Topic

internet privacy

14 petitions

Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives

Save Net Neutrality

The ability to organize grassroots movements, whether locally or across the globe, is made possible by an open Internet. Since its creation, the Internet has become the world’s megaphone for free speech, protected by the principles of Net Neutrality, which require internet service providers (ISPs) to give everyone equal access to everything you use the internet for -- email, watching videos, listening to music, or signing petitions on Change.org.  Without Net Neutrality, ISPs can choose what you see online, favoring some sources or blocking others. For example, if someone launched a petition on Change.org against a company like Verizon, Net Neutrality prevents Verizon from blocking or slowing their customers’ access to our site.   In December of 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 to repeal net neutrality rules -- giving big cable companies room to charge extra fees, block and censor users. By removing ISPs from Title II of the Communications Act, a rule that means ISPs are subjected to tougher regulations that prevent them blocking sites, creating paid “fast” lanes, and throttling internet speeds. This decision will have global implications for the way the world shares and receives information from journalists, newsrooms, and NGO’s. However, following the FCC’s vote, Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) announced a Congressional Review Act resolution that if passed, would stop net neutrality repeal. That resolution now has the support of 50 senate members, which means just one more vote is needed for it to pass the Senate. Net Neutrality also prevents ISPs from creating paid “fast lanes” that would give faster delivery of content to companies who can afford to pay more. An organization or platform like Change.org that couldn’t afford those fees, couldn’t communicate with their supporters.  In the United States, there is strong bipartisan support for Net Neutrality. A recent poll conducted by Mozilla found that Republicans, Democrats and Independents overwhelmingly support these rules.  At Change.org, we believe that people everywhere should have the tools they need to make their voices heard. We’re a social good company powered by technology that empowers anyone anywhere to take action on the issues they care about. A closed off Internet means fewer ways for millions of people to make the change they want to see. Without an internet equally accessible to everyone regardless of income or geography, we can’t continue that mission. Add your name to let Congress and the FCC know that you support an open internet.

Change.org
2,411,201 supporters
Started 5 months ago

Petition to Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith, Tim Walz

Change The CFAA before it's to late!

