Microsoft: Yes, We Support CISPA

Posted on May 1 2012 - 7:35am by Editorial Staff

The US House of Representatives had recently passed the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA (HR 3523) by a vote of 248 to 168. The bill would give government and military intelligence agencies the ability to inspect private data without the use of warrants. The Hill reports that Microsoft released a statement on Monday reaffirming its support for a controversial cybersecurity bill that cleared the House last week. The statement shoots down reports that the technology company was wavering in its support of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).

“Microsoft’s position remains unchanged,” Christina Pearson, a Microsoft spokeswoman, said in a statement to The Hill. “We supported the work done to pass cybersecurity bills last week in the House of Representatives and look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders as the Senate takes up cybersecurity legislation.” The company said: “This bill is an important first step towards addressing significant problems in cyber security.”

CNET reported last week that Microsoft had backed away from the bill, “citing privacy.” In a statement to CNET, Microsoft said it “believes that any proposed legislation should facilitate the voluntary sharing of cyber threat information in a manner that allows us to honor the privacy and security promises we make to our customers.” CNET interpreted that statement to mean that Microsoft was “no longer as enthusiastic” about the bill.

“We look forward to continuing to work with members of Congress, consumer groups, the civil liberties community and industry colleagues as the debate moves to the Senate to ensure the final legislation helps to tackle the real threat of cybercrime while protecting consumer privacy,” the company said. “That’s a noticeable change — albeit not a complete reversal — from Microsoft’s position when CISPA was introduced in November 2011,” the news site said.

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