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Responding to the DOJ’s FAQ on the Use of NSLs to Compel Communications Providers to Produce ECTRs

The Department of Justice is circulating a “frequently asked questions” document on its proposal to expand the use of “national security letters” (NSLs), which are issued without prior court review, to cover requests for “electronic communication transactional records,” or “ECTRs.” The DOJ’s ECTR proposal could permit the FBI, at its sole discretion, to compel communications providers to turn over, among other things, email header information, text logs, and web browsing history in national security investigations. The DOJ’s FAQ contains a number of misstatements, to which we respond below.

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Amicus Brief in AirBNB and Homeaway vs. San Francisco

CDT joined EFF and other Section 230 experts in an amicus brief in Airbnb’s challenge to the San Francisco homesharing ordinance. The brief emphasizes that laws forcing intermediaries to ensure that users’ listings comply with content specifications contravene Section 230 of the Communications Act, a federal statutory shield protecting online content hosts against liability for their users’ speech.

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Coalition Letter on Copyright Reforms in the EU

A coalition of advocacy groups issues a letter in support of copyright reforms that creates an online environment that promotes innovation, serves consumers and supports creators. They oppose some of the proposed reforms including the creation of a new ancillary right for publishers and any effort to undermine the safe harbour and no-general monitoring obligations of the e-commerce Directive.

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Content ‘responsibility:’ The looming cloud of uncertainty for internet intermediaries

This paper, written by Dr. Monica Horten, addresses the topic of intermediary liability in the context of new European Union policy proposals. These proposals introduce a new notion of ‘content responsibility’. The paper seeks to understand this notion and its consequences by analysing the policy proposals that have been tabled in 2016, as well as national and European case law.

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Coalition Letter Opposing DHS Social Media Collection Proposal

A coalition of human rights and civil liberties organizations, including CDT, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to express their concerns with a proposal that certain categories of visitors to the United States be asked to disclose information about their “online presence” in their visa-waiver arrival/departure records (Form I-94W) and their online application for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization.

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Comments to DHS on Proposal to Ask Visa Waiver Applicants for Social Media Identifiers

The Department of Homeland Security proposes to request disclosure of social media identifiers and other online account information from Visa Waiver Program applicants. CDT is deeply concerned that this proposal would invade the privacy and chill the freedom of expression of visitors to the United States and United States citizens.

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