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Activists To Bombard Congress With Faxes To Fight Cybersecurity Bill

A coalition of privacy advocates have launched an initiative to send thousands of faxes to Congress to raise awareness of CISA, a cybersecurity bill similar to the failed CISPA bill.

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“CISPA is back,” warns the website of Fight For The Future, an advocacy group that has challenged controversial bills like CISPA, SOPA, and PIPA in the past. Senate Bill 754, known as CISA, is one of the latest cybersecurity bills and is reportedly headed to the Senate floor as early as next month.

Fight for the Future and other privacy advocates, frustrated with bills such as CISPA and CISA continuing to appear in legislation despite widespread public opposition and numerous deferments, are implementing a mostly obsolete method of data transmission to send a clear message to Congress.

Groups including Fight For The Future and Access have teamed up to initiate a large-scale campaign to send thousands of faxes to every member of the U.S. Senate. Eight phone lines have been programmed to convert emails and tweets with the hashtag FaxBigBrother into separate faxes to be sent to Congress.

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“Groups like Fight for the Future have sent [Congress] millions of emails, and they still don’t seem to get it,” Fight for the Future’s Evan Greer told The Guardian.

[quote_center]“Maybe they don’t get it because they’re stuck in 1984, and we figured we’d use some 80’s technology to try to get our point across.”[/quote_center]

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a co-author of CISA and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has called this bill “a critical step to confront one of the most dire national and economic threats we face: cyber attacks.” Feinstein claimed that CISA would protect against cyberattacks using “purely voluntary information sharing” between the private sector and the government regarding cybersecurity threats.

Senators Ron Wyden (D-Or.) and Mark Udall (D-Co.) have voiced their opposition to CISA, pointing out that in the past “the federal government has exploited loopholes to collect Americans’ private information in the name of security.” Wyden and Udall worried that CISA “lacks adequate protections for the privacy rights of law-abiding Americans, and that it will not materially improve cybersecurity.”

According to Fight For The Future, CISA is a “dirty deal between government and corporate giants.” The website FaxBigBrother describes CISA as “a massive bribe” from the federal government: “They will give corporations immunity for breaking virtually any law if they do so while providing the NSA, DHS, DEA, and local police surveillance access to everyone’s data in exchange for getting away with crimes, like fraud, money laundering, or illegal wiretapping.”

 

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