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D.C. Circuit Decision in US Telecom v. FCC a Win for Preserving an Open Internet

In a resounding victory for net neutrality advocates and consumers alike, the D.C. Circuit issued its decision in US Telecom v. FCC, a landmark ruling ensuring that government regulators maintain the authority necessary for preserving an open internet. The court’s decision upholds the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order, a set of rules and standards that aim to preserve the basic principle that broadband providers should permit access to the internet without discriminating or blocking content based on its source.

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IANA Transition Proposal Meets NTIA Criteria Necessary to Advance

Another major milestone has been reached in the IANA transition with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announcing in a report that the community proposal meets the necessary requirements to move forward. This report, along with the adoption on May 27th by the ICANN Board of the bylaw changes necessary to implement the Stewardship and Accountability proposals, should provide a significant level of comfort to those expressing concerns about the transition.

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Two Factors are Better Than One

You may have heard how important it is to have a strong password. However, passwords can still be stolen or an attacker can scam you into giving them your password. To guard against this threat, many websites now offer multi-factor authentication. While different sites may refer to this feature differently, such as two-step login or two-factor sign-in or even login approvals, it has the same goal: to keep you safer online.

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Expansion of Secret National Security Letters – A Poison Pill for Email Privacy

Initially meant as a very limited investigative tool in financial cases, national security letter (NSL) authority has morphed into a frequently used, and abused, way by which the FBI can secure telephone records in terrorism or espionage cases without going to a judge. The FBI is pushing for a dramatic expansion of NSL authority, and is trying to sneak it into non-controversial email privacy legislation or a “must-pass” intelligence spending bill.

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Illinois Bill Repealing Biometric Protections is an Unnecessary Privacy Loss

Biometric information — data that pertains to an individual’s biological characteristics, like facial recognition patterns, DNA, fingerprints, and iris scans — is some of the most sensitive data about each of us, in part because it is generally immutable. You can get a new email address, but getting a new genome is a lot harder. It’s for these reasons that we’ve consistently argued for limited collection of biometric information, and strong protections for its use and retention. Illinois, which has one of the the country’s strongest state biometric privacy laws on the books, may soon significantly weaken its protections. We hope the Illinois Legislature doesn’t take such a misguided step.

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European Commission Online Platform Proposals Puts Onus on Companies

The European Commission has published a set of proposals and documents under the umbrella of its Digital Single Market strategy. Among them is a Communication on ‘Online Platforms and the Digital Single Market Opportunities and Challenges for Europe’. There are positive messages in the document, but also some problematic ones. CDT has consistently pushed back on proposals that would endanger the internet as an enabler of free expression, public debate, and access to information.

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