All I Want For My Birthday Is #NetNeutrality (It’s The Civil Right Of The 21st Century)

I started to write this just for my personal friends who wished me a happy birthday last week but it turned into much more. So please read this, share it, and most importantly CALL!

Dear Friends,

Thank you very much for your kind birthday wishes. I have a request in honor of my birthday. Please call your elected Representatives to demand Net Neutrality (details below). It will take a few minutes of your time, but it is incredibly important for the future of free speech in our country. Net Neutrality is the Civil Right of the 21st Century.

Net Neutrality is the idea that your internet service provider cannot slow down or prevent your access to specific sites and cannot charge you more to access specific sites. A cold hard example of this is that last night I listened to audio from inside the internment camp holding immigrant children held hostage by the Trump administration. Without Net Neutrality Comcast, or ATT, or any other ISP could choose to block my access to the ProPublica website or slow down the ProPublica traffic to the point where the audio won’t load or the webpage becomes unusable. Still not sure what Net Neutrality is or why it is important? John Oliver has your back (One, Two) Net Neutrality is currently dead due to a disastrous ruling by the GOP controlled FCC. There is still a chance to return the Internet to a place where everyone has equal access to information and equal rights, both at the federal level and locally in California.

The US Senate has already passed the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the FCC ruling. The next step is to get the US House of Representatives to also pass the CRA (House CRA). Unfortunately the GOP controlled House refuses to allow a vote on the proposal. In order to force a vote on the CRA the Discharge Petition needs to have 218 Representatives vote in favor, currently 172 have signed as of June 16th. I need you to call your representatives and tell them to sign the Discharge Petition if they haven’t already and tell them to vote yes on the CRA if they already signed. I have resources to contact your rep at the end.

The state of California also has its own Net Neutrality legislation that has passed the State Senate. It is Senate Bill 822 (SB 822) which already passed the Senate and needs your support to pass the House of Representatives. I need you to call your Representative to demand that they support SB 822 through its ratification and that they demand that it is passed un-amended as the ISPs are pushing hard to take the teeth out of the bill and weaken it. This is especially important if you live in one of the districts whose Assembly member is on the committee currently considering the bill as it is up for a vote on the 20th.

To push your Representative to sign the House Discharge Petition to force a vote on the Congressional Review Act go to they will let you email your Congressional Representative and then connect your phone to your Rep and give you a script.

If you want to look up your representative yourself you can go here: If your rep has already signed here is a list of others you can call:


If you live in California we also have Senate Bill 822 (SB 822) to push through the Assembly. Please call your Representative and demand that they push for SB 822 to be passed without amendments. Find your Rep here:

If you have more time call the Reps who are on the Committee currently holding the bill.

I am a member of CUE and they gave me permission to quote one of their member correspondences below. Their script is obviously for Educators and CUE members in specific but please modify it to suit your needs but definitely call!

It is especially important to call Chair Miguel Santiago as he is single-handedly trying to destroy the legislation due to ISP pressure.


From CUE, used with permission:  

If net neutrality is important to you and your schools, we are asking that you call members of the Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee, especially those who directly represent you, to ask that they support SB 822, by voting YES to pass the bill out of the Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee on June 20th.


If you call, state the following:

  1. Ask for the staff person assigned to work with the Assembly member on SB 822. Introduce yourself and mention your role in education, your school/district, and location.
  2. Mention that you represent a Statewide non-profit educational organization known as Computer Using Educators (CUE) which has over 19,000 members consisting of k-12 classroom teachers and school administrators.
  3. Mention the fact that over 50% of homework assignments involve the need for students to have affordable Internet access at their homes.
  4. Net neutrality helps to ensure that school districts and homes will not have Internet service slowed down and/or rates increased due to lack of regulations that ensure net neutrality.
  5. Ask the Assembly member to support SB 822, by voting yes to pass the bill out of the Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee on June 20th.
  6. If time permits, you may want to ask the staff person if they have any questions and/or concerns about the bill.

Prioritize your call according to those who represent the State Assembly District you live in first, and then move on to the others. If you call any legislators, please let us know who you called and any relevant feedback you received.


Contact John Cradler, CUE Legislative Consultant at or phone 650-218-7046 for questions and feedback.

Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee Members

Ask for the staff person working on SB 822 but if that staff person isn’t available, ask for anyone else who can take the message and communicate to the Assembly member that CUE supports SB 822.

