Have you or someone you love been appointed to an important House technology subcommittee, despite being totally ignorant on the matter? If so, Fight for the Future is here to help. On Tuesday, the net neutrality advocates launched 1 (844) 294-A-CLUE, a toll-free hotline to explain the intricacies of internet legislation to representatives like Tennessee's Marsha Blackburn. Appearing on CNN this weekend, the congresswoman demonstrated exactly what kind of person controls technology policy in the US, answering a question about Friday's DDoS attacks by mourning the defeat of 2011's Stop Online Piracy Act.
"A few years ago we tried to do a bill called SOPA in the House which required the ISPs to some governance on these networks and to block some of the bad actors," said Blackburn, referring to the dangerous anti-piracy bill that had nothing to do with denial-of-service. "And of course, there were all of the cyberbots that took out after us that were trying to say 'no you can't do that you're going to impede our free speech.'"
Luckily, Fight for the Future has pledged to save Blackburn's fellow legislators from similar humiliations.
"When members of Congress talk about 'cyber bots' coming after them about free speech, people on the Internet have a hard time taking them seriously," the group writes on its website. "We started this hotline to help you avoid those cringeworthy moments that could make you famous in a bad way, but more importantly, to get you up to speed on internet security so that you don't make uninformed decisions about the Internet and our basic rights in the digital age."
When Gizmodo called the number on Tuesday night, we were connected to CTO Jeff Lyon, who explained that jokey-sounding service was also a very real attempt to help both lawmakers and the public better understand the important issues surrounding the internet.
"Congress, help us help you," writes Fight for the Future. "This phone call could be one of the most important things you do today."