danah boyd At EFF Pioneer Awards: Facing the Great Reckoning Head-On

danah boyd was given an EFF Pioneer Award last week and she gave an important acceptance speech that we support whole-heartedly.

Please take a minute to read it. (It’s short!)

Or, at least read these excerpts below. :)

danah boyd (left) with Cindy Cohn, EFF’s Executive Director

Facing the Great Reckoning Head-On

by danah boyd.

Audio of danah’s speech here.

From danah’s speech:

And so, if my recognition means anything, I need it to be a call to arms. We need to all stand up together and challenge the status quo. The tech industry must start to face The Great Reckoning head-on. My experiences are all-too common for women and other marginalized peoples in tech. And it it also all too common for well-meaning guys to do shitty things that make it worse for those that they believe they’re trying to support…

The Great Reckoning is in front of us. How we respond to the calls for justice will shape the future of technology and society. We must hold accountable all who perpetuate, amplify, and enable hate, harm, and cruelty. But accountability without transformation is simply spectacle. We owe it to ourselves and to all of those who have been hurt to focus on the root of the problem. We also owe it to them to actively seek to not build certain technologies because the human cost is too great.

My ask of you is to honor me and my story by stepping back and reckoning with your own contributions to the current state of affairs. No one in tech — not you, not me — is an innocent bystander. We have all enabled this current state of affairs in one way or another. Thus, it is our responsibility to take action. How can you personally amplify underrepresented voices? How can you intentionally take time to listen to those who have been injured and understand their perspective? How can you personally stand up to injustice so that structural inequities aren’t further calcified? The goal shouldn’t be to avoid being evil; it should be to actively do good.

The above quotes with more context, from danah’s speech:

Joi Ito became a dear friend and mentor. He was that guy who made sure I got home OK. He was also that guy who took being called-in seriously, changing his behavior in profound ways when I challenged him to reflect on the cost of his actions. That made me deeply respect him.

I also met John Perry Barlow around the same time. We became good friends and spent lots of time together. Here was another tech luminary who had my back when I needed him to. A few years later, he asked me to forgive a friend of his, a friend whose sexual predation I had witnessed first hand. He told me it was in the past and he wanted everyone to get along. I refused, unable to convey to him just how much his ask hurt me. Our relationship frayed and we only talked a few times in the last few years of his life.

So here we are… I’m receiving this award, named after Barlow less than a week after Joi resigned from an institution that nearly destroyed me after he socialized with and took money from a known pedophile. Let me be clear — this is deeply destabilizing for me. I am here today in-no-small-part because I benefited from the generosity of men who tolerated and, in effect, enabled unethical, immoral, and criminal men. And because of that privilege, I managed to keep moving forward even as the collateral damage of patriarchy stifled the voices of so many others around me. I am angry and sad, horrified and disturbed because I know all too well that this world is not meritocratic. I am also complicit in helping uphold these systems…

I am grateful to EFF for this honor, but there are so many underrepresented and under-acknowledged voices out there trying to be heard who have been silenced. And they need to be here tonight and they need to be at tech’s tables. Around the world, they are asking for those in Silicon Valley to take their moral responsibilities seriously. They are asking everyone in the tech sector to take stock of their own complicity in what is unfolding and actively invite others in.

And so, if my recognition means anything, I need it to be a call to arms. We need to all stand up together and challenge the status quo. The tech industry must start to face The Great Reckoning head-on. My experiences are all-too common for women and other marginalized peoples in tech. And it it also all too common for well-meaning guys to do shitty things that make it worse for those that they believe they’re trying to support.

If change is going to happen, values and ethics need to have a seat in the boardroom. Corporate governance goes beyond protecting the interests of capitalism. Change also means that the ideas and concerns of all people need to be a part of the design phase and the auditing of systems, even if this slows down the process. We need to bring back and reinvigorate the profession of quality assurance so that products are not launched without systematic consideration of the harms that might occur. Call it security or call it safety, but it requires focusing on inclusion. After all, whether we like it or not, the tech industry is now in the business of global governance…

The Great Reckoning is in front of us. How we respond to the calls for justice will shape the future of technology and society. We must hold accountable all who perpetuate, amplify, and enable hate, harm, and cruelty. But accountability without transformation is simply spectacle. We owe it to ourselves and to all of those who have been hurt to focus on the root of the problem. We also owe it to them to actively seek to not build certain technologies because the human cost is too great.