This petition to change the long outdated CFAA law is to change the laws regarding the internet to be with the current era of technology. This can affect everyone in the U.S. if it is changed because right now; since the laws of the CFAA are so misguiding and utterly confusing to the average reader and even some lawmakers have had some people wrongly incarcerated and even resulting in a suicide. There is a full research paper below that will show you why the lawmakers have to sit down and change the nearly 32 year old act. The CFAA(Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) is a long outdated and neglected act resulting in many being unfairly imprisoned and others being let out with a slap on the wrist. Imagine you are online, and you just agreed to the terms of service of a website; you are looking through content, and you illegally upload a pirated movie. You just broke the website's terms of service, but you think, “No biggy; nothing's going to happen.” The next day, you are in jail looking at maybe a class B felony and could have a longer sentence than convicted rapists. This is why the CFAA needs to be reformed. The CFAA’s punishments are outdated for the time, lawmakers have not updated the law sufficiently in decades, they do not treat online privacy and rights as they do in real life privacy and rights, they over criminalize even the simplest offenses and their punishments do not fit the crime. First of all, their punishments are outdated. To start, Aaron Swartz was an online hacktivist and pioneer being involved in internet giants like Reddit and making the popular and highly used web feed format RSS. At MIT, he had access to a guest account where he could access JSTOR servers where millions of articles were held. He mass downloaded them and released them to the public and was arrested by MIT police officers. MIT dropped all charges against Aaron, but the government still pursued the case, charging him with 11 felony violations of violating the CFAA, two felony charges of wire fraud, and one million dollars in fines. He later killed himself after his counteroffer to the prosecution was denied and has now gone down in history as a hacktivist and martyr for computer crime (Hendler). Aaron Swartz was a good man who has so much to live for and has now gone down in history as a martyr for internet rights and freedom on the web. According to the CGA(Connecticut General Assembly), “Accessing a computer system to share information can be a class B misdemeanor or up to a class B felony” (Reinhardt). This is terrible since people known as online hacktivists (people who fight for rights on the internet and release undisclosed information for people to see and go against horrible people on the internet) cannot release information about companies who may be more sinister or on people who are a little less than honest. Information obtained this way sometimes cannot be used in court cases if it is illegally obtained. According to the CGA, “The law makes it a class B felony or if a person commits an online crime to intimidate or coerce a country's population” (Reinhardt). Although they should be punished for an act like using an online crime to intimidate a country’s population, someone who does that should not be given a class B felony where convicted sex offenders and murderers have as well. The United States needs to update the punishments for its laws to fit the crimes before more unfair cases happen. In addition, the law has not been updated in decades. To start, after the Aaron Swartz suicide, senators tried to finally pass a new act onto the law after 25 years of failed attempts (Williams).  Nothing is that simple, sadly, and instead of the fix to the law everyone wanted and was excited about, the law just put more loopholes and more controversy into the law and hardly even addressed the way Aaron was convicted. The CFAA has not been changed in a meaningful and working way ever since its creation in 1986 and has been working against even the government; even this will not get them to change it. Ever since the CFAA was created, even with the good intentions it had and how it seemed to work,  changes to update it with technology have been futile. The CFAA’s new attempts at reform have all over criminalized even the simplest offenses and extended laws to even noncriminal acts, and they have even changed laws that should be felonies misdemeanors (Williams). The lawmakers that have tried to change the act have not addressed what needs to be changed and have been adding in things that look great from an outside viewpoint, but when examined closely with the other laws in the act, you’ll see the over criminalization and sometimes under criminalization of the laws they try to add.  According to Williams, “An IT admin is being faced with a felony after deleting important company files” Although this is not specifically listed in the CFAA, prosecutors are still charging him with a 10-year minimum sentence for normally a small-scale civil case. If prosecutors are not even using the CFAA correctly to prosecute these acts, we need to change the law before another Aaron Swartz case happens again. The CFAA needs to update its laws in a way that makes sense and does not create loopholes in the already unclear laws. Furthermore, the government should have to treat online crime like real life crime. Even though we are protected under First Amendment, the government still accesses and surveys our online activity without a warrant or probable cause (“UN”). The government has full rights to see what people are doing as long as they have a warrant or probable cause that someone is committing a crime. The United States uses mass surveying techniques that are questionable at times and are outright neglecting people's privacy in general. Secondly, A United Nation study report confirmed the United States violates international obligations against its and other countries pledge to stop violation of privacy (“UN”). Even the United Nation is agreeing that the United States is violating its own laws in the CFAA and even its international obligations. The United States  promised to stop using mass surveillance technology as they are using it, which is already a waste of time and hardly ever finds crimes. It can be said the United States does not even respect even the laws it enforces. The United States needs to respect the rights’ of its citizens online like they would in real life. Also, the United States over criminalizes even the simplest of crimes. People who violate terms of service of a website can be charged with 10-15 years of prison, the same of convicted sexual assaulters and people who steal credit card numbers (Hendler). The CFAA must be changed. When you over criminalize even the simplest of offenses, all that is being hurt is the people of the nation, and their respect towards the law and the government. When you lump someone who has violated terms of service with people convicted of sexual assault, it is not setting the bar high for what people will think or believe when someone is convicted. Secondly, Keith Downey, after being fed up with PayPal, decided to protest against the company by attacking PayPal servers and taking them down in some places. (Hendler). What Keith did was 100% illegal, but the sentence he got was too far and too harsh for something with limited damage. Also, when it should be a civil case as well. Andrew Auernheimer was convicted under CFAA laws for attacking AT&T servers and selling iPad information to third parties to show how easy it was and how it was too unsecured. He pleaded guilty and received  41 months in prison, which could have been up to ten years; the worst part is a convicted child pornographer got the same sentence that month (Hendler). This is horrendous. He deserves his sentence after risking all that personal data of those people and selling it, but a world where someone who does that be given the same sentence of a child pornographer is just completely and utterly stupid. The United States over-criminalization of the simplest of crimes makes the already outdated and laughingstock of acts even worse. They need to fix the acts before more cases of people hacking computers getting the same sentences of rapists happening again. Moreover, the punishments of the CFAA do not fit the crime. To start off, Aaron took millions of files from JSTOR, which is a computer he had access to; he had 13 felonies to his name, which could mean him spending his entire life in prison. Most assault and murder charges are not that severe in their punishments (Roberts). When taking files from a server to release to the public is the same as assault and murder in laws, there needs to be serious change. According to Nicole Roberts in her article “Does the punishment fit the crime”, “Illegally downloading files from a computer/server with unlawful access has a higher maximum sentence than rape.” Illegally downloading files is  a crime and should have a high sentence, but one that can exceed rape is one too high. This is just a case of sloppy law making and rushed add ons to make an already breaking act worse. Those are cases of over criminalization, but there is also cases of under as well. Albert Gonzalez stole over 46 million credit and debit card information, and he could, if he is on good behavior, be out in just eight years (Roberts). When you look into the CFAA, you see many examples of over criminalization, but you see just as much as under criminalization as well. The CFAA needs to make the punishments of the laws actually fit the crime and not make it too harsh or too lenient. In conclusion, the United States needs to finally sit down with experts and makes laws to actually fit the crime. The United States needs to update its punishments, update its laws, treat online privacy like in real life privacy, stop over-criminalizing even the simplest of crimes, and make punishments actually fit the crime. We need to have access to a safe and secure internet where we know what is right and wrong and know what is a crime and what is not. The United States needs the CFAA to be fixed in the days of ever changing and updating technology and increased use of online crimes.                 Works Cited Hendler James. “It’s Time to Reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act” August 16th 2013 https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/its-times-reform-computer-fraud-abuse-act/ 4 Feb 2018 Jarret Marshall, Baile Michael. “Prosecuting Computer Crimes” OLE, No date shown https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/criminal-ccips/legacy/2015/01/14/ccmanual.pd f, 4 Feb 2018 Reinhart, Christopher. “Penalties for Computer Crime”. OLR Research Report, June 28th, 2012, https://www.cga.ct.gov/2012/rpt/2012-R-0254.html 4 Feb 2018 Roberts, Nicole. “Does the punishment fit the crime” June 4th 2014 https://lawstreetmedia.com/blogs/crime/cybercrimes-punishment-actually-fit-crime/ 4 Feb 2018 ”UN HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT CONFIRMS GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE           VIOLATES PRIVACY RIGHTS” ACLU July 16th 2014 https://www.aclu.org/news/un-human-rights-report-confirms-government-surveillance-vi olates-privacy-rights 4 Feb 2018 Williams, James. “Heads Up Internet: Time to Kill Another Dangerous CFAA Bill” Electronic Frontier Foundation. May 26th 2016 https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/05/heads-internet-time-kill-another-dangerous-cfaa-b ill?page=2, 4 Feb 2018  

