Please call your member of congress about NSA Surveillance

Martin Fowler: 11 Feb 2014

If you are a U.S. voter, please take a couple of minutes and add your voice to the telephone calls being made as part of the theDayWeFightBack. I just did this myself, using the phone tool you can reach from the banner at the bottom of my web pages.

To do this I gave the banner my phone number and the phone tool called me. I used the keypad to tap in my zip code and the tool figured out who my members of congress were - 2 senators and one representative. It then put me through to each congressional office in turn. In two cases I talked to a staffer (who probably received a lot of these calls today). I told them I was a constituent and was calling to oppose NSA surveillance, to urge their support of the USA Freedom Act and opposition to the FISA Improvements act. They asked for my name and contact info and I expect logged me into some database somewhere. One office didn’t answer, and I left the same information in a message.

It’s a quick and painless procedure, even for a long term telephone-phobe like me. It also may not feel like you are having much impact, but members of congress do pay attention to the total numbers. One call may not make a big difference, but many calls over the period of a protest do. Each call adds a little bit of weight and makes members realize that this is an important issue. There’s also the opportunity to email, but phone if you can as congress gives more weight to phone calls.

(If you’re not in the U.S. then the banner invites you to sign a petition, this may be not be as good as a congressional phone call, but it’s still worth doing.)

An article in The Verge is a useful bit of further background on this effort and why it’s worth supporting.

Please do try and do this today (but you can do it later if you can’t make it today). Reversing mass surveillance is going to be a long battle, and this is only one step. But the bigger flood of calls we are able to direct to congress, the better our chances. It may be hard to win this battle, but it’s one we need to fight, and I intend to do what I can to help.