FISA 702 Reform: The USA Liberty Act Puts an End to “About” Collection

Last week, a bipartisan group of Representatives introduced H.R. 3989, the USA Liberty Act, which would reauthorize Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act for an additional six years. The bill also represents the first effort at substantively reforming Section 702 in advance of the spying authority’s sunset on December 31. One of the bill’s most important provisions is its ban on collecting communications that are neither to nor from a target overseas, a practice colloquially known as “about” collection.

Read More

An Optimistic Realist About Speech Online

Like many of us working in tech and tech policy, Mindy Finn started out as an extreme optimist about how the internet could make the world a better place. For better or worse, she is no longer a “sunny idealist,” but instead, a realist. In her remarks at the Future of Speech Online, Finn, touched on some of the most pressing challenges that technology poses to a functioning democracy.

Read More

Free Speech is a Moving Target

Figuring out what the future of speech online is requires posing a series of new questions, not falling back on old answers. Carlos Maza, a Vox video producer, showed a willingness to ask such questions, and even be wrong, in order to move the conversation about censorship ahead.

Read More

Tackling ‘Illegal’ Content Online: The EC Continues Push for Privatised Law Enforcement

The European Commission’s Communication on Illegal Content Online, released last week, is the latest in a long line of EU policy initiatives aimed at addressing the availability of (possibly) illegal content online. It envisages replacing decision-making by courts with that of private companies, and misses an important opportunity to provide EU-wide guidance on how notice-and-action processes should work. The Commission could have explained in more detail the obligations of those notifying content for removal, and the evidentiary standards notifications should meet to be actionable. The guidelines could have stressed the principle that decisions of legality and illegality are fundamentally for courts and judges to make, and that any notice-and-action process should provide for due process, including recourse to courts.

Read More

Four Questions Senate Should Consider Before Reconfirming FCC Chairman

This afternoon, the Senate will vote on the reconfirmation of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. During Chairman Pai’s brief term, both his policy positions and the general administration of the agency have been the subject of close scrutiny from civil society organizations, lawmakers, and industry stakeholders. The Senate’s re-confirmation vote will serve as a referendum on the short-term direction of…

Read More

Tech Talk: Good intentions, bad policy?

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 look at how attempts to address the serious issue of online sex-trafficking could unintentionally harm broader online free speech. We also take a look at a new art installation aimed at highlighting online privacy risks.

Read More

Financial Dashboards: Enhancing User Control Outside a Traditional “Privacy Dashboard”

Privacy dashboards are often put forward as a potential solution to the vexing problem of offering individuals control over their personal information. Industry actors have been iterating on the concept for years, but regulators of all stripes are well-positioned to provide useful guidance and best practices to improve dashboards as a form of user control.

Read More