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article imageFacebook tries to calm users’ fears on CISPA support

By Anne Sewell     Apr 14, 2012 in Internet
In the wake of the news that Zuckerberg supports CISPA there has been much ado on Facebook. Now Facebook is trying to calm users' fears saying ‘We’ll protect your private data’.
Digital Journal recently reported that Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook was in support of the new controversial and draconian Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act or CISPA.
RT reports that now Facebook is defending its support for the draconian CISPA and has addressed users on the social media network to try and calm their fears in a message about CISPA.
While users are afraid of massive sharing of private user data with the government, Facebook has promised not to do it.
Facebook s message to users about CISPA
Facebook's message to users about CISPA
Screen capture from Facebook
In the message on Facebook which was posted on Friday, Joel Kaplan, who is vice president of US public policy on Facebook, has argued that should CISPA come into power, the bill would “give companies like ours the tools we need to protect our systems and the security of our users’ information, while also providing those users confidence that adequate privacy safeguards are in place.”
He advises that data sharing on the part of companies would not be compulsory. He pledges that Facebook has no intention of sharing sensitive Facebook user data with the U.S. Government.
In a letter to Michael Rogers, who is chairman of the House Intelligence committee, Kaplan had praised CISPA and said that it “removes burdensome rules that currently can inhibit protection of the cyber ecosystem, and helps provide a more established structure for sharing within the cyber community while still respecting the privacy rights and expectations of our users.”
CISPA would "facilitate sharing of data between governmental agencies and private companies over cybersecurity threats."
So Facebook believes this bill will protect it from cypersecurity threats, but users are still concerned.
Several online privacy groups have criticized the bill, which is scheduled for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 23. They say the bill is too broad and is open to potential abuse . The bill's overtly broad definition of cyberattack includes intellectual property theft, bringing it in line with the now dead SOPA bill.
Groups and users fear that under the pretext of "defending the public from cybercrime", companies would actually be able to violate users' privacy and censor the internet.
While Facebook's pledge might calm the fears of its 845 million users, it cannot speak for all companies doing business online. However, when reading the comments underneath their pledge, maybe not all users have had their fears calmed.
Criticism against CISPA is growing with several petitions being drawn up, including one by Avaaz, much in the way that SOPA and PIPA were fought online. Demand Progress is also still running a petition to tell Facebook not to support the act.
And while all this is going on, the House Intelligence Commitee has apparently published a new draft of CISPA. This latest version has several amendments and significant additions, which do slightly narrow down the definition of a cyberattack.
They have now excluded the term "intellectual property" from the definition and now clearly refer to an "unauthorized network access,” which does leave less room for misinterpretation.
However, at the same time, a new section in the bill effectively gives companies that share data with the government immunity from prosecution, as they say it will be virtually impossible to prove intentional privacy violation.
The video belows explains just how bad CISPA is:
More about Facebook, cispa, Support, Privacy
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