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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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FOIA Transparency… It Shouldn’t Be An Oxymoron

Yesterday, OpenTheGovernment.org circulated a letter endorsing the OPEN FOIA Act (S.2746). CDT was one of the 29 organizations that signed on to the letter. As Sophia noted during Sunshine Week this year, the bill is a short one but would be very helpful in preserving the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act. There are many ways…

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More on YouTube v. Viacom v. User Privacy

There is more to say, in addition to what David Sohn pointed out in Thursday’s blog post, about the recent court order requiring YouTube to turn over user information. The order directing YouTube to turn over information about anyone who has ever used YouTube illustrates two points: (1) Google (which now runs YouTube) and other Internet and…

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Court Orders Google to Turn Over YouTube User Data

The federal court hearing Viacom’s billion-dollar copyright lawsuit against YouTube issued an order earlier this week in the discovery phase of the case. The court denied Viacom’s audacious request to require YouTube to turn over the source code that powers YouTube’s (and Google’s) search engine. But the court granted the request to compel YouTube to turn over the…

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