Send CDT to SXSW 2016 – Vote Now

2015 was a successful trip to SXSW for CDT, and that’s why we’ve submitted 7 proposed panels and talks for 2016. We’re covering a wide expanse of topics – from how to manage the complex issue of reporting “terrorist activity” online, to debuting preliminary guidelines for doing health research with wearables data that honors user privacy and dignity. VOTE NOW and give us the thumbs up we need to go to Austin in 2016!

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Speak Up on the IANA Transition and ICANN Accountability

Two key public consultations central to the United States Government’s transition out of its stewardship role of the Domain Name System have just been announced. These processes are a crucial opportunity for stakeholders to have their say on important developments directly related to the governance of the DNS. They also provide the chance to demonstrate – and improve – the accountability and the multistakeholder credentials of the institutions at the heart of the Internet ecosystem.

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CDT Joins Amicus Brief Supporting Strong Section 230 Protections

CDT joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other public interest groups in an amicus brief in support of clear protections for internet intermediaries and free expression online. The case, Google, Inc. v. James M. Hood, III, stems from a 79-page subpoena the Mississippi Attorney General served on Google after the company refused to comply with his demands to block, filter, and alter the way it displays search results and other content.

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CISA Manager’s Amendment Falls Short on Privacy and Security

The Senate is expected to consider the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) (S. 754) on the Senate floor this week. The managers of the bill released a manager’s amendment on July 31 that makes some important changes to the bill, but that leaves key privacy and security concerns that CDT identified unaddressed or insufficiently addressed. In short, there are some partial fixes, but huge problems remain.

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Unsanctioned Web Tracking is Harmful

Recently, the Technical Architecture Group (TAG) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a group within the W3C charged with stewardship of the Web’s architecture, released a statement that “unsanctioned tracking” is harmful to the web. Specifically, the TAG noted three types of unsanctioned tracking technologies that are especially harmful to users’ privacy: browser fingerprinting, super cookies, and header enrichment.

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Another State Taking On Privacy Legislation

New Hampshire became the ninth state to enact legislation reigning in warrantless law enforcement access to location records generated by cell phones and other electronic devices. Location records show where you are and have been, based on communications between your mobile device and the nearest cellular tower, and other electronic location tracking techniques such as GPS. The New Hampshire legislation prohibits the government from obtaining “location information from an electronic device without a warrant issued by a judge based on probable cause and on a case-by-case basis.”

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Coalition Seeks Revisions to Potentially Restrictive Wassenaar Proposal

A broad coalition of civil society filed comments with the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in the U.S. Department of Commerce on their proposed implementation of new export control rules for “cybersecurity software”. The new controls are intended to prevent the export of digital surveillance tools to nation-state-level actors who plan to use them to spy on their citizens, but also limit the export of encryption technologies.

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Make Your Password Exponentially More Secure

If you’ve used the internet, you’ve probably created a password. There’s a lot of advice out there about creating passwords: use uppercase! use lowercase! Use numbers! Symbols! Don’t use a dictionary word! Use many dictionary words in a passphrase! There is so much advice, and so much of it is conflicting, and often it comes without any explanation. In this post, I’ll detail what a good password is (and why), give you some tools to help remember your password, and give a few other simple ways to help protect your account.

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Graham/Whitehouse Draft Bill Would Make CFAA Worse

Senators Graham and Whitehouse are circulating draft cybercrime legislation, with several provisions modifying the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) – 18 USC 1030, the primary anti-hacking law of the United States. The draft bill is called the “International Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2015″ and aims to crack down on theft of trade secrets and malicious hacking. Overall, the draft bill would exacerbate, not eliminate, the harshness, over breadth, and confusion with the CFAA.

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