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Listening to the Experts on Human Trafficking

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee is considering two pieces of legislation that would help combat sex trafficking in the United States. As these bills enter committee markup on Thursday, it’s important that they remain focused on essential victim-centered reforms and providing law enforcement with necessary prosecution and prevention resources – not on measures that infringe on the First Amendment.

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2

FEC Should Preserve ‘Breathing Space’ for Online Political Debate

CDT joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation last week in comments urging the Federal Election Commission to leave in place a key policy decision protecting individuals’ ability to engage in political speech online. When the FEC launched its first inquiry into the topic, CDT advocated for “breathing space” for online political speech, warning that the complex welter of campaign finance regulations would discourage individuals from engaging in robust online debate about political candidates and policy proposals. The FEC’s hands-off approach should ensure that it continues to promote – not discourage – political participation online.

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3

Getting Specific About Transparency, Privacy, and Free Expression Online

Amid the contentious global debates about privacy and surveillance since the Snowden revelations, few proposed reforms have attracted more consensus than calls for greater transparency. Although the devil remains in the details, the need to increase transparency around the requests that governments make of companies to hand over personal data or restrict content online is one of the rare points on which governments, companies, and civil society at least somewhat agree.

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5

Changes Ahead for Facebook’s “real name” Policy?

After several weeks of renewed scrutiny over its “real name” policy, Facebook recently announced that that it intends to “fix how this policy gets handled.” As advocates for the benefits of online anonymity and the use of pseudonyms, we’re encouraged to see Facebook in a dialogue about their real-name rule and glad to see them be responsive to people who have been negatively impacted by the policy.

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6

Reflections on the Internet Governance Forum

The ninth Internet Governance Forum (IGF), held this year in Istanbul, closed last Friday with a broad cross-section of stakeholders calling for renewal of the IGF, reflecting the meeting’s success meeting and the widespread recognition that IGF should to continue beyond 2015. CDT’s Matthew Shears and Emma Llanso recap the important forum.

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8

SAVE Act Endangers Online Content Platforms

This week, the US House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on HR 4225, the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation (SAVE) Act. Unfortunately, the approach taken in HR 4225 – to directly criminalize the undefined act of “advertising” – sets a dangerous precedent that would jeopardize the hosting of lawful content online.

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9

Don’t Let Domestic Politics Derail the NTIA Transition

Several weeks ago, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced that it intends to transition its domain name system-related responsibilities and stewardship role to the global multistakeholder community. While the announcement has been welcomed as an expected and natural evolution of Internet governance mechanisms by many in the US and around the world, it has also triggered loud outcry from some politicians in the US.

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10

Turkish Prime Minister Doubles Down on Censorship

Just a day after a Turkish court found that a nationwide block of Twitter violated the free expression rights of Turkish citizens, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has apparently now targeted YouTube for a similar ban. In an election season featuring a succession of leaks alleging that the Erdoğan administration is rife with corruption, the prime minister ordered the High Council for Telecommunications (TIB) to block Turkish users’ access to Twitter late last week. Erdoğan has been railing against social media for months, as his critics advocate for the ouster of Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party in the upcoming elections.

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