Twitter Slams Controversial Cybersecurity Bill

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Twitter has become the latest tech giant to come out against the controversial cybersecurity bill that’s expected to hit the floor of the US Senate this week.

The company, which has 316 million active users worldwide, tweeted its opposition to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) from its official policy account early this morning, saying: “Security + privacy are both priorities for us and therefore we can’t support #CISA as written. We hope to see positive changes going forward.”

The bill would open us an information exchange between the public and the private sectors: government would give companies classified information about potential threats, but the bill also incentivizes companies to funnel information to local law enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security, which must share the information with the National Security Agency "in real time." Privacy-focused organizations have accordingly been concerned.

As have many of the companies in charge of said user data. Twitter is joining a growing chorus of major technology companies that have recently come out strongly against the latest version of CISA, echoing concerns from security experts and privacy advocates that CISA would fail to prevent cyberattacks while dramatically expanding government surveillance and undermining user privacy.

Over the weekend Yelp, reddit, and Wikipedia weighed in against CISA. Last week, CCIA, an industry association representing tech giants Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Amazon, Sprint, and others, also issued a statement slamming the bill. Mozilla, imgur, Wordpress, Craigslist, Namecheap, and hundreds of other companies have opposed CISA and similar information-sharing legislation in the past.

Last month, the Business Software Alliance, which represents Apple, Microsoft, and other major tech companies, clarified that it does not support any of the three information sharing bills before Congress: CISA, plus the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (PCNA) and the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) Act.

“Internet users are outraged that Congress is even considering legislation that undermines the basic security of the Internet by sweeping away privacy protections and letting companies off the hook when they improperly share or leak our personal information,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, which has been a vocal opponent of the bill. “Members of Congress should pay attention: nobody wants this bill. Not the public, not security experts, and not even the industry it’s supposed to protect. The safety of Internet users’ personal information is more fragile than ever, if Congress decides to make matters worse, everyone will know it was the result of ignorance and corruption”

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