Congress: We support the ENCRYPT Act and digital privacy!

Committee on the Judiciary and the Energy and Commerce Committee

You may have heard that the FBI wants Apple to build a backdoor to the iPhone. But that’s just the start. California and New York are now considering bills that would mandate backdoor access to any phone seized as evidence by law enforcement. We’re watching our digital privacy erode before our very eyes -- and we need to act before it’s too late.

Enter Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA), who is co-sponsoring the ENCRYPT Act of 2016, a bill that would override dangerous state bills that outlaw phone encryption. Lieu has spoken out against misguided encryption bans, saying “there’s not a single shred of evidence” such bills would help stop terror attacks.

It’s not every day we see an Asian American champion for digital privacy and civil rights in Congress. And these days, it’s even rarer we see a civil liberties bill with real bipartisan support. But the ENCRYPT Act, co-sponsored by Texas Republican Blake Farenthold, has already been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary and the Energy and Commerce Committee for review. What we need to do now is make sure our representatives know that we’re pushing for this bill, too.

Sign the petition to ask the Committee on the Judiciary and the Energy and Commerce Committee to move the ENCRYPT Act forward.

The state bills the ENCRYPT Act preempts will have dangerous implications for our communities. In New York, where for years a secret NYPD surveillance program kept tabs on every mosque within 100 miles of New York City, law enforcement backdoors would mean an expansion of their ability to breed fear and suspicion in Muslim communities. For Black Lives Matter activists, who have already been subject to monitoring by both the NYPD and the Department of Homeland Security, it would mean smartphones seized during protest arrests could be accessed by law enforcement on false charges.

FBI Director James Comey argues that encryption -- secure communications between authorized parties -- allows bad actors to “go dark,” beyond the reach of government surveillance. That’s true, but as Ted Lieu puts it, “there’s dark spaces all over America, and we don’t want to change that, because we don’t want the FBI in your bedroom or in your home.”

While the ENCRYPT Act wouldn’t impact the federal government’s ability to mandate smartphone backdoors (we’re watching the Apple vs. FBI case on that front) it is a strong step in the right direction. We need to rally behind Lieu and the ENCRYPT Act. Will you take action for our civil liberties and ask the committees to move the bill forward?

Voice your support for digital privacy and the ENCRYPT Act now.
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To: Committee on the Judiciary and the Energy and Commerce Committee
From: [Your Name]

Constituents across the country are demanding you enforce our right to digital privacy. We ask that you move the ENCRYPT Act forward towards a House vote.