My ask of you is to honor me and my story by stepping back and reckoning with your own contributions to the current state of affairs. No one in tech — not you, not me — is an innocent bystander. We have all enabled this current state of affairs in one way or another. Thus, it is our responsibility to take action. How can you personally amplify underrepresented voices? How can you intentionally take time to listen to those who have been injured and understand their perspective? How can you personally stand up to injustice so that structural inequities aren’t further calcified? The goal shouldn’t be to avoid being evil; it should be to actively do good. But it’s not enough to say that we’re going to do good; we need to collectively define — and hold each other to — shared values and standards.

People can change. Institutions can change. But doing so requires all who harmed — and all who benefited from harm — to come forward, admit their mistakes, and actively take steps to change the power dynamics. It requires everyone to hold each other accountable, but also to aim for reconciliation not simply retribution.

Help Ban Facial Recognition in Berkeley

The EFF has this great page set up where you can write a letter to Berkeley’s City Council, telling them to ban facial recognition in the City of Berkeley.

You can also attend the Public Safety Committee Meeting tomorrow, Monday, September 16, at 10:00 am, and let your voice be heard. (Members of the Aaron Swartz Day Police Surveillance Project & Oakland Privacy will be there.)

What: PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE SPECIAL MEETING

When: September 16th (Monday)

Time: 10:00 am

Where: 2180 Milvia, 6th floor, “Redwood Room”

Here is the AGENDA with the language of the proposed ordinance.

See you there!

Language of EFF Letter you can send:

To: council@cityofberkeley.info
Subject: I Support the ban on face surveillance in Berkeley.

Dear Members of the City Council,

I am writing to urge you to pass the proposed ordinance banning government use of face recognition technology in Berkeley.

Berkeley residents wouldn’t support a law requiring every resident to wear a visible identification badge. And, we definitely don’t support being covertly monitored as we move through the city to attend prayer, visit doctors, or spend time with loved ones.

I ask you to stand with your constituents and vote in support of the ordinance banning government use of face surveillance in Berkeley.

Sincerely,

 

Oakland Privacy’s Brian Hofer at the 2019 EFF Pioneer Awards

The EFF has made a full transcription of the entire 2019 Pioneer Awards available here.

Video of Brian Hofer’s speech on YouTube here.

See video/transcriptions for Tracy Rosenberg & Mike Katz-Lacabe.

oakland privacy

EFF’s nash Sheard presents a 2019 Barlow Award to members of Oakland Privacy (Left to right: Nathan “nash” Sheard, Tracy Rosenberg, Brian Hofer, Mike Katz-Lacabe)

Brian Hofer’s Speech:

So my name is Brian Hofer, I recently left Oakland Privacy. I founded Secure Justice with a handful of our coalition partners that are, some of who are in this room tonight. And we’re going to continue carrying on the fight against surveillance, just like Oakland Privacy. I also had the privilege of chairing the city of Oakland’s Commission, as you heard earlier, and it’s an honor and a privilege to be recognized by EFF for the same reasons that my former colleagues have been saying, because you’ve been standing next to us in the trenches. You’ve seen us at the meetings, lobbying, joined in the long hours waiting at city council meetings late at night just for that two minute opportunity that Nash is now an expert at. You know how much labor goes into these efforts, and so I really want to thank you for standing next to us.

This path has been pretty unexpected for me. I quit a litigation job, was unemployed, and I read this East Bay Express article by Darwin BondGraham and Ali Winston based on public record requests that Oakland Privacy members had founded. And there’s a little side bar in that journal that the very next day, just fate I guess, that this upstart group Oakland Privacy was meeting and that I could attend it. It’s even more strange to me that I stayed. It was a two hour discussion about papier-mache street puppets and the people asking me if I was a cop when I walked in. Nobody wanted to sit next to me.

