After SOPA, PIPA, Why’s Facebook Liking CISPA? [UPDATED]

Facebook is one of 100 companies supporting the bipartisan Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which tackles bad-guy style hacking by granting access to private data to the government, private security agencies and even other companies.

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act has a few things in common with the defeated Secure Online Information Privacy Act the Protect Internet Property Act besides rhyming acronyms, except that Facebook likes CISPA, despite very publicly hating SOPA and PIPA. 

Unfortunately, CISPA won’t enable Netflix to stream videos to U.S. customers on Facebook, which a precursor to SOPA and PIPA might have done if only the Senate hadn’t attempted to widen the scope of dropped a friendlier law passed by the House of Representatives last year.

Instead, CISPA, or H.R. 3523, tackles hacking, in the bad-guy sense of the term, not the white-hat wearing type that Facebook’s own corporate culture has made fashionable in all-night coding marathons.

The bill amends the National Security Act of 1947 to grant access to any data regarding a so-called cyber-threat to not just the government but also private security agencies.

This proposed law has the backing of both Democrats and Republicans alike, along with more than 100 companies support this bill, including Facebook. The social network wants the law to not require the disclosure of any information beyond what the company already shares — for instance, in the case of responding to subpoenas from from law enforcement.

The social network’s own Vice President of U.S. Public Policy, Joel Kapla, explained Facebook’s stance in a post about CISPA today:

We’ve been engaging directly with key lawmakers as well as industry and consumer groups about potential changes to the bill to help address privacy concerns.

The bill’s sponsors, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers and Ranking Member Dutch Ruppersberger, have stated publicly that they are working with privacy and civil liberties groups to address legitimate questions and concerns about how information might be shared with the government under the bill. They’ve made clear that the door is still open to change the bill  before it comes to the House floor for consideration.

We hope that as Congress moves forward in considering this and any other cyber legislation, the result will be legislation that helps give companies like ours the tools we need to protect our systems and the security of our users’ information, while also providing those users confidence that adequate privacy safeguards are in place.

Lumin Consulting drew up an infographic explaining CISPA, but taking an activist stance on the issue. Take a gander at the rendering below and let us know what you think of it by posting in our comments section.