UmeNow Supports Coalition Letter In Opposition to CISPA

By Evelyn Castillo-Bach ... ...

As the CEO of and, I support the coalition behind the privacy letter below that represents dozens of groups.

April 16, 2012 ...

Dear Representative,
We the undersigned organizations urge you to vote ‘no’ on H.R. 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA). We are gravely concerned that this bill will allow companies that hold very sensitive and personal information to liberally share it with the government, which could then use the information without meaningful oversight for purposes unrelated to cybersecurity.

We understand this bill is scheduled to be considered on the House floor during “Cybersecurity Week,” the week of April 23rd. CISPA creates an exception to all privacy laws to permit companies to share our information with each other and with the government in the name of cybersecurity.

Although a carefully-crafted information sharing program that strictly limits the information to be shared and includes robust privacy safeguards could be an effective approach to cybersecurity, CISPA lacks such protections for individual

CISPA’s ‘information sharing’ regime allows the transfer of vast amounts of data, including sensitive information like internet use history or the content of emails, to any agency in the government including military and intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency or the Department of Defense Cyber Command. Once in government hands, this information can be used for any non- regulatory purpose so long as one significant purpose is for cybersecurity or to protect national security. These are not meaningful use restrictions: “national security” use is one of the problems, and the White House recognized this immense problem by precluding such use in its own cybersecurity proposal.

While the bill requires the Director of National Intelligence Inspector General to issue annual reports on the government’s use of information shared with it under the bill, such reports would only be provided to congressional intelligence committees, and IG reports are no substitute for meaningful use restrictions and they will do nothing to dissuade companies from misusing personal information shared under this broad new program.

We believe these broad new authorities will needlessly impinge on Americans’ privacy and urge you to vote ‘no’ on CISPA. Several other bills in the 112th Congress proposed by members on both sides of the aisle and in both houses contain protections that could easily be incorporated into CISPA to protect privacy.

Advocacy for Principled Action in Government American
Association of Law Libraries
American Association of University Professors
American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
American Civil Liberties Union
American Library Association
American Policy Center
Association of Research Libraries
Center for Democracy & Technology
Center for Media and Democracy
Center for National Security Studies
The Constitution Project
Consumer Federation of America
Consumer Watchdog
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Cyber Privacy Project
Defending Dissent Foundation
Demand Progress, Inc.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Free Press Action Fund
Fight for the Future
Government Accountability Project
Hon. Bob Barr
Liberty Coalition National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
National Coalition Against Censorship
National Whistleblower Center
OMB Watch
Patient Privacy Rights
PEN American Center
Personal Democracy Media
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
Republican Liberty Caucus
The Rutherford Institute
U.S. Bill of Rights Foundation

Company Information:
UmeNow is a private "people's network" that has banned all tracking and all ads. UmeNow has a 2-tier membership structure. It promises the same privacy protection to its free members. Premium level members who subscribe for $6.00/ month have access to all site areas.

Evelyn Castillo-Bach is the founder of UmeNow and Collegiate Nation. She is known to her followers as Privacy Mom. UmeNow entered into its silent launch in July 2011. Collegiate Nation--also known as - is the first and only private network exclusively for college students. Castillo-Bach was interviewed earlier this year by Miami television to address privacy issues impacting college students.

Both UmeNow and Collegiate Nation are known for fiercely protecting the privacy rights of its members. All ads, third party apps and games are banned because they are back doors to tracking and extracting private information. Castillo-Bach earned her M.S. in 1993 from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has traveled extensively in Ethiopia and in the Balkans, accompanying her Danish husband who is a lawyer.

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