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All Bots Must Die: How a New Senate Bill to Combat Botnets Could Put Privacy at Risk

How should the US government deal with the very serious threats posed by botnets? Senators Whitehouse (D-RI), Graham (R-SC), and Blumenthal (D-CT) believe a solution is their Botnet Prevention Act, which was introduced in May. While much of the bill may sound reasonable at first pass, it contains a number of provisions that pose cybersecurity and privacy risks.

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Only Humans Need Apply: Job Prospects Following Advances in AI

Last week, in response to a Request for Information from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, CDT submitted a report on “Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence” (“AI”). Our comments focused on how the government can reduce inequality in the workforce and promote societal progress as AI advances. CDT believes in the power of AI, and suggests policy improvements specifically to: (1) use AI for public good, (2) address social and economic implications caused by AI, and (3) harness AI with scientific and technical training.

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Community, Identity, Speech, and Power

As we look forward to our next twenty years, we must ask ourselves: Are we achieving our goal of promoting an empowering internet that truly enables individual users to speak and be heard, to exercise control over their online identity, and to connect with one another in pursuit of a sense of belonging and community? This year, CDT is launching a long-term focus on these and other questions whose common theme is “Community” online.

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The Microsoft Ireland Case: A Clear Answer, An Uncertain Future

Last week, the U.S. Second Circuit handed Microsoft a decisive victory, holding that warrants for electronic content issued under the Stored Communications Act (SCA) cannot reach data located overseas. The court’s message was simple: SCA warrants cannot reach data outside the U.S. because Supreme Court precedent creates a presumption against extraterritoriality absent clear Congressional intent. However, the long-term implications of the case, and the future of law enforcement cross-border data requests, are still murky at best.

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CDT Responds to BEREC’s Draft Net Neutrality Guidelines

CDT contributed actively to the TSM Regulation process from the publication of the Commission’s proposal in September 2013 until its adoption in late 2015. We welcomed the final text, and noted that while it could have been more precise on what services ISPs may run in addition to Internet Access Services, what traffic management practices are allowed, and how commercial practices such as zero-rating should be treated, the same can be said of the US Open Internet regulation. Regulators will need to deal with these complicated questions in an evolving technology and market environment.

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Look It Up: Carla Hayden is Qualified

Dr. Carla Hayden understands technology and its interaction with libraries. She is passionate about using technology to modernize the collection and digitize its assets to increase access to the Library. She wants to make sure digitized materials are accessible in formats that will allow people with visual disabilities to access them. She believes in the value of free access to information, and protecting the privacy of library users. If our Senators want to be able to send their staffers to the library to “look it up,” they should confirm Dr. Hayden as the Librarian of Congress without further delay.

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Put It In The Vault: Why You Should Use a Password Manager

a good password may be all that stands between your account and someone taking over your account or getting access to the information in one of your online accounts. However, if you feel frustrated that a “good” password is often long, complex, and difficult to remember, you are not alone: research done by Microsoft has found that the average user has approximately 25 accounts with passwords. Remembering just one thing that is longer than about seven characters is difficult for the average person. A password manager is a piece of software that helps you generate long, complex passwords, then securely stores all of these passwords in an encrypted virtual container.

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FCC Rules Reconcile Speech and Privacy, Must Support Security Research

Last week, CDT submitted its second set of comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as it considers a new rulebook for protecting consumer privacy in the use of broadband. The FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on this issue is an important first step towards providing broadband consumers with the assurance they need that their ISP will not track their online activities – the websites they frequent, the apps they download, the searches they perform – or sell that information to third parties without their knowledge and consent. CDT previously submitted comments in this rulemaking process.

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GNI Finds Member Companies In Compliance with Obligations

The Global Network Initiative released a report on the independent assessments of its member companies, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Yahoo!, finding each company in compliance with the GNI Principles and Implementation Guidelines. The assessments amount to a demanding inquiry into company practices and processes as they relate to decision making about free expression and privacy.

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