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We don’t need government minders in our private conversations. That’s because private conversations, whether they happen offline or online, aren’t a public safety menace. They’re not an invitation to criminality, or terrorism, or a threat to children, no matter how many times those tired old lines get repeated. TAKE ACTION TELL CONGRESS: DON’T SPEND TAX MONEY TO BREAK ENCRYPTION Unfortunately, federal law enforcement officials have not stopped asking for backdoor access to Americans’ encrypted messages. FBI Director Christopher Wray did...
Our digital rights are only as strong as our power to enforce them. But when we sue government officials for violating our digital rights, they often get away with it because of a dangerous legal doctrine called “qualified immunity.” Do you think you have a First Amendment right to use your cell phone to record on-duty police officers, or to use your social media account to criticize politicians? Do you think you have a Fourth Amendment right to privacy in the content of your personal emails? Courts often protect these rights. But some judges invoke qualified immunity to avoid affirmatively recognizing them, or if they do recognize them, to avoid holding government officials accountable for violating them. Because of these evasions of judicial responsibility to enforce the Constitution, some government officials continue to invade our digital rights. The time is now for legislatures to repeal this doctrine.
For the first time an American president has proposed a plan that wouldn’t just make a dent in the digital divide, it will end it. By deploying federal resources at the level and scale this country has not seen since electrification nearly 100 years ago, the U.S. will again connect every resident to a necessary service. Like with water and electricity, robust internet access, as the pandemic has proven, is an essential service. And so the effort and resources expended are well-worth it.