Contract for the Web: Tim Berners-Lee calls on world governments (and us all) to make the web a force for good

Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and the Web Foundation have launched a "Contract for the Web" for individuals, companies and individuals to sign onto, through which signatories promise to take concrete steps to make the web a force for good. Read the rest

10,000 people are calling for Congress to investigate Amazon Ring

Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "Amazon Ring's surveillance doorbell partnerships with police are spreading like a virus. There are already more than 500 of them across the country. We can fight them at the local level, but at this scale we need Congress to intervene. Amazon is refusing to be transparent about its own policies and relationships with law enforcement. That's why more than 10,000 people have already called on Congress to investigate and demand answers about the impact these partnerships have on our privacy and civil liberties. If you're concerned, you can add your voice here." Read the rest

Stephen Fry explains the vast superiority of UK healthcare to America's omnishambles, which Brexiteers hope to import

After Brexit, Tory leaders are hoping to strike a bilateral trade agreement with the USA that will begin the dismantling of the NHS, starting with a ban on price-controls for pharma and open doors for America's wasteful, cruel, useless health-care insurance mega-corporations. In this video, national treasure Stephen Fry explains how the UK and US systems compare, and how American media lies about the state of the NHS to credulous, mouth-breathing Fox News zombies. If you want to keep the NHS out of any UK-US trade deal, sign the petition here. Learn more about Brexit here. Read the rest

A non-aboriginal business has licensed the copyright on Australia's aboriginal flag, and are making copyright claims against aboriginal businesses

In 1971, the Australian indigenous artist Harold Thomas created the iconic Australian Aboriginal Flag which has since been named one of the "official flags of Australia," which resulted in Thomas successfully suing to assert copyright over the design. Read the rest

History is made: petition opposing the EU's #Article13 internet censorship plan draws more signatures than any petition in human history

As of this writing, the petition opposing Article 13 -- the part of the EU's new Copyright Directive that mandates copyright filters for online communities, services and platforms -- has 4,920,535 signatories, making it the largest petition in the history of our species (edging out this one from 2017). Read the rest

Europeans! Tell your MEPs that your vote depends on their rejection of #Article13!

At the end of March, the European Parliament will sit down to vote on the new Copyright Directive, an unparalleled disaster in the history of internet regulation with the power to wipe out the EU's tech sector, handing permanent control of the internet over to US Big Tech, all in the name of protecting copyright (while simultaneously gutting protection for artists). Read the rest

German Minister of Justice to receive the largest EU petition in history, opposing Article 13 of the Copyright Directive

Katarina Barley, the German Minister of Justice, is set to receive this petition, now signed by more than 4.5 million Europeans, opposing the include of mandatory copyright filters (AKA Article 13) in the new EU Copyright Directive. The petition is the second largest in internet history (after this one) and looks set to surpass it. The Copyright Directive negotiations collapsed last week due to hard-liners in the French delegation, and there are persistent rumours that the German and French negotiators are still trying (and failing) to find common ground. So it's really important that Europeans sign this petition, to show the German ministers that they have the backing of the European people! Tell your friends! Read the rest

Amnesty will stage global protests over Google's spying, censoring Chinese search engine plan

For years, a secret Google team planned a Chinese search-engine that would censor search results and spy on users for the Chinese state authorities; when the existence of this plan was leaked, thousands of googlers objected to the plan, senior staff quit (then others followed), and things have only gotten worse since, with the company being outed for lying about the project when they claimed it was just a pilot program and nowhere near launch. Read the rest

Europeans: call your MEP and stop mandatory, net-wide copyright censorship bots

Ruth from Openmedia writes, "This Thursday legislators in the EU Parliament are voting on proposals in the EU for mass content filters, and restrictions on links, all in the name of 'updating copyright. Read the rest

A petition to demand accountability from the NSA

Fritz Moser, director of the documentary A Good American, about NSA whistleblower Bill Binney who blames the 9/11 attacks on the NSA's capture by corporate contractors who sold it an expensive, useless, self-perpetuating mass-surveillance system, writes, "Since 6 Sept A GOOD AMERICAN is on Netflix and since then I am getting between 10 and 20 emails per day of people telling me how shocked they were by the film and how angry they are, asking what they could do to help. So we came up with this petition. The petition is hosted by a member of Sascha Meinrath's cross-party Civil Liberties Coalition we are working with in Washington DC, backing the cross-party anti-surveillance Caucus in Congress on a grassroots level." Read the rest

Snowden: Public money shouldn't fund software the public isn't allowed to fix

Paul Brown writes, "The FSFE's 'Public Money? Public Code!' campaign wants to convince lawmakers that software created with public funds should be made available to the public under Free Software licences. Read the rest

Sign this petition to replace Confederate memorial with manatee memorial

Manatee County, Florida has a Confederate monument, but a local resident hopes to get it replaced with a memorial to Snooty the Manatee, a legendary manatee who recently died in an accident just after his 69th birthday. Read the rest

Every year, Starbucks sends 4 billion nonrecyclable paper cups to landfills

In 2008, Starbucks publicly acknowledged that the plastic coatings it used on its paper cups made them impossible to recycle using the kinds of equipment deployed by municipalities around the world, and kicked off an annual competition to improve the cup design -- but five years later, it shut the competition down, went on using the unrecyclable cups, and adopted the line that the world's taxpayers should foot the bill for upgrading recycling plants to accommodate its cups. Read the rest

Europeans: tell the EU Parliament to make a modern copyright, fit for the internet age

Timothy from Creative Commons writes, "The purpose of copyright is to empower -- not frustrate! -- creativity and knowledge production. Nowhere is a balanced copyright more important than in education. But 15-year-old EU copyright laws don't take into account modern digital and online teaching methods, tools, and resources." Read the rest

1.278 million Britons petition Parliament to block Trump's state visit, but Theresa May refuses (so far)

A Parliamentary petition to rescind the invitation for Donald Trump to make an official state visit has received nearly 1.3 million signatures in a matter of days, making it the fastest-growing such petition in Parliamentary history. Read the rest

Petition demanding Donald Trump release his tax returns breaks White House record

The petition to "immediately release Donald Trump's full tax returns, with all information needed to verify emoluments clause compliance" has received more signatures (385,845 so far) than any other petition in the White House's We the People petition system's history.

From Huffington Post:

As of Thursday afternoon, the petition had over 368,000 signatures, surpassing the previous record of 367,180. The previous record-holder called for the United States government to “legally recognize the Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group.”

President Donald Trump spoke at the GOP Congressional retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday. He did not bring up his tax returns.

Trump has kept in place former President Barack Obama’s online petition system, which was created in 2011 to increase accessibility to government. The site also still states that a petition with at least 100,000 signatures will get an official response.

A spokesman for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the petition.

Spoiler alert! The response will be: "All the signatures were forged by someone sitting on their bed who weighs 400 pounds." Read the rest

Britons: don't let Trump mine your data

Charlie from Open Rights Group writes, "'I have made it clear in my campaign that I would support and endorse the use of enhanced interrogation techniques.' - Donald Trump, 15/2/2016." Read the rest

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