Fight for the Future


Fight for the Future statement on CISA vote in U.S. Senate

Posted 14:25 EDT on October 27, 2015
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2015

Contact: Tiffiniy Cheng, 413-367-6255, press@fightforthefuture.org

Today the U.S. Senate voted to pass the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), a profoundly unpopular cyber surveillance bill that expands and codifies the U.S. government’s unconstitutional spying programs while completely failing to prevent cyber attacks.

Fight for the Future, a leading digital rights group that has spearheaded a series of high-profile campaigns against CISA, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to campaign director Evan Greer:

This vote will go down in history as the moment that lawmakers decided not only what sort of Internet our children and our children’s children will have, but what sort of world they will live in. Every Senator who voted for CISA has voted for a world without freedom of expression, a world without true democracy, a world without basic human rights.

But perhaps most importantly, they have voted to make utter fools of themselves and proved that they have absolutely no clue how to prevent cyber attacks. By supporting a bill that has been resoundingly rejected by security experts, tech companies, and advocacy groups from across the political spectrum, these politicians have highlighted the brokenness of our political system and exposed the reality that U.S. Congress is one of the Internet’s greatest foes. If President Obama doesn’t veto this bill, he’ll be showing that his administration never cared about the open Internet, despite his posturing on net neutrality.

Everyone knows that CISA is not what these corrupt politicians are claiming it is. Thanks to the Internet, it’s already easy to see when Congress is being clueless and dishonest – soon, we’ll be able to hold them accountable too, and it’s only a matter of time.

There is so much more that internet users can do to defend their privacy from this Congress. Fight for the Future will continue to fight on the frontlines to protect the Internet as a powerful platform for freedom of expression and social change. In the coming months, we will be returning to our campaign to defend and expand the use of strong encryption: Reset the Net.

Despite today’s vote, the fight over CISA is not over yet. The bill must still be “conferenced” with similar legislation in the House of Representatives, and then signed by President Obama. Fight for the Future intends to fight this dangerous measure at every step, and will hold lawmakers and companies accountable for supporting it or standing idly by and allowing it to pass.

Fight for the Future and Restore the Fourth will be updating their “legislative scorecard” based on the CISA vote. Lawmakers who supported the measure will receive -4 points, pushing many of them onto “Team Surveillance.”

For more on Fight for the Future’s recent campaigns around CISA, which have generated millions of messages to Congress against the bill and lead to an avalanche of large tech companies coming out in opposition, see this previous release, which includes high-resolution photos of CISA related protests that are available for use by press.

Note: Greer’s pronouns are she/hers.

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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

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Edward Snowden weighs in on CISA: “It’s not going to stop any attacks. It’s not going to make us any safer. It’s a surveillance bill.”

Posted 07:10 EDT on October 27, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2015

Contact: Tiffiniy Cheng, 413-367-6255, press@fightforthefuture.org

Last night, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden joined Fight for the Future’s Q&A session on reddit to weigh in on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA,) the controversial “cybersecurity” bill that is expected to see a vote on the Senate floor this afternoon.

“CISA isn’t a cybersecurity bill,” Snowden wrote in the reddit “IAmA” thread, “It’s not going to stop any attacks. It’s not going to make us any safer. It’s a surveillance bill. What it allows is for the companies you interact with every day – visibly, like Facebook, or invisibly, like AT&T – to indiscriminately share private records about your interactions and activities with the government.”

The reddit Q&A also featured representatives from Access, EFF, and Demand Progress as well as Senator Ron Wyden, who has been one of the strongest Congressional opponents of CISA.

Snowden, who of course understands the inside of the United States’ surveillance programs better than most, went on to explain how CISA will enable new types of government spying:

“In theory, this is supposed to allow the government to sort through what is in effect the entire private network space of civil society within the United States for “indicators of compromise,” or, more simply, red flags that indicate a hack has happened. The problem is that the NSA, FBI, and other organizations already do this on a higher level of the network under other authorities, such as Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. They don’t like that, though, because it means there are still parts of the internet and types of records that they aren’t (legally) allowed to add to the dragnet.

CISA changes that. CISA allows private companies to immediately share a perfect record of your private activities the instant you click a link, log in, make a purchase, and so on – and the government with reward for doing it by granting them a special form of legal immunity for their cooperation.”

The former NSA contractor also took to twitter to encourage his 1.5 million followers to call their Senators to oppose the bill. Snowden’s comments come at the peak of a rising wave of opposition that has included dozens of civil society groups, security experts, and major tech companies including Apple, Twitter, Dropbox, Mozilla, and Wikipedia.

Fight for the Future and other groups have driven millions of faxes, hundreds of thousands of emails, and tens of thousands of phone calls in opposition of the bill. The hashtag #StopCISA has been used more than 11,000 times in the last week alone.

Snowden concluded his IAmA comments with a warning about the impact of CISA on Internet users’ trust in U.S. tech companies, echoing concerns from industry experts and privacy advocates:

“This is a bill that will radically reshape the relationship between users and companies, because it undermines the core foundation of trust on the internet: that companies work for users rather than governments.”

