A coalition of advocacy groups has begun a week of intensive protests against the latest attack on the free and open internet, The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). The draconian legislation would force companies to ignore existing privacy laws and share information with the federal government.
At the forefront of the coalition’s protest efforts is a Twitter takeover, whereby users are being asked to use the hashtags #CongressTMI and #CISPA in an attempt to create the same level of publicity that was generated during the height of the protests against The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) earlier this year.
The organizations are pushing ahead with a mass distribution of letters and articles to raise awareness of the implications of CISPA, which is sponsored by Michigan Republican Mike Rogers.
The groups do not plan on conducting any “blackouts”, shutting down their websites as happened during the SOPA protests. Instead they will focus on informational campaigns aiming to teach people about all the cybersecurity bills currently in Congress.
The revelation that Facebook is supporting the legislation has also raised awareness of the issue ahead of the protests.
“Freedom of expression and the protection of online privacy are increasingly under threat in democratic countries, where a series of bills and draft laws is sacrificing them in the interests of national security or copyright,” Reporters Without Borders said in a statement.
“A blanket monitoring system is never an appropriate solution. Reporters Without Borders opposes CISPA and ask Congress to reject this legislation.” the statement says.
Other groups taking part in the internet-wide protests include Access Now, American Civil Liberties Union, American Library Association, Avaaz, Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, Center for Democracy and Technology, The Constitution Project, Demand Progress, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, Free Press, OpenMedia.ca, Open the Government, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Reverse Robo Call, Sunlight Foundation, Techdirt, and TechFreedom.