So when I finally spoke up and asked how many city council members they spoke to, the room got quiet. And so that became my job, because I was the one guy in the suit. At the honorable Linda Lye’s going away party a couple months ago, I remarked that if we had lost the Domain Awareness Center vote, I would have never become an activist. I would have returned to my couch. I spent hundreds of hours on that project, and I would have been really disillusioned. But March 4th, 2014, which was the vote, is still the greatest day of my life. We generated international headlines by defeating the surveillance state in the true power to the people sense.

It was quite a contrast the following morning, on the Oakland Privacy list, when the naysayers thought the world had ended in calamity. Little did they know, that was the formation of the ad hoc privacy commission; we were about to change the conversation around surveillance and community control. EFF is directly responsible for helping us form that privacy commission in Oakland, and so it’s my turn to congratulate you. Matt Cagle of the ACLU, Dia Kayyali, and myself were sitting around trying to figure out how to make it a permanent thing, and we noticed that another piece of technology was on the agenda. We didn’t have any mandate or authority to write a privacy policy for it. But Dia signed a letter with me asking that we be given that task.

It worked, and that established the Privacy Commission as a policy writing instrument that remains today. As our colleagues were saying, that’s been the launching pad for a lot of this legislative success around the greater Bay Area. It’s the first of many dominoes to fall. I want to close with a challenge to EFF——and not your staff—like any non-profit, they’re overworked and underpaid, because I’m sending them work and I don’t pay for it. I was supposed to insert an Adam Schwartz joke there.

I believe that we’re in a fight for the very fabric of this nation. Trump, people think he’s a buffoon. He’s very effective at destroying our civic institutions. The silent majority is silent, secure in their privilege, or too afraid or unaware how to combat what’s going on. So I’m going to tell you a dirty secret about Oakland Privacy: we’re not smarter than anyone else. We have no independently wealthy people. We have no connections. We didn’t get a seat at the table via nepotism or big donations. We have no funding for the tens of thousands of volunteer hours spent advocating for human rights. And yet as you heard from the previous speakers, the formula of watching agendas, which anyone with an Internet connection can do in their pajamas, submitting public record requests, which anyone can do in their pajamas, and showing up relentlessly, which in Berkeley and Oakland, you can do in your pajamas—that led to a coalition legislative streak that will never be duplicated. That four year run will never happen again. So I ask that you challenge your membership to do the same, pajamas optional. We need numbers. We need people to get off their couch, like me, for the first time. The Domain Awareness Center was literally the first time I ever walked inside the open city hall, and I apologize for the police lingo, but your membership is the force multiplier and it’s critical that more folks get involved. If you don’t already know, somehow next week turned onto facial recognition ban week. Berkeley, Portland, Emeryville, we have our Georgetown national convening where I know EFF will be. It’s critical that new diverse faces start showing up instead of the same actors. As Tracy said, they can see us from a mile away. We need more people.

In October, we expect four more cities to jump on board. Only one is in California, demonstrating that this isn’t just a Bay Area bubble. It’s got legs. And like the Domain Awareness Center moment, we’ve got a chance to change the national conversation, and we better take advantage of it. Thank you for this honor and thank you for this award.

Oakland Privacy’s Tracy Rosenberg at the 2019 EFF Pioneer Awards

The EFF has made a full transcription of the entire 2019 Pioneer Awards available here.

Video of Tracy Rosenberg’s speech on YouTube here.

See video/transcriptions for Mike Katz-Lacabe and Brian Hofer.

oakland privacy

EFF’s nash Sheard presents a 2019 Barlow Award to members of Oakland Privacy (Left to right: Nathan “nash” Sheard, Tracy Rosenberg, Brian Hofer, Mike Katz-Lacabe)

Tracy Rosenberg’s speech:

Thank you, Mike, and hi, everyone, and thank you so much for this wonderful award. We are honored.

We’re splitting up the speaking here because Oakland Privacy is a coalition and is a collective, and that’s important to us. We have no hierarchy after all these years, and I’ve been doing this for five years. All that I get to call myself is a member. That’s all I am.

