The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), the controversial act that has been making headlines recently, was passed by the U.S. Senate in a 74 to 21 vote. The bill, along with another one that has already passed in the House, will reach the White House for the president’s decision.
CISA will open doors to sharing of information on cybersecurity threats between companies and with the government. Apple is among other technology companies that has criticized and spoken against the bill. Wired reports that privacy advocates have called for the Congress to dismiss the bill.
Information security has been a subject of great discussion and debate in the recent past. “For me this has been a six year effort … and it hasn’t been easy because what we tried to do was strike a balance and make the bill understandable so that there would be a cooperative effort to share between companies and with the government,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), vice-chairman of the Intelligence Committee and a co-author of the bill, said.
Apple’s opposition of the bill, which came last week, has been backed by other companies like Twitter, Yelp, Wikipedia and Reddit. The Senate has been asked by the Computer and Communications Industry Association – representing Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft – to make amendments on the bill.
“We don’t support the current CISA proposal,” Apple said, as reported by Apple Insider. “The trust of our customers means everything to us and we don’t believe security should come at the expense of their privacy.” It further emphasized that the trust of customers “means everything to us and we don’t believe security should come at the expense of privacy.”
With iOS 8, Apple stopped storing encryption keys for iOS devices. As a result, it could not unlock the devices under request by the authorities.
However, there are other companies that have shown support for the CISA. According to the Washington Post, One of these companies is IBM. In a statement, Timothy J. Sheehy, vice president for technology policy at IBM’s government and regulatory affairs office, said, “Sharing technical details on the latest digital threats is critical to strengthening America’s cyberdefenses. Online criminals actively share information to penetrate networks, steal vital economic and national security data, and compromise the personal information of millions of Americans.”