Profile Image

Info

https://eff.org

Our Facebook Page

Don’t see your organization on POPVOX? Any U.S. nonprofit organization or community group can get listed.

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

Mission: From the Internet to the iPod, technologies are transforming our society and empowering us as speakers, citizens, creators, and consumers. When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990—well before the Internet was on most people's radar—and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today. From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights.

* This organization profile has been set up by POPVOX.

Take Action with Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

Campaign Priority Bills and Proposals POPVOX Sentiment Take Action
H.R. 3830
view

January 28, 2014

Dear Members of the Senate Committee on ...

view the full position statement

Join Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in opposing H.R. 3830

9% 91%

45 total users

Oppose
S. 1900
view

January 28, 2014

Dear Members of the Senate Committee on ...

view the full position statement

Join Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in opposing S. 1900

7% 93%

390 total users

Oppose
view

Don’t Let Them Trade Away Our Internet Freedoms: Speak ...

view the full position statement

Join Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in opposing The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

3% 97%

668 total users

Oppose
H.R. 3309
view

Today, we are one giant step closer to real patent ...

view the full position statement

Join Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in endorsing H.R. 3309

85% 15%

324 total users

Support
House Amendment 147

89% 11%

532 total users

Oppose
House Amendment 101
view

The House is gearing up for a vote on the ...

view the full position statement

Join Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in endorsing House Amendment 101

98% 2%

1072 total users

Support
S. 1196
view

JUNE 20, 2013 - Today, Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Jim Sensenbrenner ...

view the full position statement

Join Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in endorsing S. 1196

83% 17%

18 total users

Support
H.R. 2454
view

JUNE 20, 2013 - Today, Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Jim Sensenbrenner ...

view the full position statement

Join Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in endorsing H.R. 2454

80% 20%

136 total users

Support
H.R. 845
view

FEBRUARY 27, 2013 - This week brings promising news in the ...

view the full position statement

Join Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in endorsing H.R. 845

90% 9%

84 total users

Support
H.R. 1892
view

The Unlocking Technology Act provides an effective fix to a ...

view the full position statement

Join Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in endorsing H.R. 1892

95% 5%

943 total users

Support
H.R. 624
view

March 11, 2013

Dear Representative:

We the undersigned organizations write ...

view the full position statement

Join Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in opposing H.R. 624

3% 97%

2003 total users

Oppose
H.R. 708
view

FEBRUARY 15, 2013

Internet users around the world got a ...

view the full position statement

Join Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in endorsing H.R. 708

80% 20%

50 total users

Support

Detailed Legislative Agenda

H.R. 3830: The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act

January 28, 2014

Dear Members of the Senate Committee on Finance,

Before the recess on January 16th, your committee held a hearing on the “Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act” (HR3830/S.1900). We urge you to oppose S.1900. Were S.1900 enacted, it would relinquish to the Executive branch most of Congress’s exclusive constitutional authority over trade policy and extinguish Congress' ability to have meaningful input into or review of trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and other trade agreements.

If this bill were enacted, the President could sign a trade agreement such as the TPP before Congress has a chance to vote on it with a guarantee that both the House and Senate would waive normal order and vote on the agreement within 90 days using extraordinary procedures. This includes the executive branch being empowered to write legislation not subject to committee markup that would implement the pact, and alter existing US laws that the executive branch deems “necessary or appropriate” to comply with the rules of the trade pact. Additionally, it would forbid Congress from any floor amendments and allow each chamber no more than 20 hours of debate. In short, Congress would not only cede its constitutional trade authority, but also give up vital power as a coequal branch of government, to the detriment of Congress’ core domestic policymaking prerogatives.As we noted in our letter of October 2013, sent by many of the organizations undersigned here, the legislation also includes several problematic negotiation objectives. For example, the bill includes an obligation to provide “strong enforcement of intellectual property rights,” with no countervailing acknowledgment of the need to protect the rights of users and innovators. The bill says nothing about America's strong fair use doctrine, which has given users the freedom not only to create new artistic works, but also to build on existing technologies. That freedom has spurred thriving technology industries that have become essential to our economy. Lastly, the bill encourages “enhanced cooperation” with Trade Advisory Committees that are almost entirely made up of corporate advisors. Such committees do not represent the many of the interests and stakeholders that would be affected by TPP or TTIP. Congress and the public it represents, and not simply corporate interests, must have a formative role in determining the content of US trade agreements.At the State of the Union address, President Obama may call for bipartisan support for Fast Track or forpassage of TPP. But the “Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act” is an abrogation of not only Congress’ constitutional authority, but also of its responsibility to democracy and the will of the people.We oppose this bill, and urge you to do so as well.

