Does Mozilla coming out against CISPA matter?

Enterprise sector support for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, is hardly crumbing. But there is a crack in the wall.

The nonprofit Internet company Mozilla came out against CISPA late Tuesday in an e-mail to Forbes' Andy Greenberg, saying: "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 cyber security, and grants immunities to companies and government that are too broad around information misuse."

For those keeping score, Mozilla's stance was countered by software giant Microsoft quashing reports that it had withdrawn its support for the bill. CNET reported last week that Microsoft had issued a statement saying it would support the law only if it would allow it, "to honor the privacy and security promises we make to our customers."

While CNET's Declan McCullagh stressed that this was "not a complete reversal" from Microsoft's position when the legislation was introduced in November 2011, numerous others took it that way.

Over the weekend, RT reported that, "CISPA has just lost a powerful backer, with Microsoft withdrawing its support for the controversial cybersecurity bill ..."

But Microsoft responded in a statement reported by The Hill, saying, "Microsoft's position remains unchanged. We supported the work done to pass cyber security 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."

Still, Rainey Reitman, activism director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says the organization is, "doing outreach to the tech community, trying to explain how vital it is that they take a role in privacy on the Internet. We want to create ecosystem where everybody feels safe."

That will be impossible with a law that U.S. Representative and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has described as, "Big Brother writ large, putting the resources of private industry to work for the nefarious purpose of spying on the American people," Reitman said.

EFF and other civil liberties and privacy advocates are especially focused on the fact that CISPA would allow information sharing with the National Security Agency, instead of being controlled by the civilian Department of Homeland Security. Reitman says putting personal information into the hands of NSA will not be good for individuals or businesses.

"In a long relationship with NSA, we've found them unusually difficult for public accountability," she says. "We don't want them controlling cybersecurity structures because there is no oversight. We never have a good idea of who has the data and how it's being used."

Read more about data privacy in CSOonline's Data Privacy section.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about BillBrother International (Aust)CNET NetworksEFFElectronic Frontier FoundationMicrosoftMozillaNational Security AgencyNSA

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Taylor Armerding

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts