With the Senate set to vote on the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (CSA), perhaps as early as tomorrow, those opposed to the legislation are taking to the Internet, especially Twitter, to urge Senators to alter the bill’s most troublesome privacy provisions. The effort has been led led by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and is, appropriately, called “Stop Cyber Spying“.
EFF and its supporters are urging concerned Internet users to speak out for privacy before the big Senate vote, and the message seems to be reaching the Senators. The custom EFF tweet goes something like this: “@Sen________ Does the NSA really need to know I send my Mom lolcat pictures? #DefendPrivacy https://cyberspying.eff.org”
“We are hearing from contacts in DC that they are getting Tweets much faster than phone calls,” said Rainey Reitman, EFF’s activism director. “They are saying we are having an impact.”
An effort is also being made to highlight positive amendments such as the Franken-Paul Amendment, which would remove Section 701, and oppose Senator John McCain’s Orwellian amendment, which would strengthen Section 701, handing the NSA the power to access user data collected by private entities such as Facebook Google, for example.
Under Section 701, private entities would essentially be able to surveil cybersecurity threats or cybersecurity threat indicators (a hacker scanning for a password or Anonymous’s DDoS traffic) without first obtaining a warrant. This private user data could then be handed over to the government. Service providers would thus become government-approved private industry spies.
EFF suggests leaving comments on Senator Facebook pages in the following vein:
I’m a constituent and I want you to defend privacy when you vote on the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S 3414). Please support the Franken-Paul Amendment and other pro-privacy amendments, reject any attempts to water down privacy protections, and oppose the bill as a whole.
The vote is mere hours away so please act now. Get on it already.