This morning, government officials reported that the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement has been “finalized” after a weekend of closed-door meetings in Atlanta. Fight for the Future, a leading digital rights group that has opposed the deal due to its lack of transparency and extreme copyright provisions that could lead to Internet censorship, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to Campaign Director, Evan Greer:
“Government bureaucrats have emerged from their secret meetings claiming they’ve finalized the TPP text, but it’s anything but a done deal. For the Trans-Pacific Partnership to become law, it must first be accepted by each individual country’s elected officials, including U.S. Congress, where it faces fierce resistance from both political parties.
The TPP is a wishlist for monopolistic corporations that inherently benefits giant multinational companies while undermining small businesses and startups. Based on the latest leaks, the TPP contains extreme copyright provisions that will stifle innovation, harm the tech economy, and worst of all, threaten our basic rights to self-expression by paving the way for widespread Internet censorship.
The future of the Internet is far too important to be decided in an agreement that has been negotiated entirely behind closed doors. The public outcry is already rising, but in the coming weeks we will amplify it tenfold. The Internet has proven its ability to defend itself time and time again. U.S. lawmakers are in the spotlight now, and they should know that the public is watching them closely and overwhelmingly expects them to vote down this terrible deal.”
Fight for the Future is a digital rights nonprofit that has driven more than 130,000 emails and more than 15,000 phone calls to Congress in recent months, rallied more than 7,500 websites for an online protest, and helped coordinate a letter to Congress from more than 250 tech companies expressing transparency and tech related concerns about Fast Track legislation.
The group made headlines in March when they flew a 30’ blimp over several of Senator Ron Wyden’s town hall meetings calling for him to “Save the Internet” by opposing Fast Track for the TPP, and then parked a Jumbotron on capitol hill to display the viral video they made about the stunt. More recently, Fight for the Future made a splash on the hill when they delivered actual rubber stamps to every house Republican’s office with a mock letter from President Obama asking Congress to “please rubber stamp my secret trade agenda.
Fight for the Future works to defend the Internet as a free and open platform for expression and creativity, and is best known for their role organizing the massive online protests against SOPA, the Internet Slowdown for net neutrality, and the Reset The Net campaign for online privacy, which was endorsed by Edward Snowden.
Experian has been hacked more than 100 times, but instead of improving their inadequate digital security, they are spending money lobbying Congress to pass CISA, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, a bill that may give companies like them legal immunity in the event of a hack, as long as they share data with the government.
Ironically, earlier today we noticed the page where Experian is directing customers who have been affected by the hack, ProtectmyID.com/securityincident, was not protected by basic HTTPS encryption. We tweeted about it, and a few hours later the site now appears to be protected by HTTPS.
This is a perfect example of the flawed underlying logic behind CISA. Instead of encouraging companies like Experian to improve their deeply flawed security practices, this bill could offer them legal immunity, allowing them to shift blame to the government and giving them no incentive to secure their own networks.
Fight for the Future CTO Jeff Lyon said, “Experian CTO Brian Cassin has put the profits of his company above the well-being of his customers and our nation’s cybersecurity. Why should Experian bother fixing their security when they can just lobby their way out of the messes they make? This type of thinking is putting millions of people at risk. Cassin should resign and companies like Experian and T Mobile should take responsibility for the safety their customer’s data.”
Earlier today, Senator’s Burr and Feinstein issued a statement regarding the T Mobile breach where they used the news to encourage Congress to pass CISA. Their logic could not possibly be more flawed. We should be holding companies with negligent data practices accountable, not offering them legal immunity when they share data with government agencies who also have a terrible track record of protecting it.
Feel free to reach out to us for additional comments on the T Mobile / Experian breach and how it relates to cybersecurity legislation pending in Congress.
The scoreboard builds off a similar tool released last year by a coalition of privacy advocates, adding data from the current Congress, including the PATRIOT Act renewal fight, the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 and other relevant legislation.
“We wanted to develop something simple and easy that would allow users to quickly see which politicians oppose mass surveillance, and who’s working to expand the surveillance state” says Alex Marthews, national chair of Restore The Fourth.
The new online tool, which is a joint effort by Restore The Fourth and Fight for the Future, allows users to input their state and find their legislators’ voting records. Visitors to the site are encouraged to call, email or Tweet lawmakers to demand stronger surveillance reform.
All 535 members of Congress are graded. 24 Senators got A grades, and 35 got Fs. In the House, 173 Representatives (40%) got A grades, and 10 (2.3%) got Fs.
The scoreboard shows strong support for surveillance reform in Congress, especially in the House; but that leadership in both Houses and the intelligence committees are strongly slanted against reform.
“Ever since Edward Snowden exposed the NSA’s worst abuses, members of Congress from both political parties have been under intense pressure from the public to rein in the U.S. government’s runaway surveillance programs,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, “The scoreboard makes it impossible for them to hide any longer; politicians from both sides of the aisle who attempt to block meaningful reform on this issue should expect to pay the price come election time.”
Looking at the states, legislators from Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin are most supportive of surveillance reform, while legislators from Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois and Mississippi tend to oppose reform more.
With so many key elections coming up, this tool provides a platform for voters to get involved. As Congress prepares to make decisions affecting the nation’s privacy and safety, we should all be aware of who is and isn’t fighting for our Fourth Amendment rights.
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.