Early this morning, amid rising online outcry including a tweet from Edward Snowden, the House of Representatives passed the year-end "omnibus" spending bill, which contained the final version of controversial cyber surveillance legislation that offers corporations legal immunity when they share data with the Federal government.
The bill now goes to the Senate, and President Obama is expected to sign it quickly, despite his administration having issued a veto threat against extremely similar legislation in 2013.
"I worked for the Obama campaign in 2008, and now I’m ashamed of that," said Tiffiniy Cheng, co-founder of Fight for the Future, "This president has assisted in creating the golden age of surveillance, and his backstabbing on CISA is icing on the cake. He more than any other modern president has suppressed freedom of the press and freedom of expression, and further the injustice this country is plagued with. His decision to cheerlead for this bill will define his legacy as an enemy of the Internet."
"CISA is the new PATRIOT Act," added Evan Greer, Fight for the Future’s campaign director, "It’s a bill that was born out of a climate of fear and passed quickly and quietly using a broken and nontransparent process. Most members of Congress still don’t understand what it will actually do, which is to dramatically expand the U.S. government’s unpopular and ineffective surveillance programs and make all of us more vulnerable to cyber attacks by letting corporations off the hook instead of holding them accountable when they fail to protect their customer’s sensitive information."
"The PATRIOT Act became synonymous with George W. Bush’s swing toward fascism and government control. This new cyber spying bill will define Obama’s legacy as well," she concluded, "It will inevitably lead to the government investigating, prosecuting and incarcerating more people, deepening racial and economic injustice in the U.S., and exposing the Obama Administration’s pathetic record on human rights and freedom of expression."
Fight for the Future has been at the forefront of grassroots opposition to CISA, and its previous incarnation, CISPA. Earlier this year they lead a series of high profile campaigns, sparking a backlash that resulted in major tech companies like Apple, Google, Twitter, Dropbox, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Yelp, and Salesforce coming out in opposition to the bill. They have also mobilized more than 15,000 websites for an online protest, and generated more than 6 million faxes to the Senate, along with hundreds of thousands of emails and phone calls.
Fight for the Future is a grassroots advocacy group with more than 1.4 million members that fights to protect the Internet as a powerful platform for freedom of expression and social change. They’re best known for organizing the massive online protests against SOPA, for net neutrality, and against government surveillance. Learn more at https://www.fightforthefuture.org and https://www.twitter.com/fightfortheftr