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The Truth about (Telecom) Immunity

Administration officials are complaining about House Democrats stalling legislation that would grant immunity to any telecommunications carrier that assisted with its domestic spying program. Without that immunity cloak, the White House says, telecoms will hesitate to cooperate with such programs in the future. It’s true that telecom assistance is crucial to successful electronic surveillance. But what’s getting lost in…

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Civil Liberties Don’t Expire

The heated rhetoric this week of trying to place blame for the expiration of the Protect American Act (PAA) obscures important civil liberties issues surrounding intelligence surveillance. No doubt: the President is playing politics with national security by trying to corner House Democrats into accepting a deeply flawed Senate bill. And for what? Most of the government’s…

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Online Consumer Privacy Concerns Growing

Two recent papers published by the Pew Internet and American Life Project highlight the continued growing concern about privacy. In Privacy Implications of Fast, Mobile Internet Access, Susannah Fox suggests that consumers are reluctant to share personal information when they are given control over disclosure: More generally, consumers are now expressing a more consistent interest…

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FCC Chairman Strays Even Further From Reality, and Constitution

I read with horror the latest issue (Dec. 2007) of Indiana University’s Federal Communications Law Journal. The leading “article” is a transcript of a November 2005 debate among Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Kevin Martin and others about expanding the FCC’s regulation of indecency. During the debate, in response to a discussion about radio “shock jocks,”…

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Tom Lantos Leaves Mark on Global Internet Freedom

Many kind words have been said in the last 24 hours about the life and legacy of Congressman Tom Lantos, a champion of human rights who died over the weekend. It’s difficult to add anything meaningful to those tributes. But since this is an Internet policy blog, it is worth adding a postscript about Rep.

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New Budget Makes IRS Tracking Proposal History (hopefully)

In May, we wrote a widely circulated policy post highlighting the privacy issues involved in an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) proposal that would require “brokers” – including online auction sites like eBay – to collect the Social Security numbers of millions of users. The plan was part of the Bush budget proposal to…

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REAL ID for Sudafed? Call it ‘Mission Creep’

Just five days after the Department of Homeland Security released the final regulations to implement the REAL ID Act, DHS Assistant Secretary for Policy Stewart Baker suggested yet another terrifying use of the controversial ID card: to buy Sudafed. This followed the Department’s official position in the final rules that it has no intention of turning REAL ID into…

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Thoughts on the Microsoft-Yahoo Deal

CDT is still considering the policy implications of Microsoft’s unsolicited takeover offer for Yahoo. Clearly, this would have a major impact on the Internet. Our colleague, and CDT Fellow, Peter Swire has a detailed summary that he posted to the Center for American Progress Web site. He also sent us…

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International Privacy Day: January 28, 2008

This year, North America joins 27 European countries to celebrate Data Privacy Day. Beginning January, 28th, the week-long event is punctuated by several efforts looking to raise the visibility of privacy issues at home and abroad. The International Association of Privacy Professionals has put together some nice resources for the occasion. CDT will be involved in several relevant…

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