Microsoft Slowly Backing Away From CISPA Support; Worries About Privacy Issues

from the take-a-stand dept

One of the key points that backers of CISPA had made throughout the debate on the bill was that it had the support of the "tech industry" -- with Facebook and Microsoft being the key supporters of the bill. Of course, a few weeks ago, Facebook re-pledged its support for the bill... but also stated that it was aware of the privacy concerns and that it would work with lawmakers to fix the bill. Seeing as it's not clear that much was really done to fix the bill, does that mean Facebook may drop its support?

Similarly, Microsoft is now admitting that there are some privacy concerns with CISPA and has softened its stance on it slightly, while not completely pulling its support. Declan McCullagh at CNET reports:
In response to queries from CNET, Microsoft, which has long been viewed as a supporter of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, said this evening that any law must allow "us to honor the privacy and security promises we make to our customers."

Microsoft added that it wants to "ensure the final legislation helps to tackle the real threat of cybercrime while protecting consumer privacy."
This sounds similar to what Facebook was saying. Of course, what's not clear is why they're unwilling to pull support from the bills until such changes are made. Either way, combined with the fact that a few CISPA sponsors even voted against the bill suggests that -- even though it may have passed the House -- support for the overall bill is eroding. That's important, as the fight now moves to the Senate, where the existing cybersecurity proposals are quite different.

Filed Under: cispa, cybersecurity
Companies: facebook, microsoft


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Apr 2012 @ 8:30am

    I am guessing, but I suspect that you are reading a little too much context into the Microsoft statements. It reads more like a frank admission that they have to make sure that the laws as passed line up with their other legal responsibilities to their customers (such as privacy).

    I think why they won't pull support is that Microsoft is often the conduit for attacks on systems (because of their widely used OS and productivity tools), and as such, they would probably love to see a few high end asshat hackers and attackers get some Bubba Bitch time. For them to back away from it would also make it sound like they don't mind that their software is everyone's favorite security hole.

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