Let Your Senator Know Right Now That You Are Watching If They'll Vote To Protect Privacy

from the speak-up dept

On Friday, we mentioned that this week is the week in which the Senate will wrangle over the new Cybersecurity bill. The current bill has some privacy safeguards, but not nearly enough. Senators Al Franken and Rand Paul have put together an amendment to strengthen the privacy safeguards even more -- and over the weekend, Senator Chuck Schumer agreed to co-sponsor the Franken/Paul amendment after talking to various folks in the tech industry and the civil liberties community. That adds more weight to the amendment. Unfortunately, Senators John McCain and Kay Bailey Huchison and a few others, who have been carrying water for the NSA throughout this fight, are looking to move the bill very far in the other direction, wiping out tons of privacy protections. It's really shameful.

Either way, this is the week to let your Senator know how you feel about all of this (and if you're a constituent of McCain or Huchison, please ask why they're so against protecting the privacy of the American public). The American Library Association has kindly set up a simple one-click tool to call your Senator and let them know how you feel.

The EFF has a page with some more info as well, noting that it's basically too late to email your Senators, so please call. If you want some more info, check out Fred Wilson's analysis of the situation, which matches almost exactly with mine. We still have not been given a compelling reason why any such legislation is needed. We keep hearing scare stories about mushroom clouds and planes falling from the sky if information can't be shared. But... what no one has done yet is explain which existing regulations block the necessary sharing of information. If they did that, we could look at fixing those laws. Instead, we're just told scare stories and given a massive 211-page bill that wipes out all sorts of previous laws, and adds all sorts of other things to the law. Given the length of the bill, it's quite likely there are some awful "easter eggs" in there that we'll only discover years down the road.

That said, if the bill is going to pass, it would be much better if it had very strong privacy protections in it, and the Franken/Paul amendment go a long way towards putting such protections in. The McCain/Huchison proposal do the opposite, and basically seek to take away privacy protections, while giving the NSA much more ability to access your data. Don't let the Senate trample your privacy rights. Go ahead and use the ALA's tool to contact your Senator today.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 7:43am

    Waiting for the trolls to talk about why privacy is a bad thing and how we should give up our freedoms in the name of entertainment.

     

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      identicon
      MrWilson, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 8:13am

      Re:

      It'll go something like this: "people who steal the work of others don't deserve privacy."

      Which will translate to: "If you've done nothing wrong, then you won't mind if I shove this probe up your ass."

       

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      sgt_doom (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 4:36pm

      Re:

      Well, both Josef Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, and Adolph Hitler all said, "If you're not guilty, you have nothing to worry about...."

      Never trusted those fellows....

       

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 7:58am

    This message brought to you by TechdirtPAC - not a political thing, because Mike doesn't do that sort of thing.

     

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    •  
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      Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 8:09am

      Re:

      "This message brought to you by TechdirtPAC - not a political thing, because Mike doesn't do that sort of thing."

      Exactly. It's impossible to have a call for political involvement for anything other than horrifically nefarious reasons that likely include either the Illuminati or puppy-punching.

      Weirdo....

       

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      •  
        icon
        :Lobo Santo (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 8:11am

        Re: Re: !?

        So can we have a political party devoted to horribly nefarious puppy-punching and then, like, liberty and radical governmental transparency, and maybe rights and personal responsibility?

         

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          Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 8:16am

          Re: Re: Re: !?

          It'll be the P3 party: Puppy Punching Party. All the attention grabbing unfortunateness of The Pirate Party, but with PUPPIES (being punched)!

           

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            :Lobo Santo (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 8:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: !?

            And then later, (like all political parties... ) we can stop doing the thing from which we took our name!

            It'll be perfect, in 20 years time we'll have the P3 party (punchers, for short) who are dedicated to liberty and radical governmental transparency, personal rights and personal responsibility--and all without puppies or punching.

            I like this plan.

             

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 8:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: !?

            No Bonsai Puppy?

             

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      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
         
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 8:19am

        Re: Re:

        "Exactly. It's impossible to have a call for political involvement for anything other than horrifically nefarious reasons that likely include either the Illuminati or puppy-punching. "

        There is a line (somewhere back behind Mike) that was crossed on this stuff. It's no longer "this is bad" and has moved to "Call your congressman". It's no longer saying "I think this is wrong" and now it's "do this, sheep!".

        It's sad, really.

         

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          Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 8:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So we should listen to you without reasoned explanation because, after all, we're sheep!?

           

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          Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 8:33am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Mmmm, no, what's sad is that you think anyone here cares about your abritrarily defined and unsubstantiated "line behind Mike".

          Oh well, I'm sure someone somewhere knows something you did of import somewhere....

           

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 8:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          On the bright side at least you are gay(i.e. happy) on those issues.

           

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 8:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So, getting informed on this and why it is bad for everyone (Including trolls.) is a bad thing? I appreciate knowing what the link is to how to reach my representative and the correct talking point are.

          No one is making me do this. I happen to agree with this course of action and am glad that someone told me about it.

          I take it that you think this is bad and are unhappy to find out about it?

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 10:13am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So Mike can say something is bad only as long as nothing gets done to address the problem?

          Makes sense only in your twisted logic

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Jason, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 11:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I agree, personal communications with political messages are creeping up everywhere! First it was blogs, now people are even talking personal freedoms over COFFEE!!!

          Everyone should call their senator and demand a bill to outlaw any and all blogs about politics!

           

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          Ophelia Millais (profile), Jul 31st, 2012 @ 2:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So rather than just blogging in defense of a civil right, going a step further and encouraging actual democratic action, to the extent that the public can muster, is "sad"?

          Besides being a rather unpatriotic position to hold, I suspect you're feeling threatened.

           

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        lucidrenegade (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 9:10am

        Re: Re:

        "Exactly. It's impossible to have a call for political involvement for anything other than horrifically nefarious reasons that likely include either the Illuminati or puppy-punching."

        Not sure about puppies, but the AC enjoys being on the receiving end of a good donkey punch.

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 11:56am

      Re:

      This message brought to you by TechdirtPAC - not a political thing, because Mike doesn't do that sort of thing.

      Should be called FUD-PAC

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 9:21pm

      Re:

      I see that you are so against privacy that you have to try and stop anyone from getting the message... while hiding behind the Anonymous mask, yourself. Cute.

       

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 8:05am

    Aren't there at least two issues here?

    Seems like we have two parts to privacy:

    1. Companies collecting huge amounts of data on people.
    2. Governments asking for access to that data.

    Seems like the companies want to continue to collect as much data as possible on their users. They just don't want to have to turn it over to anyone else unless they get paid handsomely for it.

    I want to limit what companies know about me, so I'm all for privacy laws, but I want the process to start in the private sector first. Don't collect info about me, and if you won't do it voluntarily, I'll put as many roadblocks in your path as I can. The more you follow me on the Internet, the less I use it.

     

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      gorehound (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 9:25am

      Re: Aren't there at least two issues here?

      +1
      And these A-Holes have a goal in mind which is the complete control of all us Citizens.They want to have our Data for Corporations and for this oppressive Government.

       

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      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 10:23am

      Re: Aren't there at least two issues here?

      I don't trust industry to have my best interests in mind. So having industries dictating privacy laws doesn't reassure me.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

        Re: Re: Aren't there at least two issues here?

        Some of us lowly bees in certain industries feel quite insecure with this government talk around security which will inevidably end in regulatory requirements...

        Others who have dealt with regulations on 'PI' (personal information, or personally identifiable information) find this type of legislation schizophrenic coming from the same people.

        If it looks, feels and smells like [government agency redacted], its [government agency redacted].

         

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          Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

          Re: Re: Re: Aren't there at least two issues here?

          Sadly, an enormous amount of data is being collected on almost all of us. I don't trust industry to be a better keeper of it than government. So whatever it takes to further the privacy discussion, I'm all for.

           

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 10:59am

      Re: Aren't there at least two issues here?

      You missed the little fun part where 3rd party companies don't have the same laws stopping them gathering data the Government has stopping them sometimes.
      So its easier to bypass the law by paying the 3rd party campaign contributor a healthy fee to get the data. Which most often is incorrect - fun side note I keep getting ads for electric wheelchairs and diabetes testing gear.
      I'm still walking and not diabetic, but some data mining into my meatspace identity went completely sideways it seems. That or they linked 2 different people with similar names into 1 person. This is the high quality data they sell...

       

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        sgt_doom (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 4:40pm

        Re: Re: Aren't there at least two issues here?

        Thank you.