I want to highlight, there are people in the audience that are not coming up on stage. J.P. Massar, Don Fogg, Leah Young. There are people that are not here whose names I won’t mention since they’re not here, but it’s always a coalition effort.

And this week I’ve been jumping up and down because the broader coalition that includes EFF and Consumer Reports and ACLU and a bunch of other people, we just stood down the Chamber of Commerce, the tech industry, and pretty much every business in California in order to keep the Consumer Privacy Act intact.

There were six people on a whole bunch of conference calls, you don’t want to know how many, and somehow we actually did it. It’s official as of today. There is power in coalition work.

I’m incredibly grateful to Oakland Privacy because I was incredibly upset about the encroaching surveillance state, and I didn’t know what to do. And in the end, in 2013, Oakland Privacy showed me what I could do, and I will never be able to repay the group for that.

I was thinking back to our first surveillance transparency ordinance in Santa Clara. EFF actually came down, and they took a picture of me speaking at that meeting and put it on their blog, and I thought, I wish I could put into words what lay behind that picture, which was 11 stinking months of going down to Santa Clara and sitting in that room with the goddamn Finance and Governmental Operations Committee where they were trying to bury our ordinance because let’s face it, the powers that be don’t want transparency. And every month standing there and saying, “I’m not going to let you do that. I’m just not.”

We succeeded. It became law, I think it was June 7th, 2016, which doesn’t feel like that long ago. And now there are 12. Eight of them are here in the Bay Area, a couple in Massachusetts, Seattle, and somehow Nashville did it without us and more power to them.

So I think that’s pretty much what I kind of want to say here. I mean, what Oakland Privacy does fundamentally is we watch. The logo is the eye of Sauron, and well, I’m not a Tolkien geek, but I deal with what I am a part of. Hey look—I went to a basement, it was all guys. It is what it is. It’s a little more gender-balanced now, but not entirely. But the point is that eye kind of stands for something important because it’s the eye of “we are watching,” and in really mechanical terms, we try to track every single agenda of God knows how many city councils there are in the Bay Area. I think we’re watching about 25 now, and if a couple more of you would volunteer, we might make that 35.

But the point is, and every time there’s a little action going on locally that’s just making the surveillance state that much worse, we try to intervene. And we show up and the sad truth is that at this point, they can kind of see us coming from a mile away, and they’re like, “Oh, great. You guys came to see us.” But the point is, that’s our opportunity to start that conversation. Oakland is a laboratory, it’s a place where we can … And Oakland’s not perfect. All that you need to do is take a look at OPD and you know that Oakland’s not perfect. Right? But it’s a place where we’ve been able to ask the questions and we’re basically trying to export that as far as it possibly can, and we go there and we ask the questions.

And really, the most important part to me and the part that gives me hope is we get a lot of people that come to the basement to talk to us and basically share with us how dystopia is coming, which we know. It’s here. There’s no hope, right? But when those people find the way to lift up their voices and say no, that’s what gives me hope. So thank you. Thank you and Brian Hofer is also going to make a final set of comments. Thank you.

 

Oakland Privacy’s Mike Katz-Lacabe at the 2019 EFF Pioneer Awards

The EFF has made a full transcription of the entire 2019 Pioneer Awards available here.

Video of Mike Katz-Lacabe’s speech on YouTube here.

See video/transcriptions for Tracy Rosenberg and Brian Hofer.

oakland privacy

EFF’s nash Sheard presents a 2019 Barlow Award to members of Oakland Privacy (Left to right: Nathan “nash” Sheard, Tracy Rosenberg, Brian Hofer, Mike Katz-Lacabe)

Mike Katz-Lacabe’s speech:

So I first have to confess I’m not just a member of the EFF. I’m also a client. Thank you to Mitch Stoltz and your team for making sure that public records that I unearth remain available on the Internet for others to see.

