Three key provisions within the Patriot Act will expire at the stroke of midnight on Sunday. The Senate needs 60 votes in order to provide an extension or renew the provisions past June 1st. Section 215 of the measure is particularly controversial in that it allows the National Security Agency (NSA) to collect data from Americans’ phone records.
Fight for the Future is leading an internet campaign wherein 14,000+ websites will be blocking access to Congress’ IP addresses, redirecting that traffic to the blackout protest page where they will see the following message:
You have conducted mass surveillance of everyone illegally and are now on record for trying to enact those programs into law. You have presented Americans with the false dichotomy of reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act or passing the USA Freedom Act. The real answer is to end all authorities used to conduct mass surveillance. Until you do, thousands of web sites have blocked your access, and more are joining every day.
Self-hosted WordPress site owners who want to participate in protesting the renewal of the Patriot Act can install the Internet Defense League Cat Signal plugin from WordPress.org. It includes the blackout script as well as a dismissable notice to site visitors, asking them to urge Congress to sunset the Patriot Act.