EC Proposal to Pay with Personal Data Could Undermine Privacy and Harm the Online Ecosystem

If data is the new oil of the digital economy, as is often said, consumers are the fossilized organic source; that is, while consumers provide the crude data, it is businesses that turn data into a valuable asset. The question of how to balance the rights of businesses and consumers in managing this digital resource is at the heart of a proposed Directive on contracts for the supply of digital content, otherwise known as the Digital Contracts Directive (DCD).

Read More

“The Cyber” Part II: Cybersecurity Research and the Role of the Enforcer

In CDT’s white paper, we look at whether there are other steps the Department of Justice, in particular, could take to better improve the consistency and fairness of CFAA prosecution to avoid any repeat of something like the Swartz case. For instance, we ask whether the DOJ could release more detailed guidance (similar to, for instance, regulations governing foreign investment review at the Treasury Department) with illustrative examples of cases where security research will not prompt investigation or prosecution.

Read More

States Step Up to Protect Privacy In Wake of FCC Ruling

In the wake of this week’s Congressional repeal of the FCC’s broadband privacy rules, states appear poised to enact legislation aimed at protecting their citizens’ privacy. The Illinois General Assembly debated yesterday morning the merits of two bills that would give state consumers more transparency and control over the collection and sharing of their personal information.

Read More

Tech Talk: Patent Politics and Internet Governance for Media Development

CDT’s Tech Talk is a podcast where we dish on tech and Internet policy, while also explaining what these policies mean to our daily lives. In this episode, we explore how different approaches to patents in the US and Europe lead to very different policy outcomes. We also talk about why media development professionals need to start engaging in internet governance.

Read More

“The Cyber:”  Everything You Need to Know About Computer Security Research and More

Of all of this attention to cybersecurity issues, however, too little is being paid to arguably the most important constellation in the cyber universe: the thousands of researchers who toil, often in obscurity, to identify and mitigate cybersecurity vulnerabilities. And yet, this research is more important than many of us not in this world can appreciate. We’ve released a comprehensive white paper that we hope will help frame these conversations going forward. Our paper, titled “The Cyber: Hard Questions in the World of Computer Security Research,” takes a deep dive into four areas of focus.

Read More

Leading Parliamentary Committee on Copyright Reform Tackles Most Problematic Provisions

Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Therese Comodini Cachia released her much awaited Draft Report on the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. We have previously commented on the Draft Opinions by the Culture and Education (CULT) and Internal Market (IMCO) committees (see respectively blog posts here and here). The Opinions of these committees, together with those of the Industry & Research (ITRE) and Civil Liberties (LIBE) committees, are to be taken into consideration in the Report by the Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee leading the debate in Parliament.

Read More

Trump Tower Claims Debunked, But Overbroad Surveillance Still Cause for Concern

It has now been confirmed by FBI Director Jim Comey, both of Congress’s intelligence committees, and the Speaker of the House that President Trump did not have his “wires tapped” at Trump Tower by the Obama administration prior to the president’s election. But here are some thoughts about why, while the president’s wiretapping claims are without merit, we should still be concerned about how communications intercepted for foreign intelligence purposes can now be shared more broadly across the intelligence and thus possibly misused to target people in the United States who have nothing to do with spying or terrorism.

Read More