Hey Touch Grass readers,
Fight for the Future just launched our “annual report” of sorts, outlining this year’s victories and our priorities for 2024. If you’ve followed Touch Grass this year, you’ll be familiar with some of these topics: growing threats of AI; slews of bad internet bills; and the importance of privacy. Read on for a quick message from Fight’s director, Evan Greer, and thanks for subscribing to Touch Grass.
At Fight for the Future, our power doesn’t come from being buddies with billionaires or cozying up to Congress. It comes from all of you. We’re known for being creative, strategic, and ruthless. If we believe in something, we’ll put everything on the line to fight for it—even if it pisses off powerful people or gets us “in trouble” with politicians or big dollar donors.
The only reason we can do that is because millions of everyday people take part in our campaigns: calling Senators, crowdfunding epic media stunts, and sharing our campaign pages, videos, and op-eds. All this actually moves the needle. Lawmakers and corporate CEOs might hate us. But thanks to our grassroots supporters, they can’t ignore us.
This past year, we beat back an avalanche of dangerous Internet censorship bills that everyone in DC said were “definitely going to pass.” In the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned, we successfully pressured one of the largest tech companies on earth to finally encrypt everyone’s private messages, despite massive pushback from police lobbyists and bureaucrats. We organized hundreds of prominent musicians to boycott venues that use facial recognition, garnering high-profile coverage in Rolling Stone and the New York Times. And we overcame an industry lobbying blitz to begin the process of restoring net neutrality.
Our team is stronger than ever, and we’ve had some huge victories this year. But looking ahead, the threats we face to our most basic human rights are multiplying exponentially. Big Tech is only getting bigger. The explosion of artificial intelligence threatens not just to put many of us out of a job, but to automate and exacerbate injustice in almost every aspect of our lives. Governments have never been more intent on restricting online speech and expanding their ability to monitor and control us. There is so much work to be done. We can’t afford to slow down even for a second.
If you’ve been enjoying Touch Grass and care about how tech impacts our basic rights, please take a moment to browse our year-end page, where we share the year’s victories and our perspective on the state of tech and human rights heading into 2024.