If we can’t speak truth to power in the physical realm peaceably without fear of retribution from a plethora of LEO or sideways discombobulators such as the black bloq … then I fear the digital realm has already been lost.


Free speech zone… what the hell is that?

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Free speech zones (also known as First Amendment zones, free speech cages, and protest zones) are areas set aside in public places for political activists to exercise their right of free speech in the United States. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law… abridging… the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The existence of free speech zones is based on U.S. court decisions stipulating that the government may regulate the time, place, and manner—but not content—of expression.

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So basically herd dissenters into an easily ignorable pen. Gotcha.

Look I’m fine with stipulating that protesters have to make way for traffic both foot and vehicular, but to regulate when and where people can protest… UGH! How old is this ruling? Why didn’t the scientologists try using that kind of billy club in the anonymous protests a few years back?

Edit: also just so everyone’s clear i"m fine with restricting protesting when it involves ensuring saftey of another group (IE making sure some nut can’t slide into an otherwise peaceful protest, get within shooting range of somebody and start taking pot shots.)


Um, I’m not comfortable having to register with the White House in order to sign a petition. Is there another way?


It would be nice if the ACLU actually spearheaded a protest and attended. At least this way, there are civil liberty lawyers on hand.

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A much better and more effective way is to write or call your representative directly. My sense is these online petitions are largely ignored, but politicians do tend to take notice when their offices are flooded by communications.

I would especially encourage California residents to communicate with Feinstein, the biggest NSA apologist in the Senate.


Yes, and that very notion is precisely what makes civil disobedience a damned fine idea! You could say whatever you wanted on the floor of the arena in the Coliseum, too. Without blocking traffic. In a publicly-designated area. Right before the lions ate you.

Next issue - the very idea that ANY government agency has any power to stall legislation is patently ridiculous. If legislation has stalled, that’s on the legislators themselves, period, no excuses.

And yeah - the very idea that I need an account to communicate with the White House is…obnoxious. And doubtless scary, to some. But it’s not as if we’re not already getting regular NSA colonics anyway. So go ahead - get an account!

In return, you can follow the news, and meanwhile, the White House will happily send you THE most amazing ‘news-y’ diversions and PR junk that looks like it came from a completely different solar system. (Or maybe, The Onion, whose writers are not having to work nearly so hard, lately.) Some will be laughable (in a very dark way) and some is downright scream-able…but at least you’ll finally understand who and what we’re really dealing with here.

.And some days, you’ll even wonder just how far Rob Ford really could’ve gone, but for the lack a giant PR machine like the one that occupies the White House…

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Same thing with your reps or governor. If you make a phone call, you’ll get some disinterested assistant who says, “Okay, I’ll tell him/her”. Write an email or letter and you’ll get a form letter/note in return that addresses none of your concerns, other than "thank you for your interest in blah blah blah, and then goes on to blather about how wonderful they are in government. I have tried, over the years, for all sorts of things. It’s exactly the same as dealing “customer service” at many companies. A patronizing note telling you how much they love serving you but never actually serving you.

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You can’t sign a petition anonymously. That’s kind of the point of a petition.

I didn’t say I wanted to be anonymous. I said I’m not comfortable registering. On one level, I don’t trust them with my information (e.g. core reason for this petition). But there is a more fundamental problem.

It’s seems wrong to have to register in order to exercise my right to petition the government. Why should there be any precondition to me petitioning the government? And who determines what those preconditions are? What if they decide to make those preconditions onerous?

The right to petition anonymously is consistent with the ability to petition. A petition is a request for redress. Often for wrongs committed by the government. How can one comfortably ask for redress if one also fears personal retribution for petitioning? The only way is to do it is anonymously.

In principle, yes. In reality? They can already find out who you are whether you register or not. And how would they keep somebody like me from ginning up a script to sign their petition 100,000 times?
Who am I? I could be anybody. Maybe I’m Angela Merkel, looking for some public get-even. Maybe I’m DiFi, and my petition will say how we just LOVE all those NSA colonics for make us feel so warm and safe from terrorists and all. Maybe I’m Chelsea Manning’s mom.

You don’t have to tell anybody how you voted, either - but you do have to register first. So at best, you could justify it that way. Hell - make up a name, if you want. Doubt it’ll change anything.

I submit to your logic and will now meekly do as I am told.

Wait, no I don’t.

You seem to assume that only registering with a government web site allows you to sign a petition. I reject that.

You seem to assume that anonymity is impossible. I reject that.

Your analogy to voting is good, but flawed. The act of registering is not tied to what you vote. You register, but can vote anonymously. In this instance, your registration and your petition signature are linked. This is not a requirement, as demonstrated by the voting procedure.

I’m not here to argue it with you. I’ll stand with my own logic - but the practical problem at hand appears to be how you can join this effort without compromising your position on anonymity, The only answer is to lie, then. I can’t argue against that under the circumstances, and personally, I don’t even feel we owe them anything better at this point. It would be like saying it’s wrong not to reveal your watch to a mugger just because he demanded all your goods. If you thought you were going to find a smooth or easy path to fighting these guys I’d have to think you were an idiot (and I don’t think that).

Cory, you and BB and EFF need us established global warming skeptics (Ph.D. in carbon chemistry from Columbia) and former developer of a GUI (with stealth header stripping) for PGP back in 93/94 more than we need you. I’d normally be happy to inform the ~30K regular readers of the main skeptical blog of this petition, using my street credibility there, but screw it, you are the enemy now, since the BB science editor wrote a book on energy policy that is invested in now twenty year stagnant Global Warming. You divided the libertarians, you did, Cory, so go fish. Your blog is already going down as a partisan laughing stock. Nerds figured it out long ago. Geeks didn’t. They’re busy playing with children’s toys, thanks to BB.

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