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Inspector General: FBI Chomping at the Bit for Backdoors to Encryption

For years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been lobbying for backdoor access to the communications of every American. The Bureau has long argued it is “going dark” and can’t access communications protected by encryption. This concern was the basis of the famous Apple v. FBI case, where the FBI attempted to force Apple to break the encryption protecting the iPhone of San Bernardino, CA terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook. Now, a damning report released by the Department of Justice Inspector General casts significant doubt on that argument and the FBI’s honesty in making it.

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CDT Urges Council of Europe to Ensure High Transparency Standards for Cybercrime Negotiations

Today, the Center for Democracy & Technology, along with 93 other civil society organizations, sent a letter to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, requesting transparency and meaningful civil society participation in the Council of Europe’s negotiations of the draft Second Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime.

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Election Officials Need Timely Information about Data Breaches and Network Intrusions

In the United States, a lack of a comprehensive notification strategy for network intrusions and data breaches in election systems undermines national interests and security. The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) crucial role in coordinating the protection of election systems as a critical infrastructure should include a plan for broad notification about data breaches and network intrusions to both election system owners and state-level Election Directors responsible for certifying the election results. This is not currently the case.

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It’s All Downsides: Hybrid FOSTA/SESTA Hinders Law Enforcement, Hurts Victims and Speakers

The hybrid FOSTA/SESTA would strip away some of the protections in Section 230 that make it possible for platforms large and small to host user-generated content. And website operators aren’t the only ones who will suffer: no internet user, website operator, trafficking victim, law enforcement officer, or other individual will be immune to the consequences of and fallout from this legislation.

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We'll See You in Court! (Again.)

Earlier this week, CDT filed suit against the Federal Communications Commission over the agency’s plans to repeal net neutrality. If this all sounds familiar, it’s because CDT has been litigating this topic for years. Ensuring that all internet traffic is treated equally is good for both consumers and business, and CDT will continue working to protect an open internet.

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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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