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article imageMozilla slams CISPA — Microsoft flips support yet again

By Anne Sewell     May 2, 2012 in Internet
While most of Silicon Valley is silent on the subject, Mozilla has now spoken up against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.
Most major internet companies have been remarkably silent on the subject while internet activists rage against CISPA.
But now, Mozilla, the internet navigation giant, has spoken up with the following:
"While we wholeheartedly support a more secure Internet, CISPA has a broad and alarming reach that goes far beyond Internet security. The bill infringes on our privacy, includes vague definitions of cybersecurity, and grants immunities to companies and government that are too broad around information misuse. We hope the Senate takes the time to fully and openly consider these issues with stakeholder input before moving forward with this legislation."
CISPA was recently signed by Congress, with the intention of allowing more sharing of possible cybersecurity threat information between the government and private sector. It has been criticized widely for the provision that would allow companies to share users' private data with government agencies, like the NSA or Department of Homeland Security without any legal comeback.
Amendments were made just before it was signed by Congress broadening the sharing from just information about cyberattacks to also include any case involving computer "crime", exploitation of minors and even “the protection of individuals from the danger of death or serious bodily harm.”
Despite the amendments there is still an outcry against the legislation on privacy concerns, and even the White House has threatened to veto CISPA.
The major supporters of the bill on the internet are Facebook, Oracle, IBM, Symantec, Intel and others, with carriers such as Verizon and AT&T signed on in support.
Digital Journal recently reported that Microsoft had done an about-turn on CISPA and has dropped its support for the draconian bill quoting privacy concerns. However, on Monday a Microsoft spokesperson announced to reporters that their supportive stance on CISPA remains "unchanged", so they can now be added back to the list of internet giants supporting the bill.
No further comment has yet been received from Mozilla, but the company did take a stand against SOPA recently with a "blackout" of its websites.
One major internet company not yet taking a stance on CISPA is Google. However, in a recent statement a Google spokesperson said: “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.”
CISPA is now on its way to the Senate and with the White House threatening to veto the bill, hopefully will fall by the wayside.
However, it must always be remembered that the White House threatened to veto the equally controversial NDAA bill, which was signed into law on New Year's Eve, 2011.
More about Mozilla, Firefox, cispa, Cybersecurity, Act
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