This blog post was originally posted on the Daily Kos website here.
A coalition of Internet advocacy organizations (including the ACLU, DailyKos, and my own, the Government Accountability Project) and individuals are launching a week of action to combat the CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.
We aim to leverage popular outrage to oppose this dangerously broad bill, which is cloaked as a beneficent-sounding "cybersecurity" law. Legislation that is supposed to enhance our computer and network security must not sacrifice long-standing civil liberties and protections, and this bill is riddled with flaws that threaten our right to privacy.
The objectionable provisions of CISPA include:
* Eviscerating existing privacy laws by giving overly broad legal immunity to companies who share users' private information, including the content of communications, with the government.
* Authorizing companies to disclose users' data directly to the NSA, a military agency that operates secretly and without public accountability.
* Broad definitions that allow users' sensitive personal information to be used for a range of purposes, including for "national security," not just computer and network security.
Here's what you can do:
Join the Internet Defense League, and embed the action code onto your website. IDL is a loose coalition of websites dedicated to Internet freedom. Inspired by the success of the SOPA blackouts, IDL gives its members the ability to show visitors an action button or banner (the latest action is "Stopping CISPA").
Post about CISPA and its numerous issues on your website or over social media. Write about the dangers of CISPA in a blog, a Facebook update, or Tweet (using the hashtag #CISPAalert) and link to the Electronic Frontier Foundation's action alert. If you need ideas or guidance, here's a general overview; answers to FAQ; how it's unnecessary alongside Obama's cybersecurity Executive Order; and a serious loophole in the bill where vague language could give the government broad access. We encourage you to read up and educate your networks—through post or tweet—about CISPA's dangers.
Tweet at Congress. Here's an easy-to-use (and easy-to-share) Twitter tool to help you contact the relevant members of the House Intelligence Committee and express your major concerns with CISPA. You can also embed the tool on your own site.
Join us! Participating organizations (updated on a daily basis throughout the week): Access; ACLU, Alexis Ohanian (Co-founder of Reddit); American Library Association; Association of Research Libraries; Bill of Rights Defense Committee; Center for Democracy & Technology; Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights; Competitive Enterprise Institute; Consumer Watchdog; DailyKos; Demand Progress; DownsizeDC.org; Electronic Frontier Foundation;Entertainment Consumers Association; Fight for the Future; Free Press; Government Accountability Project; Internet Defense League; Liberty Coalition; New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute; NY Tech Meetup; OpenMedia; Personal Democracy Media; Politihacks; TechFreedom
Jesselyn Radack is National Security & Human Rights Director for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.