Transparency is a core value for CREDO

The need for technology and telecommunications companies to seriously address privacy and transparency is back in the headlines. In April, Microsoft went to court asking to be granted the right to inform customers when their email and private information is requested by the federal government.

Apple engaged in a public fight with the FBI over whether it should be forced to write new code allowing the agency to unlock San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone, compromising the security of its product.

While other telecommunications companies have only begun to address this issue recently, CREDO has been at the forefront of the fight for our customers’ privacy from the beginning.

In 2014, following Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s dragnet that collects information about the phone calls, emails and other communications of virtually all Americans, CREDO became the first mobile phone company to release a transparency report. Read More

A conversation with Ray Morris, CREDO’s new CEO

Ray Morris, CREDO's new CEO

Tell us about your professional background.
I’ve spent 30 years in progressively more responsible roles as a technologist and engineering guy. Therefore, I came into this role from the product side. This naturally led me to see how I could help with operations, leading to very significant transformation initiatives for optimizing businesses and processes through innovation. I have had the opportunity to work with some very smart, talented and inspiring individuals, and was also fortunate to have great mentors, who taught me a lot along the way.

Being around people who are inspired, motivated and talented makes me happy. I am very grateful for my journey and am very thankful to now be working with this great team at CREDO.

What led you to join CREDO?
I’ve been with many wireless companies since the industry was in its infancy in the late ‘80s; I grew up in that environment. I then went into different industries: marketing, marketing services, engineering, hosting. About six years ago, I was with a company called Great Call, which had a product called Jitterbug that focused primarily on seniors. We found great success there and then moved into five-star emergency-response devices.

I was there for four years. It was a great, team-focused company with common goals and was one of the best, if not the best, experiences of my career. I had moved away from wireless when this opportunity came up. Read More

Dear Google: Don’t be evil. Dump Donald Trump.

On Thursday, the CREDO Action team joined Bay Area activists and our friends at ColorOfChange, UltraViolet, Bend the Arc, Center for Media Justice, Daily Kos, Courage Campaign, Free Press Action Fund and SumOfUs to deliver 500,000 petition signatures urging Google not to sponsor a Donald Trump-led Republican convention.

Here’s a gallery of photos from the event (and of the plane that circled Google headquarters while we were delivering the petitions):

#DumpTrump: 500,000 petition signatures delivered to Google

Our message was clear: Google’s sponsorship of a Trump-led convention would not only align Google’s brand with Trump’s toxic candidacy, but would help legitimize and normalize Trump’s racism, misogyny, xenophobia and hate. Read More

The National LGBTQ Task Force visits CREDO Headquarters

CREDO staff with the Task Force

We’ve made a lot of progress for LGBTQ rights in recent years. Large majorities of the American public now favor nondiscrimination laws, hate crime laws, and relationship recognition for gay and lesbian couples. States and cities across the country have enacted laws that defend the rights and improve the day-to-day lives of LGBTQ people, and a landmark Supreme Court decision in 2015 legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

But there is still much to do. Desperate to roll back advances in equality, extremist lawmakers in states around the country are trying to overturn existing protections and pass new discriminatory laws.

On April 14 we invited Russell Roybal, deputy executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, to visit CREDO headquarters in San Francisco to bring us up to date on the Task Force’s work and tell us about how they are pushing back against the latest attacks on equality. Read More

#PanamaPapers: How CREDO is fighting back against secretive “shell” corporations

The secret world of tax evasion by the world’s super-rich elite was recently blown wide open with an explosive media leak being called the “Panama Papers.”

More than 11 million documents from the secretive Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca were leaked to an international journalist consortium. More than 140 world leaders, public officials, and major celebrities have been implicated already, with more names expected soon. The documents, spanning almost 30 years, expose how the world’s elite use fake corporations called “shell companies” to launder money, evade sanctions, hide wealth, and dodge taxes.

With two recent campaigns, CREDO activists are fighting back against tax evasion and criminal activity by secretive anonymous “shell” corporations. Read More

Earth Week Climate Challenge #2: Green Your Community

Green your community. Think globally, act locally. It’s more than a bumper sticker. It’s a framework for a sustainable economy focused on community strength, support and resilience. You’ve no doubt heard of the sharing economy. You may already be a participant. Well, just go from there. Beyond ride sharing and vacation rentals, there are many ways to share that strengthen your community.

