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Short-Changing Debate on Cyber-Surveillance Bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced today that there would be an effort to attach the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, CISA to the Defense Authorization bill that is now on the Senate floor. This move would almost certainly stifle necessary debate on the privacy and civil liberties problems in the bill and thwart amendments that Senators have been crafting to address those problems. CDT outlines the main issues with the Senate cybersecurity legislation.

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Oppose Amendments to Weaken & Delay USA FREEDOM Act

Yesterday the USA FREEDOM Act (H.R. 2048) cleared an important Senate hurdle and is now headed for a vote on final passage. But first, amendments to the bill will be considered. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed four problematic amendments to the USA FREEDOM Act – without permitting any amendments to strengthen privacy or transparency – all of which may be voted on as soon as tomorrow morning. If the amendments are added to the USA FREEDOM Act, CDT will oppose the final bill.

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Privacy and the Digital Student

School districts across the country have embraced education technology (“EdTech”) as a means for enhancing school operations and classroom instruction. While the practice of collecting student data is not new – K-12 schools and institutions of higher education have been gathering and reporting test scores, grades, retention records, and the like for years – the means by which student information is collected, the types of information collected, and the…

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Coalition Letter Opposes Bills Aimed at Patriot Act Reauthorization

A broad coalition of spanning the political spectrum submitted a letter of opposition to separate leaked proposals from Senators Burr and Feinstein to modify surveillance laws in the wake of the Senate narrowly voting down the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015. Both proposals would extend PATRIOT Act authorities without ending domestic bulk collection or providing critical FISA Court transparency, while giving the government new powers to require private companies retain user data to aid surveillance.

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Oppose Senator Feinstein’s “FISA Reform Act of 2015”

After the US Senate narrowly voted down the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 (H.R. 2048), Senator Feinstein introduced legislation that would also modify surveillance laws. Senator Feinstein’s bill, titled the FISA Reform Act of 2015 (S.1469), would not end NSA bulk collection, would impose a data retention mandate on private companies, and does not address the problem of secret law. The Center for Democracy & Technology urges opposition to this bill.

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Oppose Senator Burr’s “FISA Improvements Act of 2015”

After the US Senate narrowly voted down the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 (H.R. 2048), Senator Burr floated draft legislation he described as a “compromise” to address overbroad government surveillance of Americans. Senator Burr’s draft bill, titled the FISA Improvements Act of 2015, would not end NSA bulk collection, does not address the problem of secret law, would impose a data retention requirement on private companies, and expands government surveillance without a court order.

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