You may have seen this little privacy cat staring at you on our Facebook page or somewhere else online this week, and wondered, "What's up with that?"
The ACLU and other organizations and individuals have been promoting "Stop Cyber Spying Week" to call attention to HR 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011, better known as CISPA, and the dangers it poses to our privacy and civil liberties. A House vote on the bill is expected next week.
According to folks in our national office monitoring the bill, CISPA would create a loophole in all existing privacy laws, allowing companies to share Internet users' data with the National Security Agency - the biggest spy agency in the world - without any legal oversight. Companies like Google and Facebook could pass your 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 that. 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.
Take some time to let Congress know you don't approve of this invasion of privacy with a quick tweet. We make it easy for you. Or, post this little cat on your Facebook page to get the message out.
You can also learn more about digital privacy threats and what you can do to protect yourself at three free ACLU events next week in Missoula and Great Falls.
ACLU National Legislative Counsel on Privacy Issues Chris Calabrese will be speaking at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25 in Missoula at the University of Montana School of Law and then again on Thursday, April 26 at Heritage Hall at Montana State University - Great Falls.
Then, on Saturday, April 28, we're hosting a privacy workshop from 9 a.m.-noon at Heritage Hall at MSU-Great Falls. Full event information here.
You spend a lot of time online. Take action to protect your online privacy.