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The Microsoft Ireland Case: A Clear Answer, An Uncertain Future

Last week, the U.S. Second Circuit handed Microsoft a decisive victory, holding that warrants for electronic content issued under the Stored Communications Act (SCA) cannot reach data located overseas. The court’s message was simple: SCA warrants cannot reach data outside the U.S. because Supreme Court precedent creates a presumption against extraterritoriality absent clear Congressional intent. However, the long-term implications of the case, and the future of law enforcement cross-border data requests, are still murky at best.

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How Not to Be a Jerk with Your Drone

In 2015, President Obama established a multi-stakeholder engagement process to ensure that privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties concerns are considered and addressed as drones are integrated into the airspace. The process culminated in a final consensus document supported by a diverse group. The gist of the consensus document is simple: don’t be a jerk with your drone. In fact, several of the document’s suggestions are easy, commonsense ways for drone operators to ensure that they use their devices in an ethical, safe way that is respectful of fellow members of society.

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U.S. Supreme Court Endorses Government Hacking

Last week, the Supreme Court expanded the FBI’s ability to hack into computers located anywhere in the world, giving its stamp of approval to a controversial rule change to the obscure Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The new authority the rule change gives to the federal government could be astoundingly dangerous. If Congress does not enact legislation to block or mitigate this rule change by its December 1st deadline, measures must be taken to ensure that law enforcement officials’ new powers are exercised responsibly and transparently.

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CDT Supports Draft NTIA Consensus Document for Drone Operations

In order to reconcile the exciting possibilities of drone operations with privacy concerns, last year President Obama called on interested stakeholders to establish best practices for “privacy, accountability, and transparency issues” regarding UAS. Today, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that a group consisting of members of civil society (including CDT), trade groups, and companies has created a comprehensive consensus document.

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What’s Next in the Apple/FBI Debate: All Eyes Turn to New York

The end of the Apple/FBI case in California is a win for cybersecurity and privacy – but a temporary one. It’s only a matter of time before another judge considers whether or not the All Writs Act can be used to force Apple or another company to weaken the security of their devices. In fact, less than a month ago, a New York magistrate judge faced a similar legal question; his answer was an emphatic “no.” Here’s what you need to know about what the decision says and what it could mean for the potentially hundreds of other cases that will follow it.

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Cybersecurity Insurance: Promoting Good Hygiene for "Those that Know" and "Those That Don’t Yet Know"

As the frequency and severity of cyber attacks increase, companies need to know what they should be doing to decrease their risk, as well as how they can mitigate their costs if (and when) a cyber attack occurs. Cybersecurity insurance could potentially be a way to do both, which is why the House Homeland Security Cybersecurity Subcommittee held a hearing this week to explore the market-based incentives that insurance can bring to the table when it comes to managing cyber risk. Although the prospect of cyber insurance looks promising, the nascent industry still has a long way to go.

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A Response to Law Enforcement Concerns with the Email Privacy Act

The Email Privacy Act, H.R. 699, is finally on its way to markup in the House Judiciary Committee. We’re in the home stretch, and we’ve waited long enough. Congress must pass, and the President must sign, the Email Privacy Act. However, some groups continue to express concern that the Act will pose too great a burden to law enforcement. One of those groups is the FBI Agents Association. We offer clear rebuttals to their concerns.

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CISA’s Interim Guidelines: A Good Start, but with Lingering Privacy Concerns

Two months ago, President Obama signed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act into law. CDT voiced sharp criticism due to the secret, backroom nature of the CISA negotiations, which resulted in several important privacy protections being pushed aside. Last week, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice published guidelines that describe how cyber threat indicators (CTI’s) and defensive measures are supposed to be shared, received, used, and disseminated, as well as the privacy protections that should be applied throughout the process. The guidelines are a positive step in the right direction.

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