The answer to that question is “maybe.” I don’t really know.
I do know that yesterday, our posts to nearly 130,000 people, which used to reach a minimum of 2000 in the first hour or so, dropped to about 200. Suddenly and quickly, our reach has been cut by about 90%.
Then today, this article came out in VICE, noting that one of the lobbying firms directly working to kill our state-level 4th Amendment Protection bills against NSA spying, appear to be representing Facebook.
Statements like this suggest Zuckerberg and his industry peers would support legislative efforts to rein in surveillance, and it’s true that they’ve called for reform in letters to the Senate Judiciary Committee applauding a bill known as the USA Freedom Act. Google, Facebook, and six other tech giants have even hired a firm that claims to fight NSA surveillance on their behalf.
The real action, however, has been much subtler, with the industry wielding its influence behind closed doors using two lobbying groups to oppose certain restrictions on internet surveillance: the IT Alliance for Public Sector (ITAPS) and the State Privacy and Security Coalition (SPSC). A look at the actions of these two groups suggests that the companies want reform, sure, but only on terms that don’t affect their day-to-day business.
In particular, VICE has uncovered that ITAPS and SPSC have sent letters to politicians lobbying against the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, a wide-sweeping bill that would limit the NSA’s ability to read private electronic communications without a warrant.
Yes, that’s our 4th Amendment Protection Act. And yes, those lobbying groups have been very aggressive in working to get them killed in Arizona, Tennessee and elsewhere.
Coincidence? Maybe. Interesting? Definitely