BREAKING: After digital rights group Fight for the Future’s YouBetrayedUs.org campaign sparked public outcry and generated more than 23,000 emails and calls for a boycott, the CEO of cloud computing firm Salesforce took to twitter today to clarify that his company does not support CISA, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015.
CISA is a controversial “cybersecurity” bill that experts say will endanger online privacy and security while failing to stop cyber attacks. Last week, Salesforce and a handful of other companies including Microsoft and Apple signed on to letter sent to Congress by BSA, The Software Alliance. The letter urges “prompt action” by Congress to pass “Cyber Threat Information Sharing Legislation.” Given that the Senate is expected to take up CISA soon, and that CISA is the only “Cyber Threat Information Sharing Legislation” being considered, the letter was seen as a clear endorsement of the bill, sparking online outrage.
“The letter clearly was a mistake and doesn’t imply CISA support. We need to clarify. I’m against it,” Marc Benioff tweeted today. In a separate tweet he clarified, “Contrary to reports, Salesforce doesn’t support the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA.)” He also linked to trust.salesforce.com, a page that does not appear to mention CISA or other Salesforce policy positions. Benioff appeared to spend quite a bit of time on twitter this morning, replying to many twitter users who had tweeted about Salesforce’s support for misguided cybersecurity legislation.
“It’s great to see the Internet flexing its muscles and showing its power to defend itself once again,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, “Salesforce responding to our boycott by backing away from support for CISA is a huge victory for the rights of Internet users everywhere. Any company that expects its users’ trust must clearly and vocally oppose CISA and any bill like it.”
Fight for the Future is a digital rights group best known for organizing massive online protests against SOPA and for net neutrality. They were also behind Reset the Net, the largest online campaign against mass surveillance, which was endorsed by Edward Snowden and thousands of tech companies. Learn more at FightFortheFuture.org or on Twitter at @fightfortheftr
“You betrayed us.” Thousands of customers email Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, and other companies who signed letter endorsing CISA
Digital Rights group Fight for the Future announces plan to leave Heroku / Salesforce web hosting service over support for cyber spying bill, calls for boycott in open letter
In less than 24 hours, more than 15,000 Internet users have sent angry emails to Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, IBM, Symantec, and other technology companies who signed a letter supporting controversial cybersecurity legislation that experts saywill undermine user security and privacy while failing to prevent cyber attacks. The public backlash has come with a simple message: “You betrayed us.”
Digital rights group Fight for the Future, known for its major role in the battle against SOPA and the net neutrality victory, launched YouBetrayedUs.org yesterday after a handful of technology companies began publicly lobbying for Congress to pass “Cyber Threat Information Sharing Legislation,” known in its current form as the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA).
Fight for the Future, who are currently Heroku / Salesforce webhosting customers, simultaneously published an open letter announcing their intention to leave that service for a provider who does not support privacy-killing legislation, and calling for a general Internet boycott of Heroku, an idea that quickly spreadon popular sites among web developers like redditand yCombinator.
“Any company that supports a bill like CISA or sits silently and allows it to pass is a company that can’t be trusted,” added Fight for the Future’s campaign director, Evan Greer, “These companies might think they’re invincible, but so did Myspace and Friendster. Internet users are fed up, companies that abandon their commitment to user privacy and security should expect the Internet to abandon them.”
The YouBetrayedUs.org campaign is just getting started. Fight for the Future plans to continue exposing companies that support anti-user legislation like CISA, and will work to get every popular website and tech company on the record about this crucial legislation. Many popular companieshave opposedbills like CISA including reddit, Imgur, Namecheap, Wordpress, and Mozilla.
This list will continue to grow as companies realize that their user’s expect them not just to take basic security precautions, but to actively fight for their privacy and civil liberties.
We tend to be pretty skeptical, so it’s hard for tech companies to shock us. But this latest development is significant because these companies aren’t even trying to hide the fact that they’re lobbying for MORE government spying, and asking for government handouts and protection if they play nice.
Here are the facts: last week, this group of companies sent a letter to Congress endorsing bills like CISA—the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act. It’s a dangerous bill that security experts say will erode our privacy while actually making our data less secure.2
So why are these companies pushing for it? Because the government is offering legal immunity to companies that share private user information with dozens of government agencies.
We need to act now because if we don’t respond swiftly and loudly, more companies will jump on the bandwagon and sell out their users privacy in exchange for government protection. If more major companies endorse CISA, it will be almost impossible to stop it in Congress.
We have an opportunity right now, but it won’t last long. If we can create a massive public backlash and make these companies regret endorsing CISA, we can make sure that no other companies are willing to betray their users so publicly, and send a message to Congress that this is still a supremely unpopular bill, no matter what Microsoft and Apple’s lobbyists say.
Conviction Can Be Used Against Manning During Any Clemency or Parole Hearing Forever; Expects to Delay Transition to Minimum Security Custody By Years
Today, Chelsea Manning called supporters from prison to inform them that the U.S. Army found her guilty of all four “charges,” which include possession of LGBTQ reading material like the Caitlyn Jenner issue of Vanity Fair, and having a tube of expired toothpaste in her cell. She received 21 days of recreational restrictions, excluding her from time in the gym, library and outdoors. Now that they convictions are on her record, they can be cited in future hearings concerning parole or clemency. Manning expects the convictions to delay her transition to minimum security custody status by years.
