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Microsoft Backs Away From CISPA Support, Citing Privacy 132

Posted by Soulskill
from the seeing-which-way-the-wind-is-blowing dept.
suraj.sun writes "CISPA, the hotly-contested cybersecurity bill making its way through Congress, has been supported by Microsoft since it was introduced. However, the company now tells CNET that any such legislation must 'honor the privacy and security promises we make to our customers,' while also 'protecting consumer privacy.' As you may recall, the U.S. House passed CISPA on Thursday. The Obama administration has threatened to veto the bill. Quoting CNET: 'That's a noticeable change — albeit not a complete reversal — from Microsoft's position when CISPA was introduced in November 2011. To be sure, Microsoft's initial reaction to CISPA came before many of the privacy concerns had been raised. An anti-CISPA coalition letter (PDF) wasn't sent out until April 16, and a petition that garnered nearly 800,000 signatures wasn't set up until April 5. What makes CISPA so controversial is a section saying that, "notwithstanding any other provision of law," companies may share information with Homeland Security, the IRS, the NSA, or other agencies. By including the word "notwithstanding," CISPA's drafters intended to make their legislation trump all existing federal and state laws, including ones dealing with wiretaps, educational records, medical privacy, and more.'"
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Microsoft Backs Away From CISPA Support, Citing Privacy

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  • by bleedingsamurai (2539410) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @12:50PM (#39832383)

    A democracy only works when the public isn't mainly comprised of morons. I blame shitty public education.

  • by tommasorepetti (2485820) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @12:51PM (#39832387)
    With corporate backers of CISPA including Facebook, there is room for tech giants to secure some quick PR gains in the tech community with this. I think many people found the Windows 8 developer/consumer preview underwhelming, if not annoying. Seriously, Windows without a Start menu? I'm starting to believe the Mayans about what's supposed to happen in December. What was more alarming about this Windows 8 business, is how closed Microsoft was to popular opinion. The Windows 7 RC generated massive contributions. (It actually did... I am not just citing the "Windows 7 wsa my idea" ad campaign.) It seems that Windows 8 was entirely Microsoft's idea. If they want to be numb to the complaints of their own fanbase and turn Windows 8 into the bastard child of a currently non-existent Windows tablet and a Windows 7 PC, that is cool... I run Linux anyway. I was only responding to the developer preview to help them out. I do not think political PR stunts like this can change the fact that Microsoft is turning into a corporation more and more out of touch with their own customer base. Seriously, try to explain to corporate America why a clusterfuck start screen of different apps helps productivity. Windows 8 may be the greatest giveaway to RHEL ever, and not even appealing to populist disgust with CISPA is going to change that.
  • by roman_mir (125474) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @01:55PM (#39832801) Homepage Journal

    We are already starting to get our feet wet with this

    - starting? The only obvious difference between what's been going on for about 100 years in USA now and what's been happening since 9/11 is that before the transgressions against individual rights only hit minorities (employers and investors mostly but also other individual property owners), while what's happening now is hitting the majority (everybody else).

    The rights of individuals were been compromised in USA for a long time now and when I say that I include the right to pursuit of happiness, as in - get the fucking government out of people's way to do what they can as long as they are not hurting other individuals in the process and that's what State criminal courts and civil courts are for. Everything, from government backing unions, printing currency and income taxes to minimum wage to SS and Medicare to wars to regulating every aspect of property and ownership under the sun, all of this has been compromising the principles of individual freedom, it's just that the majority was in silent agreement with those transgressions. Well guess what, eventually they come after you as well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2012 @02:56PM (#39833071)

    This bill supercedes the US constitution. Its a blank cheque to the content industries. For Americans wanting anything left of their civil liberties, they should fight this. Americans send missiles, guns, ships, and bombs to other countries to protect their interests. Why is no one sending these materials to the content industries that have effectively enslaved them? The content industries can commit capital crimes (murder, slavery, torture, anything they like) because of this bill. They crossed the line. Its a disgrace to all those who fought in any war in the US. The gutless legislators who supported this sold the farm. They don't deserve citizenship. The US can no longer be called a democracy, because it isn't.

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @08:18PM (#39834383) Journal

    1) Microsoft happily supported it because at the time no one outside of Congress and a few tech giants knew what it actually was. Once its evils were divulged and the tech world at large began ringing the alarms, Microsoft scuttled back. I doubt you'll find those PR release in support of CISPA now, at least not without resorting to archive.org

    2) Google actually took no position on CISPA. Their quote [cnet.com] is as follows:

    "We think this is an important issue and we're watching the process closely but we haven't taken a formal position on any specific legislation."

    (The author of the CNET article posted that above-linked quote. Read the story for context).

    In other words, Google is sitting back and not taking any position. Nice attempt to shill on your part, though.

  • Please - the only reason Microsoft is backing away from it now is because they were caught supporting it.

    They haven't backed away from it. It's only one of their reputation managers in MSM adding some positive spin.

    To quote a Reddit poster:

    Ugh, this is the same pattern as SOPA. Microsoft supported SOPA (which is the house version of the PROTECT IP act, which they still support) for a month until it started to get bad press. Then they changed their position to "it needs more work". They never said they opposed it.

    The person who interpreted that as "opposition" was... Declan McCullagh of CNet! The very same guy who is now trying to give the impression that Microsoft no longer supports CISPA.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/swdtn/microsoft_backs_away_from_cispa_support_citing/c4hl9xe [reddit.com]

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