So as Nash said, Oakland Privacy’s strength comes not just from the citizens that volunteer as part of its group, but also from the coalitions that we build. And certainly every victory that is credited to us is the result of many, many other coalition members, whether in some cases it’s the EFF or the ACLU or local neighborhood activists. It’s really a coalition of people that makes us stronger and helps us get the things done that sometimes we not always deservedly get as much credit for. So I want to make sure to call out those other groups and to recognize that their work is important as well and critical for us.

My work for Oakland Privacy comes from the belief that only from transparency can you have oversight, and from oversight derives accountability. So many examples of technology that have been acquired and used by law enforcement agencies in the Bay Area were never known about by the city councils that oversaw those police agencies.

In the city of Oakland, it was seven years after the city of Oakland acquired its stingray cell site simulator that the city of Oakland and the city council became aware of the use of that device by the police. In my city, I live in San Leandro, it was five years before the city council became aware of our city’s use of license plate readers and a very notorious photo of me getting out of my car that was taken by a passing license plate reader got published on the Internet.

We do our best work when working together. That’s been said. Let me give you … speaking of stories, I’ll take take off from Adam’s talk here. For example, recently journalist Caroline Haskins obtained a bunch of documents pertaining to Ring, you may know the Ring doorbell, and its relationship with police departments. A post about a party that Ring held at the International Association of Chiefs of Police meeting with basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, where each attendee got five free Ring doorbells. That was highlighted by EFF Senior Investigative Researcher Dave Maass.

I, or we as Oakland Privacy, we then found a social media post by the police chief of Dunwoody, Georgia saying, “Hey, look at this great party with Ring, and there’s Shaq.” Dave then went and took that information, went back and looked at Dunwoody and found that subsequently, a few months later, Dunwoody was proud to announce the first law enforcement partnership with Ring in the state of Georgia. What a coincidence.

Oftentimes it’s these coalitions working together that result in prying public records free and then establishing the context around them. The work we do involves very, very exciting things: Public records requests, lobbying of public officials and meeting with public officials, speaking at city council meetings and board of supervisors meetings. We’re talking, this is, primo excitement here.

So, as was mentioned, our work with Oakland Privacy was helpful in getting the first privacy advisory commission, an actual city of Oakland commission going, within the city of Oakland. It’s this organization, led by chair Brian Hofer, that passes policies regarding surveillance technologies, and not only passes policies but actually digs down and finds out what surveillance technologies the city of Oakland has. It has been a model for cities and counties, and we’re proud that our work will continue there in addition to working on many other issues surrounding surveillance.

In fact, I would be very happy to tell you that we’ve had … just recently the California assembly and the Senate passed a ban on the use of face surveillance on body-worn cameras. Again, our work with coalitions there makes the difference. And now, I would like to introduce another member of Oakland Privacy, Tracy Rosenberg.

 

Berkeley Delays Implementing Surveillance Policy Despite Ordinance Passed Over A Year and a Half Ago

New Interview with Tracy Rosenberg of Oakland Privacy and the Aaron Swartz Day Police Surveillance Project (ASDPSP) about Berkeley’s delay in implementing its Surveillance Policy.

Come to our premiere “First Fridays” event in Berkeley on September 6th, 6-7:30pm: A Raw Thought Surveillance Salon (use the discount code “AaronSwartzDay” for a super-discounted ticket :-) TICKETS

The bottom line is that, in July 2017, although several members of the city council promised that the data collected by Berkeley’s license plate readers would never be shared with law enforcement, some badly worded language was also approved, during the same meeting.

That same bad language (for regulating license plate reader data) is now in danger of being accepted as part of the new Surveillance Policy – not as a placeholder until the policy is implemented (as we previously stated).

Turns out that the Oakland Privacy and the ACLU had to write a letter to the City of Berkeley earlier this year, threatening to sue the city, if the city council did not start “creating draft policies & putting them through the approval process.” So, this latest attempt of pushing through bad language from two years ago is just the city council making good on its word of getting started. ^_^

The problem is that we really need to start from scratch writing Berkeley’s surveillance policy, not pick up where we left off, using the bad language proposed in July of 2017.

From the Interview:

ASDPSP: So, in March of 2018, Berkeley passed a surveillance transparency ordinance. The ordinance required that a surveillance policy framework be put in place, similar to the one that currently exists for the City of Oakland (note that the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department is excluded), and is in the process of being put in place for the City of San Francisco.

