If you've missed previous opportunities to tell your Congressfolk to reject efforts to reauthorize the notorious Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, which allows our government to hoover up all sorts of data without establishing probable cause or getting a warrant, then Free Press still helps you do that. And Section 215 doesn't just allow the data-vacuuming program even the NSA says it doesn't need anymore -- it also allows our government to collect location data and execute "backdoor searches" on Americans without a warrant. That means, not incidentally, that our government can now spy on political protestors a lot more easily. Why, it's almost like that was the whole idea of the USA PATRIOT Act to begin with! It was a Bush Mobb production, after all, and Mr. Bush famously once said "there should be limits to freedom" after being criticized particularly trenchantly. And now the most thin-skinned human being ever is President.
Meanwhile, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell your Congressfolk to force big telecom corporations to be more transparent in their pricing by passing H.R. 1220/S. 510, the TRUE Fees Act, then Consumer Reports still helps you do that. The bill would do a lot of good things: it would force big telecom corporations to include most of their fees in their advertised price and ensure that good Americans can see all the fees and taxes in their bill. The bill would also make big telecom corporations give us at least 21 days' notice before jacking up any fees, and if we don't like it, we can end our contract with those big telecoms without any penalties. The bill would even void forced arbitration clauses in customer contracts! The bad news? Big telecom corporations hate the TRUE Fees Act, and they still hold a lot of sway with politicians. The good news? Most Americans hate big telecom corporations! And it's well past time we got more say about things in America.
Finally, our Federal Trade Commission (or FTC) is still mulling whether to weaken the landmark child privacy law, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA. COPPA prevents corporations from targeting ads at children under 13 without parental consent, and big telecom corporations tell you that "technology" has "advanced" to the point where such controls are "quaint." But what they really want, of course, is to be able to hoover up children's data so they can target kids online as quickly as possible, without parental rights as an "obstacle." But parental rights are only an obstacle to big corporations siphoning more money from them, and no big corporation has a "right" to make more money more quickly -- and even if they did, that "right" wouldn't supersede a parent's right to protect their children from mass marketing. Hence Public Citizen helps you tell our FTC to reject any plans it might have to weaken children's online privacy laws.