Fight for the Future campaign director Evan Greer said, “This vote will go down in history as the moment that lawmakers decided not only what sort of Internet our children and our children’s children will have, but what sort of world they will live in. Every Senator who votes for CISA will be voting for a world without freedom of expression, a world without true democracy, a world without basic human rights. And they will be voting for their own removal from office, because the Internet will not forget which side of history they stood on.”

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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

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Today’s the last day to save net neutrality in Europe. Call & write your representatives!

Posted 09:56 EDT on October 26, 2015

Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 27, the European Parliament is set to adopt net neutrality rules that threaten the open Internet in Europe. The rules have significant problems and are much weaker than the rules that the current rules in the US.

Fortunately, it’s not too late to change course. Members of Parliament can still secure meaningful network neutrality for Europe — if they adopt key amendments on Tuesday. But we need a huge public outcry to make that happen.

Can you call your representative today and urge them to adopt the amendments? Click here to make a call!

Can’t call?  Click here to send them an email: http://battleforthenet.com/

Once you’re done, share this to get more friends to do the same!

A broad and growing coalition supports the amendments. It includes European and international digital rights organizations Initiative Netzfreiheit, Edri, La Quadature du Net, Digitale Gesellschaft, Bits of Freedom, and others, international digital rights organizations Access Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Reporters without Freedom, US digital rights organizations Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press, the Future of Music Coalition, which represents musicians, Engine Advocacy, which represents start-ups, EU and US start-ups and technology companies like BitTorrent, Etsy, Kickstarter, Tumblr, Reddit, Soundcloud, Netflix, Vimeo, and other leading venture capitalists from Europe and the US, as well German media authorities.

Want to learn more? Click here to learn more about the problems with the rules.

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NEW: Facebook quietly lobbying for CISA while being shielded by trade associations

Posted 11:23 EDT on October 24, 2015

Edward Snowden promotes Fight for the Future’s campaign demanding Facebook come clean

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 24, 2015

Contact: Tiffiniy Cheng, 413-367-6255, press@fightforthefuture.org

New information has surfaced about Facebook’s position on S. 754, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). Sources on the Hill tell us that Facebook lobbyists are welcoming CISA behind closed doors, even though Facebook has been lauded as opposing the bill after CCIA, an industry association they are a member of, came out against it.. CISA would give companies like Facebook legal immunity for violating privacy laws as long as they share information with the government. It’s supposed to be for cybersecurity, but in reality companies would be encouraged to share information beyond cyber threat data and the information could be used for prosecuting all kinds of activities.

Based on this information, Fight for the Future has launched a petition demanding that Facebook come clean about its stance on CISA: https://www.youbetrayedus.org/facebook

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted about the campaign last night: https://twitter.com/Snowden/status/658398460954214400 

Facebook has come under public fire for its permissive use of user data and pioneering privacy-invasive experiments in the past. They have also supported previous versions of the cybersecurity info-sharing bills, and their chief Senate lobbyist, Myriah Jordan, worked as General Counsel for CISA’s sponsor, Senator Richard Burr, immediately before moving to Facebook. Facebook has declined to take a public position on CISA, but in recent days sources have confirmed that in fact Facebook is quietly lobbying the Senate to pass it. Fight for the Future has launched a campaign to demand Facebook take a public position.

“At a time when CISA is being rejected by the public, security experts, and even the tech industry it’s supposed to protect, it was suspicious that Congress is barrelling forward with this bill at breakneck speed. Now, it seems we have part of the answer. Facebook’s quiet lobbying is an example of why Facebook will go down as the most hated tech company in history,” said Fight for the Future Co-director Tiffiniy Cheng, “If Facebook wants to reclaim their credibility on user privacy, they need to take a stand against CISA.”

Background:

Last month, the Business Software Alliance, which represents Apple, Microsoft, and other major tech companies, clarified that it does not support any of the three information sharing bills before Congress after Fight for the Future ran a public campaign called YouBetrayedUs and initiated a boycott of Heroku, the web hosting service owned by Salesforce, that spurred a flurry of angry emails from consumers targeting companies that signed a BSA letter that appeared to support CISA. Salesforce’s CEO also took to twitter condemning the BSA letter and saying his company opposes CISA.

The grassroots campaigns have sparked an avalanche of opposition from the tech industry as well. In the last two weeks,  Twitter, Yelp, reddit, and Wikipedia weighed in against CISA. CCIA, an industry association representing tech giants, including Facebook, as well as Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Sprint, and others, also issued a statement slamming the bill. Mozilla, imgur, Wordpress, Craigslist, Namecheap, and hundreds of other companies have opposed CISA and similar information sharing legislation in the past.

“The U.S. government’s deplorable surveillance programs and pathetic cybersecurity have already severely damaged the public’s trust in tech companies and Congress,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future. “If they choose to ignore the overwhelming opposition to this bill and pass it anyway, that damage could become irreparable. This moment will go down in history, and politicians need to decide which side of history they want to be on: the side that fought for freedom or the side that gave it away.”

