Posted on April 12, 2021
Fight for the Future: Taking on key battles in the fight for digital rights and freedoms
The mission of Fight for the Future is to ensure that technology is a force for empowerment and free expression rather than corruption and inequality. We’re on the forefront of shaping how your digital rights are being protected or abused, using a range of communication and political strategies to win historic outcomes:
WE’RE MAKING FACIAL RECOGNITION POLITICALLY TOXIC
Law enforcement frequently use facial recognition without warrants — using a technology that regularly misidentifies people of color and women, putting vulnerable people at greater risk of systemic abuse. After driving tens of thousands of comments to Congress, we got a bill to ban government and law enforcement use of facial recognition introduced in Congress, a measure seen as radical before our involvement. This year we’re ramping up support for this legislation. We’re also pushing to ban its use in schools (including e-proctoring technology), public housing, and other public venues. And we’ll continue working with municipalities across the US, helping other cities join places like San Francisco, the first major U.S. city to prohibit its municipal use, and Portland, OR, the first city to prohibit both government and corporate applications.
WE’RE KEEPING FACIAL RECOGNITION FROM SPREADING TO COLLEGES AND MAJOR MUSIC FESTIVALS
With Students for Sensible Drug Policy, we organized a campaign to stop the use of facial recognition technology on college campuses. More than 60 colleges agreed to the ban, including UCLA, which had been planning to implement the software as part of its security system. We also got most of the largest music festivals in the world to agree not to use the technology, including SXSW, Coachella, Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo.
WE’RE TAKING ON BIG TECH’S MONOPOLY POWER
Many lawmakers and advocacy groups, both progressive and conservative, seek to revoke or revise Section 230 as a response to rampant online misinformation and disinformation. While hate speech is indeed a problem on the Internet, changing 230 will not fix that and will only help the big companies, who have armies of lawyers to defend their actions in court. It will crush smaller websites and make our antitrust problems even worse, while also stifling self expression. Instead, Fight is building cross-partisan consensus to address the actual root of the problem: Big Tech’s monopoly power and their surveillance capitalist business model that uses algorithmic amplification and micro-targeting to increase profits while spreading misinformation, manipulating public opinion, and silencing dissent.
WE’RE KEEPING UP THE FIGHT FOR NET NEUTRALITY
The importance of a free and open Internet has become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic, but millions of people are still without reliable, affordable Internet access. That’s why we’re continuing to fight for net neutrality, the principle that everyone should have access to websites and apps, preventing Internet providers like Comcast & Verizon from creating “fast lanes,” censoring content, throttling traffic, and even outright blocking access to their competitor’s products. We’re pushing the new administration to appoint a champion for net neutrality to the FCC and mobilizing millions to demand the agency restore net neutrality. Then, we’ll push Congress to enshrine net neutrality into law.
WE MADE ZOOM PROTECT CALLS FOR EVERYONE, NOT JUST CORPORATIONS
Last year Fight led a coalition of groups that successfully pressured Zoom to offer end-to-end encryption to all 200 million daily users, after the company initially said it would only offer it to paid accounts and corporate clients. It was one of the biggest wins for encryption and privacy rights since the FBI backed down in its spat with Apple.
WE’RE TAKING ON AMAZON’S AUTOCRACY
Fight was the first group to expose how Amazon’s Ring doorbell camera is being used by 1,400+ law enforcement departments to access surveillance data without probable cause. We mobilized more than 50,000 people to demand a full Congressional investigation into these partnerships, made headlines with an open letter sent to Jeff Bezos about the security of Amazon’s election software, and called out the policy of not allowing libraries to purchase or lend e- and audio- books. As an active member of the Athena coalition, we helped build the national Anti-Black Amazon campaign, which called out the company for its firing of Black warehouse workers who speak out about unsafe working conditions and ongoing ties with ICE. We’re also targeting the company’s vast worker surveillance system, which creates a high-injury environment and is used to retaliate against whistleblowers and suppress labor organizing.
You can support Fight for the Future’s impactful work by voting to increase their CREDO grant on www.credodonations.com today.