Chase Strangio, Chelsea’s attorney at the ACLU, said:
“When I spoke to Chelsea earlier today she wanted to convey the message to supporters that she is so thankful for the thousands of people from around the world who let the government know that we are watching and scrutinizing what happens to her behind prison walls. It was no doubt this support that kept her out of solitary confinement. But the fact that Chelsea had to face today’s four-hour Disciplinary Board without counsel, and will now be punished for daring to share her voice, sets a concerning precedent for the remaining decades of her incarceration. Not only does this punishment mean the immediate loss of library and recreation for Chelsea, but she also will carry these infractions through her parole and clemency process and will be held longer in the more restrictive custody where she is now incarcerated. No one should have to face the lingering threat of solitary confinement for reading and writing about the conditions we encounter in the world. Chelsea’s voice is critical to our public discourse about government accountability and trans Justice and we can only preserve it if we stay vigilant in our advocacy on her behalf.”
Evan Greer, Campaign Director of Fight for the Future, said:
“People around the world are outraged that a courageous whistleblower like Chelsea Manning is imprisoned in the first place, so it’s no surprise that people spoke out in droves when the U.S. government threatened her. More than 100,000 supporters signed a petition demanding no solitary confinement for Chelsea, and the pressure worked. It’s absurd that Chelsea was found guilty, and that she has to endure any additional punishment beyond being wrongly imprisoned, but now the U.S. government knows that the world is watching their treatment of Chelsea closely. If they continue this unwarranted harassment of Chelsea, they risk losing all legitimacy in the eyes of millions.”
The charges were first revealed at FreeChelsea.com, and Manning has since posted the original charging documents to her twitter account here and here. She has also posted the complete list of confiscated reading materials here.
PHOTOS: Chelsea Manning supporters deliver 100,000 signatures to Army officials ahead of Tuesday hearing on solitary confinement
Petition signers call for the Army to drop new charges, stop harassing WikiLeaks whistleblower Manning, who will face a disciplinary board this afternoon with no attorney present
WASHINGTON, DC––This morning, advocacy groups supporting imprisoned WikiLeaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning delivered a petition signed by more than 100,000 people to the Army Liason office in Congress.
Chelsea faces possible indefinite solitary confinement, which is widely recognized as a form of torture, for four “charges,” which include possession of LGBTQ reading material like the Caitlyn Jenner issue of Vanity Fair, and having a tube of expired toothpaste in her cell. The charges were first revealed at FreeChelsea.com, and Manning has since posted the original charging documents to her twitter account here andhere. She has also posted the complete list of confiscated reading materials here.
On Saturday, Chelsea called supporters toalert them that military correctional staff denied her access to the prison legal library. This development comes just two days before she must present a defense (without her lawyers present) before the disciplinary board that could sentence her to potentially indefinite solitary confinement.
Chase Strangio, Chelsea’s attorney at the ACLU, said: “During the five years she has been incarcerated Chelsea has had to endure horrific and, at times, plainly unconstitutional conditions of confinement. She now faces the threat of further dehumanization because she allegedly disrespected an officer when requesting an attorney and had in her possession various books and magazines that she used to educate herself and inform her public and political voice. I am heartened to see the outpouring of support for her in the face of these new threats to her safety and security. This support can break down the isolation of her incarceration and sends the message to the government that the public is watching and standing by her as she fights for her freedom and her voice.”
Evan Greer, Campaign Director of Fight for the Future, said: “The U.S. government has a terrifying track record of using imprisonment and torture to silence free speech and dissenting voices. They’ve tortured Chelsea Manning before and now they’re threatening to do it again, without any semblance of due process. Perhaps the military thought that now that Chelsea is behind bars she’s been forgotten, but the tens of thousands who signed this petition are proving them wrong. Chelsea Manning is a hero and the whole world is watching the U.S. government’s deplorable treatment of whistleblowers, transgender people, and prison inmates in general.”
Nancy Hollander, one of Chelsea’s criminal defense attorneys, said: “Chelsea is facing serious repercussions and punishment if these charges are upheld, yet the prison has denied her the right to legal counsel, even legal counsel at her own expense. Now we have learned the prison authorities have denied her the use of the prison library to prepare for her hearing. The whole system is rigged against her. She cannot have a lawyer to assist her; she cannot prepare her own defense; and the hearing will be secret. This harassment and abuse must end and we are grateful for the support from the public to demand justice for Chelsea Manning.”
Sara Cederberg, Campaign Director of Demand Progress, said: “The charges against Chelsea Manning set a dangerous precedent for anyone who exercises their civil liberties to speak out against the abuses of our government. Long-term solitary confinement is a form of torture, and no one deserves this cruel and unusual psychological punishment. Today, and every day, thousands of Demand Progress members are standing with Chelsea, democracy and free speech.”
David Swanson, Campaign Coordinator at RootsAction.org, said: "Our petition demanding relief from this latest injustice for Manning has been the fastest-starting petition we’ve ever had, and it’s full of eloquent comments from thousands of people who by all rights should have been past the point of outrage overload. Here is a straightforward case of a whistleblower of the sort that candidate Obama in 2008 said he would reward, and she’s being punished not only unjustly but in violation of laws back at least to the Eighth Amendment. President Obama has long claimed to have ended torture. The U.S. military in effect is threatening to torture a young woman for having the wrong toothpaste and magazine.“
Nancy Mancias, of the peace group CODEPINK, said: "The recent charges are inappropriate, extreme and ridiculous, Chelsea Manning has done a great service by leaking US war crimes in Iraq. Manning should have a right to legal counsel when requested, and threatening to her isolate from community is inhumane.”