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Congress Should Take "Filtering Practices of Social Media" Seriously

Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Committee will host what’s likely to be a wide-ranging discussion of how social media companies moderate content, in its hearing on Filtering Practices of Social Media Platforms. While the hearing is sure to include some spectacle and grandstanding, make no mistake: This is a deeply serious issue that deserves thoughtful consideration by policymakers, companies, and users alike. Here are a few key themes we hope members of the committee will consider.

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Mobile Carrier Proposal to Limit eSIMs Would Subvert User Choice and Control

The Department of Justice has opened an antitrust investigation into potential coordination between major telecom carriers and the GSMA, stemming from a proposal that would restrict consumers from switching carriers with their current devices by imposing new limitations on embedded SIMs. If GSMA adopts the proposal, mobile carriers would be able to restrict users from unlocking their phones and switching carriers. CDT, Consumers Union, and Public Knowledge urge GSMA to reject any measure that would place new constraints on consumer rights.

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Can Cybersecurity Tech Accord Really Curb State Actions?

Guest Post: Thirty-four leading global technology firms announced a new private-sector agreement intended to curb the worst excesses of state behavior in the cyber domain, and to improve the general state of global computer network security. The agreement is a worthwhile effort. It indicates that the private-sector is prepared to take some responsibility for actual and potential harms enabled by their business operations. However, it places firms in clear opposition to states, and commits these companies to taking steps that governments may interpret as inhibiting their legitimate prerogatives in the conduct of foreign policy.

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CDT Urges Court to Uphold Fourth Amendment Protections for Email Content

Recently, CDT joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Brennan Center for Justice in a brief to argue that a user’s Fourth Amendment rights in email content do not expire when an email service provider terminates a user’s account pursuant to its terms of service. The government must still obtain a warrant prior to searching that user’s email account. The case is United States v. Ackerman, in which a district court determined – based on those facts – that a warrant was unnecessary to access email content because termination of the account vitiated the account holder’s reasonable expectation of privacy in his email. The case was appealed and we filed an amicus brief opposing this holding.

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Get to Knows CDT’s Fellows: Mark Raymond

Mark Raymond is the Wick Cary Assistant Professor of International Security at the University of Oklahoma. He is also one of CDT’s non-resident Fellows, engaging with our policy teams to provide valuable insight from his research. In this Q & A we get to learn more about Mark and his current work.

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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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Initial Observations on the European Commission’s E-Evidence Proposals

On April 17, the European Commission published its long-awaited draft legislation on E-Evidence to facilitate cross-border demands for internet users’ communications content and metadata. EU Member States and the European Parliament will now begin their review of the proposed legislation. In this post, we more fully describe the Regulation and Directive.

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Ten Human Rights Criteria for Cross Border Demands

The European Commission is slated to announce an initiative to facilitate cross-border demands for internet users’ communications content. CDT has prepared a list of human rights protections that should be built into any mechanism designed to facilitate cross-border law enforcement demands, and after the E-Evidence proposal is unveiled, we intend to grade it against this list.

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