Digital rights group Fight the future announced that it collected 20,000 comments from concerned consumers against the FBI court order that would force Apple to compromise iPhone encryption.
It is going to be a heated day tomorrow, March 22. The FBI and Apple face off in a court hearing. It will not be quite outside the court house as well. Digital rights group Fight for the Future, along with supporters from the ACLU and other groups, will gather outside the U.S. District Courthouse in Riverside, CA during Tuesday’s hearing in the Apple vs FBI case, to display and read aloud comments from thousands of Internet users opposing the FBI’s demand that Apple weaken iPhone security.
The organization has collected so far 20,000 comments in a online campaign at SaveSecurity.org, which has already attracted support from several major tech companies and advocacy groups including reddit, Google, Wikimedia, CREDO Mobile, Private Internet Access, Thunderclap, Goldenfrog, the ACLU, and the Freedom of the Press Foundation, as well as notable technology experts including Bruce Schneier and Cory Doctorow.
Advocates will hold a press conference outside the courthouse at 11:00am PST on Tuesday, March 22nd, and another immediately following the hearing, during which an attorney from the ACLU will be present to explain what transpired inside the courtroom. Activists will be present outside the court during this entire time, showing the thousands of comments comments on a digital display and reading them aloud, while carrying banners and signs.
The #SaveSecurity campaign is being coordinated by Fight for the Future, the digital rights group known for organizing many of the largest Web-based protests in history. The same group was behind nearly 50 rapid response protests outside Apple stores and FBI headquarters last month.
“This case is not just about one phone, it’s about the future of safety and security for millions of people all over the world,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, “We’ll be outside the courthouse to make sure those people’s voices are heard, because what the government is trying to do in this case doesn’t just threaten our basic rights, it puts all of us in danger. Encryption protects our hospitals, airports, and water treatment facilities. Undermining security risks lives.”
ACLU attorney Alex Abdo added, “The outcome of this case could not be more important for the future of privacy and security in the digital age. If the FBI wins, it will have gained the power to force the tech companies to hack their customers. This is a reckless pursuit that threatens to undermine the security of all our devices, not just the one phone at issue in the case.”
Protesters who gathered outside of Apple stores and FBI headquarters last month carried giant iPhone shaped banners with the message “Secure Phones Save Lives,” echoing the concerns of security experts who largely agree that backdoors in encryption technology actually weaken national security and undermine public safety rather than strengthen it.
Fight for the Future is best known for organizing some of the largest online protests in history, including the SOPA blackout against online censorship, Reset the Net to promote encryption and fight government surveillance, and the Internet Slowdown for net neutrality. The #SaveSecurity action will also rally the Internet Defense League, a network of thousands of websites that support Fight for the Future’s campaigns on an ongoing basis.
While tomorrow is all about digital rights, today is about new Apple products. The Apple Media Event on March 21 at the Apple headquarters in Cupertino begins at 10am PDT.
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