Microsoft Kind Of Drops Support For CISPA

    April 29, 2012
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

Ever since its introduction, CISPA has had the support of the major tech companies. All of them use the same line about how it helps them protect themselves and consumers from cyberattacks. Civil rights groups and pretty much everybody on the Internet will tell you that it’s an invasion of privacy and violates their fourth amendment rights online (a right a judge recently said doesn’t exist). Now that CISPA has passed the House, however, the real offensive is now beginning as it heads to the Senate.

The pressure being put on companies in support of the bill may be working now as Microsoft has kind of dropped support for the bill. Microsoft issued a statement to CNET stating their kind of support for the bill while citing privacy concerns as their main problem with the bill. Here’s the full statement from Microsoft:

Microsoft has previously stated support for efforts to improve cyber security, and sharing threat information is an important component of those efforts. Improvements to the way this information is shared would help companies better protect customers, and online services in the United States and around the world from criminal attack. Microsoft believes that any proposed legislation should facilitate the voluntary sharing of cyber threat information in a manner that allows us to honor the privacy and security promises we make to our customers.

Legislation passed by the House of Representatives yesterday is a first step in this legislative process. Since November, there has been active, constructive dialogue to identify and address concerns about the House bill, and several important changes were incorporated. We look forward to continuing to work with members of Congress, consumer groups, the civil liberties community and industry colleagues as the debate moves to the Senate to ensure the final legislation helps to tackle the real threat of cybercrime while protecting consumer privacy.

As you can see, it’s not like Microsoft has flat out dropped support for the bill. They still want to see the primary goal of the bill – the sharing of information between companies and government – to be passed. They just now realize that the bill has serious privacy concerns especially after the House refused to hear the amendments that would have made the bill better. They instead passed the bill with even worse amendments tacked on that give the government even more reason to snoop on your online activities.

As CISPA makes it way through the rest of the legislative process, expect the resistance to grow. Even though Microsoft has kind of dropped support, I’m not sure that will be enough to keep them safe from Anonymous’ planned mass protest against the companies who support the bill. The Internet wants CISPA to die even if it does get better. Microsoft wants a better CISPA. The Internet and those that support this kind of legislation will always be at odds. Any kind of Internet regulation will always be seen as an attack on those who live and breathe the Internet.

  • http://www.TeenStyleU.com LikesToRead

    I appreciate being kept informed about this legislation. There’s always a balance between security and privacy. I prefer more privacy even if it means greater risk.

  • Kevin Abplanalp

    I don’t understand why this bill is needed. If a government agency is pursuing an investigation, can’t they already get this information with a warrant?

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/zach-walton Zach Walton

      The point of CISPA is sharing information between government and corporations without a warrant. The main fear is that it effectively destroys the protections granted by the fourth amendment in regards to online communication. Of course, there have already been cases where judges rule that what we create online (tweets, Facebook likes, etc) are not our property and can not be protected under the fourth amendment.

  • Name

    So, they still completely support it?

    You are either for something or against it. To be for something with reservations still means you are FOR it.

    CISPA is spitting in the face of the American people.

  • http://fullbandtour.com rashim

    I hate cispa. I’m glad microsoft is against it.

  • Adrian
  • Rwolf

    CISPA Legislation, Will Escalate Government Asset Forfeiture

    CISPA the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act if signed into law will allow——the military and NSA warrant-less spying on Americans’ confidential electronic Communications; any transmitted private information circumventing the fourth amendment. CISPA will allow any self-protected cyber entity to share with the Feds any person’s private information that might allegedly relate to a cyber threat or crime. Considering the U.S. Government’s current business relationship with telephone and Internet companies, it should be expected the feds would use CISPA to gain unprecedented access to lawful Americans’ private electronic communications. Almost every week news media reports corrupt police arrested for selling drugs, taking bribes and perjury. It is foreseeable that broad provisions in CISPA that call for private businesses’ cyber entities to share among themselves and with Spy Agencies confidential information will open the door for corrupt government, police and entity employees to sell a corporations’ confidential information to its competitors, foreign government and others. CISPA provides insufficient safeguards to control disposition of (shared) confidential corporate and client entity information, including confidential information shared by spy agencies with private and government entities derived from spying on Americans. Ironically Government can use CISPA to (covertly certify) employees) of a (government approved certified cyber self-protected entity) to spy on their employer and clients with full immunity from lawsuits if done in good faith. U.S. Government is not prohibited from paying a government certified self protected cyber entity or their employee “Asset Forfeiture commissions” that result from providing Government a corporation’s confidential and private client information—that otherwise would require a warrant.

    The recent House Passed Cyber Security Bill overrides the Fourth Amendment. Government may use against Americans in Criminal, Civil and Administrative courts (any information) derived from CISPA warrant-less Internet spying.

    CISPA will open the door for U.S. Government spy agencies such as NSA; the FBI; government asset forfeiture contractors, any private entity (to take out of context) any innocent—hastily written email, fax or phone call to allege a crime or violation was committed to cause a person’s arrest, assess fines and or civilly forfeit a business or property. There are more than 350 laws and violations that can subject property to government asset forfeiture. Government civil asset forfeiture requires only a civil preponderance of evidence for police to forfeit property, little more than hearsay.
    CISPA (warrant-less electronic surveillance) will enable the U.S. Justice Department to bypass the Fourth Amendment, use information extracted from CISPA electronic surveillance) of Americans’ Web Server Records, Internet Activity, transmitted emails, faxes, and phone calls to issue subpoenas in hopes of finding evidence or to prosecute Citizens for any alleged crime or violation. If the current CISPA is signed into law it is problematic federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and private government contractors will want access to prior Bush II NSA and other government illegally obtained electronic records to secure evidence to arrest Americans; civilly forfeit their homes, businesses and other assets under Title 18USC and other laws. Of obvious concern, what happens to fair justice in America if police become dependent on “Asset Forfeiture” to help pay their salaries and budget operating costs?

    Note: the passed “Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000” (effectively eliminated) the “five year statue of limitations” for Government Civil Asset Forfeiture of property: the statute now runs five years (from the date) police allege they “learned” an asset became subject to forfeiture. If CISPA takes affect, allows (no warrant) electronic government surveillance of Americans, it is expected CISPA will be used by government not only to thwart cyber threats, but to aggressively prosecute Americans and businesses for any alleged crime: U.S. Government spy and police agencies; quasi government contractors for profit, will relentlessly sift through Citizen and businesses’ (government retained Internet data), emails and phone communications) to discover possible crimes or civil violations.

    A corrupt U.S. Government Administration too easily use CISPA no-warrant-seized emails, faxes, Internet data and phone call information) to target, blackmail and extort its political opposition; target any Citizen, corporation and others in the manner Hitler used his Nazi passed legislation that permitted no-warrant Nazi police searches and seizure of Citizens and businesses or to extort support for the Nazi fascist government. Hitler Nazi Laws made it possible for the Nazis to strong-arm German parliament to pass Hitler’s 1933 Discriminatory Decrees that suspended the Constitutional Freedoms of German Citizens. History shows how that turned out.

    CISPA warrant-less electronic surveillance) has the potential of turning America into a Fascist Police State.

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