The notorious USA PATRIOT Act, as you likely know, has been renewed through the end of this calendar year, and that gives us another opportunity to tell our Congressfolk to stop unconstitutional government spying, as Demand Progress helps you do. Congress changed Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act to stop government collection of citizen metadata without a warrant -- though it requires big telecom corporations to collect this information, which our government can then get with a warrant. That ain't nothing, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) deserves credit for forcing the PATRIOT Act's expiration in 2015 (if only for a calendar day) so that its reauthorization would be an improvement. Still, expanded government spying not only violates our civil rights, but doesn't stop terrorist attacks -- though it does give our government even more tools to spy on protestors and folks of color. And you may have noticed that this Administration is openly hostile to protestors and folks of color! So let's make Congress do the right thing.
Meanwhile, speaking of runaway surveillance, you've seen ads for Amazon Ring, right? The video doorbell that allows you to see who's ringing your bell if you're out of the house, or something? Well, turns out over 400 police departments are "partnering" with Amazon to spy on people's homes using their Ring doorbells. They're not putting it like that, of course, and they're taking great pains to say that folks don't have to hand over their footage to police who request them, and it sure is a good thing that police never, ever abuse their power to coerce folks into handing over such info. Seriously, a private corporation with a massive surveillance network is bad enough, but a private corporation with that network collaborating with the police is considerably worse. Hence Fight for the Future helps you tell your local officials to spurn such a partnership with Amazon. While you're at it, you ought to tell Alexa to get the hell out of your house. Being spied on ain't worth the 10 seconds you save because you don't have to physically find Barry White on your iPod.