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Time to Permanently End NSA’s “About” Searches In Communications Content under FISA 702

Recently, the government released a significant FISA Court opinion discussing one of the NSA’s most controversial surveillance programs under FISA Section 702: the practice of searching the content of communications for references “about” a target instead of collecting communications that are just to or from a target. The court found egregious violations of the privacy rules designed…

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House Judiciary Committee Demonstrates Strong Interest in Privacy

By Ted Fergusson, CDT Intern Last week, the full House of Representatives Judiciary Committee heard testimony on reforming a complicated area of surveillance law: how governments request data that resides in a different country. Witnesses included Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard Downing, UK Deputy National Security Advisor Patty…

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An Obscure Case with Big Implications for Privacy

The government has just fired its latest salvo in a long running effort to circumvent privacy protections for electronic communications. An obscure case of civil fraud may have dramatic implications for when and how the government can access your emails, texts, and photos held online. CDT jointly filed a brief in the case, Securities and Exchange Commission v. North Star Finance LLC, opposing government efforts to obtain email content in a civil case with just a subpoena to an email service provider.

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CDT Launches State Privacy Resource Center

Last week, we wrote about the importance of state governments’ role in protecting consumer privacy, particularly when the federal government fails to pass (or repeals) privacy laws. Today, CDT launched its State Privacy Resource Center, a repository of materials to help state legislators and policymakers craft, support, and enforce effective privacy protections. The resources you will find here include a guide to defining technology-related terms, a state-by-state compendium of student privacy laws, and a discussion of the impact of digital technology on workplace privacy.

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Packingham v. North Carolina: A Win for Free Expression Online

Yesterday, in Packingham v. North Carolina the Supreme Court decided that a law that bars sex offenders from using sites like Facebook and Twitter was unconstitutional. In its decision, the Court recognized the fundamental nature of the internet and social media to exercising one’s First Amendment rights, and found North Carolina’s law to be far too broad. This is an important decision for the protection of free expression online.

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Feds and States Must Work Together on Consumer Privacy

So far, 2017 has been a bad year for consumer privacy protections at the federal level. In response, state lawmakers are working to protect consumer privacy where the federal government has fallen short. The role of the states in protecting privacy is more important than ever, and it’s disappointing to see federal lawmakers and industry groups attempt to gut states’ authority to protect consumers.

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Holding Platforms Liable for Terrorist Tweets Would Open Door to Mass Censorship

When online content hosts face a risk of litigation over user-generated content, they will respond with overbroad censorship measures that limit individuals’ rights to post and access lawful, constitutionally protected speech.  This is true whether the litigation risk comes from the government (as it would under the proposed online censorship bill we’re fighting in Germany)…

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Tech Talk: Media Outlets in the Trust Economy; the Latest on Section 702

CDT’s Tech Talk is a podcast where we dish on tech and Internet policy, while also explaining what these policies mean to our daily lives. In this episode, we talk with the Associate Publisher of the Christian Science Monitor about how media outlets must find new ways to succeed in the trust economy. We also bring you the latest on reform efforts around Section 702 of FISA.

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