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Microsoft Denies Distancing Itself From CISPA

Business & GovernmentNews
by Darren Allan, 01 May 2012News

Previous reports had indicated that Microsoft was backing away from CISPA, but it appears that isn't the case.

Last Friday was something of a dark day for internet freedom, when the US House of Representatives passed CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, by a comfortable margin.

CISPA, in case you're unaware, is effectively the follow up attempt after the trashed SOPA, except it diversifies away from intellectual property protection, and focuses on allowing companies and the government to share data.

Which might sound tame enough on the face of it, but the boundaries drawn - or more to the point, not drawn - when it comes to this data sharing are very sketchy, with worrying potential consequences in terms of privacy issues.

Many big tech companies, such as Facebook and Microsoft, didn't stand up against CISPA as they did with SOPA - in fact, they supported it. CISPA, after all, doesn't require them to do any policing of copyrighted material online.

Then a CNET report indicated that Microsoft was changing its tune, saying that any law would have to allow "us to honour the privacy and security promises we make to our customers".

This change in tone was interpreted as a significant one, but now Microsoft has come forward and clarified that it does in fact support the bill.

Christina Pearson, a Microsoft spokeswoman, issued a statement to say: "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."

Yes, CISPA's next step is to attempt to negotiate the Senate, where it may well come undone.

Source: The Hill

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