FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 14, 2013

Media Contacts:

David Moon, Demand Progress; moon@demandprogress.org; 202-427-7966
Tiffiniy Cheng, Fight for the Future; press@fightforthefuture.org; 413-367-6255 or 978-852-6457

DEMAND PROGRESS AND FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE DELIVER NEARLY 300,000 SIGNATURES BY EMAIL AND TWITTER AGAINST CISPA AT THE FIRST HEARING ON CONTROVERSIAL CYBERSECURITY BILL

(Washington, DC) Advocacy groups Demand Progress and Fight for the Future, who were leaders in the movement against SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, last year, made a loud and clear statement in defense of internet user’s privacy this morning when they delivered to Congress over 300,000 signatures against CISPA, Cyber Security Sharing and Protection Act -- the controversial cybersecurity bill that was reintroduced in the House at a hearing today.

The signatures were delivered electronically to members of the House Intelligence Committee, and a dedicated twitter account (@CISPApetition) is tweeting a portion of the signatures every hour to the ranking member and chairman of the committee, using the hashtag #NoCISPA. The signatures currently being tweeted were collected by Demand Progess and Fight for the Future. Fight for the Future launched their campaign, CISPAisback.com last Friday when the reintroduction of the bill was first announced, and had gathered over 35,000 signatures by the end of the weekend.

“The signatures we are delivering today represent just a small portion of the people who have taken action against the privacy invasions of CISPA 1.0 and 2.0,” said Tiffiniy Cheng of Fight for the Future. Altogether, over 1 million signatures opposing CISPA have been collected by organizations including Avaaz, Electronic Frontier Foundation, ACLU, and Free Press. Privacy and free speech advocates have many concerns with the bill, which would allow companies to secretly share user’s private data with the government in unprecedented ways.

In response to the re-introduction of CISPA, Demand Progress pointed to the warnings from their late co-founder Aaron Swartz. On CISPA, Swartz previously noted: "It sort of lets the government run roughshod over privacy protections and share personal data about you.... The thing about this bill is it doesn’t really have any protections against cyber threats. All it does is make people share their information. But that’s not going to solve the problem. What’s going to solve the problem is actual security measures, protecting the service in the first place, not spying on people after the fact.”

Civil Liberties groups and tech companies believe that the sponsors of CISPA 2.0 have done little to address this underlying flaw in their legislation. While the bill’s sponsors claim that they are taking privacy into account, no civil liberties groups were asked to testify at this morning’s hearing, and a wide range of advocacy groups have denounced the bill.

“We hope that Congress has learned something from SOPA,” says Cheng. “Every House member considering this bill today should know. When you threaten the Internet, you have the whole internet to contend with and you're threatening your career.”

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Demand Progress is a civil liberties activism group with 1.5 million members. Learn more at www.demandprogress.org 

Fight for the Future works to activate the Internet community to fight for basic rights and freedom of expression on the web. Founded in 2011, we're known for effective, viral organizing and mass engagement through the distribute organizing platforms we've built, including the Internet Defense League. For more information, visit www.fightforthefuture.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.