Apple joins others in opposing the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act

Apple has publicly opposed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA, which goes before the Senate for a vote soon. The CISA is a proposed law to "improve cybersecurity in the United States through enhanced sharing of information about cybersecurity threats, and for other purposes”.

The law would allow the sharing of Internet traffic information between the U.S. government and technology and manufacturing companies. The bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate on July 10, 2014, but hasn’t yet been considered or voted upon by the full Senate.

"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 has joined a number of tech companies who say they're against the bill. In recent days, Dropbox, Yelp, reddit, Twitter and the Wikimedia Foundation have all said that they oppose CISA. The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and the Business Software Alliance (BSA) have also stated their opposition to the legislation.

The BSA — a trade organization dedicated to “advancing the goals of the software industry and their hardware partners” — says it has consistently advocated for strong privacy protections in all information sharing bills currently pending before the Congress” and “will continue to work with the Congress, others in industry and the privacy community to advance legislation that effectively deals with cyber threats, while protecting individual privacy.”

The CCIA — an international not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to “innovation and enhancing society’s access to information and communications” —  says it’s unable to support CISA as it is currently written. CISA’s prescribed mechanism for sharing of cyber threat information “doesn’t sufficiently protect users’ privacy or appropriately limit the permissible uses of information shared with the government,” the organization said in a statement.

Apple also told a U.S. judge that accessing data stored on a locked iPhone would be "impossible" with devices using its latest operating system, but the company has the "technical ability" to help law enforcement unlock older phones.