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FTC Regains Some Oversight of ISPs, but Consumers Still Lack Strong Privacy Protections

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit delivered some good news to the FTC: in an en banc decision, the court reversed a September 2016 panel opinion that gave common carriers – companies that provide telecommunications services such as mobile and landline phone service – a get out of jail free card from the FTC’s enforcement authority. The ruling this week returns the FTC’s ability to bring actions against businesses when they are not acting as common carriers.

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Who Needs Courts? A Deeper Look At the European Commission’s Plans to Speed Up Content Takedowns

Today, the European Commission released its “Recommendation on measures to effectively tackle illegal content online”, which presents the Commission’s ideas for how to speed up removal of allegedly illegal content. The Recommendation includes a number of departures from the traditional court-order process, which provides both substantive and procedural protections for individuals whose speech is challenged under the law. Instead, the Commission relies on several approaches to speedy censorship that circumvent the courts and provide the public with no way to hold the government accountable for declaring that someone’s speech violates the law. We provide a closer look at these alternative censorship models, which have been gaining traction in Europe over the past few years.

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EC Recommendation on Tackling Illegal Content Online Doubles Down on Push for Privatized Law Enforcement

The European Commission published its “Recommendation on measures to effectively tackle illegal content online”, which puts forward a number of non-binding guidelines and principles for online platforms and hosts of user-generated content. These recommendations go beyond the ill-defined approach the Commission took in its “Communication on Tackling Illegal Content Online”. While we recognize the Commission’s interest in seeking effective enforcement of national law, we continue to have significant concerns about the Commission’s overall approach and a number of its specific recommendations.

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Tech Talk: How to Fix the Future

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 talk to Andrew Keen about his new book, How to Fix the Future. Keen was among the first to talk about the potential pitfalls of the internet and in this book he tries to find solutions to a myriad of societal problems he sees rooted in tech.

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CDT’s Response to EC ‘Fake News’ Consultation: How to Tackle the Issue and Protect Free Expression?

On 23 February, CDT filed its response to the European Commission’s Consultation on Tackling ‘Fake News’. Commissioner Gabriel should be commended for launching this initiative, and we are hopeful it contributes solid European data and analysis, without which it is impossible to make recommendations for policy. However, CDT worries that the group generally lacks participation from NGOs and experts focused on protecting free expression, which brings up broader questions.

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Embedded Tweets and Display Rights: Dangerous Legal Ground for the Web

In a troubling recent decision (Goldman v. Breitbart) a court in the Southern District of New York found that embedding an image from Twitter in a web page hosted by a news sites can infringe on the exclusive right of the photographer to control the public display of the image. In the case, photographer Justin Goldman said that new sites, including Breitbart, infringed on this right when they included an embedded image of a tweet that contained a photograph he took of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the Hamptons

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State Progress on Election Cybersecurity

Election security is the process of anticipating and responding to ever-evolving threats in an environment where voter confidence can be swayed just as much by perception as reality. Recent reports only provide a snapshot of where states fall short in their security efforts. Some states, like Colorado, Illinois, Rhode Island, Washington, and West Virginia, are already on their way to improving their election security grade.

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