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WASHINGTON –– On Monday, public interest groups and civil liberties organizations launched a week of Internet-wide protests against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA), the controversial cybersecurity legislation that would negate existing privacy laws and allow companies to share user data with the government without a court order.

The coalition is urging the public to take part in a Twitter protest directed at their lawmakers. The campaign will use the hashtags #CongressTMI and #CISPA.

Last week, the Free Press Action Fund asked its members to contact their representatives and urge a "no" vote on this dangerously vague and overbroad legislation. All of the Stop Cyber Spying Week participants are calling on Congress to reject legislation that sacrifices civil liberties and does not define clearly what user data can be shared with the government nor limit how the government and private companies can use that data.

Free Press Action Fund Director Matt Wood made the following statement:

"CISPA's chief danger is its unbounded grant of powers to government agencies and private entities. It opens the door to potential abuse of our rights to communicate online. The bill lacks any real safeguards for the collection of individuals' private data and how it will be used. It fails to provide meaningful oversight of government use of that information, and immunizes private companies that participate in collecting and sharing this data. As it stands, CISPA could lead all too easily to governmental and corporate violations of our privacy and attacks on our right to speak freely via the Internet. While there is a need to protect vital national interests, we can’t do it at the expense of our freedoms."

Participating groups in addition to the Free Press Action Fund include Access, the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Library Association,, the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Constitution Project, Demand Progress, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future,, Open the Government, the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Reporters Without Borders, Reverse Robo Call, the Sunlight Foundation, Techdirt and TechFreedom.

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