Mozilla breaks Silicon Valley silence, takes stance against CISPA

By Lee Kaelin on May 2, 2012, 11:30 AM

Mozilla broke Silicon Valley's silence over the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) late Tuesday, after expressing its concern that the bill reaches far beyond just internet security and actually infringes on rights to privacy.

Until this point most companies have either remained silent, or quietly supportive of the bill, making the creators of the popular Firefox web browser the first major tech company to stand up against it. This is not the first time Mozilla has spoken out against proposed legislation. In January they joined Wikipedia and Reddit in a "blackout" in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act. The controversial bill was ultimately canned.

Even the White House administration threatening to veto the bill did little to sway the floor after the US House of Representatives voted 248 to 168 in favor of the legislation, which ultimately, will encourage companies to voluntarily share private information in return for immunity from prosecution under existing laws. Potentially, such immunity could be given even when due process and violations of constitutional rights to privacy are broken in the process of the release of such information to "certified entities," mainly cybersecurity agencies and those with government security clearances.

In an emailed statement to Forbes, Mozilla's lead for Privacy and Public made clear the company's position on CISPA.

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 cybersecurity, and grants immunities to companies and government that are too broad around information misuse. We hope the Senate takes the time to fully and openly consider these issues with stakeholder input before moving forward with this legislation.

As it currently stands, the bill has some of the biggest firms in the industry supporting it, including Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Oracle and Symantec. Even US wireless carriers AT&T and Verizon signed their approval.

Google is yet to decide on what stance to take with CISPA, though: "We think this is an important issue and we’re watching the process closely but we haven’t taken a formal position on any specific legislation." Microsoft on the other hand, said its position remains "unchanged" over CISPA, despite earlier reports that the Redmond-based software giant was reconsidering its position.




User Comments: 15

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freedomthinker said:

"first major tech company to stand up against it." - Didn't Microsoft also point out the they are against the bill ?

Guest said:

It seems to me that of course companies that have access to large amounts of private data would support this bill so they have future immunity from prosecution. Ahem... Facebook

So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.

Guest said:

little brother....

Marnomancer Marnomancer said:

In case you don't know, MS is supporting it. So I'm with Mozilla.

Cota Cota said:

In case you don't know, MS is supporting it. So I'm with Mozilla.

MS already resigned some days ago from what i remember.

MilwaukeeMike said:

This. Bill. Is. Being. Vetoed. (and that's IF it passed through the sentate) let's not have another freak-out about big brother and the oppressive govt, blah-blah-blah.

Even the White House administration threatening to veto the bill did little to sway the floor after the US House of Representatives voted 248 to 168 in favor of the legislation,

This passes through the house because then the reps who voted for it can go back to their rich lobbyists and tell them that they voted for it. They don't actually have to read it or care at all about what it says once Obama says he'll veto it. They may as well be voting to make salt illegal because it contributes to heart disease.

Guest said:

Mozilla you rock! Thank you!!

Guest said:

im not to worried about this im almost positive it will be vetoed this is not what we have to worry about this is probably a smoke screen to keep us paying attention to it while they pass a more sinister bill under the table using this for a distraction its a old old trick we should be looking into what else is on the table atm !

Guest said:

yes the guy above my comment its right cuz remember in june or july Europe will vote for the Sopa or Acta...remember that even one guy from the goverment said that he left his charge bcuz of corruption.

Guest said:

@freedomthinker: Microsoft is one of the companies who are supporting the bill.

Damn right Mozilla, thank you!

Guest said:

wow still only 10 comments about this written 2 so far they've taken down

conspiracy theory o.0 hmmmmmmmm 0.o

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Its no conspiracy, and 3 were removed. There were a lot of expletives in there just for the sake of putting them in, all caps even. If you want to post your thoughts again without the 'shouting' and expletives feel free to do so.

Guest said:

I am not for the bill but would it not be better if Mozilla put forward their ideas too instead just opposing.

1 person liked this | SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

What? you aren't for the bill, yet you complain about a corporation that has nothing to lose (other than consumer opinion) when they say they oppose it - yet you haven't investigated why they oppose it... ok, good thoughts :?

Edit: guests suck. I understand the idea behind letting guests post, but in a debate guests are pretty worthless. Ok ok, I'm sure there are studies that show guest whatever, but from a mod perspective, I can see the IP of each guest, and that clearly identifies people. I know that is not a 'foolproof' method, but it works pretty well for things.

So you guys that post as a 'guest' and think you are awesome, I, and by extension, my avatar, is/am not amused.

Guest said:

"Its no conspiracy, and 3 were removed. There were a lot of expletives in there just for the sake of putting them in, all caps even. If you want to post your thoughts again without the 'shouting' and expletives feel free to do so."

really only 1 thing to say to u about that, im sure you'll figure it out

and it was only 2 fyi

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