Our right to private communications is a cornerstone of American democracy. But with heightened awareness in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, technological advances have continued allowing the government to expand its reach into our private lives via electronic surveillance and data-mining programs. New laws and policies introduced in the last decade have eroded our civil liberties online.

Congress has a poor track record when it comes to cybersecurity legislation. The bills introduced so far give the government way too much power to intrude on our privacy online.

We have already seen legislation that would authorize internet service providers and other companies to share customer data with the government. Such bills could pave the way for a spying regime that allows the government and companies to bypass privacy protections and more freely share information on what we read, listen to and watch on the internet.

This kind of online spying legislation chills free speech — creating an environment in which we refrain from posting on Facebook, conducting Web searches, sending emails, writing blog posts or otherwise communicating online for fear that the National Security Agency could come knocking. We’ve already seen this happen in the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks about the NSA’s sweeping surveillance programs, which track our phone calls and monitor our Web activity.

Whatever we need to do to protect vital national interests from cyberattacks, we can’t do it at the expense of our basic civil rights. We need to avoid this false choice between security and liberty.

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Press Releases

  • Free Press Action Fund Condemns Senate Passage of CISA

    October 27, 2015
    WASHINGTON — The Senate today voted 74-21 to pass the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), legislation that offers blanket immunity to companies sharing vast quantities of their users’ private data with government authorities.
  • Coalition of More Than 80 Organizations and Internet Companies Calls on Congress to End NSA Spying

    June 11, 2013
    On Tuesday, the Free Press Action Fund and more than 80 organizations and Internet companies sent a letter demanding that Congress halt and investigate the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs. The signers include the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mozilla and reddit. The letter coincided with the coalition’s launch of StopWatching.Us, a site demanding an inquiry into the scope and scale of the NSA’s spying activities.
  • Free Press Condemns Government Collection of Electronic Communications

    June 7, 2013

    WASHINGTON — Since 2007, the federal government has been working with the nation's top Internet companies — a group that reportedly includes Apple, Facebook and Google — to access their users' electronic communications. Under the surveillance program, known as PRISM, the National Security Agency collects foreign communications traffic from these companies. It's likely that PRISM also sweeps in Americans' domestic electronic communications.

    Disclosure of the PRISM program follows this week's discovery of the government's surveillance of Americans' telephone calls.

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  • Demand Debate on the FISA Amendments Act

    Dear Senator,

    We write to share our concern about the reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act and the dwindling time remaining to have a meaningful debate and amendment process before your target adjournment at the end of next week. We ask that you contact your party leadership and let them know that you expect ample time for floor debate, privacy and transparency amendments, and possible conference with the House on ultimate legislation.

    December 13, 2012
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News from Around the Web

Learn More

  • Broadband

    Access to high-speed internet service — also known as broadband — is a basic public necessity, just like water or electricity.

    Yet despite its importance, broadband access in the United States is far from universal. Millions of Americans still stand on the wrong side of the digital divide, unable to tap into the political, economic and social resources of the internet.

  • Cable

    Two decades ago, something unusual happened.

    Consumers were irate about their cable bills, which were increasing at nearly three times the rate of inflation. And Congress actually did something — adopting in overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion the 1992 Cable Act. The law resulted in lower cable bills, saving consumers $3 billion in just over a year’s time.

  • Declaration of Internet Freedom

    Tired of fighting bad bills like SOPA, PIPA and CISPA? Want to stand up against those who are trying to control what we do and say online? It's time for something different.

    A group of more than 1,500 organizations, academics, startup founders and tech innovators has come together to sign a Declaration of Internet Freedom, a set of five principles that put forward a positive vision of the open Internet. Click here to add your name.

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good