April 8, 2013 | By Mark Jaycox and Trevor Timm

Why It's Important to Call Your Representative About CFAA Reform and Aaron's Law

This week, EFF and a bipartisan coalition of organizations are calling for a Week of Action to reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act—the law used in the aggressive prosecution of Aaron Swartz and that could potentially be used to turn every Internet user into a criminal.

Since Aaron's death, EFF has proposed changes that would reform the CFAA and bring it into the 21st Century. Unfortunately, the House Justiciary committee has proposed radical changes to the CFAA that would seek to increase penalties, expand the law, and criminalize new actions.

This week, we have a Twitter tool which you can use to express your support for reform and an action center which allows you to easily find your representative and email them. But if you live in one of the following districts, you can have even more impact by calling your representative on the phone.

We've heard from multiple sources in Congress that the most effective action taken during the SOPA protest in January 2012 was the massive numbers of people who called into Congress to express their concern. During that week of action, the phone lines in Congress were temporarily overwhelmed from call volume and had to be shut down. This sent a powerful message to those who were considering voting against Internet freedom.

Here are some talking points for you to mention during the phone call:

Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a constituent of the Representative.

I think the recent proposed changes by the House Judiciary committee to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act are a bad idea, and I hope the representative will stand against them.

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) has vague language that broadly criminalizes accessing a computer without "authorization," but doesn't explain what that actually means. It contains heavy-handed penalties and shows no regard for whether an act was done to further the public good. And the Justice Department thinks it criminalizes terms of use violations, meaning it would be criminal for me to use a nickname on Faceook. It's time to reform the CFAA. I want my representative to make sure that there are:

  1. No more criminal penalties for violating a website's fine print
  2. No criminal penalties for circumvention techniques that protect privacy and promote security and
  3. Penalties proportionate to offenses

Thank you for your consideration.

Find your state in the list below to get the phone numbers for your Representative.

Help us spread the word!

Once you’ve called your Representative, there are still more steps you can take to fight the House Judiciary Committee changes. Tell your friends, in person or on Twitter, and ask them to call their representative. And if you haven’t yet used our action alert, act now to e-mail your legislators.

State-District Representative Phone Number
Alabama-6 Spencer Bachus (202) 225-4921
Arizona-8 Trent Franks (202) 225-4576
California-37 Karen Bass (202) 225-7084
California-27 Judy Chu (202) 225-5464
California-49 Darrell Issa (202) 225-3906
California-19 Zoe Lofgren (202) 225-3072
Florida-26 Joe Garcia (202) 225-2778
Florida-6 Ron DeSantis (202) 225-2706
Florida-21 Ted Deutch (202) 225-3001
Georgia-9 Doug Collins (202) 225-9893
Georgia-4 Hank Johnson (202) 225-1605
Iowa-4 Steve King (202) 225-4426
Idaho-1 Raul Labrador (202) 225-6611
Illinois-4 Luis Gutierrez (202) 225-8203
Louisiana-2 Cedric Richmond (202) 225-6636
Michigan-13 John Conyers (202) 225-5126
Nevada-2 Mark Amodei (202) 225-6155
North Carolina-6 Howard Coble (202) 225-3065
North Carolina-13 George Holding (202) 225-3032
North Carolina-12 Mel Watt (202) 225-1510
New York-10 Jerrold Nadler (202) 225-5635
New York-8 Hakeem Jeffries (202) 225-5936
Ohio-1 Steve Chabot (202) 225-2216
Ohio-4 Jim Jordan (202) 225-2676
Pennsylvania-10 Tom Marino (202) 225-3731
Pennsylvania-12 Keith Rothfus (202) 225-2065
Puerto Rico-At Large Pedro Pierlusi (202) 225-2615
South Carolina-4 Trey Gowdy (202) 225-6030
Tennessee-9 Steve Cohen (202) 225-3265
Texas-27 Blake Farenthold (202) 225-3265
Texas-1 Louie Gohmert (202) 225-7742
Texas-8 Sheila Jackson-Lee (202) 225-3816
Texas-2 Ted Poe (202) 225-6565
Texas-21 Lamar S. Smith (202) 225-4236
Utah-3 Jason Chaffetz (202) 225-7751
Virginia-4 Randy Forbes (202) 225-6365
Virginia-6 Bob Goodlatte (202) 225-5431
Virginia-3 Bobby Scott (202) 225-8351
Washington-1 Suzan Delbene (202) 225-6311
Wisconsin-5 Jim Sensenbrenner (202) 225-5101

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