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People are posting naked selfies to protest the Patriot Act

And you can join in!


Kevin Collier


Posted on May 29, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 5:32 pm CDT

Hundreds of people and counting are taking off their clothes in a new campaign against the controversial USA Patriot Act spy programs.

To be fair, some of the pictures include people wearing clothes, and at least one is a dog. But the point is still there: tagging themselves with #ifeelnaked on social media, these privacy exhibitionists oppose the Senate reauthorizing the parts of the Patriot Act that authorize a number of U.S. surveillance programs, and which are set to expire at midnight Sunday.

That battle for the Patriot Act’s future is coming down to the wire. There’s no chance that the expiring provisions—notably, Section 215, the authority the National Security Agency has used to collect Americans’ phone records in bulk, as well as for a host of FBI purposes—will be completely reauthorized without any change. But Congress could still be salvaged by the compromise USA Freedom Act, which was three votes shy of passing a crucial procedural hurdle in its most recent vote, and which may get one last chance for another vote Sunday evening.

The protest, organized by Internet-freedom group Fight for the Future (FFTF), also includes a second, innovative aspect. Following previous protests that encouraged allied websites to adopt a custom-made script, FFTF wants to “blackout Congress.” FFTF’s code, which can be embedded into any website, detects the IP address of visitors, and if that IP address identifies the visitor as using a computer from Capitol Hill, the script redirects her to FFTF’s protest page.

If that part seems legally iffy, FFTF isn’t worried. “I don’t think there are any rules about this,” FFTF cofounder Holmes Wilson said in a statement emailed to the Daily Dot. “Sites like YouTube and Hulu do this all the time to people based on what country they’re from, which sucks, but unlike the people they block, Congress deserves it.”

If you want to take part, the site’s adding new nudes all the time—but make sure it’s at least somewhat tasteful. Some “1,600 have been submitted total,” campaign manager Evan Greer told the Daily Dot. “We’re moderating them to make sure they are legit and not over the line into pornographic.”

Photos via blackoutcongress

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*First Published: May 29, 2015, 12:25 pm CDT