Pressing news: U.S. Congress is rushing toward a vote on CISA (formerly called CISPA), the worst spying bill yet.1
CISA would give giant Internet companies like Google and Facebook total legal immunity to do almost anything they want with our data. Why? So that the government can pressure these companies to share even more of our personal information with spy agencies like the NSA.2
Congress has tried this before. Four times! Every time we’ve managed to defeat CISA-like legislation at the last minute. This time, though, the prospects are looking grim.
Defense contractors and big banks are pouring money into lobbying and using recent news like the OPM hacks to spread fear and misinformation. Worse, President Obama is signaling that he’ll sign CISA if it ends up on his desk, even though security experts say it will do nothing to prevent cyber attacks.3
Privacy groups have sent millions of emails and tens of thousands of phone calls to DC opposing this but they still aren’t listening. We need to get creative.
So, since Congress seems to be stuck in 1984 and clearly doesn’t understand modern technology, we’re building a robot that can send them thousands upon thousands of… FAXES.
For every $5 that Fight for the Future members contribute, we can send 1,500 faxes to Congress from Internet users explaining why they oppose CISA!
Congress doesn’t get a whole lot of faxes. If enough people chip in, we can break their all-time record and send Congress more faxes than they’ve ever seen before. Our action tool will make sending a fax as easy as signing a petition — and a lot more powerful. It’s going to be awesome.
The vote is going to be close. But if we go big right now we could stop CISA once and for all.
Next week we’ll be working with tons of groups on a week of action to stop this dangerous bill and our fax-machine-attack-robot will be at the center of it. Our goal is to overwhelm Congress with faxes, but we can only do it if enough people donate.
WASHINGTON, DC — Moments ago, the U.S. Senate voted to advance Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority. The 60-37 motion sets up a final vote tomorrow that is almost certain to pass, which will then send the bill to President Obama’s desk to become law. Fast Track makes it virtually certain that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), and other secret trade deals will become law.
Fight for the Future, an Internet-freedom nonprofit best known for their role organizing massive online protests around SOPA, online privacy, and net neutrality, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to Holmes Wilson, Director of Fight for the Future.
“Today, the Senate chose to completely ignore the public and advance Fast Track anyway. People from across the political spectrum spoke out in overwhelming numbers against Fast Track because they know that when the government acts in secret, with only corporate lobbyists to advise them, the results are always terrible.”
“These trade deals are written by government bureaucrats and corporate lobbyists behind closed doors, and now neither Congress nor the the public will have any meaningful ability to debate them. A simple yes or no vote with 30 days of review after a multi-year secret negotiation process isn’t public oversight– it’s a farce.”
“These secret deals are about getting big, entrenched industries everything they want that they couldn’t get passed in the open. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is an MPAA lobbyist’s dream bill for exporting America’s worst copyright laws to the rest of the world, filled with bits and pieces of all the bills that they couldn’t get passed in Congress.”
“We’re disappointed. We’d hoped that 2015 would be the year when we’d finally stop the lobbyists behind SOPA and PIPA from passing Internet policy in secret, through trade deals. They won this round, but the loophole that trade agreements give lobbying groups for passing policy in secret remains an insane insult to democracy. We’ll close it someday.”
Fight for the Future is a digital rights nonprofit that has driven more than 170,000 emails and more than 18,000 phone calls to Congress opposing Fast Track in the last two 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.
WASHINGTON, DC—Moments ago, the U.S. House of Representatives dealt a blow to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), and other secret trade deals by overwhelmingly voting down a critical Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) provision linked to the fast track authority package. Under the rules for the fast track debate, the vote means that the current version of the “Fast Track” bill sent over by the Senate is dead, and it pushes future votes further into election season, putting the TPP and other secret agreements on shakier ground than ever before.
The House may reconsider the TAA vote next week in attempt to salvage the badly beaten Fast Track package, but a growing and politically diverse coalition stands ready to fight it going forward if necessary.
Fight for the Future, an Internet-freedom nonprofit best known for their role organizing massive online protests around SOPA, online privacy, and net neutrality, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to campaign director, Evan Greer:
“Today, the Internet wins again. The public has resoundingly rejected every attempt to limit our online freedom from SOPA to attacks on net neutrality. Today, Internet users around the world made their voices heard when Congress rejected an utterly broken and outdated trade negotiations process that has been abused for far too long to advance the interests of the largest industries at the expense of innovation and basic human rights.
