Snark: to annoy or irritate

"Snark" has been in English language dictionaries since at least 1906, and Lewis Carroll used the word to describe a mythological animal in his poem, The Hunting of the Snark (1874). Most recently, the word has come to characterize snappish, sarcastic, or mean-spirited comments or actions directed at those who annoy or irritate us.

At first, this blog was just going be a place to gripe, but because it's more satisfying to take action than it is to merely complain, now most of the posts/reposts suggest ways to get involved in solving problems.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stop Online Spying Bill

Take Action!We need to speak out today to stop a bill that would greatly expand the power of the federal government and big corporations to spy on us as we use the Internet.

The legislation is official named the "Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act," but more commonly called by the acronym "CISPA."
Supporters of CISPA are cynically using the legitimate need to protect our vital national interests from cyber attacks as an excuse to give the government and private companies the authority to read, watch and listen to everything we do on the Internet.
The folks behind CISPA claim that national security interests make this surveillance necessary. But the bill's language is so vague and overreaching that it opens the door for rampant abuse of our online rights:
  • CISPA would allow companies and the government to bypass privacy protections and spy on your email traffic, comb through your text messages, filter your online content and even block access to popular websites.
  • CISPA would permit companies to give the government your Facebook data, Twitter history and cellphone contacts. It would also allow the government to search your email using the vaguest of justifications — and without any real legal oversight.
  • CISPA contains sweeping language that could be used as a blunt weapon to silence whistleblower websites like WikiLeaks and the news organizations that publish their revelations.
  • CISPA would create a culture in which we refrain from speaking freely online for fear that the National Security Agency could come knocking.
This week, in response to concerns from civil liberty and consumer advocates, members of Congress proposed five amendments they said would allay those concerns. But even with these changes, CISPA would still give the NSA — the domestic spying agency — additional power to snoop on our texts, our emails, our web history and everything else we do online.
The White House agrees that this is a problem. Yesterday, it made the surprising move to publicly oppose CISPA.
While the White House's opposition to CISPA is welcome, CISPA is just the latest in a series of ill-conceived attacks on our online civil liberties.
So we need to send a clear message to everyone in Congress that we shouldn't sacrifice our civil liberties in the name of national security.
That is why we need you to make a call regardless of where your member of Congress stands on this issue.
Members of Congress who are with us, need to know their constituents support them. And members of Congress who aren't with us, need to be put on notice that their constituents don't want them to sell us out.
With a vote expected tomorrow, we need you to make a call today. Tell your member of Congress to stop the online spying bill. Thank you for standing up for our civil liberties.
Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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