Miguel Santiago (Chair), Dem-53: (916) 319-2053

Jay Obernolte (Vice Chair), Rep-33: (916) 319-2033

Rob Bonta, Dem-18: (916) 319-2018

Sabrina Cervantes, Dem-60: (916) 319-2060

Eduardo Garcia, Dem-56: (916) 319-2056

Chris R. Holden, Dem-41: (916) 319-2041

Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Dem-54: (916) 319-2054

Evan Low, Dem-28: (916) 319-2028

Brian Maienschein, Rep-77: (916) 319-2077

Devon J. Mathis, Rep-26: (916) 319-2026

Jim Patterson, Rep-23: (916) 319-2023

Sharon Quirk-Silva, Dem-65: (916) 319-2065

Freddie Rodriguez, Dem-52: (916) 319-2052


Be Careful What You Click On — Man-in-the-middle attacks disguised as Twitter “branding”.

Update 10/31/2016:

Today I came across another company doing the same thing. Look out for links. They are also compromising your security and privacy.

Update 11/26/2016:

You have to remove Linkis from a desktop browser. The correct settings page doesn’t show up in a mobile browser or app.

This is something that we educators need to teach our students as a part of Digital Citizenship.

A disturbing trend on Twitter.

In the last several weeks I have become aware of an insidious, disturbing “service” called Linkis. man-in-the-middle attacks your browsing to inject their content into your stream. This violates your privacy allowing Linkis to track your browsing and modify what you see on pages  you visit.

Wikipedia describes man-in-the-middle attacks:

 “In cryptography and computer security, a man-in-the-middle attack (often abbreviated to MITM, MitM, MIM, MiM attack or MITMA) is an attack where the attacker secretly relays and possibly alters the communication between two parties who believe they are directly communicating with each other.”

When contacting the people who have been using this “service” I found a disturbing trend, none of them knew that they were using it. That is right they had a service linked to their Twitter account (and possibly Tumblr) that was changing their posts without their knowledge.

How does this happen?

Linkis spreads like a virus. One person gets it but doesn’t notice the symptom of the changed link in their post. After all, with Twitter using link shortening sometimes the link changes for a valid reason. Then another unsuspecting person opens the link and when it opens it looks exactly like what they expected to find except for the URL and a box on the side of the webpage.linkis callout.png


Linkis then pops up a window that looks like this that can make you think that you need to click it to see the content you planned to view. If you click connect then it links to your Twitter account and you have caught the Linkis bug.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Once you have caught the Linkis bug then when you post a link in your tweets Linkis will replace the links in your tweets with their link. Anyone that clicks this link goes to Linkis’ site instead of the place you intended to send them and is vulnerable to accidentally adding Linkis to their account.

I figured out that I caught the Linkis bug, how do I fix it?

In order to stop Linkis you have to go into your Twitter, Tumblr, and other sites to deauthorize their access to your account. I also recommend that you report them to Twitter. The gif below shows how to do it and here are links to how-to videos on my YouTube channel. Remove Linkis from Twitter and Tumblr. Edit: 7/13/16 Videos embedded at the end of the post.

Remove Linkis

Please share this with everyone you know so that we can block Linkis from spreading. You might also think about contacting or tweeting to the Electronic Freedom Foundation (@eff) about Linkis and its man-in-the-middle attacks. The EFF is an organization that champions people’s privacy and security on the internet.

Video Tutorials (Added 7/13/2016)

(Crosspost) Digital Citizenship – Strong, Memorable Passwords

(Crossposted from my EdTechTeam Teacher Leader Certificate Portfolio

It is 2016, as educators it is no longer enough to teach our kids how to keep themselves safe on the streets because so much of all of our lives takes place on the internet. Internet safety is one aspect of Digital Citizenship in which we must make sure that our students and children are fully fluent. One aspect of internet safety that I think is incredibly important for everyone, child or adult, to get behind and understand is the need for strong, memorable passwords.

Strong, memorable passwords that are unique to every situation are an absolute necessity in today’s world. Having weak passwords, especially if you reuse them in different places, is like asking someone to steal your identity, your money, even your safety as they get access to all of your personal data and accounts online.

Generally, most people do passwords very badly. Even those who actually try to have good passwords. One aspect of this is illustrated by the XKCD comic.

password_strength Source: (CC BY-NC 2.5)Read More »