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Microsoft Backs Away From CISPA Support, Citing Privacy 132

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 @12:43PM (#39832339)

    This is a first for Microsoft, protecting users' privacy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2012 @12:47PM (#39832365)

    Seriously? What is wrong with you guys? How in the fuck did you even come up with a system where non related shit can be tacked on to a bill? Is it bullshit that got added on later or were your vaunted founding fathers slightly retarded?

  • by olsmeister ( 1488789 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @12:55PM (#39832407)
    They will keep putting forward bill after bill, chipping away privacy rights a little at a time if necessary. Any setback is merely temporary for them. Time (and money) is on their side.

    What someone should be doing is introducing legislation that enumerates, codifies, and protects specific rights and expectations of privacy that citizens have, and then work the anti-terrorist/copying/IP laws around that framework. (I know, we shouldn't need to do this, but it's our system apparently.) This is bass-ackwards.
  • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @12:58PM (#39832423) Journal

    Please - the only reason Microsoft is backing away from it now is because they were caught supporting it. Look for them to happily support the next anti-consumer bill to come down the pike if the bill benefits them... and just like this time, and SOPA before it, they'll quietly hope that this time, nobody notices.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2012 @01:01PM (#39832455)

    It happened because the public is too involved making sure their party gets elected, right or wrong, to give a fuck about what their party is actually doing. This kind of thinking has all the trappings of a high school football game. The sooner that people abandon their party the sooner we get back to being where we need to be. The current division in American trust is split along party lines and even when both "sides" agree they refuse to come to terms because they see it as taking on the banner of the enemy.
    People planet wide will suffer for what has happened for decades to come.

  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @01:01PM (#39832465)
    I blame the fact that most Americans have no idea why their rights are important, or what life would be like without those rights. We are already starting to get our feet wet with this, but people need to be tossed in head first before they really understand the issues. When people are being asked for their papers before being allowed to cross state lines, when their search histories are scrutinized whenever they try to spend money, when it becomes impossible to live without breaking laws and bribing cops, then people will understand -- but by then it will be too late anyway.
  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @01:06PM (#39832485)

    Microsofts business is to sell software

    They also have a substantial and growing online services division, and they are still in a precarious position when it comes to antitrust laws. Microsoft does not want to endanger its relationship with the government -- a relationship that basically resulted in the punishment for their previous antitrust case being completely ignored. They also sell technology to law enforcement agencies that helps in the gathering of computer evidence.

    A business built on privacy violations? No, nobody can accuse Microsoft of that, at least not without some real evidence to back it up. A friendly and valuable relationship with the government, that has allowed them to continue to dominate various markets? Absolutely, and that is why they supported CISPA -- it basically gave them a free pass to cultivate that relationship.

  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @01:12PM (#39832525)

    What someone should be doing is introducing legislation that enumerates, codifies, and protects specific rights and expectations of privacy that citizens have

    You would have to amend the constitution for that. Here is how I would word such an amendment:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Of course, there is no way anyone would dare to include such language in our constitution, at a time when we are surrounded by enemies who are hell-bent on destroying our nation. We could be attacked at any time; how can we even think of codifying such a right in our constitution?

  • by DeathFromSomewhere ( 940915 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @01:21PM (#39832585)
    So you are going to point out some 1 line marketing snippet, take it completely out of context, and then extrapolate it to mean that Microsoft is selling private consumer data to various governments. Please elaborate because I feel like I'm missing something here.
  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @01:31PM (#39832665)
    Perhaps you missed the part about technology given only to law enforcement, which allows them to take forensic data from live systems -- technology that criminals will be able to study, but which is deliberately hidden from law abiding citizens. The point is not that Microsoft is actively handing data over, the point is that Microsoft is not going to stand up to law enforcement and say, "No, we are not voluntarily helping you." The opposite is true: Microsoft is giving away technology at no cost to help law enforcement gather data from computers.

    Microsoft did show an iota of backbone when it came to the clipper chip, but times have changed. Now Microsoft wants to cultivate a friendly relationship with the government. Perhaps the OP was a little strong with calling this a "first" for Microsoft, but it is not exactly something that we should expect either.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2012 @01:40PM (#39832717)

    I can't believe this comment hasn't been judged as either flame-bait or trolling. Even if Microsoft wasn't interested early on in collecting data, since they began focusing on the Web, they've made every effort to facilitate the efforts of their customers (not end users) to do so.

    Aside from this, what is Bing! if not another attempt to pigeonhole every end user by their habits, preferences and communications.

    Pro-privacy... give me a break.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2012 @01:42PM (#39832727)

    do you even know what terrorism even is? or do you just use scary words to get sheeple to your jackass blog? btw nice porn ad right in the middle of your article

  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @02:53PM (#39833065) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft is giving away technology at no cost to help law enforcement gather data from computers? So is open source. Get over your bad self.

    OSS forensics tools are available to everyone, and provided by people who generally believe in giving away their code. COFFEE is available only to law enforcement, and provided by a company which generally makes money from selling closed-source, proprietary software. Please don't try to pretend that the two situations are even remotely comparable.

  • by bbecker23 ( 1917560 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @04:01PM (#39833333)
    I'm hardly hand-waving. Read the rest of my post (the part you didn't care to quote).

    It can be done well and with those people I have no complaint, but, in my experience,

    As a college educated individual in a STEM discipline, I'd feel perfectly confident with homeschooling in science or math courses. Have me try to teach a history class and the results would be comical at best. The idea that John Q. Public, with nothing more than a textbook for the class, can be as effective at education as someone with Masters (required in my state, YMMV) is indicative of the dismissive attitude we tend to take towards education.

    Some notable stats: among homeschooling fathers, ~32% have "Some College/No Degree" or less. Mothers do slightly worse with ~33% having the same education level. If we include through BA/BS (which is unlikely to be in something relevant to teaching) the numbers are even more stark. At a time when we are demanding more of our teachers, are we also going to say that a few classes at the community college is sufficient to teach high school calculus?

    Source []

  • by Sique ( 173459 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @05:50PM (#39833791) Homepage

    No. CISPA requires (in its current reincarnation), that a U.S. company allows access to all its servers on a request based on CISPA, may they be domestic or overseas.
    As such, CISPA collides with european requirements.

"my terminal is a lethal teaspoon." -- Patricia O Tuama