Shameful: Tech Companies Fighting Against Necessary CFAA Reform And CISPA Fixes
from the bad-news dept
This is silly. The tech companies are refusing to fix a very dangerous and broad law, because of a very specific circumstance that can be dealt with via other existing laws. Also, it's going against basic common sense and the views of many of these companies' own engineers. When companies are so focused on protecting one weapon that they're willing to allow such bad laws to stay, those are companies who are showing that they're not focused on innovation but on litigation and protectionist views.
Similarly troubling is the news that TechNet, an organization representing a bunch of tech companies has sent a letter to the House Intelligence Committee supporting the post-markup version of CISPA. This isn't a huge surprise. TechNet had already been listed as a supporter of CISPA, and the bills' sponsors in Congress had worked overtime (or, rather, had their staffs work overtime) seeking to appease the tech industry on the mistaken belief that the fight against SOPA was really lead by the tech industry, rather than an angry public. The public isn't quite as angry about CISPA, since the threats of CISPA aren't quite as immediately obvious to everyday people, but winning over the tech companies by giving them immunity should they violate their users' privacy is a bad long term strategy.
Yes, tech companies were a part of the coalition who fought against SOPA, but part of that was because those tech companies were focused on what was best for their users. Choosing to go against those same users when it comes to their own privacy is going to backfire eventually. Some people think that it was the tech companies who drove the fight against SOPA, when the reality was that it was the internet users, who pulled the tech companies into the fight. Not listening to their users would be a big mistake, as a vocal internet turning against these companies isn't a good sign for their future.
On that note, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian has kicked off a campaign looking to shame Google, Facebook and Twitter into coming out against CISPA. Hopefully, he'll do something similar around CFAA reform as well. Having tech companies come down on the wrong side of these two laws is a bad long term strategy for the tech industry.