https://www.eff.org...pose-fast-track-tpp

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/eff#eff-hr-3830-oppose
S. 1900: The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act

January 28, 2014

Dear Members of the Senate Committee on Finance,

Before the recess on January 16th, your committee held a hearing on the “Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act” (HR3830/S.1900). We urge you to oppose S.1900. Were S.1900 enacted, it would relinquish to the Executive branch most of Congress’s exclusive constitutional authority over trade policy and extinguish Congress' ability to have meaningful input into or review of trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and other trade agreements.

If this bill were enacted, the President could sign a trade agreement such as the TPP before Congress has a chance to vote on it with a guarantee that both the House and Senate would waive normal order and vote on the agreement within 90 days using extraordinary procedures. This includes the executive branch being empowered to write legislation not subject to committee markup that would implement the pact, and alter existing US laws that the executive branch deems “necessary or appropriate” to comply with the rules of the trade pact. Additionally, it would forbid Congress from any floor amendments and allow each chamber no more than 20 hours of debate. In short, Congress would not only cede its constitutional trade authority, but also give up vital power as a coequal branch of government, to the detriment of Congress’ core domestic policymaking prerogatives.As we noted in our letter of October 2013, sent by many of the organizations undersigned here, the legislation also includes several problematic negotiation objectives. For example, the bill includes an obligation to provide “strong enforcement of intellectual property rights,” with no countervailing acknowledgment of the need to protect the rights of users and innovators. The bill says nothing about America's strong fair use doctrine, which has given users the freedom not only to create new artistic works, but also to build on existing technologies. That freedom has spurred thriving technology industries that have become essential to our economy. Lastly, the bill encourages “enhanced cooperation” with Trade Advisory Committees that are almost entirely made up of corporate advisors. Such committees do not represent the many of the interests and stakeholders that would be affected by TPP or TTIP. Congress and the public it represents, and not simply corporate interests, must have a formative role in determining the content of US trade agreements.At the State of the Union address, President Obama may call for bipartisan support for Fast Track or forpassage of TPP. But the “Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act” is an abrogation of not only Congress’ constitutional authority, but also of its responsibility to democracy and the will of the people.We oppose this bill, and urge you to do so as well.

https://www.eff.org...pose-fast-track-tpp

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/eff#eff-s-1900-oppose
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Don’t Let Them Trade Away Our Internet Freedoms: Speak Out Against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement!

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement currently being negotiated in secret by the United States and ten other countries.

Leaked language from the agreement’s intellectual property chapter has been worrisome enough—and the public has no idea what is in the latest official draft, or even what the U.S. Trade Representative is pushing for in this agreement. There has been zero transparency in a process that is being pushed to the finish.

What’s worse is that the people who do have access to TPP’s official language are the same content industry executives that tried pushing through harmful laws like SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA. The rest of us will continue to be kept in the dark unless we speak up now.

https://action.eff....ic/?action_KEY=8229

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/eff#eff-x-144-oppose
H.R. 3309: The Innovation Act

Today, we are one giant step closer to real patent reform in the United States. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), along with a broad bipartisan coalition, has introduced the Innovation Act of 2013, comprehensive legislation that, if passed, would severely limit trolls' ability to continue their trolly behavior. The bill is cosponsored by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Spencer Bachus (R-AL), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Howard Coble (R-NC), Peter Defazio (D-OR), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Tom Marino (R-PA), and George Holding (R-GA).

https://www.eff.org...hanks-patent-trolls

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/eff#eff-hr-3309-support
H.Amdt.147 to H.R. 2397: Ensures none of the funds may be used by the National Security Agency (NSA) to target a US person or acquire ...

