Preserving Openness as the Internet Evolves: CDT Joins Intervenors in Defending the FCC’s Open Internet Order

Yesterday, the Center for Democracy & Technology joined 24 startups, public interest organizations, venture capital firms, and other organizations in defending the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order, currently on appeal in the D.C. Circuit. The joint intervenors’ brief makes the point that this entire appeal boils down to one very simple issue: did the FCC have the authority to reclassify broadband as a Title II telecommunications service and do the facts on the ground justify that reclassification? The answer is a simple yes.

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ECPA Reform: Our Private Communications Deserve the Gold Standard

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee conducted a hearing to discuss amending the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) – an Act in desperate need of reform in light of the many technological innovations and developments that have proliferated since 1986, the year it was passed. The ECPA reform process was meant to bring the statute up to par with what the vast majority of Americans expect and are entitled to: the same protections for their personal emails, text messages, and other private Internet communications as those afforded to their private letters locked away in a desk.

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CDT Brief in Spokeo v. Robins Supports Individual Claims for Privacy Violations

If Congress grants you legal protections and a remedy when they are violated, can the courts step in and remove those rights if they don’t believe there’s an actual harm? Today, CDT filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case Spokeo v. Robins to answer that very question and support the ability of private individuals to file claims for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). In the brief, we argue that the private right of action is a vital part of FCRA now more than ever, and that limiting private claims could lead to an increase in inaccurate data.

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Washington Court ruling against is a Setback for Internet Platforms and Online Speech

The Washington State Supreme Court delivered a disappointing decision last week, allowing a lawsuit to proceed against for the use of its classified ads service by sex traffickers. Three minor trafficking victims brought the suit against Backpage, alleging that the website played a “substantial role” in developing the content of the advertisements posted by the traffickers who abused them.

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Chilling Effects of the Ashley Madison Scarlet Letter

It’s been a little over a week since massive amounts of data from the popular cheating website, Ashley Madison, were published online. Although public reaction has been a mix of jokes about happy divorce attorneys and betrayal-karma for users, the hack’s effects will likely spread far beyond the site, to affect anonymity and online security throughout the Internet.

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The IANA Transition: The Work Ahead

The long anticipated extension of the US government contract with ICANN reflects the community’s need for additional time to accomplish a number of important tasks to bring about the IANA stewardship transition. The extension does not mean that the community is not delivering on its commitments, but rather that the process of ensuring appropriate consultation, refining proposals, securing endorsement from the ICANN community, undergoing interagency review, etc., is going to take more time.

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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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