        And one of the reasons they privatized the American intelligence establishment is that FOIA laws don't apply to the private sector (although they way Janet Napolitano of DHS sits on thousands of FOIA requests, and now the Pentagon, thanks to the 2006 NDAA legislation is exempt from them --- which encompasses the majority of intel agencies, as well, so by extension, NSA, DIA, DSS, etc. are all exempt) -- FOIA hardly covers anything anymore.

        Corporate fascist police state --- we welcome you!

         

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        Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 8:00pm

        Re: Re: Aren't there at least two issues here?

        Yes, I am highly skeptical about data-collecting companies lobbying on privacy issues. I suspect they just want to make sure they can continue to collect whatever data they want without the government bothering them. I don't think for a minute that Facebook and Google are interested in giving users more privacy protection. Where would their businesses be if they couldn't collect data about us and make it available to other businesses?

         

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  •  
    identicon
    pdh, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 8:55am

    I have a Senator?

     

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  •  
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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 10:08am

    Error

    I keep getting an error about a blank number/phone number, yet it is not.

     

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    artp (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 10:14am

    They have the process backwards

    Up until now, the process was that some industry needed regulation because it was causing potential and present harm to the public. The government would tell the industry that they needed to get their act together. Then they would tell them again. Then they would step in and regulate that industry because obviously they are incapable of doing it themselves. An excellent example is the pharmaceutical industry, whose misbehavior (past and present) caused the creation of the Food and Drug Administration. Don't let that get in the way of their patents, though. We would all die of bubonic plague if it weren't for them.

    Using this process, we have things like the ASME Boiler Code, the standard Building Code, the National Electrical Code, the National Fire Protection Association, the American Water Society, Instrument Society of America and many others. There is also the NIST - National Institute of Standards and Technology - to help guide the process along, and to provide parallel documentation of some standards. NIST is a government agency.

    In this case, we have the government regulating the public because the industry can't get its act together. Someone needs to go back to Civics 101 and figure out how government (of, by and for the people) is supposed to work. I think they have their wires crossed somewhere where the sun don't shine!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 10:17am

    Some videos that does a fair job of explaining our concerns but not limited to, web tracking and phone tracking



    Gary Kovacs: Tracking the trackers

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_f5wNw-2c0

    Mentions a Firefox addon that gives a real time representation on cookies being stoed on you computer, bot sites you've visited and those you haven't



    Malte Spitz: Your phone company is watching

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv7Y0W0xmYQ

    A video that explains a very possible scenario, where the berlin wall may never have been brought down, if the current technology was available at that time

     

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    Ninja (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 10:45am

    Sick. And that's the McCain that was running for the Presidency a while back. So basically Americans had Obama (that has proven to be all talks and very little action) and McCain (that is proving to be as bad or worse than Bush). Now you have Obama (who will keep being all talks, little action and a nice corporate puppet) and Romney (who seems to be better than McCain but after all we can't be sure how much he's aligned to the corporations).

    I feel sorry for you. Not that my situation is much better. But you have my feelings.

     

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 11:04am

      Re:

      He is aligned with them, when he sees a wounded one he moves in and removes it from the herd. He then spreads the wealth out leaving a worthless carcass for society to clean up.

       

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      Vog (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 11:21am

      Re:

      > better than McCain

      I dunno. At least McCain believes he's doing "the right thing", whatever that means to him. On the other hand, I think years of business have eroded Romney's moral sense.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 1:42pm

      Re:

      I might feel better about the candidates if I had any idea where they stand on an issue... any issue....

       

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      identicon
      Jason, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 1:53pm

      It's true...

      I have Ninja feelings.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

    Why isn't there more discussion on this very important topic?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 5:22pm

    I'll put that on my to-do list, right above letting them know how I feel about Obamacare, the war, abortion, and all the other things they pay so much attention to.

     

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    identicon
    (A), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 5:27pm

    They can all SUCK IT!

     

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    Gene Cavanaugh (profile), Jul 31st, 2012 @ 12:50pm

    CISPA

    Done, and thanks. I contacted Diane Feinstein earlier, and she made it clear she will vote for it, so I assured her I would work against her from now forward, even though I supported her in the past.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2012 @ 1:53pm

    Do you not see the absurd irony, though, in "watching someone vote/not vote to protect privacy" ?
    I agree that privacy should play a huge role in civilian life and that transparency should play a huge role in the government, but when it's phrased like that it makes us look somewhat stupid.

     

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