Tracy: Correct.

ASDPSP: And to date, after a year and a half, a surveillance use policy framework for the data collected by Berkeley’s automated license plate readers has still not been put into place by the City Council?

Tracy: Correct.

ASDPSP: And the reason for this is that that process has been delayed by certain members of the City Council, such as Dee Williams-Ridley, the City Manager, and also by Berkeley Police Chief Greenwood?

Tracy: Yes. They have not been quick to get things moving.

In July of 2017, the City Council (with 3 dissenting votes) expanded the City’s license plate reader “pilot program” by adding 15 additional readers and making the program permanent.

But at that meeting, the purpose of the ALPR equipment was clearly defined as parking enforcement and the issuing of parking citations.

ASDPSP:  So we have basically been using the honor system, and have no guarantees that the data won’t be handed over to law enforcement agencies in the future, since there is still no specific policy in place ensuring that parking is the only way that the data will be used? And without a policy in place, there are loopholes allowing the cops to use the data in other ways?

Tracy: Yes, at a Police Review Commission subcommittee meeting on August 7th, a proposed license plate reader policy included some very broad permanent additions for the way that law enforcement can use the data, such as “Supporting a patrol operation or a criminal investigation” and “Canvassing license plates around any crime scene.”

Also proposed was authorizing sharing the data with any outside law enforcement or prosecutorial agency for any official law enforcement purpose (absent federal immigration enforcement officials).

ASDPSP: Whoa. Hold on there. That’s exactly how we don’t want license plate readers to be used.

Tracy: Yup. Certainly at a minimum, not parking. And pretty much the way most law enforcement agencies currently use license plate readers. For broad law enforcement purposes without probable cause or reasonable suspicion.

 

Executive Summary of Chelsea’s “Grumbles Motion”

Index of Materials re: Chelsea’s Resistance to Two Grand Jury Subpoenas

Executive Summary of Chelsea Manning’s “Grumbles” Motion.

A “Grumbles” motion is actually a “Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Release”  (It’s called a “Grumbles” motion because the first people to argue it were Don and Patricia Grumbles.)

But what does it really explain and why is the case law it contains so important in Chelsea’s case?

Read the Executive Summary by Kelly Wright to find out. :-)

Excerpts from the Executive Summary:

If there is no coercive effect to their confinement, either because the grand jury has ended, or because there is no possible way they will be convinced to comply with the order to testify, then the confinement must be deemed punitive, and must end…

Simkin v. US, establishes that incarcerated witnesses must be freed from confinement if conditions arise that makes purging their contempt impossible. This would include not only the conclusion of the grand jury investigation, but cases in which the witness can demonstrate that their convictions make them “non-coercible.”…

To determine whether a witness is incoercible, judges review evidence of their character and beliefs, and if the judge is convinced that the confinement has no coercive effect, then it has, by definition, exceeded its lawful scope. Such a judgment would require the witness’ immediate release…

Some of the factors that may go into making an “individualized determination” as to the intransigence of the witness are:

  1. the length of confinement

  2. the witness’ connection to what is being investigated

  3. the basis for refusal

  4. the presumed need for the witness’ unique testimony

  5. the witness’ community support

  6. the witness’ conduct and demeanor.

     

    Read the whole Executive Summary here.

Chelsea’s Grand Jury Cases: Statements & Legal Documents

Index of Materials re: Chelsea’s Resistance to Two Grand Jury Subpoenas

Updated August 7, 2019

August 7, 2019: Judge Says Chelsea Manning Can Pay Fines, Despite Evidence to the Contrary

Read the  Letter from Chelsea Manning to Judge Anthony Trenga, where Chelsea explains the history of grand juries, after reflecting long and hard on the reasons for her resistance, at the request of Judge Anthony Trenga  (original in PDF)

To keep up with developments, please follow the Chelsea Resists Twitter feed here.      Donate to her Legal Fund here.

