As you know, CISPA is back, and it still lets corporations share your private information with our government without our government having to get a warrant, and still defines "cybersecurity" and "national security" far too broadly. If you think Big Brother watching you is bad, then Big Brother colluding with private corporations to watch you must be another boatload of bad. And though CISPA lets you sue a corporation that shares your information unlawfully, how will you know that? The Supreme Court just ruled in Clapper v. Amnesty International that the plaintiffs couldn't sue over warrantless wiretapping because they couldn't establish they had been harmed, when everyone knows our government doesn't have to say whom they're tapping! Both the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Daily Kos help you tell your Congressfolk to oppose CISPA.
Meanwhile, you may have heard of "patent trolls," who buy patents from down-on-their-luck corporations or apply for overly-broad patents, all so they can spend their workday suing other people and extracting fees from them. Nice work if you can get it! One suspects the Patent Office ought to review patent applications rather more vigorously. At least H.R. 845, the SHIELD Act -- co-sponsored by Reps. Chaffetz (R-UT) and DeFazio (D-OR) -- would force patent trolls to pay the other side's legal costs if they sue and lose, which would give the patent trolls pause, since their "business model" counts on suing people who would rather pass on expensive court battles. EFF helps you tell your Congressfolk to support the SHIELD Act. And we can fight actual frivolous lawsuits for once!
In other news, the dairy lobby wants the FDA to let them put artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, in milk. But milk is a naturally-sweet drink! Checking the label on my 2% from the supermarket, I see 12 grams of sugar per eight-ounce serving, and no sugar added. I'm guessing the dairy industry sees high-fructose corn syrup drinks as their main competition for the kiddie market, and wants to say at least with milk, the kids get some calcium. And it's not like putting Ovaltine in your milk, either, because parents can stop kids from using Ovaltine, or make it a once-in-a-while treat. Bottom line: we shouldn't let milk makers put more sugar in milk; instead, we should stop shoveling all that taxpayer money toward corn syrup makers, so we can get a handle on all this sugar madness. In the meantime, Sum of Us helps you tell the FDA to nix sweeteners for milk.
Finally, Shell Oil has declared it won't drill in the Arctic for oil this year. That's after a number of high-profile PR reversals (losing control of oil rigs, failing safety tests, like that) in which Shell demonstrated how difficult it is to drill in an area you don't know very much about and can't clean up as easily as you can in warmer climes. So the League of Conservation Voters helps you tell the Department of the Interior to keep Shell out of the Arctic, and the Sierra Club helps you tell Messrs. Obama and Salazar to protect the Polar Bear Seas and the coast of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. Shell may pull out this year, but it'll be back next year, having learned not a damn thing, I imagine, but still wanting to screw up the Arctic. Why should we permit that?