Have you ever found yourself wanting to take on a project at home but not wanting to buy that expensive tool you need? Chances are, a neighbor has it. And maybe you have a book that another neighbor wants to read. And maybe you would love to trade babysitting time with some other neighbors who you know and trust. Read More

5 ways to keep your data usage low

Most of us now use our smartphones to do stuff online. Check our email, read the news, watch a video. And whenever we do, we’re using data—sometimes a lot of it. How much? Here are a few common activities and the estimated amount of data each uses. Keep in mind that 1024 bytes = 1KB, 1024KB = 1MB and 1024MB = 1GB.

  • Refreshing your Facebook feed: 50KB
  • Sending 10-20 emails a day (no attachments): 20MB per month
  • Streaming music or podcasts for 2 hours a day: 3.5GB per month
  • Watching 60 minutes of standard-definition video a day: 8GB per month

If you’re watching the amount of data you use each month, here are 5 ways to keep data usage in check:

1. Use WiFi
This is the oldest—and best—trick in the book for minimizing data usage. Whenever you’re able to access a secure WiFi network, connect to it. Any downloads you make, videos you watch, social media feeds you refresh, etc.—none of it will use data on your monthly mobile plan.

2. If you use Google Maps, download local areas
If you’re like me, you spend most of your time in a few neighborhoods. Take a moment to download Google Maps of your local spots and you’ll have a faster, more data-friendly experience with the popular navigation app. Here’s how: when you’re connected to WiFi, open the Google Maps app, search for the area of your choice, click on its details page, then select download. Learn more from Google’s support instructions. Read More

Earth Week Climate Challenge #1: Green Your Food

Green your food. The food you choose is important. It’s important to your health, obviously. But it’s also important to the health of your family, your community—and your planet. It’s true. Choose your food wisely and you can make a difference for our climate. And if we all work together, we can make a real impact.

A study published in March shows that a global shift to a vegetarian diet would cut food-related greenhouse gas emissions by nearly two-thirds. This clearly demonstrates the huge—and hugely damaging—impact that intensive meat production has on our climate. Of course, no one expects that the entire world will go vegetarian overnight. But if the world simply switched to a mostly vegetarian diet and reduced meat consumption to fit within current health guidelines, that could reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions by nearly a third. Read More

#DoYourJob hits the front steps of the Supreme Court

Photo Credit: People for the American Way Foundation

This week CREDO activists joined our allies at People for the American Way, MoveOn.org, and other groups at a rally on the front steps of the Supreme Court on to send the simplest message possible to the Obstructionist Club: #DoYourJob.

Heidi Hess, CREDO Action Senior Campaign Manager, made the following statement to press:

“Republican obstructionists are trying to keep the Supreme Court under right-wing control by refusing to do their jobs. It’s a cynical and unprecedented power grab – and the American people aren’t falling for it. President Obama has done his job under the Constitution and it is time for Senate Republicans to do theirs.”

We were also joined by Congressional progressive leaders Rep. Keith Ellison and Rep. Raul Grijalva.

You can tell the Senate Republican obstructionists to do their jobs and hold a vote on President Obama’s nominee right now by signing the petition.

Fighting for a fair Supreme Court confirmation hearing

Every month, CREDO donates almost $200,000 to three amazing progressive nonprofits. We choose the three groups, then members and activists vote to decide how we divide up the money.

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This month, your vote is especially important. President Obama has nominated Merrick Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court and Senate Republicans are refusing to do their jobs and hold hearings to consider Garland. For progressives who care about money in politics, gun safety, reproductive rights, the environment—almost any issue of consequence—it is critical that we win this fight.

That’s why this month we’re donating nearly $200,000 to the Alliance for Justice, American Constitution Society and People For the America Way Foundation—groups that are leading the charge to overcome Republican obstruction of Garland and are waging a long-term battle to make our federal judiciary more progressive. These groups are working at the grassroots level, in the media and in the halls of Congress and it’s critical that we support them. Read More