EU Industry Committee Makes Strides in Protecting the Open Internet

The European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research, and Energy has approved an informal proposal on the Telecoms Single Market regulation. This moves the regulation another step closer to becoming law, with a plenary vote likely sometime this fall. The proposed regulation goes a long way towards protecting the open Internet. Although far from perfect, the agreed-upon text is a significant accomplishment that at times seemed exceedingly unlikely.

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Parliament Adopts Reda Report Calling on Commission to Harmonize and Balance Copyright

In a plenary session, the European Parliament voted yesterday to adopt a report on “the harmonization of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society.” In a previous post, we applauded the report’s recognition of the importance of balanced copyright while lamenting over some the elements of the draft report that failed to make their way into the text adopted by Parliament’s legal affairs committee (JURI). Even with deletions and alterations, the report highlights the need for minimum baseline of copyright limitations and exceptions across the Union. The text of the report remains largely unchanged since its adoption by JURI, but a few late amendments made important improvements to the report.

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Intel Authorization Bill Would Turn Online Service Providers into Law Enforcement Watchdogs

Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee passed a version of the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2016 (S. 1705) that would create a new “duty to report” apparent “terrorist activity” for providers of electronic communication services, which include online content hosts, internet service providers, and public libraries and coffee shops that offer WiFi access. The ramifications of this provision, which was introduced through a secret, closed-door committee process, are immense.

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FBI’s New Crypto Plan: Ditch Legislation, Build Thor’s Magic Hammer

Wednesday there were two Senate Hearings on encryption and law enforcement access. Despite the fact that only 0.1% of wiretaps last year encountered encryption that could not be deciphered, the FBI has been arguing that it is “going dark” – that, increasingly, they encounter communications they can’t get access to, despite having a warrant. It’s clear from today’s hearings that the tide in the encryption debate has shifted: the FBI stated explicitly that it doesn’t have a proposed solution or a legislative proposal, and is punting to the tech industry to provide solutions. However, they’re asking industry to invent something that is intrinsically impossible.

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Internet Lifeline: Making the Connection Without Raising the Privacy Risks

Last week, the FCC took the very important step of proposing modernized rules for helping low-income Americans access critical communications services, without unnecessarily conditioning that access on a ten-year data-retention requirement. As CDT advocated, the FCC made the right call in declining to extend Lifeline’s three-year data-retention period by an additional seven years.

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Security research under the DMCA: A quest for flexibility and certainty

By Stan Adams and Andy Sayler. CDT recently filed its response to the Copyright Office’s last round of questions regarding a proposed security research exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s Section 1201 anti-circumvention provision. This exemption would provide a clearer legal environment for important research into the security of the software and devices on which we all rely…

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EU Negotiators Agree on Net Neutrality Rules

Today, negotiators from the European Parliament, Member State governments, and the Commission reached a deal on net neutrality in the Telecommunications Single Market (TSM) Regulation. The final result is necessarily and visibly a compromise between very disparate views. The final text is still being tidied up, but based on the information published by the European Commission, we have a few initial observations.

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JURI Committee Report on Limitations and Exceptions Points Toward Progress on Copyright in Europe

The European Commission, Council, and Parliament have all identified the creation of a “digital single market” (DSM) for Europe as one of their shared top priorities. A refreshingly distinct view of a unitary copyright system for Europe arrived last week when the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) voted to adopt a report on “the harmonization of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society.”

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Introducing CDT’s Podcast: Tech Talk, Ep. 1

Yes, after numerous requests (I swear!), CDT is launching its own podcast, Tech Talk. Each week, Tech Talk will feature two segments on important, interesting, unique, and sometimes disturbing trends in the tech and internet policy space. We’ll go beyond headlines, while not going too deep into the weeds or getting lost in the labyrinth of acronyms that so often overtakes productive conversation.

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