CDT files joint opposition in support of the FCC’s authority to protect the privacy of Lifeline customers and applicants

Today CDT joined a group of advocacy organizations in filing in a somewhat obscure regulatory proceeding with significant implications for the privacy of every user of telecommunications services. Our filing is an opposition to CTIA — The Wireless Association’s (CTIA) petition for partial reconsideration of the FCC’s most recent Order addressing issues related to its Lifeline program. CTIA’s position is problematic for a number of reasons.

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Learn to think like an attacker to stay safe online

It’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month. You’ll be seeing a lot of encouraging words to “be aware” of cybersecurity. But how the heck are we supposed to do that? Cybersecurity done well is ideally something people don’t have to think about! However, a big part of cybersecurity awareness involves being able to estimate and plan accordingly for common threats. In the technical community, we call this threat modeling.

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State Lawmakers Have Options to Protect Your Digital Legacy

As state legislatures prepare for another season, they will be able to choose among several models for updating estate law while preserving users’ control of their digital legacies. CDT played a major role in crafting two of the models that are available this year, and this week the Uniform Law Commission has unveiled a new model that is both privacy protecting and administrable. The updated model makes several meaningful improvements.

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Facebook Should Reform Its “Real Name” Policies

CDT, along with several other advocacy organizations, sent a letter to Facebook urging them to reconsider their “real name” policy that has led to criticism from a variety of groups. While Facebook’s policy is an attempt to correlate one’s online identity with an objective, non-constructed self, you don’t need a doctorate in sociology to understand that in our world, all identities are constructed.

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The EU-US Umbrella Agreement and the Judicial Redress Act: Small Steps Forward for EU Citizens’ Privacy Rights

One of the European Commission’s responses to the Snowden revelations was the swift adoption of the ‘EU-US Umbrella Agreement’. The objective of the Commission is to put in place a high level of data protection when personal information is transferred between the US and an EU country for the purpose of investigating, detecting, or prosecuting a crime. It was recently initialed by EU and US negotiators, pending US Congress adoption of the Judicial Redress Act. We view these developments as limited, but not insignificant improvements on the privacy rights of EU citizens.

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Research, Not Copyright, Should Protect the Environment

The EPA advised the Copyright Office against granting temporary exemptions to the copyright laws prohibiting the circumvention of the technological protection measures (TPMs) designed to prevent access to vehicles’ embedded software. The agency warned that, without the TPM’s and the prohibition of their circumvention under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), car owners would access and modify their vehicle’s software in ways that might violate the Clean Air Act. CDT does not agree with this logic.

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2015-09-29 copyright office logo

A 21st Century Copyright Office: Renovation Over Relocation

Today, the re:Create Coalition, of which the Center for Democracy & Technology is a member, sent a letter to Congress regarding Copyright Office modernization. As the letter notes, there is no consensus, even among re:Create members, of what it means to modernize the Copyright Office. In CDT’s view, the debate about moving the Office distracts us from more important questions around improving core functions of the Office.

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ICANN Accountability Enhancements Key in Moving IANA Transition Forward

The results of the public consultation on the IANA transition proposal are in and the news is good. The majority of the 150 comments received by the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) were supportive of the transition proposal as a whole. Yet, while the ICG moves forward on wrapping up the transition proposal, news on the accountability front is not as promising.

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CJEU General Advocate Opinion in Schrems Case A Wake-Up Call

“The EU should suspend the ‘Safe Harbor’ agreement with the US.” This is one of the conclusions of the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the EU, in his 23 September opinion on the ‘Schrems case’, and the one that has drawn the most headlines. However, the reality is that if the CJEU were to follow the AG’s guidance and strike down the Safe Harbour Agreement, it would do little.

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