Demand Progress is a national grassroots group with more than two million affiliated activists who fight for basic rights and freedoms needed for a modern democracy. Our policy agenda encompasses the areas of civil liberties, civil rights, money in politics, and government reform.
The following is our policy agenda as of August 2015.
Net Neutrality and the Freedom to Connect
- Contest efforts by Congress to undermine the FCC’s implementation of Net Neutrality rules in any form (e.g. appropriations amendments, standalone legislation, a Telecommunications Act overhaul, etc.)
- Defend Net Neutrality in the courts.
- Ensure that ISPs abide by Net Neutrality rules and principles, and that the FCC polices violations of Net Neutrality.
- Oppose further consolidation in the telecom industry.
- Support efforts to promote, and oppose efforts to undermine, broadened Internet access (such as via municipal broadband networks).
Privacy, Surveillance, and Human Rights
- Respond to and monitor issues arising from government surveillance, especially as embodied in the USA PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act.
- Oppose efforts, such as those under the guise of cybersecurity, to expand government access to sensitive personal data.
- Protect activism, access to public information, and entrepreneurship by opposing efforts to enhance penalties under or expand the scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; support efforts to modernize that statute via Aaron’s Law and otherwise.
- Oppose torture, indefinite detention, and other human rights violations.
- Strengthen congressional oversight of national security, including through efforts to expand upon recommendations to reform House rules, make recommendations to change Senate rules, reform House and Senate intelligence committee rules, and build a coalition around structural reform.
- Articulate the need for a comprehensive review of intelligence community activities along the lines of a 9/11 Commission or Church Committee.
- Bring FISA Court opinions into public view.
- Pursue legislation on public access to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel opinions.
- Fight back doors and efforts to weaken encryption.
Money in Politics (much of this work takes place under the Rootstrikers banner)
- Support efforts to institute public election financing and other attempts to reduce the outsized influence of private money over politics.
- Push for disclosure of corporate contributions via the SEC, IRS, executive order, and wherever appropriate.
- Contest regulatory capture and “revolving door” appointments wherever possible, with a particular emphasis on where it would likely impact other elements of our policy agenda.
- Support legislation (such as the MERIT Act) that prevents politicians and their families from personally benefiting from campaign activities.
- Support legislation to require donations to presidential libraries to be publicly available, such as the Presidential Library Donation Reform Act.
- Require lobbying records by foreign agents, gathered pursuant to the Foreign Agent Registration Act, to be publicly available in a useful format.
- Develop policies to improve non-profit transparency, including public access to 990s (non-profit tax forms) and high-level disclosure of statistics on how many organizations are under IRS scrutiny.
Access to Government Information
- Support House and Senate efforts to reform the Freedom of Information Act, with a particular focus on aspects that affect public access to executive deliberations.
- Encourage the government to adopt methods to proactively disclose information.
- Lock into place positive executive branch efforts around open data and open government.
Legislative Openness and Transparency
- Lead the Congressional Data Coalition, which encourages the House and Senate to release bills, committee documents, and meeting schedules in open formats; as well make other documents publicly available, such as Congressional Research Service Reports and Dear Colleague letters.
- Push to require reports from federal agencies to Congress be proactively disclosed to the public.
- Make recommendations regarding updating House and Senate rules.
- Encourage the House and Senate to permit open source software, including collaboration with the public on its development.
- Urge the political parties to make their internal caucus rules public.
- Encourage both chambers to publish statement of expenditures (what Congress spends on itself) in machine-readable formats.
Federal Spending Transparency
- Work to make sure the federal spending legislation known as the DATA Act is properly implemented.
- Have Congressional Budget Justifications published in one place and in a useful format.
- Make the US Supreme Court more transparent, including public access to all its opinions, orders, amicus briefs, live video of its proceedings, etc.
- Make all PACER documents available to the public at no charge.
- Have ethics-related information for all federal judges available online to the public, including financial disclosures, confirmation hearing documents, travel sponsorships, etc.