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February 19, 2016

Apple Encryption: Proving politicians are opposed to security

How you can help Apple resist federal intruders. Retweet

NOTICE: Thank you to everyone who helped with our urgent fundraising drive this week. We are (get this) just $83 shy of our goal. Thank you to everyone who donated. You can still contribute.

Apple is doing something heroic. The Feds are trying to force Apple to break the encryption that protects the privacy of all iPhone users. Apple is refusing to submit. We need to help them.

We have a campaign you can use for this purpose. Our campaign urges Congress to pass the “Surveillance State Repeal Act” (HR 1466). This bill…

  1. Prohibits the government from requiring that surveillance “back-doors” be built into your electronic devices and software
  2. Mandates that the FISA courts utilize technologically competent “Special Masters” — experts who can challenge the veracity of government claims about the need for surveillance
  3. Repeals the PATRIOT Act
  4. Repeals much of the FISA Amendments Act

These changes (especially #1, above) would effectively end the federal assault on Apple and the other companies you rely on to protect your privacy. Our hardwired message to Congress for this campaign reads…

Co-sponsor the “Surveillance State Repeal Act (HR 1466).”

To this you can copy or edit the following sample letter for your personal comments…

You are making me less safe. Your so-called “government” doesn’t protect me; it makes the world more dangerous for me.

First, your foreign policy creates enemies for me and my neighbors. Then, your surveillance efforts threaten us directly.

Now, you’re trying to make me even less secure by making Apple break iPhone encryption. I want all of this to end. Please understand…

The CIA invented a term — blowback — to describe what happens when foreign entities strike back against US policies. I believe all terrorism is blowback, including the recent event in San Bernardino. To best protect me, you should stop meddling in other countries. At the same time…

I want you to end all efforts to spy on me. This is why I want you to pass the “Surveillance State Repeal Act.” But there’s an URGENT problem…

You must put PRESSURE on the FBI to desist in their efforts to make Apple create a tool to break the encryption on their iPhones. This Frankenstein software…

* Runs the risk of empowering cyber-criminals and rogue foreign states to wreak economic havoc on innocent and unsuspecting people — perhaps even me

* Creates a horrific legal precedent that will undermine encryption on every platform

Fortunately, Apple is resisting.

Apple has cooperated with every subpoena and search warrant. Apple has also provided advice and assistance to the FBI beyond that, as they try to gather information about the San Bernardino crime. But when it comes to breaking iPhone encryption, Apple is drawing a line. In a published statement Apple CEO Tim Cook writes,

“…now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.”

I applaud Apple for this stand. Even more importantly…

I want you, as my representative, to do the same. Do both of the following…

* Co-sponsor the “Surveillance State Repeal Act”

* Pressure the FBI to cease asking Apple for a backdoor to the iPhone


Thanks for being an active DC Downsizer,

Jim Babka & Perry Willis

Downsize DC

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