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Another Free Speech Victory Against the FCC

In a victory for free speech, a federal appeals court ruled this week that the Federal Communications Commission stepped out of bounds when it issued an unprecedented $550,000 fine against CBS for airing Janet Jackson's infamous breast-bearing "wardrobe malfunction" during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. Echoing the seminal opinion by Second Circuit Court of Appeals on a…

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Embarq Response on Behavioral Advertising Comes Up Short

Last week we blogged about the continuing congressional pressure facing ISPs regarding their involvement in behavioral advertising. Embarq has replied to the letter that Rep. Dingell, Rep. Barton, and Rep. Markey sent last week inquiring about the company’s trials of a new system that tracks the Web sites subscribers visit and uses that data to serve…

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When Reasonable People Agree to Agree

The blogosphere pumped up the volume on the news that YouTube was being forced, under court order, to fork over its “logging database,” in the course of Viacom’s billion-dollar copyright lawsuit against the Google-owned video site. Remember that this logging database records every Leave It To Beaver rerun (as well as ALL other videos) you’ve watched on YouTube….

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CRS Report of the Week: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: A Sketch of Selected Issues

This report was prepared and published prior to the Senate passing of FISA. CRS Report RL34566, July 7, 2008. From the report’s summary: The current legislative and oversight activity with respect to electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) has drawn national attention to several overarching issues. This report briefly…

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EU Follows U.S. Legislative Effort to Promote Global Internet Freedom

Freedom House held a Capitol Hill briefing July 15th on global Internet freedom. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Jules Maaten of the European Union Parliament discussed their joint efforts to pass legislation aimed at promoting online free expression and privacy in repressive countries like China. CDT is generally supportive of the goals of Rep. Smith’s Global Online Freedom…

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FCC “Enforcement” Against Comcast?

There has been quite a bit of attention paid in the past week to statements by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin about possible FCC action against Comcast for interfering with some of its subscribers’ BitTorrent uploads. The idea appears to be that the agency could find Comcast’s actions inconsistent with principles set forth in the FCC’s 2005

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ISP Involvement in Behavioral Advertising Getting More Attention

These past two weeks have seen a flurry of activity concerning ISP participation in online behavioral advertising. On July 8, CDT released a legal memo explaining how ISPs partnering with third parties to intercept and use Internet traffic content may violate federal and state wiretapping laws. NebuAd, one such third party, issued both its own legal analysis…

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Can This Congress Tweet?

There has been some controversy lately about what a letter from Rep. Capuano of the Franking Committee means for House members’ Web presence. The Franking Committee, which in part regulates members’ communications so they don’t appear to endorse a particular product, service or ideology, are looking into how members should be able to use the Internet, and…

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CRS Report of the Week: The FCC: Current Structure and its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape

This report provides a brief look at the FCC budget for the last three years, followed by an overview of the Commission and its mandate, structure, strategic plan, and proposals for both procedural and substantive changes. CRS Report RL 32589, May 13, 2008 From the Report’s Summary: Although the FCC has restructured over the past few years to better reflect the…

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Sweden Channels Big Brother… Inspired by the U.S.

Last month Sweden shocked its citizens and many in the free world when its parliament passed a controversial surveillance law by the slimmest of margins (143-138) in an effort to combat “terrorism.” This is a familiar refrain for U.S. citizens who have ceaselessly heard the Bush Administration and many in Congress justify encroachments on civil liberties in the name…

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