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From Transition to Transition

Political affiliation and rhetoric aside, there is an undeniable excitement underlying this election cycle. The political process has finally found the alchemy of the Internet that has eluded all previous attempts and found a way to draw in voters. The Internet is largely responsible for putting a sense of empowerment for people back into the political process and that…

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Does Phorm Fit?

Last week, the European Commission issued an answer to several queries regarding Phorm, a U.K. company that uses Internet traffic data to serve targeted advertisements. Phorm has proposed partnerships with some of the United Kingdom’s largest ISPs that allow Phorm to use deep packet inspection (DPI) to create profiles of individual consumers’ Web habits. Several members of the European…

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An Unfortunate (and I hope temporary) Change of Heart …

The year was 1995 and the biggest threat to Internet free speech was a bill called the “Communications Decency Act.” If passed, the bill threatened to criminalize all manner of constitutionally protected speech under the guise of keeping “indecent” material from being viewed by children. Momentum for passage of the bill was enormous. The bill passed…

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CFP2008 in New Haven

CFP2008 in New Haven I was fortunate to serve on the Program Committee for the 18th Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference in New Haven, CT. It was Chaired by EFF’s Eddan Katz who put on a smaller, but very engaging conference. One of the best programs in my memory actually. I arrived too late for a tutorial on voting…

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Spammers Get Slammed… Again

What do you do when a couple of spammers send almost a million deceptive and spammy emails to your users? You sue them! Under the CAN-SPAM Act, MySpace asked for – and was granted – a massive $230 million in damages from the spammers that were taking advantage of the site’s users and breaking the site’s terms of…

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Charter-ing a New Course in Behavioral Targeting

This week broadband provider Charter Communications revealed its plans to begin sharing its customers’ Web traffic with NebuAd, an advertising network. NebuAd’s service works by monitoring individuals’ online activities and creating profiles of those individuals’ interests. NebuAd then uses the profiles to serve targeted advertisements on the Web. Charter, with over 5…

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Yahoo! Human Rights Program

Earlier this month Yahoo! launched a new Business & Human Rights Program, intended to formalize its commitment to human rights, starting with full-fledged support at the highest levels of the company. The program also aims to build a culture within the company to identify and manage human rights risk associated with delivery of its services…

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DHS Can’t Admit Its Own Mistakes

Back in April, I blogged about how Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff was “dead wrong” when he testified before the Senate that personal information can’t be “skimmed” from an unencrypted barcode, which all driver’s licenses will have under the REAL ID program. Chertoff completely denied that there are any privacy risks associated with the REAL ID…

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