"Even as the Amash/Conyers Amendment is gaining momentum, some are rallying around a decoy amendment that would do nothing to rein in domestic surveillance. That amendment, championed by Rep. Nugent (R-FL), would not alter in any way the government's use of Section 215 to obtain bulk communications records on millions of Americans. EFF is urging Representatives to oppose the Nugent Amendment."

https://www.eff.org...es-how-you-can-help

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/eff#eff-hamdt-147-oppose
House Amendment 101: Amash-Conyers Amendment

The House is gearing up for a vote on the Defense Appropriations Bill (basically, the budget for the Department of Defense) and a bipartisan coalition of Representatives will be introducing a novel amendment that attempts to strike at funding for one type of particularly egregious surveillance power of the NSA.

EFF thinks this amendment is an important step in curbing the NSA's domestic surveillance and urges concerned citizens to call immediately to voice your support.

...

https://www.eff.org...es-how-you-can-help

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/eff#eff-hamdt-101-support
S. 1196: Aaron's Law

JUNE 20, 2013 - Today, Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Jim Sensenbrenner, and Senator Wyden introduced Aaron’s Law, a bipartisan bill to reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the law notoriously used in the aggressive prosecution of the late Aaron Swartz. Lofgren and Sensenbrenner's bill draws from EFF’s own proposal written in the wake of Aaron’s tragic death and fixes some of the main problems with the CFAA. You can tell your representative to support common sense changes to the CFAA by going here.

For years, the CFAA has been widely abused by the prosecutors to hamper security research, stifle innovation, and lock people away for years who have caused little or no economic harm. The CFAA was originally intended to cover the hacking of defense department and bank computers, but it's been expanded so that it now covers virtually every computer on the Internet while meting out disproportionate penalties for virtual crimes. We’ve written extensively about the need for CFAA reform and Aaron’s Law is a great first step.

First, Lofgren and Sensenbrenner's bill deletes the vague phrase “exceeds authorized access” and clarifies the definition of “access without authorization,” key fixes in a law that has for years been misinterpreted because of its vague definitions. By fixing these definitions, the bill incorporates judgments from the Fourth and Ninth circuits, which held that access in violation of private contracts, like employer agreements and terms of service, are not criminal offenses under the CFAA.

This is a great step forward. The Department of Justice has aggressively argued for an interpretation of the law that would criminalize website terms of service violations. As the Ninth Circuit court explained, under the DOJ’s dangerous—and incorrect—interpretation, “posting for sale an item prohibited by Craigslist's policy, or describing yourself as ‘tall, dark and handsome’ when you're actually short and homely, will earn you a handsome orange jumpsuit.”

Without this change, the government could've prosecuted everyday Americans for violating low-level terms of service violations, like accessing your friend's Facebook page, or, for a time, reading Seventeen Magazine when you are under 18 years old. In short, everyone would be a criminal, leaving it up to the government to decide when and where to bring down the hammer.

The bill also addresses provisions that have allowed the Justice Department to use the statute too aggressively by deleting one of the CFAA's redundant clauses and lowering its penalties in specific situations. Both are crucial factors that lead to overzealous persecutions like the ones seen in Andrew ‘Weev’ Auernheimer and Swartz's cases, where multiple felony counts were stacked on top of each other for the same underlying action and where both defendants faced decades in jail for “crimes” that caused little or no economic harm.

While Aaron’s law is clearly an improvement, it is important to point out that it’s far from perfect. We would have liked to see an additional redundant provision cut from the CFAA and more penalty reductions to the draconian scheme currently in the CFAA—notably, the bill sensibly removed the ability to bootstrap penalties in one clause, but not three others.

In order to protect security researchers, innovators and ordinary citizens who take measures to protect their privacy, we have also asked (PDF) for a clause that would clarify that your efforts to mask or hide your real name, personally identifiable information or device identifier—like IP address or MAC address – are not criminal in and of themselves.

