Don’t Let Congress Use “Cybersecurity” Fears to Trample on Civil Liberties

Congress is considering legislation that would create backdoor wiretaps into our daily communications. These “cybersecurity” bills would give companies a free pass to monitor and collect communications, including huge amounts of personal data like your text messages and emails. Companies could ship that data wholesale to the government or anyone else provided they claim it was for “cybersecurity purposes.” Tell Congress that they can’t use vaguely defined “cybersecurity threats” as a shortcut to shredding the Constitution.

Under Rep. Mike Rogers’ Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA),and Sen. John McCain’s SECURE IT Act, there are almost no restrictions on what information can be spied upon and how it can be used. That means a company like Google, Facebook, Twitter, or AT&T could intercept your emails and text messages, send copies to one another and to the government, and modify those communications or prevent them from reaching their destination if it fits into their plan to stop “cybersecurity” threats.

Worst of all, the stated definition of “cybersecurity purpose” is so broad that it leaves the door open to censor any speech that a company believes would “degrade the network.”  Parts of the proposed legislation specifically state that cybersecurity purpose includes protecting against the theft or misappropriation of private or government information. Such sweeping language would give companies and the government a powerful weapon to use against whistleblower websites like WikiLeaks.

Congress wants to use the threat of “cybersecurity” to undermine our Constitutional rights. Tell your lawmakers that we won’t stand for dangerous, unsupervised information sharing under the guise of cybersecurity.

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