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By Mandy Simon, ACLU Washington Legislative Office

The  ACLU, along with several other groups, is launching a weeklong campaign called "Stop Cyber Spying Week" to draw  attention to the massive civil liberties problems in H.R. 3523, the Cyber  Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011, better known as CISPA. CISPA is scheduled to be voted on by the  House of Representatives next week.

Every  day, we all  spend more and more of our lives online and share more and more of our most  sensitive information. Keeping our computer systems secure is a real concern,  but CISPA is absolutely the wrong answer. The bill would create a loophole in all existing privacy laws, allowing companies to share Internet users'  data with the National Security Agency, part of the Department of Defense, and  the biggest spy agency in the world — without any legal oversight. If  CISPA passes, companies like Google and Facebook could pass your online  communications to the military, just by claiming they were motivated by "cybersecurity  purposes." CISPA would give the companies immunity from lawsuits if you  want to challenge what they are doing. Once the government has the information,  the bill allows them to use it for any legal purpose other than regulation, not  just for stopping cybersecurity threats.

We're joining the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), The  Constitution Project, Demand Progress, Electronic  Frontier Foundation (EFF), Engine Advocacy, Fight for the Future, Free  Press,  Reporters Without Borders, Techdirt, TechFreedom and others to make sure the  House hears our concerns about CISPA and other cybersecurity bills ahead of the  its proclaimed "Cybersecurity Week" next week.

So the government wants our  information. Let's give it to them. Tweet a message to your  member of Congress on Twitter about the kind of things you do online that are  none of the government business. Tell your Congressperson the details of what  you do online—the personal, the mundane, whatever—so they can see just how much  personal, unnecessary data about you could be shared with the government as a  result of the legislation's dangerously vague language. Use the hashtags #CongressTMI and #CISPA. You can find your  Rep's Twitter handle here.

Some sample tweets:

  • .@MyRepresentative Does the  military need to know I send my Mom lolcat pictures. #CongressTMI Stop #CISPA
  • .@MyRepresentative Does the NSA  need to know I watch Netflix from my work computer? #CongressTMI Stop #CISPA
  • .@MyReprsentative,  I get lab and test results from my Dr online. Please don't give the govt access  too! #CongressTMI Stop #CISPA"

This week we'll also be  sending letters to Capitol Hill, talking to the media and keeping you all informed as the week progresses. Tomorrow, our very own Legislative Counsel  Michelle Richardson will be briefing House staff and reporters, along with the  Constitution Project and CDT, on our objections to CISPA and other bills. We'll be live-tweeting from the briefing — follow us here.

Our goal this week is to show exactly how invasive CISPA's power  would be and we encourage all of you to get involved. Please stand with us,  tweet with us and tell your Representatives that if cybersecurity legislation  doesn't protect your rights, it shouldn't get passed.

Originally posted to ACLU on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 10:31 AM PDT.

Also republished by Pink Clubhouse.

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