Over the past few days, it has spread far and wide that Microsoft was either retracting, or at least lessening its support for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, better known as CISPA.
That is well and good, except for the fact that it was wrong. Microsoft today reaffirmed its support for the bill, saying in a statement to The Hill:
“Microsoft’s position remains unchanged. 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.”
Well, and sad goes the weasel. In case you have been in hiding for the past few days, here’s what has been going on: CISPA passed the House on a rushed vote, which excluded many amendments that were supposed to soften its roughest edges. Privacy groups, and others, including TNW, openly worried about the core of the bill, and what its extremely wide language may engender down the road, given its sweeping mandates.
That Microsoft was, in theory, perhaps considering dropping its support, as it did for the Stop Online Piracy Act under public pressure, was taken as good news. Now, that has been undone. Microsoft has been a very long-time supporter of the legislation.
What happens next? If you want to avoid a more granular explanation, the bill is off to the Senate, where there are significant headwinds. It will be interesting to see what sort of reaction Microsoft engenders for statements today, as it may set the tone for corporate positioning in regards to the bill. Is there the same level of public discontent bubbling? Or is Microsoft wagering that the response to its support of a bill that some find odious will be limited, if existent?
I can’t parse that, but we can put Microsoft back in the camp it was in all along. As always, a trip to the EFF is worth your time.