Tech Companies Urge Legislation, CISA Gains Momentum
Update – October 2015
Many major tech companies are now formally opposing CISA,and have spoken out against the bill in the past few weeks. These companies, like many others, fear the bill will pose great privacy and security risks for Internet users, as well as enable surveillance by the government. Companies to speak out recently include Yelp, reddit, Wikipedia and Twitter. CCIA (an industry association that represents many large tech companies such as including Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Amazon ) also formally spoke out against the bill in a blog post published on October 15.
Update – September 2015
On September 28, the BSA and its member tech companies said the letter they signed and sent to Congress (referenced below) was not an endorsement of CISA, or any particular piece of legislation. As stated by the BSA, “The letter did not endorse any specific legislation in its current form.”
As reported this week, several large companies, including many tech companies, have signed a letter that urges action on data-related legislation, including legislation similar to CISA (The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act). If passed, CISA would allow and encourage companies to share user data with the government and each other.
Support came in the form of a letter from the BSA: The Software Alliance that the companies signed, which “urged action” on several bills including Cyber Threat Sharing Information Legislation. Many of the points made in the letter seem to mirror the goals of CISA, although the letter did not endorse CISA specifically. As stated in the letter, a data-sharing law “will promote cybersecurity and protect sensitive information by enabling private actors in possession of information about vulnerability and intrusions to more easily share that information voluntarily with others under threat.”
This is a pretty surprising turn of events, considering many of these companies previously backed measures to protect user data and are fighting against backdoor encryption for law enforcement purposes. CISA is a dangerous piece of legislation, and in essence a surveillance bill. If passed, it would greatly expand the power of governments and corporations to spy on people by accessing their user data and communications. We are strongly opposed to CISA, and any legislation that includes similar goals.
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