February 23, 2016 | By Shahid Buttar

Bay Area Rallies Against FBI Threats to Privacy and Security

EFF, Fight for the Future, and Encryption Supporters Protest Outside the San Francisco Apple Store

EFF Director of Grassroots Activism speaks at Apple store rally.

Dozens of people gathered at the Apple Store in San Francisco this evening to shout their support for the company's position defending privacy and security in the face of irresponsible government demands.

Organized as part of a day of action including events in Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C, and Southern California, the rally in San Francisco was the second in a single week responding to the FBI's latest demands to expand its authority.

Participants came from across the Bay area and across all walks of life. They heard from Fight for the Future campaign manager Charlie Furman, me on behalf of EFF, and Center for Media Justice Executive Director Malkia Cyril, a prolific organizer in the national Black Lives Matter movement. 

Last week's judicial order may have prompted among the most high-profile battles we have seen over device encryption—but this is not the first time, nor is it likely to be the last time, we are called to defend access to tools that can ensure privacy and security.

We're currently preparing an amicus brief supporting Apple's position in the Southern California investigation. Meanwhile, we continue to seek an overdue commitment from the Obama administration, which has yet to respond to the over hundred thousand Americans who have sought greater protection for encryption in the face of the administration's continuing support for the FBI's demands.

We expect Congress to address these issues later this year, and hope that Members learn to separate fact from fiction. Their constituents can play a vital role in ensuring they understand the values at stake, and in exhorting them to do the right thing.


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