‘Privacy is Awesome’ campaign hopes to derail cybersecurity bill CISPA

CISPA, the Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act, has already passed through the House and is being debated in the Senate. It would allow corporations and government (particularly the spy agency NSA) to share information, including user data, with the government without threat of immunity. It’s controversial and has receive no small amount of attention from civil liberties groups like EFF, as well as hacktivist collective Anonymous.

In the Senate, however, the most clear-cut opposition to CISPA has been launched by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) — who also opposed SOPA/PIPA — who recently made a great floor speech against the legislation. Wyden concluded a 12-minute speech by saying, “I believe these bills will encourage the development of a cyber security industry that profits from fear and whose currency is Americans private data. These bills create a Cyber Industrial Complex that has an interest in preserving the problem to which it is the solution.”

CISPA is probably going to head to the Senate floor for a vote in early June, so the sense of urgency amongst the opposition is beginning to ramp up after a rather quiet month.

Fight for the Future, Democrats.com, The Liberty Coalition, and the Entertainment Consumers Association, have together created a new website called Privacy Is Awesome, which seeks to inform those without a great awareness of CISPA how to defeat it as Memorial Day recess approaches. To that end, the coalition website posted “5 steps to kill CISPA and save privacy,” which essentially read:

  1. Call your Senators and tell them to oppose Lieberman-Collins bill (CISPA), and ask for a constituent meeting during the Memorial Day recess to help change their mind.
  2. Email Senators offices about CISPA, expressing your opposition.
  3. Keep calling Senators until they plan a constituent meeting.
  4. Donate to anti-CISPA organizers — the same teams that helped defeat SOPA/PIPA.

Head over to Privacy is Awesome for more information on how to fight CISPA. And watch Senator Ron Wyden’s spirited and well-reasoned Senate speech in opposition to CISPA below.