The Senate Intelligence Committee has taken up the so-called Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (S. 754); strange how quickly this supposedly gridlocked Congress can get to work on bills that would not actually make us safer, but would create broad government spying powers and would grant sweeping immunity to telecom corporations that violate the rights of their users. Anyone else think there's nothing wrong with doing good intelligence work and getting warrants? No one gets to throw 9.11 in my face when I say that, because Tha Bush Mobb simply failed to act on the good intelligence the FBI and the CIA gave them -- and then demanded more unconstitutional surveillance powers, rather than fixing their own mistakes. Anyway, S. 754 also, in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's words, doesn't address real cybersecurity issues like "unencrypted files, poor computer architecture, un-updated servers, and employees (or contractors) clicking malware links," so both the EFF and the Bill of Rights Defense Committee help you tell your Senators to reject CISA.
Meanwhile, you may have heard of the tragic shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland almost a year ago, where police shot Mr. Rice after receiving a 911 call about a "male black" carrying a gun in public. The 911 caller did suggest Mr. Rice's firearm was "probably a fake" and that Mr. Rice was "probably a juvenile," but the police officers on the scene apparently did not have that information, and later we learned that both officers, well, may have had problems serving black citizens, with one of them having been judged "emotionally unstable" by his last police department. One can criticize a kid for not realizing the kind of trouble he could get into if he waves around a fake firearm that looks fairly real from a distance, but that doesn't mean he deserved to be shot dead -- nor does it mean that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty should drag his feet on bringing the case for prosecution of the two officers to a Grand Jury. Hence Color of Change helps you tell Mr. McGinty to step aside and let an independent special prosecutor handle the investigation.
In other news, the corporate clothing chain Urban Outfitters has dropped on-call scheduling for its retail employees -- but only in New York state, home to 16 of its 176 U.S. stores (12 of these 16 in New York City). Last I looked, America had 49 other states, and in these, Urban Outfitter retail employees will still be unable to consistently spend time with their families, arrange child care, or (heaven forfend!) hold a second job or go to school so they can get a better job. Urban Outfitters still wants the good PR from giving a few of their employees one week's notice of their work schedules, but they want to do that without doing all the work they need to do to earn that good PR. Hence Jobs with Justice helps you tell Urban Outfitters to end on-call scheduling for all of its employees, in all of its stores. Urban Outfitters does give off the vibe, with all its hipster/ironic/occasionally offensive clothing designs, that it thinks of places like Idaho and Utah (one store each) as flyover country. But let's not let Urban Outfitter actually treat workers there that way.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell your Congressfolk to support H.R. 3543/S. 2054, the Justice is Not for Sale Act, which would end outsourcing of our governments' prison functions to private contractors, then CREDO still helps you do that. Some of my compatriots on the left hasten to remind me that the vast majority of prisons in America are still publicly-run, to which I respond: so far! I certainly don't want to wait until the next generation of even more brazen far-right wingers sell off even more public functions to their cronies before I admit there's a problem. And there is a problem: prisoners in private, for-profit prisons go back to prison more frequently than those in public prisons, almost like that makes private prisons more money or something. The Justice is Not for Sale Act would not only wind down all federal, state, and local private prisons within three years, it would give the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau authority over prison phone rates and reinstate the parole system for federal prisoners that American hasn't had since 1984. Now that's negotiating!