It’s Time to End the 1033 Program

Last week we launched a campaign to pressure members of the House Armed Services Committee to include an amendment from Reps. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) in the National Defense Authorization Act. This amendment would have effectively ended the transfer of military equipment to local police departments—a practice that is common through something called the 1033 Program.

The 1033 program is directly responsible for increasing police militarization. A direct link has been made between police receiving military equipment from the 1033 program and them using deadly force against those they are ostensibly meant to “protect and serve.” Police departments that receive military equipment kill more civilians each year. A study found “when a county goes from receiving no military equipment to $2,539,767 worth (the largest figure that went to one agency in our data), more than twice as many civilians are likely to die in that county the following year.”

Sadly, the amendment did not end up being included in the annual defense policy bill. But do not despair. We were only one vote away from it being included, which shows that there is growing consensus that police militarization is harming our communities and we need to disband the 1033 program to stop it.

Children and Teens’ Digital Privacy Matters Too

As our lives have become more and more online, keeping kids safe in the digital world has become harder. Nowadays big tech and big data are scraping as much info from us as it can and selling it to advertisers. Privacy rights are important for everyone, but especially for young people: they deserve to be able to grow up in a world where their past stays their past and big data isn’t creating a permanent marketing profile for kids at an impressionable age without their consent.

Because our digital world is changing so rapidly, we can no longer rely on laws that were written over 2 decades ago to properly regulate how marketers and tech companies handle children and teens’ data. This is why Restore the Fourth is endorsing the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act, an amendment that will bring COPPA—originally drafted in the 1990s—into the modern age.

Key improvements CTOPPA makes to COPPA is:

  • Protect teens, as well as children, online.
  • Ban targeted advertising for minors.
  • Prohibit the collection of data from 13-15 year olds without the users’ consent
  • Create an “eraser-button” that will allow minors to delete personal data stored by big tech

CTOPPA will also help regulate the growing new industry of connected devices that are marketed to minors. IT will require manufacturers to clearly disclose how minors’ data is stored, used, transmitted, and protected. It will also require these devices meet “robust cyber security standards.” All of this will bolster digital privacy rights for children and teens specifically. It can be difficult for even adults to understand the privacy policy for websites and how their data is being used; so, as privacy activists, we need to be extra vigilant when it comes to how children and teens’ data is protected online. Passing this bill is the first step.

📝 Write a letter to your law makers telling them to support it here.

☎️ Call your law makers and urge them to support it at: +1 202-318-3323