Facebook Denies Secretly Lobbying for CISA, Refuses to Take a Stance

Source: Figh for the Future
Source: Figh for the Future

All of the Internet's disparate forces are uniting against a cybersecurity bill called the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, which would essentially let companies off the hook for data breaches as long as they cooperated with the government. Activists, privacy advocates, Internet giants, cybersecurity firms — it seems like everyone is joining forces.

Everyone except, possibly, one notable exception: Facebook.

According to the Internet rights group Fight for the Future, their sources on Capitol Hill say that even while Facebook's allies fight against CISA, Facebook's lobbyists are quietly whispering their support for the bill in Congress. Fight for the Future set up a petition at www.YouBetrayedUs.org.

But Facebook is denying it has done so and declining to take a public stance. "That report is wrong," a Facebook representative told Mic. "We have not advocated publicly or privately for CISA."

Why would Facebook actually fight this bill? The premise of CISA is that by granting immunity to corporations that have been hacked, they'll be encouraged to share data about that hack with the government, who will then be more empowered to hold attackers accountable and prevent future breaches.

"CISA's not preventing attacks, it's allowing the government as an excuse to collect more data," Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, told Mic.

Source: Fight for the Future

Other Internet giants like Twitter, Google, Apple, Mozilla and Wikipedia — the Internet companies that would typically be in Facebook's camp — have all rallied against CISA, while if Fight for the Future's sources are correct, Facebook will join telecoms like Verizon, Comcast, Cisco and AT&T in supporting the bill.

"Facebook has proven time and time again that they have little regard for users' privacy and security," Greer said. "This would be a carte blanche to do whatever they want with people's data and not have to worry about the repercussions."

Source: YouTube

Fight for the Future keeps a scorecard of every congressman and every major Internet corporation and their stance on CISA. Facebook has, for now, been moved from "Team Internet" to "Team NSA."

Update: Oct. 26, 2015

This story has been updated with comment from Facebook.

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Jack Smith IV

Jack Smith IV is a senior writer covering technology and inequality. Send tips, comments and feedback to jack@mic.com.

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