Apple Speaks Out Against Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act

Apple LogoApple today voiced its opposition to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA, just days before the Senate will vote on the bill. In a statement given to The Washington Post, Apple reiterated its commitment to user privacy and said it does not support CISA.

"We don't support the current CISA proposal," Apple said in a statement. "The trust of our customers means everything to us and we don't believe security should come at the expense of their privacy."

Apple's public statement on CISA comes on the heels of statements from several other tech companies who oppose CISA, including Twitter, Yelp, Wikipedia, and reddit. The Computer and Communications Industry Association, which represents companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon, has also urged the Senate to make improvements to the act, saying it does not support CISA as it is currently written.

The controversial Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act is designed to allow companies to share information on cybersecurity threats with one another and with the government, but opponents say it puts personal privacy at risk by failing to include protections for user privacy and by granting the government wide-ranging rights gather private data from Americans under the guise of shielding them from hackers.

Apple has taken a strong stance on user privacy in recent years and has reiterated many times that the government has no access to Apple's servers. With iOS 8, Apple further strengthened its position on preventing government access to user data by ending its storage of encryption keys for iOS devices, making it impossible for the company to unlock iPhones and iPads under police request.

Over the course of the last two years, Apple CEO Tim Cook has spoken passionately on Apple's unwavering commitment to privacy. He shared his most recent thoughts on the subject last night, at the WSJ.D Live conference in California. "Do we want our nation to be secure? Of course," Cook said. "No one should have to decide between privacy or security. We should be smart enough to do both. Both of these things are essentially part of the Constitution."

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

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65 months ago

But do you want the state to have access to potential terrorist communications? Erm, yes.

No, not at the cost of our constitutional rights.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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65 months ago

But terrorists use very sophisticated encrypted comms, just as we norms do. And infiltration and targeting even those individuals they suspect from other intelligence means they need to gain access to those suspects modes of communication

No one said it was easy. But this is why we have intelligence agencies funded by billions of dollars of taxpayers money - it's their job to solve hard problems.

It is not Apple's responsibility to install backdoors into their systems (and compromise the security of everyone else in the process) in order to make jobs of or security agencies easier.

Imagine you have 5 terrorists sitting around a kitchen table and discussing a plot. Is this also a landlord's responsibility to bug every apartment in his building in order to be able to provide eavesdropping data to the government? Of course not. Electronic methods of communications are no different.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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65 months ago

So how does the state get access to those comms, without having a way to access them (by breaking encryption)?

They get access the old fashioned way - infiltrating terrorist networks, relying on intelligence and targeting of specific individuals. They don't get to access data via dragnet surveillance and having encryption keys handed to them on a silver platter.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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65 months ago

The problem is very complex. Look at it from the law enforcement side too.

Do you want the state to protect you from terrorism: yes. But do you want the state to have access to potential terrorist communications? Erm, yes.

So how does the state get access to those comms, without having a way to access them (by breaking encryption)? Yet also not breaking the encrypted comms of innocents as well?

All questions that remain unanswerable currently. And is a dichotomy for us as a society to wrangle with.

But this isn't new. Encryption has existed for a while now. Just because it is a smartphone the government wants the rules changed? No. They want new rules because they were caught breaking the existing ones.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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65 months ago
Thanks, Tim.

Privacy matters.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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65 months ago
Write your congressperson, your senator, call them, sign petitions floating around.
Make yourself heard.
CISA is a piece of garbage. :cool:
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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