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.

Read More

Opposing the Mandating of Kill Switches to Address Contraband Cell Phones

Citing the potential threat to law enforcement and the general public, correctional facility officials have pushed for the FCC to address the issue of contraband phone use in prisons. Now, the FCC is considering a mandate for hard kill switches on all wireless devices. This proposal would provide correctional facility officers with the ability to permanently disable (or “brick”) a phone upon request. CDT has joined our colleagues at the EFF in opposing this proposal and expressing our concerns in an ex parte filing to the FCC.

Read More

The Secure and Succeed Act Is [Still] Bad For Immigrants and Americans Alike

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) recently introduced The Secure and Succeed Act of 2018 (“Secure Act”), which mirrors Cornyn’s Building America’s Trust Act, and addresses the future of Dreamers, limitations on legal immigration, new immigration enforcement measures and border security. This blog focuses on border security. CDT would welcome measured proposals to address border security challenges, but this legislation fails to deliver. As Congress goes back to the drawing board, legislators should avoid returning to the Secure Act or the Building America’s Trust Act for inspiration.

Read More

Tech Talk: IoT Liability, ICE Those License Plate Readers

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 about liability and the Internet of Things – who should be held accountable if something goes seriously wrong? We also look into ICE’s use of a massive license plate reader database and address what the public needs to know.

Read More

As Device Searches at Border Grow, Courts Must Step in to Safeguard Constitutional Protections

On February 2, CDT filed an amicus brief in Alasaad v. Nielsen arguing that warrantless, suspicionless border searches of electronic devices such as laptops and cell phones violate the First and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution. Digital—we argue—is different, and the need to address these border searches is pressing because digital content is becoming far more prevalent.

Read More

ICE Accesses Commercial License Plate Reader Database—We Want Access to ICE

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency recently issued a contract request for query-based access to a commercial license plate reader database. We filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with ICE seeking information on the contract, as well as any internal training materials, policy memos, and documents related to how ICE agents plan to use the commercial database and LPR data.

Read More

The Ethics of Design: Unintended (But Foreseeable) Consequences

When data becomes divorced from its human origins, it loses context and disassociates companies from their actions – it enables decisions that defy expectations and ethics. Tech companies have experienced widespread backlash as a consequence of this disconnect. Fitness social network Strava is the latest example, after the company publicly released a heat map of aggregate user locations that inadvertently revealed U.S. military bases and personnel around the world.

Read More