Updated Index:

Solitary Confinement Statement From Chelsea’s Support Committee – March 23, 2019

Chelsea is being held in solitary confinement. See the definition of solitary confinement compared to the jail’s own definition of the “Administrative Segregation” conditions under which Chelsea is being held:

Chelsea’s statement March 8th (from her Twitter account):

“I will not comply with this, or any other grand jury. Imprisoning me for my refusal to answer questions only subjects me to additional punishment for my repeatedly-stated ethical objections to the grand jury system.

The grand jury’s questions pertained to disclosures from nine years ago, and took place six years after and in-depth computer forensics case, in which I testified for almost a full day about these events. I stand by my previous public testimony.

I will not participate in a secret process that I morally object to, particularly one that has been historically used to entrap and persecute activists for protected political speech.”

Daniel Ellsberg’s Statement of Support

From the Freedom of the Press Foundation website:

“Chelsea Manning is again acting heroically in the name of press freedom, and it’s a travesty that she has been sent back to jail for refusing to testify to a grand jury. An investigation into WikiLeaks for publishing is a grave threat to all journalists’ rights, and Chelsea is doing us all a service for fighting it. She has already been tortured, spent years in jail, and has suffered more than enough. She should be released immediately.”

Chelsea Resists Legal Defense Fund: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/chelsea-manning-needs-legal-funds-to-resist-a-grand-jury-subpoena

Address for writing Chelsea in Jail:

Chelsea Elizabeth Manning
A0181426
William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center
2001 Mill Road
Alexandria, VA 22314

Dos and Don’ts for Writing Chelsea in Jail (IMPORTANT)

Statement from Chelsea Manning Regarding Grand Jury and Consequences Associated with Her Refusal – March 7, 2019:

Statement from Chelsea Manning Regarding Grand Jury and Consequences Associated with Her Refusal

“Yesterday, I appeared before a secret grand jury after being given immunity for my testimony. All of the substantive questions pertained to my disclosures of information to the public in 2010—answers I provided in extensive testimony, during my court-martial in 2013. I responded to each question with the following statement: ‘I object to the question and refuse to answer on the grounds that the question is in violation of my First, Fourth, and Sixth Amendment, and other statutory rights.’

“In solidarity with many activists facing the odds, I will stand by my principles. I will exhaust every legal remedy available. My legal team continues to challenge the secrecy of these proceedings, and I am prepared to face the consequences of my refusal.”

Past Statements by Chelsea & her legal and suport team:

References: (work in progress – will keep adding to this)

1. Why Chelsea Manning Decided to Go to Jail in Protest, March 8, 2019, by Dell Cameron for Gizmodo https://gizmodo.com/why-chelsea-manning-decided-to-go-to-jail-in-protest-1833164311

“Manning, whose right to remain silent was supplanted as part of the grand jury process, was subpoenaed last month in the U.S. Justice Department’s not-so-sealed investigation into Julian Assange. Her defiance of this secret inquisition, however, is not about protecting the WikiLeaks founder at all.

Manning says she is resisting because she, like many other politically minded Americans, believes grand juries are an illegal instrument designed to aide prosecutors on fishing expeditions; a tool for stripping witnesses of their constitutional rights that has been historically used against peaceful political activists by men in power who would have them labelled “terrorists” and “enemies of the state…”

“Manning’s association with WikiLeaks nearly a decade ago was dissected in exhaustive detail during her 2013 court-martial, in which all manner of evidence about her brief contact with WikiLeaks, including the transcripts of their conversations, was presented. But now she is meant to regurgitate that story based on her own flawed memories while under the threat of prolonged incarceration if she finds any reason to refuse.

“We hope she changes her mind now,” the prosecutor, Tracy McCormick, told the Associated Press.

Although Manning is constitutionally protected from double jeopardy—from being charged twice for the same crime—her political right to silence has effectively been stripped away…”

2. Chelsea Manning Fights Subpoena — Showing How Federal Grand Juries Are Unaccountable Tools of Repression – By Natasha Lennard, March 2 2019 https://theintercept.com/2019/03/02/chelsea-manning-subpoena-grand-jury/

“Manning’s decision to fight her subpoena is an act of resistance against government repression and in defense of a free press.”

