GOOD 100: Meet Tiffiniy Cheng, 'The Internet Belongs to the People'
Tiffiniy Cheng is the co-founder of Fight for the Future, a nonprofit that organized the protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act, a broadly-worded bill that, in the name of copyright protection, would have given the entertainment industry and their toadies in Congress powers of censorship over your favorite internet destinations. While the bill has been shelved for now, they are still coming for your internet, and Cheng still needs you to join the battle to keep the internet open and free.
About 24 million people responded to the Fight for the Future campaign— although few people knew the organization by name. On January 18, 2012, nearly a billion people were blocked from over 115,000 websites as part of the historic anti-SOPA Internet Strike.
Fight for the Future combined cutting-edge technology with compelling viral messaging to forge powerful alliances with some of the world’s most popular websites — like Google, Amazon, Wikipedia, Reddit, Tumblr, Craigslist and Mozilla.
“We were able to do what insiders said could not be done: We stopped these two bills from becoming law,” Cheng says. “But what we really accomplished that day was the birth of a massive, passionate and united Internet-using constituency. The Internet belongs to the people who use it — and they will not give it up to political or corporate forces that seek to control it.”
Cheng says a big focus for 2013 is privacy. Fight for the Future will build off its DoYouHaveaSecret.org site that drove thousands of emails and phone calls to Congress last June, resulting in the defeat of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA). The organization will also continue its work from last fall — a campaign to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to cover all electronic communications. ECPA will be up for consideration in the 2013 Congress.
Fight for the Future is also building an international force through the Internet Defense League, a network that can broadcast alerts and actions within minutes using a “cat signal,” a spin off Batman’s signature call to action. The premise is that Internet users will combat anything that gets in the way of their free viewing of cat videos.
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