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Innovation

CISA is back from the dead, yet opposed by major tech firms

Apple, Google, and Facebook among others do not support the cybersecurity bill.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor on

Apple, Dropbox, and a number of prominent Silicon Valley technology companies, have voiced their opposition to a controversial cybersecurity bill, which critics say threatens citizens' privacy.

It comes ahead of a vote in the Senate expected in the coming days that could pass the bill as soon as next week, said Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"We don't support the current CISA proposal," Apple told The Washington Post. "The trust of our customers means everything to us and we don't believe security should come at the expense of their privacy."

Dropbox, with similar sentiments, said the bill required greater privacy protections.

The two companies are the latest to add their names to a long list of firms opposing the bill.

Yelp, Reddit, Twitter, and the Wikimedia Foundation, which owns Wikipedia, have said they oppose the bill. A trade group representing Facebook, Google, and others said it is "unable to support CISA as it is currently written."

Known as a "zombie bill," in that no matter how many times the bill fails, it just keeps coming back, CISA would allow private companies to share cyber-threat data with the federal government. Many technology companies want the law to go through to prevent future cyberattacks, like those on the scale of Target, Home Depot, and Sony.

It also gives them legal protections to prevent companies from facing litigation related to data sharing.

Earlier this year, more than 80 security researchers and notable figures representing large companies -- Amazon, Cisco, CloudFlare, Twitter, and Mozilla -- argued in a letter to lawmakers that cyber-threat data can be shared with other firms as well as the federal government without needing new laws.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), who was the only senator to vote against the bill in the committee stage, called the draft legislation a "surveillance bill by another name."

The president is expected not to veto the bill, if passed.

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