There's a huge issue looming that we had to be in touch about: Congress is on the verge of ending your right to privacy. The sites you visit, your personal emails, and everything you do online could soon be used by secretive government agencies to hurt you.
Our plan is to stop this bill like we stopped SOPA. But it won’t be easy. We're down to the wire, a key vote in the Senate in a few days is our last good chance. We're joining other groups to ask you to do two things that are going to matter:
Most importantly, join the Facebook protest. Change your Facebook cover photo to show the world how Facebook will be a creepy database for government agencies like the FBI or the IRS. This is probably the best thing you can do to get other people to help fight CISPA.
The other thing you can do?
Some background: the House passed the privacy-killing bill CISPA last month after a rushed vote. CISPA would let any corporation share users’ private information with any government agency, from the NSA to the FBI to local police. In just days, the Senate will vote on a similar bill, Lieberman-Collins or the “SECURE IT Act”. Both bills would trump decades of existing privacy laws and establish wholesale sharing of your personal information between corporations and the government.
While SOPA would have empowered Hollywood to take down websites, CISPA and its Senate counterpart, Lieberman-Collins, would let Homeland Security and private companies build vast databases of our data that could be used against individuals at any time and for any purpose. Goodbye privacy, hello police state.
The general consensus among internet freedom groups is that CISPA poses a greater threat to your rights than SOPA. The difference is, the bill hasn’t made enemies of the largest tech companies. This time, public interest groups like us are on our own, and we need your help more than ever.
To be honest, we’re not sure we can win this. Congress is convinced they have to pass *something*. But we’re sure the playbook we’re working from right now is our best shot. And we’ve got a team of three organizers dedicated to making it happen. First we’re asking people to email and call local Senate offices while the Senators are at home for Memorial Day recess, and drop in at Senate offices to express their concerns about the bill. We’re planning a call-in day for later in the week, and we’ll also be pressuring President Obama to keep his veto promise (this won’t be easy). But the first step is to either write or call your Senator right now. If we’re going to win, everybody needs to be heard.
One thing that’s in our favor: timing. This is an election year, and there’s just a few more weeks before Congress *shuts down*. If we can make Senators think twice before voting on this, we can run out the clock and hold on to our privacy rights. Even if you’re not a US-citizen, this still affects you: any information that passes through US-based services could be shared with the US government. Help us spread the word and find every single one of your friends who cares about their privacy and can help save it:
Thanks for always being there for the internet.
- Tiffiniy Cheng, Fight for the Future
P.S. We also just redesigned our website and put two beautiful billboards outside SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith’s offices. Fight for the Future makes these projects happen through a tiny staff that works hard to protect internet freedom, but we couldn't do all this without your support dollars. Please donate to us if you haven't yet. Click here to keep us going!
P.P.S. If you’re in Europe, click here and make a call. There are important votes on ACTA this week.