Revelations about the secretive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) have emerged, and the news is not good for technology users or digital rights. Instead of concentrating on physical fakes and fraud, recently leaked draft language suggests ACTA will provide expansive powers to customs authorities worldwide to search and seize digital technology at the border on suspicion of IP infringements and to widen the criminalization of previously civil IP law way beyond profit-seeking pirates. An entire section of the trade agreement would create new regulations over the Internet and DRM — but those details remain secret. Write to your representatives now to demand that Congress bring transparency to this clandestine pact.
Chief among the unconstitutional powers authorized by the Patriot Act are so-called national security letters (NSLs). These secret subpoenas allow the FBI, without any independent oversight or judicial review, to seize private data about ordinary Americans. Now, Representatives Jerry Nadler and Jeff Flake have have introduced the National Security Letters Reform Act of 2009, which would curb the power’s worst abuses. With portions of the Patriot Act set to expire later this year, the time has come to tell Congress to begin real reform on privacy and civil liberties issues — urge your representative to begin by supporting the National Security Letters Reform Act.
Tell Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee to support the State Secrets Protection Act of 2009, a bill designed to curb abuse of the state secrets privilege. The government has used the overbroad privilege to get lawsuits thrown out of court before they have even begun, based merely on the claim that letting courts judge the legality of those programs would endanger national security. The bill would make changes to ensure meaningful judicial oversight and is likely to be marked up soon in an upcoming Senate Judiciary Committee meeting. Your support in the fight against government secrecy is needed now more than ever — tell the committee to support state secrets privilege reform today!
Please visit and support our very best friend in Cyberspace, the
Electronic Frontier Foundation
About the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
“From the Internet to the iPod, technologies are transforming our society and empowering us as speakers, citizens, creators, and consumers. When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990 — well before the Internet was on most people’s radar — and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today.”
“From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights. Blending the expertise of lawyers, policy analysts, activists, and technologists, EFF achieves significant victories on behalf of consumers and the general public. EFF fights for freedom primarily in the courts, bringing and defending lawsuits even when that means taking on the US government or large corporations. By mobilizing more than 50,000 concerned citizens through our Action Center, EFF beats back bad legislation. In addition to advising policymakers, EFF educates the press and public.”