Facebook is no longer listed as a supporter of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), according to this CNET report. Facebook and its CEO were singled out by activist group Demand Progress, who sent an avalanche of emails to CEO Mark Zuckerberg with the message:
"You're encouraging Congress to obliterate online privacy -- even as your users express increasing concern about the privacy of their accounts on your site. Please withdraw your support for CISPA right away."
Whether Facebook was pressured to quietly remove its support from the bill through activist efforts or if it made a conscious decision to do so for its own reasons (probably it's a little bit of both), the company isn't afraid to talk about it in public.
A Facebook spokeswoman told CNET today that her employer prefers a legislative "balance" that ensures "the privacy of our users":
We are encouraged by the continued attention of Congress to this important issue and we look forward to working with both the House and the Senate to find a legislative balance that promotes government sharing of cyberthreat information with the private sector while also ensuring the privacy of our users.
Microsoft struck a similar tone today, but it is still is onboard with CISPA (though it has said all along that the bill must provide better provisions for privacy). Scott Charney, Microsoft's vice president for trustworthy computing told CNET today:
"Microsoft believes that any proposed legislation should facilitate the voluntary sharing of cyberthreat information in a manner that allows us to honor the privacy and security promises we make to our customers."
Meanwhile rights groups like the ACLU applauded Facebook's position:
"Good for Facebook," said Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel to the ACLU, which has opposed CISPA. "I hope this evolves into flat-out opposition if CISPA isn't fundamentally rewritten to protect privacy."
Hopefully other groups and companies that have backed CISPA will re-examine why they support the bill and what they can do to make the final version of it offer more privacy and due process provisions for American citizens.