Queens College Students and Faculty Against Mass Surveillance

May 2014

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College is a place where students should be able to learn with confidence and be encouraged to express themselves freely. It should not be a place where students fear that what is being studied or researched could potentially be used against them. Thanks to the Edward Snowden leaks, we now know that the NSA has an unprecedented ability to monitor and record our online and cell phone communications, creating a virtual map of our day-to-day activities. On behalf of Queens College, we contend that this is a violation of our civil liberties and constitutional rights, and runs contrary to the core principles of learning and mutual respect for which Queens College stands.

Mass warrantless surveillance by the NSA has restricted our ability to freely think, act, research, innovate, and share ideas in a multitude of ways:

The fact of the matter is that if you’re using the Internet, you can bet the NSA is watching. They keep a record of what you’ve visited and whom you’ve been talking to. The NSA has the ability to build a complete picture of your day-to-day activities.

Why is the NSA doing this? If it’s to prevent terrorism or keep the public safe, it’s not working. On December 12, 2013, the President’s Review Group found that this data collection was “not essential to preventing attacks”. [4] The NSA’s mass surveillance programs are ineffective and present a huge potential for abuse.

As members of the global academic community, we call upon all Queens College students, faculty, and staff to stand together letter in protest against the U.S. surveillance state and in support of digital rights, free speech, and academic freedom on campus. We call on the U.S. government to bring the NSA back within the bounds of the constitution. We also call upon Interim President Evangelos J. Gizis and our administrative leaders to devise sensible policies to minimize on-campus surveillance and promote a free and open atmosphere in which we can all think, learn, and speak without fear.

With Hope and respect,
Caitlin King
Student Net Alliance, Queens College


Current Signatories

Richard Cardenas. Alumnus. Arts and Humanities.
Jisoo Rho. Student. Arts and Humanities.
Audrey Wu. Student. Psychology.
Kehinde Akande. Student. Social Sciences.
Fateha Ahmed. Student. Mathematics and the Natural Sciences.
Nena Kunnatee. Student. Music.
Jennifer Moakler. Student. Social Sciences.
Meera Desai. Student. Social Sciences.
Raquel A Barroso. Student. Media.
Caitlin King. Student. Social Sciences.
Do Lee. Faculty. Social Sciences.
David Leventhal. Faculty. Social Sciences.
Click here to sign your name and add your support.

References


[1] http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2012/Q4/purdues-international-student-population-ranks-2nd-for-public-schools.html.

[2]http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/oct/28/nsa-files-decoded-hops.

[3]http://www.law.cuny.edu/academics/clinics/immigration/clear/Mapping-Muslims.pdf.

[4] “Our review suggests that the information contributed to terrorist investigations by the use of section 215 telephony meta-data was not essential to preventing attacks and could readily have been obtained in a timely manner using conventional section 215 orders.” http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2013-12-12_rg_final_report.pdf.