Tech Leaders Under Fire For Cybersecurity Bill Support

Some of the largest U.S. tech companies are feeling the backlash for their vote of support for the proposed, and very controversial, Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA).

If passed into law, the bill will offer expanded legal liability protections to companies sharing data in the hopes that American businesses will be less hesitant in the future to share information about security breaches with each other and government agencies as soon as possible.

But CISA opponents have remained vocal about how requiring companies to share their data with the NSA could result in the loss of civil liberties.

Now the anti-CISA movement has turned its attention toward companies like Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Salesforce and Symantec, which, according to some, have “betrayed" billions of people by signing a letter endorsing the surveillance legislation.

Advocacy group FightfortheFuture has organized a campaign called YouBetrayedUs, which is calling for the boycott of Heroku, a software development platform created by Salesforce, as a result of the letter signing.

“In the letter, these companies didn't come right out and say they were endorsing CISA. Instead, they asked Congress to 'act promptly' to pass ‘Cyber Threat Information Sharing Legislation.’ But these companies aren't stupid. They know that the Senate will vote on CISA soon, and will use this letter as cover to say the tech industry supports it,” FightfortheFuture said.

CISA has quickly become the latest battleground of government data gathering practices, Fortune reported yesterday (Sept. 24), adding that a clear line has been drawn between online privacy proponents who see the government and tech companies going too far in their efforts to collect and share consumer information and those that believe monitoring of online communications is needed in today’s age of terrorism.

While some believe cybersecurity and surveillance go hand-in-hand, FighfortheFuture told Fortune that CISA could potentially give tech companies “sweeping legal immunity to share your personal data with the government, enabling more surveillance and violations of civil liberties.”

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