For Immediate Release
Operation: #FaxBigBrother—Internet Activists are Sending Hundreds of Thousands of Faxes to Congress to Oppose CISA Spying Bill
“Congress is stuck in 1984 and clearly doesn’t understand modern technology” so civil liberties groups are resorting to the fax machine
WASHINGTON - More than a dozen privacy and civil liberties groups have joined together for an unconventional protest this week, helping Internet users send hundreds of thousands of faxes to the U.S. Senate opposing CISA, the Cyber Information Sharing Act.
The groups have launched two websites, FaxBigBrother.com and StopCyberSpying.com, which allow concerned members of the public to send a good old-fashioned facsimile to every member of the Senate with just one click. The coalition has also built a tool that automatically turns the contents every tweet with the hashtag #FaxBigBrother into a fax sent to the Senate.
The week of action launched yesterday, and already more than 310,000 faxes are queued up to flood fax machines on Capitol Hill. Each fax is sent to all 100 members of the Senate.
“Cybersecurity experts agree that CISA won’t stop cyberattacks like the OPM hacks, but Congress is stuck in 1984 and clearly doesn’t understand modern technology,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, the group that developed the faxing tool, “They’ve received millions of emails and phone calls from concerned citizens opposing bills like CISA that grant companies sweeping legal immunity to share our private data with the government; maybe using technology as outdated as their thinking will help them finally get the message.”
“CISA is a mass surveillance bill dressed up as a cybersecurity bill,” added Fight for the Future CTO Jeff Lyon, “It’s a blatant end-run around the Constitution and essentially legalizes all forms of government and corporate spying, putting giant companies like Facebook and Google above the law and allowing them to do almost anything they want with our personal information.”
The week of action, entitled “Operation: Fax Big Brother,” is being organized by Fight for the Future, Access, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, with support from more than a dozen groups from both the left and the right including the ACLU, American Library Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Freedom of the Press Foundation, Constitution Project. Association of Research Libraries, Niskanen Center, Free Press, The X-Lab, Sunlight Foundation, and Media Alliance.
The technology behind the #FaxBigBrother tool was developed by Jeff Lyon. Using a dedicated server and phone lines running out of his attic, the Fax Robot system is capable of continuously flooding Congress with thousands of faxes.
Fight for the Future is dedicated to protecting and expanding the Internet's transformative power in our lives by creating civic campaigns that are engaging for millions of people.