Internet browser Mozilla is urging its users to sign a petition to Congress to stop blanket monitoring of Americans by the National Security Agency, saying “security and privacy are not optional.”
A link on the Mozilla Firefox homepage asks users to “stand with a broad coalition to demand that the NSA stop watching us.”
Stopwatching.us has gathered more than a quarter of a million signatures, including the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute and the conservative FreedomWorks and Restore America’s Voice.
Most of the selected signatories on the page are from more liberal groups, such as the Daily Kos, MoveOn.org, Green Peace, and Occupy Wall Street NYC.
Though there is a section for members of Congress who have signed the petition, none are listed as having done so.
“The revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights,” the website says. “We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA’s spying programs.”
After outlining the NSA programs used to monitor metadata from cellphone calls, and PRISM, which looks at actions on the Internet, the petition calls for Congress to take action to stop the collection of data from Americans who are talking to other Americans.
“This type of blanket data collection by the government strikes at bedrock American values of freedom and privacy,” the petition says. “This dragnet surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which protect citizens’ right to speak and associate anonymously, guard against unreasonable searches and seizures, and protect their right to privacy.”
The petition calls for changes to the Patriot Act to make clear that monitoring of domestic phone calls or Internet activity is illegal, creation of a committee to look into domestic spying, and action to hold public officials accountable who are found responsible for “unconstitutional surveillance.”
Earlier this week, Google challenged gag orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, saying in a legal filing Tuesday that it wants more freedom to explain to the public what information it has released to the government. …
The government will not easily give up this information A-bomb they have built.