Fight for the Future and other groups generated millions of emails, petition signatures, calls, tweets, and more than 6.2 million faxes to members of Congress (although it appears that the Senate may have blocked or otherwise lost the vast majority of the faxes, a disturbing footnote given the disconnect between Congress’ discussions of the bill and the overwhelming public opposition). The hashtag #CISA has also been completely flooded with tweets opposing the bill.

The bill, which has been lambasted by security experts, privacy activists, and major tech companies, would give corporations legal immunity to share data with the U.S. government, a move that experts say would not prevent cyber attacks but could enable sweeping new levels of government surveillance.

A final vote is expected on Tuesday.

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PHOTOS: Anti-CISA activists spell out “NO CISA” outside congress with large light up signs, thousands more speak out online

Posted 05:31 EDT on October 23, 2015
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 23, 2015

Contact: Holmes Wilson, 614-465-6371, press@fightforthefuture.org

WASHINGTON, DC––Thursday night a group of Internet freedom activists gathered outside the U.S. Capitol building to send a clear message to Congress using glowing light-up signs: “NO CISA.”

See PHOTOS here: http://imgur.com/a/kaUYl

(These photos are available for use by press, please credit to Fight for the Future.)

The “NO CISA” protest outside Congress was organized on 24 hours notice by Fight for the Future, CODEPINK, Restore the Fourth, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Council, Defending Dissent, and Bill of Rights Defense Committee who reacted quickly when news broke that the controversial Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) was moving on the Senate floor.

While Web activists gathered IRL in Washington, DC, tens of thousands more are speaking out online. In recent weeks Fight for the Future alone has driven tens of thousands of phone calls and emails to Congress opposing the bill through their action page DecideTheFuture.org, which also features interactive scorecards grading both members of Congress and major U.S. tech companies on their positions on privacy issues.

The hashtag #CISA has also been completely flooded with tweets opposing the bill.

Back in July, the Fight for the Future and other groups generated more than 6.2 million faxes to members of Congress, although it appears that the Senate may have blocked or otherwise lost the vast majority of them, a disturbing footnote given the disconnect between Congress’ discussions of the bill and the overwhelming public opposition.

“The U.S. government’s deplorable surveillance programs and pathetic cybersecurity have already severely damaged the public’s trust in tech companies and their members of Congress,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, “If they choose to ignore the blatantly overwhelming opposition to this bill and pass it anyway, that damage could become irreparable. This moment will go down in history, and politicians need to decide which side of history they want to be on: the side that fought for freedom or the side that gave it away.”

The bill, which has been lambasted by security experts, privacy activists, and major tech companies, would give corporations legal immunity to share data with the U.S. government, a move that experts say would not prevent cyber attacks but could enable sweeping new levels of government surveillance.

A final vote is expected on Tuesday.

Background:

Fight for the Future and a coalition of other advocacy groups have lead a series of high profile campaigns sparking massive public outrage against the bill. Earlier this year they launched Operation: #FaxBigBrother, generating more than 6 million faxes to Senate offices lambasting CISA with the message that “Congress is stuck in 1984.” They also launched a legislative “scoreboard” that grades every member of Congress on their recent surveillance voting record and encourages visitors to contact their lawmakers to oppose CISA.

The grassroots campaigns have sparked an avalanche of opposition from the tech industry as well. Over the weekend Twitter,  Yelp, reddit, and Wikipedia weighed in against CISA. Last week, CCIA, an industry association representing tech giants Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Amazon, Sprint, and others, also issued a statement slamming the bill. Mozilla, imgur, Wordpress, Craigslist, Namecheap, and hundreds of other companies have opposed CISA and similar information sharing legislation in the past.

Last month, the Business Software Alliance, which represents Apple, Microsoft, and other major tech companies, clarified that it does not support any of the three information sharing bills before Congress after Fight for the Future ran a public campaign called YouBetrayedUs that spurred a flurry of angry emails from consumers targeting companies that signed a BSA letter that appeared to support CISA. The group also initiated a boycott of Heroku, the webhosting service owned by Salesforce, which prompted Salesforce’s CEO to take to twitter condemning the BSA letter and saying his company opposes CISA.

The group continued to make headlines by calling for the CEO of Experian to resign over his company’s support for CISA after a devastating hack exposed the private data of 15 million T-Mobile customers. Just yesterday, following a viral AP story about Hillary Clinton’s cybersecurity failings as Secretary of State, Fight for the Future launched a petition calling for her to state her position on CISA, noting that her opponent Bernie Sanders opposes the bill.

Fight for the Future and a large coalition of other groups are watching CISA’s progress closely and are preparing for a final showdown on the Senate floor. Senators that expect to maintain their constituents trust would do well to take note of the rising level of opposition to this toxic legislation, which is now only supported by a few self-interested corporations and lawmakers who have a track record of voting to expand and maintain unpopular government surveillance programs.

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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

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