What's cooler than being cool? Hundreds of musicians protesting ICE and Amazon

Stop, collaborate, and listen: Amazon's complicit in ICE's extraditions (plus other abuses of human rights enabled by that agency's authoritarian agenda)

That's why hundreds of musicians—nearly 500, at the time of this writing, though it was just over 100 when news broke Thursday morning—have signed onto an open letter pledging to boycott Amazon festivals, events, and other exclusive deals until the tech giant stops enabling the systematic abuses of Immigration Customs Enforcement. The list of signatories includes Guy Picciotto of Fugazi, as well as Ted Leo, Immortal Technique, Downtown Boys, Thursday, WHY?, Jeff Rosenstock, the Mowglis, War on Women, Diet Cig, Tim Kasher (of Cursive/The Good Life), and many more.

These are the demands for Amazon, directly from that open letter:

Terminate existing contracts with military, law enforcement, and government agencies (ICE, CBP, ORR) that commit human rights abuses

Stop providing Cloud services & tools to organizations (such as Palantir) that power the US government's deportation machine

End projects that encourage racial profiling and discrimination, such as Amazon's facial recognition product

Reject future engagements w/ aforementioned bad actors.

I signed my own band onto the list earlier this week, after catching wind of the movement on Twitter. (I tried to pull our songs from all Amazon-affiliated services, but our distro service makes that difficult to do.) My friends in the Kominas mentioned something about it, and then I noticed Deerhoof interacting with Sadie Dupois of Speedy Ortiz and Sad13, following up on the recent op-ed by Tom Morello and Evan Greer of Fight For The Future (both musicians and activists in their own rights). Read the rest

Speakout Tech: a call for tech worker whistleblowers

Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "It seems like every day we learn more about the creepy things big tech companies are doing with our personal data. But so much is still shrouded in secrecy. That's why we're launching a new campaign calling on employees of Silicon Valley companies to blow the whistle on unethical uses of technology. And poetically, we're crowdfunding and using Facebook's own microtargeting system to target video ads directly at employees of the biggest tech companies. We need to show people who work in tech that we'll have their back if they stand up for what's right. Check out the video and please share! Read the rest

Sign the open letter: European businesses concerned about US changes to net neutrality

Josh from Fight for the Future writes, "The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is threatening to rollback its net neutrality protections, which help make the Internet a place of equal opportunity and international innovation." Read the rest

Billboards go up targeting lawmakers who voted to gut Internet privacy

Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "The Internet strikes back! Hundreds of people chipped in small amounts to crowdfund these billboards targeting U.S. lawmakers who voted to gut the FCC's Internet privacy rules and allow ISPs like Comcast and Verizon to collect and sell their customers' personal information and web browsing history without our consent. Check out photos of the billboards here. Read the rest