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Pro-privacy campaign asks “Do you have a secret?”

Fight For the Future campaigns agains the Senate's proposed cybersecurity bills—which it says would legalize government spying on U.S. citizens' Internet activity—with a startling new website.


Kevin Collier


Posted on Aug 1, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 1:31 pm CDT

The piano starts softly, with a two repeating high notes buoyed by an ominous lower phrase, then slowly escalates into something dissonant and ominous.

In light of the cybersecurity bills proposed by the Senate, Internet privacy advocates Fight for the Future wanted to set the mood before asking a simple, but loaded question: Do you have a secret?

That’s the theme for their new campaign for Web privacy. Variations of these bills, like the Cyber Intelligence Security Protection Act (CISPA) or the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, would allow government agencies to access otherwise private user information. And that’s just creepy.

The campaign taps into a genre of browser-storytelling best exemplified by the Korean Bongcheon-Dong Ghost comic (NSFW in that if you haven’t seen it, you’ll probably scream), which adds mood to a story by playing audio and capitalizing on the fact that a user has to scroll down a page to advance the story.

It’s not hard to imagine, Fight for the Future argues, how terrifying it would be if the National Security Agency could legally monitor everyone’s Internet activity. They also note that attorney David Mayfield was wrongly arrested in 2004 after the FBI thought his search history proved he was a terrorist.

To avoid such a state, the group advocates for people to call their senators and tell them they oppose the Cyber Intelligence Security Protection Act (CISPA), as well as the Cybersecurity Act of 2012—or if the latter is impossible, then getting them to back a popular privacy amendment.

Unless, of course, they have nothing to hide.

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*First Published: Aug 1, 2012, 3:47 pm CDT