Many of my readers appear concerned about CISPA, the latest legislative nightmare to be pumped through a mostly lobbyist-owned 112th United States Congress.
As we’ve seen with other dubious laws, such as the Patriot Act, once something becomes a law it tends to stay on the books. (The Patriot Act was extended by President Obama last year, moments before it would have expired. Very few people seem to know this, I’m not sure why.)
As such, if we want to keep the Internet free of over-governance and widespread state surveillance without warrant, opposing CISPA is crucial. It has already passed the House and now heads to a Senate vote. Here’s a quick action kit you can use to make your voice heard — in as little as 5 minutes, you can do almost everything you can “reasonably” do to help prevent CISPA from becoming the law of the land.
Please feel free to re-post, re-share, or otherwise distribute this content so that as many people as possible have a chance to fight CISPA this week. I won’t be hounding you for “copyright infringement,” even if you re-post this entire article and fail to provide attribution. Similarly, feel free to improve upon this action kit, and distribute your enhanced version of it.
1. Become as knowledgeable as possible. You can’t fight what you don’t understand. The EFF has compiled a great summary of prominent “voices of opposition against CISPA” you can browse through here.
2. Sign the most popular of the anti-CISPA petitions. This one has 779,082 signatures so far; their goal is 1 million signatures, and it’s a goal I believe we can hit. A few cowards have told me they’d sign it, but they don’t want to wind up on “a list.” Hey, this is America — we put our names behind what we truly believe in. And we don’t fear being put on lists — not yet, anyway. Here’s the petition. It takes about 20 seconds to fill out and submit.
3. CALL, do not email, Facebook message, or fax your 2 Senators TODAY — as in right now. Here’s a listing of Senators’ official phone numbers. This can be politely done in about 2 minutes, 30 seconds. Simply say you are calling to voice your opposition to CISPA, and if your Senators vote in favour of it, you will go out of your way to vote for their opponent in the next election. Furthermore, you will tell your friends and family to do likewise, and spread word of the politician’s pro-CISPA stance via your social media accounts.
I have been told repeatedly that calling makes the most impact. Emails and faxes are all too easy to be ignored, and we have no time to waste. While posting a message on your Senators’ public Facebook pages is a good way to build public awareness of CISPA, it is not the ideal way to directly connect with the Senator’s office. You want to reach an actual aide who will send the message up the chain of command, rather than an overworked social media intern.
4. Awareness, awareness, awareness! The American people cannot oppose something they don’t even know about.
For more updates on CISPA, you can follow me on Twitter and Google+. Also do a Google News search every few hours for CISPA-related updates, and post those to your social media accounts to keep your friends and family posted.
The mainstream media cannot be counted on here to get the message out in time. They are lazy, incompetent, and take their marching orders directly from corporate parent companies which, to put it quite simply, do not have your best interests (nor your privacy) at heart.
I didn’t truly believe this until I saw the mainstream media refuse to cover — and then utterly marginalize — the discussion surrounding NDAA (which is now law, regrettably) and SOPA (which, fortunately, millions of Americans and concerned Internet users around the globe managed to oppose in time — we can win).
Can we warn millions of Americans in time? Can we all present massive opposition to CISPA as it is currently worded? Absolutely. To pull from part of a John F. Kennedy quote, “that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”
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