To Congress:

The Trump administration is accelerating efforts to monitor social media to preempt anti-government protests within the United States.

According to press reports, the U.S. military is funding research into how social-media activity can predict whether mass protests will occur — and the focus of this study is the social-media posts of Americans who oppose President Trump

This type of government surveillance is dangerous and unacceptable. Protest and dissent are vital parts of democracy that must be protected, not undermined by surveillance — and the oppression that might follow.

Congress has a responsibility to rein in this type of domestic surveillance. We urge you to conduct oversight of the military's use of social-media spying and halt any attempt to obstruct political protest in the United States.

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    Stop Trump Spying on Protesters

    Stop the Trump Administration from Spying on Protesters

    The Trump administration is accelerating efforts to monitor social media to preempt anti-government protests within the United States.1

    According to Motherboard, the U.S. military is funding research into how social-media activity can predict mass protest, and the focus of this study is the social-media posts of people in the United States who oppose President Trump.

    This type of government surveillance is dangerous and unacceptable. Protest and dissent are vital parts of democracy that must be protected, not undermined by surveillance — and the oppression that might follow.

    Hugh Handeyside, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU’s National Security Project, has said that “this kind of technology-enabled surveillance of social media will likely suppress dissent and lead to biased targeting of racial and religious minorities.”

    In a time when we are witnessing a dangerous rise in fascism from the far right, and marginalized peoples are facing increasing repression, we cannot allow the government to employ technology that would surveil, track and possibly preempt protests before they even begin.

    Congress has a responsibility to rein in this type of domestic surveillance. Tell your members to conduct oversight of the military's use of social-media spying and halt any attempt to obstruct anti-Trump protests in the United States.

    Congress must step in and protect the public from this dangerous attempt to infringe on our constitutional rights to free speech and dissent.


    1. “Pentagon Wants to Predict Anti-Trump Protests Using Social-Media Surveillance,” Motherboard, Oct. 30, 2018: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/7x3g4x/pentagon-wants-to-predict-anti-trump-protests-using-social-media-surveillance