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CDT’s Greg Nojeim Honored by American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

There are few civil liberties advocates that are more passionate or effective than Greg Nojeim. In his time at CDT, his tireless work has helped rein in overly intrusive government surveillance, enhance privacy protections online, and make government surveillance a human rights issue globally. CDT and all of those who work with Greg know what an incredible leader he is, and we are thrilled that the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is honoring him with their Ralph Johns Award. He will receive the award tomorrow night at their annual gala.

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Regaining Our Right to Live Freely and Be Left Alone

After weeks of political grandstanding, brash rhetoric, and failed power plays, one of the of the National Security Agency’s most egregious mass surveillance authorities is no more. This is a monumental victory for every American who values their privacy and freedom. While it was easy to get distracted by the posturing that took place in Congress, that’s the real meaning of this reform: our personal thoughts and expressions will not be swept up in a mass dragnet on the off chance they might be useful.

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Privacy: An Equal Playing Field for Women and Men

You can’t open the paper these days without being bombarded with the latest dire statistics about the dearth of women and minorities in the tech pipeline. The steady stream of negative stories became a flood earlier this week when Sir Tim Hunt, a biochemist and Nobel Laureate,

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Privacy and the Digital Student: Paths Forward

This year has seen a flurry of attention around student data privacy: over 180 state student privacy bills have been introduced, and Congress is considering multiple federal student privacy bills. Last week, CDT continued this conversation with a Hill briefing on the topic. The briefing, “Privacy and the Digital Student: Paths Forward,” brought together advocates, industry leaders and Congressional members and staff to discuss the state of student privacy law and policy.

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Can a Quantitative Approach Help Address Government Surveillance?

When legislators and governments introduce new national security measures, they often do so in the immediate aftermath of traumatic events. This means new surveillance tools are adopted hastily. A research programme seeks to develop a comprehensive methodology to assess surveillance technology in light of its effectiveness in enhancing security, balanced against its impact on fundamentals to data protection, privacy and free expression.

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Speaking Freely Against SLAPPs

A bill that would shield online speakers from meritless lawsuits was introduced this month in the House with bipartisan support. The SPEAK FREE Act seeks to create legal protections for those who speak out on a controversial issue, report on potential misconduct, or post a negative comment or review online. We hope to see the SPEAK FREE Act become law, and it is garnering strong support from other free expression advocates and online communities alike.

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Improving the Legal Landscape for Security Research

Every three years, the Copyright Office conducts a notice-and-comment rulemaking through which interested parties pursue exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) anti-circumvention provisions. Section 1201 of the DMCA, added in 1998, aims to prevent (already illegal) copyright infringement in the digital context by making it illegal to bypass the technological locks rightsholders install to control access to copies of their works. Unfortunately, the threat of the DMCA’s potential civil and criminal penalties discourages more than would-be copyright infringers. Computer scientists and researchers who wish to test the security of software-driven devices may also face liability under the statute.

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