Two grassroots groups opposed to existing U.S. government surveillance policies yesterday launched a new platform aimed at the legislative branch: DecideTheFuture.org.
A project of Restore The Fourth and Fight for the Future, the website rates House and Senate members on the basis of their votes on surveillance-related legislation since 2012. Those who have voted against continuation of the PATRIOT Act or sponsored legislation to repeal it are deemed to be part of "Team Internet"; those who have championed a continuation of the status quo on surveillance are dubbed "Team Surveillance."
Restore The Fourth's press release provides further details:
The scoreboard builds off a similar tool released last year by a coalition of privacy advocates, adding data from the current Congress, including the PATRIOT Act renewal fight, the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 and other relevant legislation.
“We wanted to develop something simple and easy that would allow users to quickly see which politicians oppose mass surveillance, and who’s working to expand the surveillance state” says Alex Marthews, national chair of Restore The Fourth.
At the moment, it is unclear whether those behind DecideTheFuture.org will expand the project to include ratings on presidential candidates. Thus far, government surveillance has not been a top-tier issue in any of the presidential debates and is rarely mentioned by the candidates on the campaign trail.