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Mega-Merger: Vertical Integration in a Deregulated Environment

The combination of massive vertical integration and deregulation could set off a tectonic shift in the landscape of the internet. Vertically-integrated ISPs will have an even greater incentive to favor their own content and edge providers, and will be better positioned to leverage their control of popular content to effect negotiations with competing services. In a world where a few ISPs control both access and content, protecting the rest of the internet against discriminatory treatment will be crucial to preserve the internet as an open and flat communications network.

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When Your Internet Won’t Go the Speed Limit: CDT Seeks to File An Amicus Brief in People v. Charter

CDT filed a brief supporting the New York AG’s position in the pending appeal of People v. Charter Communications and Spectrum Management Holding Company, in which we focused on two issues: that the Federal Communications Commission’s Transparency Rule (the only rule slated to survive the net neutrality repeal) should not preempt New York’s consumer protection laws and that consumers are right to expect their broadband speeds to match advertised claims.

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4

Paid Prioritization: We Have Solved This Problem Before

Net neutrality does not end today, but that doesn’t mean the debate is standing still. Instead, some in the telecom industry have argued for watered-down consumer protections, most recently on the subject of paid prioritization, or when online companies pay ISPs to give their data traffic preferential treatment. Unfortunately, ISPs and their advocates have tried to hide the negative effects and incentives paid prioritization creates.

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5

DNS: Strengthening the Weakest Link in Internet Privacy

For many, the conversation about online privacy centers around a few high-profile companies, and rightly so. We consciously engage with their applications and services and want to know who else might access our information and how they might use it. But there are other, less obvious ways that accessing the World Wide Web exposes us. One such part of the web’s infrastructure, the Domain Name System (DNS), “leaks” your private information, but there are now ways to better protect your privacy and security.

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7

Embedded Tweets and Display Rights: Dangerous Legal Ground for the Web

In a troubling recent decision (Goldman v. Breitbart) a court in the Southern District of New York found that embedding an image from Twitter in a web page hosted by a news sites can infringe on the exclusive right of the photographer to control the public display of the image. In the case, photographer Justin Goldman said that new sites, including Breitbart, infringed on this right when they included an embedded image of a tweet that contained a photograph he took of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the Hamptons

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8

Security Research and the DMCA: The Copyright Office streamlines the exemption process

In late October, the Copyright Office announced that it plans to make it easier for people to fully use their lawfully purchased items, choose which mechanics work on their cars, and improve the security of software-enabled devices. Under current law, Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), it’s illegal to circumvent the technological protection measures (TPMs) that limit the use, modification, and repair of software. TPMs are ubiquitous; they’re in everything from smartphones to cars and coffee makers, acting as digital locks on the computer code within. And bypassing these locks can trigger criminal penalties, even with a good, non-infringing reason. However, the law also includes a process by which the Librarian of Congress and the Copyright Office can issue exemptions to this flat ban on circumvention. The triennial exemptions allow the bypassing of TPMs for certain non-infringing purposes, but these exemptions are only valid for three years.

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10

Why the FTC Shouldn't Be the Only "Cop On the Beat"

As the internet has become more ubiquitous and users generate more valuable data, we have been forced consider how much privacy we are entitled to from private parties like internet service providers. Under former Chairman Tom Wheeler, the FCC answered this question through the Broadband Privacy Order in October 2016. But the order was recently repealed, and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has suggested completely ceding oversight of consumer privacy to the FTC in his Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). CDT has stated its opposition to previous efforts to roll back consumer privacy protections, and in this post, we will outline the basis for some of our concerns.

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