In the past few weeks, we stopped two horrible warrantless surveillance expansion bills by razor thin margins. If you are following me, no doubt you have heard me talk about these bills relentlessly.

We did that together. No one else played as big of a role in making that happen as we did. Our rapid-response tech organizing, along with action from people like you, stopped those bills from passing despite efforts by pro-surveillance forces to exploit the Orlando tragedy.

But these bills are not dead. Leadership is planning re-votes soon, and according to our sources on the Hill, if we don’t expand our effort to kill them, they will pass this time. Can you contribute $10 so we can squash these surveillance measures for good?

Both the bills would give the U.S. government new expansive powers to access some of your most personal data, without warrants and under strict gag orders. One would force banks to hand over their customers’ financial records, and the other would require ISPs to provide web browsing history and email data.

These bills haven’t had a lot of media coverage, but make no mistake, they would both amount to huge increases in the government’s power to violate your privacy AND security. Banking and web browsing information contains some of the most intimate details about who you are and how you live. And giving this data to the government means more of your sensitive information would be spread around for identity thieves and fraudsters to steal and abuse.

Both bills actually received majority support when they were voted on recently, and we were only able to stop them because of technicalities.

So the next series of votes will be harder for us to defeat. In the House, where the financial data bill is, they will only need 217 votes for passage (they had 229 last time). And in the Senate, where the web and email data bill fell just one vote short of passing, one of the worst surveillance hawks in Congress, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, happened to miss the vote. That almost certainly won’t be the case the next time. Can you contribute $10 so we can defeat these surveillance bills once and for all?  

Yes, I can donate now so we can defeat these surveillance bills once and for all.

Here’s some of what we’ve done so far:

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Such is the ferocity of the response of the Indian military occupation to the latest uprising that nearly 2,000 people suffered grievous or moderate injuries in just two days. In some kind of revanchist frenzy, paramilitaries attacked ambulances, shattered windows and cut off intravenous drips. The government of India and its loyalist representatives have clamped down on communications, social media and civil liberties; there is a near-total curfew everywhere. Phones don’t ring in south Kashmir, where most of the killings took place, and the internet is mostly blocked.
—  Mirza Waheed, ‘India is blinding young Kashmiri protesters – and no one will face justice’, The Guardian
Scorched Earth

At some point yesterday evening a snowball of an idea started rolling through my brain. By the time I got up this morning it had gained momentum somewhat - culminating in not so much a bout of “tinkering” with the various places I frequent online, as carpet bombing them, and planting new seeds in the freshly scorched earth.

I will admit there were moments of doubt while watching countless posts from the past vanish. I think it was Fox Mulder that said “nothing vanishes without a trace” - well obviously he’s never met me, because I arrived reciting lines from a Mafia instruction book - “I want the posts gone, deleted, burned, the trash burned, the backups burned, and then I want the entire site bulldozed into a pit set on fire again”. Suffice to say there was very little left by the time I finished.

So what do I do next? I can’t help thinking writing something would be a good idea.

2016 is the year currently for....

Going outside for the first time in months.

Originally posted by dogiplier

God-Awful Politics.

Originally posted by brooklynmutt

Bad and Good Movie Sequels.

Originally posted by fygeneralzod

Lots of Internet Drama

Originally posted by fetcher-than-you

Hormonal Rages

Originally posted by thefrisky

But then again. Don’t we have some of these every year?

My Daughter, the Blogger

Miss 15 has signed up for a blog on the internet. I’m resisting the temptation to cheer out loud, and do cartwheels around the house. It’s her first blog. After books and movies, this is really the first opportunity I have had as a parent to share something with her that is “our thing” - something we do, that nobody else does. Something to bond over.

She is excited beyond belief at the prospect of having a platform of her own on the internet to record thoughts, ideas, influences, and memories, but also has a mountain to climb in terms of learning about tagging, subscribing, following, liking, re-blogging, and all the other facets of online publishing that we take for granted.

After a few tough months, it’s just nice to see her smiling, laughing, and exploring ways of interacting with the wider world once more.