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Controversial Provision on Damages Deleted from Copyright Enforcement Bill

On March 6, the House Judiciary subcommittee with jurisdiction over intellectual property issues approved H.R. 4279, a bill aimed at strengthening intellectual property (I.P.) enforcement. But first the subcommittee made an important modification — it agreed to delete a highly controversial section concerning statutory damages in infringement cases involving compilations. This is a welcome change. As I described…

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National Privacy Standards Needed for America’s “Cammed Nation”

Washington, D.C. recently joined the club of cities, including Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, that conduct live monitoring of citizens through closed circuit television cameras (CCTV). Hundreds of millions of dollars granted by the Department of Homeland Security to state and local governments has greatly expanded the use of CCTV in the U.S. since 2001….

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White House 2.0

This week, I was fortunate to moderate a panel called White House 2.0 at the Politics Online Conference in Washington this week. The panel asked the question — If Web 2.0 technology has pervaded the campaigns this year, how will the technology be used to govern in the future? Panelists had a diversity of views…

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CDT to FCC: Tread Lightly on Network Management Issue

Following revelations that Comcast sometimes interferes with its subscribers’ P2P upload traffic, the Internet neutrality debate is currently focused on “network management” — actions that ISPs take to “manage” traffic on their networks. ISPs say that to make their networks run well for all concerned, they need flexibility to employ network management tools as they see fit….

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Markey’s New Internet Neutrality Bill

Rep. Ed Markey, (D-MA), Chairman of the House Telecommunications Subcommittee, introduced an Internet neutrality bill on Feb. 13th that would establish pro-neutrality principles as expressions of U.S. policy. It also calls on the FCC to do a detailed assessment of how current broadband providers’ practices are consistent or inconsistent with those principles. Unlike some…

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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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