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Privacy Rights Groups Voice Opposition To CISPA

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act "explicitly supersedes all standing online privacy protections," opponents say

Washington, DC -- Hundreds of thousands of Internet users are urging Congress and key businesses to oppose the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. The House is scheduled to vote on CISPA tomorrow [Friday]. The White House issued a veto threat yesterday.

“CISPA gives corporations new authority to collect and share data about their users. It explicitly supersedes all standing online privacy protections and demolishes existing barriers between the government and the private sector -- and between government agencies -- that restrict data sharing without cause, effectively allowing information about Americans' use of the Internet to slosh back and forth uninhibited.

House leadership appears prepared to push for a vote tomorrow in spite of the snowballing opposition. Key House members are poised to introduce amendments to make accommodate civil liberties and privacy concerns.”

SumOfUs.org, a global consumer watchdog, has over 650,000 members around the world. Over 73,000 SumOfUs members have signed a petition to Facebook asking it and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to stop supporting CISPA.

"CISPA is a disaster for the online privacy rights of our members and the billions of other internet users around the world," said SumOfUs Executive Director Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman. "The tech industry, and Facebook in particular, is betraying its users by supporting this bill. Facebook should be fighting to safeguard the critical information that its users entrust to it, rather than fighting to be able to hand it over to cyber-spies."

Demand Progress fights to promote civil rights and civil liberties. Its over 1,000,000 members have sent more than 200,000 emails and placed more than 15,000 phone calls to Congress in opposition to CISPA. In addition, nearly 200,000 Demand Progress members have signed an open letter urging Facebook to withdraw its support for the bill.

According to David Segal, executive director of Demand Progress, "Congress needs to wake up and respect Americans' growing concern about increased corporate and government control of the Internet. We applaud President Obama's veto threat, and urge members of the House to oppose CISPA, even while supporting amendments that would provide greater privacy protections." He continued, "The Internet is ever more important to the functioning of our society, and more and more Americans are prepared to vote against politicians who interfere with Internet freedom."

Internet users may express their opposition to CISPA -- and urge Obama to veto it -- here: http://act.demandprogress.org/letter/obama_cispa/

They can urge Facebook to withdraw its support for the legislation here: http://sumofus.org/campaigns/cispa/

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