Brady Swancutt
13 supporters
Update posted 8 months ago

Petition to Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Carlos Curbelo, Ron DeSantis, Mario Diaz-Balart, Neal Dunn, Matt Gaetz, Brian Mast, Bill Posey, Thomas Rooney, Francis Rooney, Dennis Ross, John Rutherford, Daniel Webster, Ted Yoho, Marco Rubio, Federal Communications Commission, Donald Trump, Florida State Senate, Florida State House

URGE FLORIDA CONGRESSMEN TO VOTE FOR NET NEUTRALITY

  This petition is aimed at the multiple representatives, and one senator in the state of Florida, who voted to open the door for ISPs to sell customer data in a recent election. Consumer awareness is on the rise, especially as the vote for Net Neutrality draws near (within the next month.) As many know, the state of Florida holds one of the strongest voices in congress, and the votes of the representatives in our 27 districts are not taken lightly. 15 of our 27 Representatives voted in favor of an act similar to the repeal of Net Neutrality, which arguably infringed upon the personal rights of consumers. We can predict, both from their voting patterns, and the hearty compensation they receive from the telecom industry, that the Representatives this petition hopes to appeal to will vote in favor of the repeal of Net Neutrality as instated by Chairman Pai. If Net Neutrality were to be repealed, "ISPs would have the power to block websites, slow them down, give some sites an advantage over others, split the Internet into "fast lanes" for companies that pay and "slow lanes" for the rest, (and could) force (you) to buy special "tiers" to access the sites and services (you) choose." (Cred) For a full disclosure of what exactly your congressmen are voting for, read the entire repeal here. This being said, I urge you, as citizens of Florida to both write to the representatives of your district, and to write to Sen. Marco Rubio, and make sure they're taking the ethical stance on Net Neutrality. Thank you for your time, and support. 

Rachel Chumley
65,462 supporters