Lately our Federal Trade Commission (or FTC) has fined Equifax $650-$700 million for failing to secure the private data of almost 150 million Americans, but that's not as big as it sounds -- if you don't believe me, divide the fine by the number of people it hurt! -- and good Americans need more protection than that. Hence H.R. 2545/S. 1336, the Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act, would establish an Office of Cybersecurity within our FTC which would regulate data security at credit reporting corporations, would set strict notification requirements for data breaches, and would make penalties for losing consumer personal data a lot steeper. If you're one of those who reflexively respond oh great another bureaucracy, I would remind you that "just letting the corporations who know their stuff do it" clearly ain't working, and that's the world we're already in. Penn Environment helps you tell your Congressfolk to protect consumer data by passing the Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act.
Meanwhile, the Sierra Club helps you tell the CEOs of BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips to back out of their apparent plans to drill in the Arctic. Drilling in the Arctic has been a fever dream of big oil since time immemorial, but we all know the reasons we shouldn't drill there -- for one, it's much harder to clean up an oil spill which will happen in the Arctic than it is even in the temperate Gulf of Mexico (and you recall how well BP cleaned up that spill, which is to say "not particularly well"). Here are some more reasons: it'll threaten the famous Alaskan sockeye salmon industry, wreck the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, endanger the Native populations of the region, and it won't even give us very much oil. If I, an hourly-paid schmuck, can recite these reasons off the top of my head, then I bet a lot of other people can, too -- and surely these not-very-popular big oil CEOs are acutely aware that There Is-So Such a Thing as Bad PR. If we need to remind them of that with (wait for it!) the Big Stick of Bad PR, hey, we're here to help.
If you've missed previous opportunities to tell our Senate to fund gun violence research by our Centers for Disease Control and our National Institute of Health, then Daily Kos still helps you do that. Congress last year passed a spending bill that explicitly authorized gun violence research by these agencies, but naturally they didn't actually give them a dime to do that research; what are they afraid of? I'm no great fan of keeping people from having handguns and rifles -- though I think it should be just as hard to get semi-automatic weapons as automatic weapons -- but there's no harm in researching gun violence scientifically, and our CDC and NIH have sterling reputations, though I imagine our President's trying to change that as we speak. Even the author of the Dickey Amendment that restricted gun violence research in the first place said before he died that he regretted his amendment's effects. I wish that remorse was more contagious in Congress these days, but hey, that's why we're here.
Finally, CREDO helps you tell your Congressfolk to block Facebook's efforts to create its own damn currency. Yeah, you read that right, and I'm sure Libra will be even more annoying than bitcoin has been over the years. They're selling cryptocurrency as, get this, a way of reaching the "unbanked" citizens of the world. Setting aside that we should never privatize currency, and setting aside, also, that Libra won't help the "unbanked" if they're also "uncomputered," there's a better way to help the "unbanked": stop treating the world as your personal fuckjar. Seriously, when we keep the world's biggest actors from exploiting good folks from other lands, those good folks will have more power to do the things they want to do with their lives, and they won't need Libra or whatever to do it. And an important step toward restraining the world's biggest actors would be to stop "freeing" obnoxious tech CEOs from "burdensome" regulations because they're such great "innovators." Mostly what they innovate is new ways to separate you from your money.