University of Oregon Students/Faculty in Support of Digital Rights

May 2014

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As members of the University of Oregon community, we sign this open letter in support of digital rights and free speech on campus, and in objection to government surveillance. Universities, as centers of higher learning, are places where individuals gather to exchange ideas, explore controversial topics, and indulge intellectual curiosity. They are places where students organize to imagine new possibilities and create the change that only future generations of thought-leaders and researchers have the power to achieve. Unfortunately, under conditions of mass and targeted government surveillance, controversial topics cannot be discussed as freely. This tragically impairs our collective ability to imagine and organize.

While the bulk of the revelations on mass government surveillance are relatively new, studies show a marked shift in people’s online behavior [1]. Government surveillance negatively affects free speech and digital rights by:

As students and faculty of a public university, we are unfortunately all too aware that government surveillance stifles our academic growth, restricts free speech in the university community and leads to self-censorship in our online actions. Accordingly, we stand collectively for a university environment that decries digital surveillance and embodies principles of free speech and online privacy. As such, we are calling on the University of Oregon administration to develop policies that actively minimize on-campus surveillance and to foster a culture of digital freedom that is consonant with the commitments to academic freedom and freedom of speech that are at the heart of any institution of higher education.

In liberty,

Current signatories

Sharia Mayfield. Student. School of Law.
Franz Bruggemeier. Student. School of Law.
Helen Yi. Student. School of Law.
Jen Zammetti. Student. School of Law.
Colin Koopman. Faculty. College of Arts and Sciences.
Margaret Hallock. Campus Staff. School of Law.
Mohsen Manesh. Faculty. School of Law.
Benjamin J. Birkinbine. Student. School of Journalism and Communication.
Mickey Stellavato, PhD. Faculty. School of Journalism and Communication.
Erik Fjordbeck. Student. Undeclared.
Rebecca Flynn. Associate Director, Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics.
Kiah Frohnauer. Student. Environmental Studies Department.
Cam Juarez. Student. College of Arts and Sciences.
Caroline Crisp. Student. College of Arts and Sciences.
Jerry Lee Rosiek. Faculty. College of Education.
Cara E. Bates. Student. College of Arts and Sciences.
Dylan Gamble. Student. Philosophy.
Rory Isbell. Student. School of Law.
Ryan S. Eanes. Student. School of Journalism & Communication.
Rachel Voigt. Student.
Caitlin S. Cusimano. Alumnus. School of Law.
Patrice Bishop-Foster. Student. JD/MBA.
Clayton J. Davis. Student. Robert D. Clark Honors College.
Nate Bellinger. Student. Law School.
Andrew Hennigan. Student. School of Law.
Benjamin Llewellyn. Student. Architecture.
Charles Weber. Student. School of Law.
Clayton Westing. Student. College of Arts and Sciences.
Lucas Morgan. Student. Department of Political Science.
Alan Reynolds. Student. College of Arts and Sciences.
Jon LaRochelle. Student. College of Arts and Sciences.
Jeremiah Favara. Student. School of Journalism and Communication.
Jill Randolph. Student. School of Law.
Ramon Nash. Student. School of Law Shannon Flowers. Student. School of Law.
Kevin Hollinshead. Alumnus. School of Law.
Ray. Alumnus. School of Journalism.
Andrew Westling. Student. School of Architecture and Allied Arts.
Sydney Talbott. Student. Philosophy.
Sarah Voigt. Student. College of Arts and Science.
Pete Richards. Student. School of Journalism and Communications.
Dana Rognlie. Student. College of Arts and Science.
Kathryn Coates-Chaney. Student. College of Arts and Sciences, Philosophy.




References


[1] See http://www.welivesecurity.com/2014/04/02/harris-poll-nsa-revelations-impact-online-shopping-banking/.

[2] A program that tracks and stores the geo-location information of cellphone users aboard. See: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/world/how-the-nsa-is-tracking-people-right-now/634/.

[3] A NSA spy program records complete phone calls within foreign countries. See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-surveillance-program-reaches-into-the-past-to-retrieve-replay-phone-calls/2014/03/18/226d2646-ade9-11e3-a49e-76adc9210f19_story.html.

[4] See https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/04/eff-privacy-and-civil-liberties-oversight-board-stop-mass-collection-innocent.

[5] See http://www.ap.org/Content/AP-In-The-News/2012/NYPD-monitored-Muslim-students-all-over-Northeast.

[6] See: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/us/nsa-examines-social-networks-of-us-citizens.html?_r=0&pagewanted=all.