But common sense changes to the CFAA are needed to update the law and make it in-line with recent court rulings, and this bill is a great start. Now it's time for Congress act. Tell your representatives to support common sense changes to CFAA reform.

https://www.eff.org...ow-time-reform-cfaa

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/eff#eff-s-1196-support
H.R. 2454: Aaron's Law

JUNE 20, 2013 - Today, Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Jim Sensenbrenner, and Senator Wyden introduced Aaron’s Law, a bipartisan bill to reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the law notoriously used in the aggressive prosecution of the late Aaron Swartz. Lofgren and Sensenbrenner's bill draws from EFF’s own proposal written in the wake of Aaron’s tragic death and fixes some of the main problems with the CFAA. You can tell your representative to support common sense changes to the CFAA by going here.

For years, the CFAA has been widely abused by the prosecutors to hamper security research, stifle innovation, and lock people away for years who have caused little or no economic harm. The CFAA was originally intended to cover the hacking of defense department and bank computers, but it's been expanded so that it now covers virtually every computer on the Internet while meting out disproportionate penalties for virtual crimes. We’ve written extensively about the need for CFAA reform and Aaron’s Law is a great first step.

First, Lofgren and Sensenbrenner's bill deletes the vague phrase “exceeds authorized access” and clarifies the definition of “access without authorization,” key fixes in a law that has for years been misinterpreted because of its vague definitions. By fixing these definitions, the bill incorporates judgments from the Fourth and Ninth circuits, which held that access in violation of private contracts, like employer agreements and terms of service, are not criminal offenses under the CFAA.

This is a great step forward. The Department of Justice has aggressively argued for an interpretation of the law that would criminalize website terms of service violations. As the Ninth Circuit court explained, under the DOJ’s dangerous—and incorrect—interpretation, “posting for sale an item prohibited by Craigslist's policy, or describing yourself as ‘tall, dark and handsome’ when you're actually short and homely, will earn you a handsome orange jumpsuit.”

Without this change, the government could've prosecuted everyday Americans for violating low-level terms of service violations, like accessing your friend's Facebook page, or, for a time, reading Seventeen Magazine when you are under 18 years old. In short, everyone would be a criminal, leaving it up to the government to decide when and where to bring down the hammer.

The bill also addresses provisions that have allowed the Justice Department to use the statute too aggressively by deleting one of the CFAA's redundant clauses and lowering its penalties in specific situations. Both are crucial factors that lead to overzealous persecutions like the ones seen in Andrew ‘Weev’ Auernheimer and Swartz's cases, where multiple felony counts were stacked on top of each other for the same underlying action and where both defendants faced decades in jail for “crimes” that caused little or no economic harm.

While Aaron’s law is clearly an improvement, it is important to point out that it’s far from perfect. We would have liked to see an additional redundant provision cut from the CFAA and more penalty reductions to the draconian scheme currently in the CFAA—notably, the bill sensibly removed the ability to bootstrap penalties in one clause, but not three others.

In order to protect security researchers, innovators and ordinary citizens who take measures to protect their privacy, we have also asked (PDF) for a clause that would clarify that your efforts to mask or hide your real name, personally identifiable information or device identifier—like IP address or MAC address – are not criminal in and of themselves.

But common sense changes to the CFAA are needed to update the law and make it in-line with recent court rulings, and this bill is a great start. Now it's time for Congress act. Tell your representatives to support common sense changes to CFAA reform.

https://www.eff.org...ow-time-reform-cfaa

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/eff#eff-hr-2454-support
H.R. 845: The SHIELD Act

FEBRUARY 27, 2013 - This week brings promising news in the fight against patent trolls. We have written before about how a broken patent system has led to an explosion of lawsuits by patent trolls (companies that assert patents as a business model instead of creating products). In the hands of trolls, patents become a tax on innovation.

Rep. Peter DeFazio, along with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, has re-introduced the SHIELD Act (the backronym stands for Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes) in the House of Representatives. The SHIELD Act (H.R. 845) is designed to help the innocent victims of patent trolls.

Patent trolls use the sky-high cost of litigation as a weapon. It costs millions to defend a patent lawsuit. So while a few targets—including Newegg and Twitter—have fought back and won, even large companies are understandably reluctant to spend a fortune and waste employee time fighting a lawsuit. And smaller companies, like start-ups, might not have the resources to defend a patent suit at all. So even if the troll’s claims are weak, it can pressure its victims into settlement.

