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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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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Preserving Openness as the Internet Evolves: CDT Joins Intervenors in Defending the FCC’s Open Internet Order

Yesterday, the Center for Democracy & Technology joined 24 startups, public interest organizations, venture capital firms, and other organizations in defending the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order, currently on appeal in the D.C. Circuit. The joint intervenors’ brief makes the point that this entire appeal boils down to one very simple issue: did the FCC have the authority to reclassify broadband as a Title II telecommunications service and do the facts on the ground justify that reclassification? The answer is a simple yes.

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ECPA Reform: Our Private Communications Deserve the Gold Standard

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee conducted a hearing to discuss amending the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) – an Act in desperate need of reform in light of the many technological innovations and developments that have proliferated since 1986, the year it was passed. The ECPA reform process was meant to bring the statute up to par with what the vast majority of Americans expect and are entitled to: the same protections for their personal emails, text messages, and other private Internet communications as those afforded to their private letters locked away in a desk.

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CDT Brief in Spokeo v. Robins Supports Individual Claims for Privacy Violations

If Congress grants you legal protections and a remedy when they are violated, can the courts step in and remove those rights if they don’t believe there’s an actual harm? Today, CDT filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case Spokeo v. Robins to answer that very question and support the ability of private individuals to file claims for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). In the brief, we argue that the private right of action is a vital part of FCRA now more than ever, and that limiting private claims could lead to an increase in inaccurate data.

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