ACLU Launches New Grassroots Campaigning Platform

March 6, 2013 10:19 am

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Encouraging the President to Veto the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act Is First Goal

March 6, 2013

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NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union launched “ACLU Action” today – a new online, grassroots campaigning platform designed to give the organization’s 700,000 supporters better tools and more opportunities to engage directly with their elected representatives on civil liberties issues. The organization has partnered with Purpose, a mass digital mobilizing company that combines political organizing experience with social media savvy and new technologies to allow large numbers of people to come together and self-organize. By joining this new campaign approach with the legal, lobbying and media advocacy work that has been the cornerstone of the ACLU’s work for more than 90 years, ACLU Action stands to empower ACLU supporters to more directly and frequently influence the debate around matters of policy.

“ACLU Action is about putting ACLU’s hundreds of thousands of supporters across the country at the center of our work,” said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU. “After nearly a century working to safeguard the rights of individuals, we are thrilled to usher in a new era where we can work directly with our broad base to build an even stronger, more united community, and effect change on a larger scale than ever before.”

The platform will allow ACLU supporters to not only write their representative and sign petitions, but more easily create viral content to share their actions with their friends, family, neighbors and colleagues.

ACLU Action will organize people to come together offline in creative ways to attract public attention to key campaigns large and small, on the federal and local level. ACLU Action marks its launch with its maiden campaign – to call on President Obama to issue a veto threat on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. CISPA would give unprecedented power to companies to give Americans’ private Internet and communication information to the government, without a warrant, if they believe it is relevant to cybersecurity. CISPA was recently reintroduced in the House, but a veto threat would maintain and strengthen opposition to the bill. The ACLU is telling its supporters that a veto threat from the president would also send a powerful message to Congress that Americans oppose any legislation that gives blanket permission to infringe on the online privacy of individuals.

“As the new challenges of online technology pose major threats to our civil liberties, the ACLU will continue to fight to protect Americans from abuses of power and government overreach,” says Romero. “It’s fitting that CISPA be our first campaign to galvanize our supporters in this way.”

During a pre-launch period, ACLU Action began engaging the public on several campaigns, including one urging a school board in Florida to allow Bayli, an 8th grader, to organize a Gay-Straight Alliance club in her school, one asking Congress to reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to remove the dangerously broad criminalization of online activity, and one petitioning the state of North Carolina to allow DREAMers to obtain drivers’ licenses.

More information on ACLU Action and the campaign to veto CISPA can be found here:

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The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.