Every month pro-Fast Track members of Congress have claimed that they would pass it and every month the overwhelming resistance from the public has forced them to abandon or delay their plans at the last minute. Trade Promotion Authority legislation will put us on a Fast Track to Internet censorship and decreased privacy, and would allow bureaucrats and lobbyists to make crucial decisions that impact the future of the Web in total secrecy.
Lobbyists from the MPAA and RIAA, the same folks that brought us Internet censorship bills like SOPA and PIPA and terrible trade agreements like ACTA, thought that the closed-door Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations would be the perfect place for them to push through extreme copyright provisions that could be devastating for online free speech and the startup economy.
Today, we can celebrate a victory over this secrecy, and prepare ourselves to continue fighting for a world where decisions that impact the Web are made with transparency and accountability.“
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.
The appropriations process is being used by a captured Congress to undermine Open Internet Rules that nearly 4 million Americans fought to pass.
On Wednesday, June 10, 2015, the House introduced no less than three amendments to a must-pass appropriations bill that, through different mechanisms, would block the FCC from enforcing its Open Internet (“Net Neutrality”) Rules. By attaching these amendments to a must-pass bill, Congress has made them difficult for President Obama (who supports Open Internet rules) to veto.
Each amendment, if passed, would severely undermine the FCC’s ability to stop cable companies from blocking, throttling, or discriminating against specific websites for arbitrary, non-technical reasons.
“Congress doesn’t get it. Millions of Americans fought for net neutrality, and they won,” said Fight for the Future campaign director Evan Greer, “It’s time for the cable companies to stop looking for favors from Washington and actually focus on providing the thing their customers want: faster, more reliable service.”
“These FCC rules are the Internet’s last line of defense from the one threat it can’t simply out-innovate: being throttled by companies like Comcast who have millions of American households locked in,” said Fight for the Future co-director Holmes Wilson, “Here you see Congress jumping through ridiculous procedural hoops, just to kill the most vibrant part of our economy: Internet-enabled small business.”
“It’s almost sad how unsurprising this kind of underhanded sneak attack is coming from cable companies and their friends in Congress,“ said Fight for the Future Campaign Manager Charlie Furman. "People overwhelmingly support Net Neutrality, so of course cable companies bury their attacks a hundred pages deep in an appropriations bill the public doesn’t read closely.”
WASHINGTON, DC –– Late last week, House Republicans started to receive hand-delivered packages in large white envelopes addressed to each Representative by name and purportedly “from” President Barack Obama. The packages contained a satirical letter to Congress from the President asking Republicans, “Please rubber stamp my secret trade agenda.” The packages also contained a rubber stamp of the President’s face along with the text, “I approve President Obama’s secret trade deal.” Finally, the packages contained a fact sheet headlined, “Facts to Ignore when Rubber Stamping my Trade Deal.”
Today, the digital rights group, Fight for the Future, revealed that they were behind the action. Fight for the Future issued the following statement, which was also mailed anonymously to several media outlets:
“People from across the political spectrum oppose Fast Track/Trade Promotion Authority because we have learned that when our government acts in secret, it is never in the public’s best interest.
Republicans who claim to advocate for individual liberty should know better than to vote for legislation that gives unprecedented powers to the executive branch to make decisions in secret that affect everything from national sovereignty, to U.S. patent laws, to internet freedom.
Any Republican who decides to go against the majority of their constituents and rubberstamp the Trans-Pacific Partnership will learn come election that paying lip service to liberty while endorsing tyranny is a fast track to losing the faith of the American public.”
Fight for the Future Campaign Director Evan Greer added, “Given all the secrecy surrounding insider deals for Fast Track legislation and classified agreements like the TPP and TISA, we thought it was apropos to have a bit of mystery surrounding our protest too. Congress is supposed to listen to their constituents, not party leadership, not the White House, not industry lobbyists––the people they represent. We sent them these stamps as a reminder, and to show them that the public is watching, and will remember how they vote.”
Fight for the Future 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.
Fight for the Future is a nonprofit that has driven more than 100,000 emails and 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 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.