Today, a coalition of organizations — including the Sunlight Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Greenpeace and the Tenth Amendment Center — launched the Stand Against Spying website. Its goal: to inform voters how well their members of Congress are working to rein in the government’s secret surveillance.
Members are graded based solely on their voting and sponsorship records for a series of bills and amendments — not their rhetoric or their promises. This is the best opportunity to view exactly what each person voting on your behalf is actually doing on surveillance. Sunlight’s APIs power the website by providing data on members of Congress.
Each member’s grade is accompanied by their Twitter handle and suggested tweets, so that users can immediately alert their legislators about their performance. The methodology, such as which actions for which bills counted for what value, is detailed here.
The surveillance debate is somewhat new territory for Sunlight — but secrecy is the constant drumbeat and the conceit of the past year’s revelations about spying. This is what has brought Sunlight to the table, and it’s why we’re in this fight.
But this effort isn’t about us — it’s about you, the public, ensuring government actions are transparent, and holding politicians accountable when they fail in their oversight roles. We must all continue to act against secrecy and excessive state power.