CISA is proposed legislation that will “improve cybersecurity in the United States through enhanced sharing of information about cybersecurity threats and for other purposes.” However, more and more details are emerging about CISA and it is becoming clear to some that it is a surveillance bill rather than a cybersecurity bill. As a result, the Internet industry now mostly has withdrawn their support for the bill.
It began with the company, Salesforce.com. The company had signed a letter saying it favored certain cybersecurity legislation but did not specifically name CISA. People then started protesting the company’s position. After the public backlash, Salesforce came out and directly stated that it did not support CISA. Soon after that, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) which had drafted the letter for Salesforce.com, also came out saying that it did not support CISA.
After the Salesforce.com incident, the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), an organization which represents the Internet, information technology, computer and telecommunications industries, directly expressed its non-support for CISA. It stated that, “CCIA is unable to support CISA as it is currently written. CISA’s prescribed mechanism for sharing of cyber threat information does not sufficiently protect users’ privacy or appropriately limit the permissible uses of information shared with the government. In addition, the bill authorizes entities to employ network defense measures that might cause collateral harm to the systems of innocent third parties.”
That appeared to get the ball rolling and Apple, Dropbox, Twitter, Yelp, Wikimedia and Yelp also directly came out against CISA.
However, the organization, Fight for the Future, now claims that it has on good authority that Facebook is secretly supporting the controversial legislation and always has been. Fight for the Future is a nonprofit advocacy group which aims to promote causes related to copyright legislation, as well as online censorship and privacy through the Internet’s use.The organization has been working diligently to stop CISA from becoming law and has started a petition requesting that Facebook stop supporting the bill.
The petition states that, “This bill is toxic. The public hates it and tons of tech companies are against it, but Congress keeps trying to ram it through. Now that we know that Facebook lobbyists are working behind the scenes to get it passed, it makes more sense why Congress keeps coming back to it . . . Several offices on the Hill have heard from Facebook that they support CISA . . .[T]his information matches with everything we know about Facebook’s love for CISA over the years. They backed the bill loudly before it was unpopular and then stayed silent as other big tech companies came out against it. We’ve asked them to state their position publicly, but they have said nothing. Facebook has backed this from day one, and now they’re the lone tech voice still working to make sure it passes.”