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Facebook and Microsoft soften support for latest CISPA bill

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US Capitol 8 (Verge Stock)
US Capitol 8 (Verge Stock)

Facebook has joined Microsoft in offering a very lukewarm statement about pending legislation in Congress, the recently-reintroduced Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). The goal of CISPA is to allow companies to share information on "cyber threats" with the government, but the scope, nature, and direction of that sharing has raised the hackles of privacy advocates. Although both companies supported CISPA the first time around, their backing isn't as forthcoming this year. Rather than throwing its full weight behind the bill, Facebook today told CNET that it preferred to find a "legislative balance" between sharing information and user privacy. The sentiment echoes Microsoft's statement, given to The Next Web, where it too suggested a balanced approach and said that "dialogue must continue."

In fact, industry support for this year's bill appears to be weaker than last year, with fewer letters of support from some of the usual suspects. The first CISPA bill ran up against stiff opposition and eventually died without reaching the President's desk — where it would have been vetoed anyway. With less-enthusiastic industry support this time around — not to mention a successful protest petition awaiting an official White House reply — it seems likely that the current, unaltered CISPA bill will need to see changes before it has a chance of becoming law.