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Sunday, April 29, 2012

CISPA: Microsoft regains (some of) its cool

Windows 8 may indeed be a disaster, but so what? There's always W7. More importantly, Microsoft has decided to back away from supporting CISPA.
In response to queries from CNET, Microsoft, which has long been viewed as a supporter of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, said this evening that any law must allow "us to honor the privacy and security promises we make to our customers."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has been active in an anti-CISPA coalition, welcomed Microsoft's new statement.
"We're excited to hear that Microsoft has acknowledged the serious privacy faults in CISPA," said Dan Auerbach, EFF staff technologist. "We hope that other companies will realize this is bad for users and also bad for companies who may be coerced into sharing information with the government."
This is undeniably good news. If privacy becomes hip, corporate America will have to fall in line.

Nobody really knows Apple's view on CISPA. Personally, I do not trust Apple. It's not a privacy-friendly company. The iPhone tracks you wherever you go, and you can't even take out the battery. The iPad (I've been granted the opportunity to play with one lately) is a great toy but not a computer to use if you're working on sensitive documents, since you can't plug a USB device into the damned thing. Sure, you can email the data to yourself; that's one way to get it onto your iPad. But doing so places the data on another server -- which mean that the NSA will scoop it right up.

If CISPA passes.

But (congressfolk and the NSA tell us) we have to do pass that legislation. We have to pass CISPA protect the children.

Yeah, that's the ticket. The children. Why doesn't someone think of the children?

Also, terrorists. Something something terrorism yada yada Al Qaeda yada yada. And China. Something something China spying on all of our precious secrets must stop China yada yada.

So in conclusion, we really have no choice: CISPA!
I was out and about this fine Sunday afternoon, and an entire crowded "hip" northern VA neighborhood was plastered with posters about stopping CISPA. Courtesy of Anonymous. :)
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