The SHIELD Act will help fix this problem. Under the Act, if the patent troll loses in court (because the patent is found to be invalid or there is no infringement), then it pays the other side’s costs and legal fees. We think this proposal—which is also one of the reforms proposed at our Defend Innovation project—is a great first step.

Momentum is building for patent reform. President Obama recently acknowledged that we need new laws to deal with patent trolls. This is the perfect time to tell Congress that it needs to act.

https://www.eff.org...-support-shield-act

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/eff#eff-hr-845-support
H.R. 1892: The Unlocking Technology Act

The Unlocking Technology Act provides an effective fix to a real problem in copyright: companies can exploit one-sided laws to prohibit users from modifying or repairing their devices by locking the technology with software.

One casualty of that massive copyright overreach is phone unlocking. Common sense may tell us that copyright law shouldn't prevent people from unlocking their legally purchased devices to work with other carriers, but the legal situation is murky. Earlier this year, over 100,000 Americans petitioned the White House for a fix.

And the problem isn't limited to phones—it can affect almost every device you own. Already these restrictions have ensnared security researchers, film makers, software developers, and more—people that are engaged in legitimate and non-infringing activities.

Please tell Congress now that you support this essential fix to a bad copyright law.

https://action.eff....ic/?action_KEY=9238

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/eff#eff-hr-1892-support
H.R. 624: CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act)

March 11, 2013

Dear Representative:

We the undersigned organizations write in opposition to H.R. 624, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2013 (CISPA). We are gravely concerned that this bill will allow companies that hold very sensitive and personal information to liberally share it with the government, which could then use the information without meaningful oversight for purposes unrelated to cybersecurity.

CISPA creates an exception to all privacy laws to permit companies to share our information with each other and with the government in the name of cybersecurity. Although a carefully-crafted information sharing program that strictly limits the information to be shared and includes robust privacy safeguards could be an effective approach to cybersecurity, CISPA lacks such protections for individual rights. CISPA’s information sharing regime allows the transfer of vast amounts of data, including sensitive information like internet records or the content of emails, to any agency in the government including military and intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency or the Department of Defense Cyber Command. Once in government hands, this information can be used for undefined ‘national security’ purposes unrelated to cybersecurity.

Developments over the last year make CISPA’s approach even more questionable than before. First, the President recently signed Executive Order 13636, which will increase information sharing from the government to the private sector. Information sharing in this direction is often cited as a substantial justification for CISPA and will proceed without legislation. Second, the cybersecurity legislation the Senate considered last year, S. 3414, included privacy protections for information sharing that are entirely absent from CISPA, and the Obama administration, including the intelligence community, has confirmed that those protections would not inhibit cybersecurity programs. These included provisions to ensure that private companies send cyber threat information only to civilian agencies, and stricter limits on how this information may be used. Finally, witnesses at a hearing before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence confirmed only weeks ago that companies can strip out personally identifiably information that is not necessary to address cyber threats, and CISPA omits any requirement that reasonable efforts be undertaken to do so.

We continue to oppose CISPA and encourage you to vote ‘no.’ Fundamental changes to this bill are required to address the many civil liberties problems.

(Letter provided to POPVOX by Congressional office.)

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/eff#eff-hr-624-oppose
H.R. 708: FASTR Act (Fair Access to Science & Technology Research Act)

FEBRUARY 15, 2013

Internet users around the world got a Valentine's Day present yesterday in the form of new legislation that requires U.S. government agencies to improve public access to federally funded research.

The proposed mandate, called the Fair Access to Science & Technology Research Act, or FASTR (PDF), is simple. Agencies like the National Science Foundation, which invests millions of taxpayer dollars in scientific research every year, must design and implement a plan to facilitate public access to—and robust reuse of—the results of that investment. The contours of the plans are equally simple: researchers who receive funding from most federal agencies must submit a copy of any resulting journal articles to the funding agency, which will then make that research freely available to the world within six months.