 

3. Chelsea Manning’s Lawyers Say No Formal Accusation She Gave False Statements During Court Martial (By Dell Cameron For Gizmodo)

4. Court Unseals Documents Regarding Chelsea Manning Subpoena (Documents are available via Lawfareblog)

5. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Chelsea’s Appeal & Bail Motion last Monday, April 22. Here are statements from Chelsea and her team: https://www.sparrowmedia.net/2019/04/chelsea-manning-and-her-attorneys-respond-to-4th-circuit-court-of-appeals-ruling-affirming-contempt-and-continuing-her-detention/

6. Chelsea has been let out of her solitary confinement conditions (Administrative Segregation), the definition of which, is nearly identical to the UN Special Rapporteur on torture’s definition of solitary confinement.

 

New Index of Resources re: Chelsea’s Resistance to Two Grand Jury Subpoenas

Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning has been in jail 145 days as of August 5, 2019.

We’ve created this new index of all of our resource pages about Chelsea’s grand jury resistance fight.

Included on it is her filed declaration, where she explains why she’s being held and what her life is like in jail:

Declaration of Chelsea Manning

From the declaration:

In jail at ADC, I try every day to maintain my physical, mental, and intellectual capacities, as well as some modicum of human dignity. I live a quiet social life in a housing unit that holds a dozen people, who rotate frequently. I try to occupy myself with crossword and sudoku puzzles in the absence of good reading material. I try to stay positive despite the aftermath of isolation and the knowledge that my life once again is put on hold for a few more years, potentially…

Despite the heartbreak and hardship, cooperation with this grand jury is simply not an option. Doing so would mean throwing away all of my principles, accomplishments, sacrifices, and erase decades of my reputation – an obvious impossibility…

As before, I cannot regain the lost time – which may again extend to years. Repairing the damage to my relationships and both my physical and mental health might never come to pass. Whatever one might make of my principles and decisions, I shall continue to make hard choices and sacrifices rather than relinquish my ethical positions in exchange for mere trinkets of personal gain or self-pleasure in the form of being released…

The idea I hold the keys to my own cell is an absurd one, as I face the prospect of suffering either way due to this unnecessary and punitive subpoena: I can either go to jail or betray my principles. The latter exists as a much worse prison than the government can construct.

DWeb Camp Q & A with Mozilla’s Liz Henry

DWeb Camp is going on from July 18-21 in Pescadero, CA.

Senior Release Manager, Mozilla
Co-founder, Double Union Feminist Hackerspace

Q: What excites you most about the decentralized web?

A: I like the idea of strengthening peer to peer connections that are hard for well established organizations, like states or corporations or even publishing houses, to control.

I’d rather see a billion small networks than one, or a few, overarching controlled platforms. Or, to put it differently, we might do well to have both – Sidewalks are great, but we need more cracks in the sidewalk for good weeds to flourish and for rain to get into the water table.

Q: What is the need to create a decentralized web critical in nature?

A: Currently there is a strong narrative of the need for control, for taming, for filtering, and rules and that means centralizing a lot of things that may already be a little too controlled and centralized. The decentralized web is a possible counter narrative.

Here are a few examples I don’t see mentioned often in these discussions: we need this for feminist organizing. We already need it and will increasingly need it for information (and organizing) about birth control, menstrual extraction, reproductive health of all kinds, and abortion. We have also learned the value of being able to privately share information in our local communities. We need it to evade destructive and ridiculous copyright laws, as well!

Q: What will you be speaking about at the conference?

A: I’m always happy to speak about those things, or about accessibility and disability justice related issues. But, what I’m actually planning to talk about is the projects I’m working on for the camp — a zine about the history of the land and the farm, which I’ll be handing out at DWeb, and a text adventure game written in Inform7 that’s set in DWeb itself. I have the framework of the game ready and will add to it during the Camp, inviting contributions from others to make it weird, fun, informative, and exciting.

Thanks Danny! See everyone at DWeb Camp on July 18th!

Everyday/Forever (SF Event is November 9, 2019)