Comment of the Week: Fight CISPA with Paper and Pens
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, a bill that has some serious potential to roll back Internet freedoms.
Like SOPA and PIPA before it, the bill has tech industry minds and privacy advocates very worried, and it seems likely the bill will make its way through the Senate as well. Although President Barack Obama has pledged to veto the bill, that’s not a reliable way to kill it, and who knows what political winds might shift between now and then.
Our Comment of Week comes in the wake of CISPA’s passage and Ross Lincoln’s article, “CISPA Passes the House — Is It Time for Gamers to Panic?” (which you should read if you’re unfamiliar with CISPA), where an enlightened post came from user JawaEsteban. The comment advocates fighting the bill the old-fashioned way: with pens, paper, stamps and polite but firm language. As JawaEsteban rightly points out, it’s easy to create online petitions and post angry updates to social networks, but those things don’t have nearly the resonance as a paper letter sent through the mail when it comes to reaching out to legislators.
“Write letters. The paper kind. The internet makes it so easy to create petitions and email campaigns that Congress pretty much ignores all electronic correspondence. However, it’s a rare congresscritter who’s not painfully aware that an individual willing to take the time to write a letter is an individual who cares enough about the issue to vote on it, and bring friends.
“As always, polite and intelligent wording is essential. If you sound like a high school dropout with a Twitter addiction, expect to be ignored. Harsh/violent language will also get your letter circular-filed immediately, and may result in a visit from a representative of your local FBI office who will take a very uncomfortable interest in your personal affairs.
“Paper, pens, and stamps, people. Let’s get on it.”
You can find all the information you need to contact your senator from the U.S. Senate’s web page here.