Earlier this year, a draconian bill called SOPA troubled the Internet for months. After months of protests and pleas, it was finally withdrawn at the last stage. However, that was not the end of it. Now, CISPA has arrived to haunt us. CISPA is a less aggressive version of the SOPA bill that threatens online privacy. It grants unquestionable powers to Internet and telecom companies, allowing them to spy on their users with zero accountability.
CISPA has passed at the House of Representatives, and awaits an approval by the President’s office now. However, President Obama has declared that he will veto the bill.
The U.S. House of Representatives approved CISPA by a 248 to 168 margin yesterday in spite of a presidential veto threat and warnings from some House members that the measure represented “Big Brother writ large”.
Like SOPA, CISPA also saw an array of supporters from big names in the world of technology and just like with SOPA, Microsoft offered the CISPA bill its support earlier. However, in a recent development, Microsoft has decided to back out of support for CISPA. In conversation with CNET, Microsoft said it wants to honor the “privacy and security promises” it makes to its customers.
Dan Auerbach at the EFF appreciates Microsoft’s move, saying-
We’re excited to hear that Microsoft has acknowledged the serious privacy faults in CISPA. We hope that other companies will realize this is bad for users and bad for companies who may be coerced into sharing information with the government.
CISPA is an evil bill. It grants law enforcement agencies powers to spy on people without requiring any provision by the law. This bill puts law enforcement agencies above the law by waiving all privacy laws related to cyber security. This is beyond disastrous. CISPA must be stopped.
Also read: Microsoft’s initial statement of support for CISPA