Compare that to the traditional system, which gives journal publishers substantial control over access to academic work, even though they don't pay a dime in exchange to the authors who do the research, the peer-reviewers who vet the research, or the institutions that help make it possible. Those publishers will doubtless oppose the bill, but it is their own decision to continually raise the bar to access that is driving support for the legislation. For example, subscription prices have outpaced inflation by over 250 percent in the past 30 years, forcing university libraries to pick and choose between journal subscriptions. The result: students and citizens have difficulty accessing information they need; professors have a harder time reviewing and teaching the state of the art; and cutting-edge research is often hidden behind paywalls.

The proposed changes reflect but also improve upon National Institutes of Health’s public access policy. Under that policy, all research—oftentimes critical medical research—is made available online a year after publication. FASTR reduces the “embargo” period to six months and mandates stronger reuse requirements.

The bill isn't perfect. For example, it doesn’t require open licensing, the obvious next step. However, the bill does require agencies to examine “whether such research papers should include a royalty-free copyright license that is available to the public and that permits the reuse of those research papers, on the condition that attribution is given.” Such a license would allow for complete reuse of published research, including in downstream research or computational meta-analysis.

FASTR also excludes "research resulting in works that generate revenue or royalties for authors (such as books) or patentable discoveries, to the extent necessary to protect a copyright or patent." We're worried how courts – and publishers—will interpret this clause, If a publisher decides to pay authors $100 per article, is the research excluded from public access? We hope not.

Shortcomings aside, this legislation is an important step forward. Public access to taxpayer-funded research is vital to the progress of science, education, and transparency—and FASTR goes a long way toward making that happen, at least for future works. (Next up: freeing up the knowledge not covered by this legislation, such as journal articles long-since published.) The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Cornyn (R-TX) and Wyden (D-OR) and Representatives Doyle (D-PA), Yoder (R-KS), and Lofgren (D-CA). Contact your representatives today and tell them to support FASTR .

https://www.eff.org...cientific-knowledge

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/eff#eff-hr-708-support
S. 3414 (112th): The Cybersecurity Act

Vote YES on privacy amendments like the Franken-Paul amendment so that companies do not have the overbroad authority to monitor and even block our private communications, and,

Vote NO on anti-privacy amendments like the McCain and Hutchison amendments that would allow the NSA and military to directly collect and use Americans’ personal internet information.

https://www.eff.org...tary-out-your-email

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/eff#eff-s-3414-neutral
H.R. 5949 (112th): The FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act

September 11, 2012

Dear Representative:

We, the undersigned organizations, which support both security and liberty, write to urge you to vote “no” on H.R. 5949, the FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012, which would extend the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) until December 31, 2017. Unless reauthorized, the FAA will sunset on December 31, 2012. We urge you to impose measures to prevent abuse of the FAA, and to require that government officials implementing the law be more transparent about its use.

The FAA authorizes the government to conduct surveillance in the U.S. of individuals reasonably believed to be non-U.S. persons located outside the U.S. Even if the target communicates with people in the U.S., the surveillance is conducted without meaningful judicial authorization and without probable cause. Instead, the FISA Court evaluates only whether the procedures under which surveillance is conducted are reasonably designed to target people reasonably believed to be abroad.

Though the FAA surveillance authority is broad and the criteria for conducting it lax, the National Security Agency has reportedly overstepped the bounds of the law. In April 2009, the New York Times reported that the NSA “intercepted private e-mail messages and phone calls of Americans in recent months on a scale that went beyond the broad legal limits established by Congress,” and it reported that intelligence officials characterized the illegal surveillance as “significant and systemic.” Further, despite evidence of impropriety, the government has not publicly detailed the extent of the problem or publicly explained what, if anything, it has done to prevent it from recurring. Before the Congress considers legislation to reauthorize the FAA, it should require the government to specify the nature and extent of this illegal surveillance and in any reauthorization legislation, Congress should impose statutory mechanisms to ensure that illegal surveillance does not recur under the FAA umbrella.

In addition, Congress should, prior to considering reauthorization, or in the reauthorization legislation itself:

Require the government to disclose more about the extent and the nature of the surveillance that has been conducted under the FAA, most notably, the number of U.S. citizens and individuals in the United States that have been affected; Impose reporting requirements that require such disclosures for future FAA surveillance; Amend the FAA to prevent bulk surveillance of entire categories of persons; and Strengthen the FAA minimization procedures to ensure that the information collected under the FAA is not repurposed for government uses unrelated to national security.

Thank you for considering our views. Please direct any questions to Gregory Nojeim of the Center for Democracy & Technology and to Michelle Richardson of the American Civil Liberties Union.

http://www.aclu.org...ension_09_11_12.pdf

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/eff#eff-hr-5949-oppose
H.R. 4263: SECURE IT Act of 2012

Dear Representative Bono Mack:

The undersigned organizations dedicated to government openness and accountability are writing to let you know of our serious concerns with provisions of HR 4263, Strengthening and Enhancing Cybersecurity by Using Research, Education, Information, and Technology Act (SECURE IT), that create unnecessary, overbroad and unwise exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Section 106 of the bill, titled “Technical Amendments,” significantly modifies the FOIA by creating a new exemption that gives the government the authority to withhold information shared with or to a cybersecurity center. This “technical amendment” would be one of the most far-reaching substantive amendment of the Act’s exemptions since 1986. Any amendment to the Freedom of Information Act, especially an amendment of this scope, should be referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over FOIA. Careful consideration by that Committee of FOIA-related legislation, including public hearings, is necessary to ensure that the bill promotes transparency and public accountability while allowing the government to withhold only that information which truly requires protection. Time again over the past quarter-century, proposals to amend the Act’s existing exemptions have been rejected as unwise; this proposal, even more dangerously, would add an exemption rather than merely modify one, a fact that itself risks repercussions.

Moreover, Section 105 of the bill refers back to troubling provisions in Section 102 of the bill that expand the authority of the federal government to withhold under the FOIA any and all “voluntarily shared information” given to the cybersecurity centers, create a non-discretionary (b)(3) for all such information, preempt state and local laws, and envision that procedures will be implemented without opportunities for notice and comment.

As drafted, HR 4263 cuts off all public access to information in cybersecurity centers before the public has the chance to understand the types of information that are covered by the bill. Much of the sensitive information likely to be shared in the cybersecurity centers is already protected from disclosure under the FOIA; other information that may be shared could be critical for the public to ensure its safety. Unnecessarily wide-ranging exemptions of this type have the potential to harm public safety and the national defense more than they enhance those interests; the public is unable to assess whether the government is adequately combating cybersecurity threats and, therefore, unable to assess whether or how to participate in that process.

We look forward to working with you and the bill’s cosponsors to ensure the legislation both protects our nation’s computer networks and promotes transparency and accountability to the public.

http://www.citizens...0Letter.pdf?nocdn=1

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/eff#eff-hr-4263-oppose
H.R. 3523 (112th): The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)

Congress is considering legislation that would give companies a free pass to monitor and collect communications, including huge amounts of personal data like your text messages and emails, and share that data with the government and anyone else. All a company has to do is claim its privacy violations were for "cybersecurity purposes." Tell Congress that they can’t use vaguely-defined "cybersecurity threats" as a shortcut to bypassing the law.

H.R. 3523, also known as the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011, would let companies spy on users and share private information with the federal government and other companies with near-total immunity from civil and criminal liability. It effectively creates a "cybersecurity" exemption to all existing laws.

There are almost no restrictions on what can be collected and how it can be used, provided a company can claim it was motivated by "cybersecurity purposes." 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" is so broad, it leaves the door open to censor any speech that a company believes would "degrade the network." The bill specifically mentions that cybersecurity can include protecting against the "theft or misappropriation of private or government information" including "intellectual property." Such sweeping language would give companies and the government new powers to monitor and censor communications for copyright infringement. It could also be a powerful weapon to use against whistleblower websites like WikiLeaks.

Congress wants to use the threat of "cybersecurity" to undermine our digital rights. Tell your lawmakers that we won’t stand for dangerous, unsupervised information sharing in this bill or any bill like it.

https://action.eff....ic/?action_KEY=8444

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/eff#eff-hr-3523-oppose