Content Types

Pennsylvania Web Blocking

On September 9, 2003, the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), together with the ACLU of Pennsylvania and Plantagenet, Inc., a Pennsylvania ISP, filed a constitutional challenge to a Pennsylvania statute that blocked access to Internet sites accused of carrying child pornography and that resulted in the blocking of wholly innocent websites. Almost exactly one year later, on September 10, 2004, the court struck down the statute as violating the First Amendment and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

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USA Patriot Act and other Security Issues

Terrorism is testing our nation’s collective resolve to maintain the freedom, openness and diversity that defines and enriches our society. CDT believes that surrendering freedom will not purchase security, that democratic values are strengths not weaknesses, and that open communications networks are a positive force in the fight against violence and intolerance. PATRIOT Re-Authorization CRS, “USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization…

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Patriot Act Overview

Congress has begun considering whether to renew or amend the PATRIOT Act, 16 provisions of which expire on December 31, 2005 unless reauthorized by Congress. This page is intended to provide the most up-to-date information on the legislative debate.

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Rise of Telecommuting Poses Unique Privacy and Security Threats to Company Networks

Telecommuting, a practice increasingly favored by employers and workers alike, has a great deal to recommend it, but it also raises serious new privacy and security threats that must be addressed in order to prevent this generally beneficial practice from leading to serious privacy and security failures. CDT joined Ernst & Young to survey employers about telecommuting and to identify the best practices and areas of weakness. (1)…

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Investigative Guidelines Cement FBI Role As Domestic Intelligence Agency, Raising New Privacy Challenges

Guidelines for Domestic FBI Operations signed on September 29, 2008 by Attorney General Mukasey significantly expand the authority of the FBI to use intrusive investigative techniques to collect information about innocent Americans. In the past, the FBI could use these techniques – tasking informants, pretext interviews, and physical surveillance – only when it had some suspicion of criminal activity or a threat to national security relating to…

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Online Behavioral Advertising: Discussing the ISP-Ad Network Model

The practice of "behavioral advertising" involves the compilation of detailed information about an Internet user’s online activities for the purpose of sending them targeted online advertisements. In the traditional behavioral advertising model, online ad networks contract with many different Web site publishers on one side and many different advertisers on the other, placing ads online according to the context of the Web page content and expected audience. However, as…

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Proposed I.P. Trade Agreement Sparks Alarm Due to Lack of Transparency

Since late 2007, the United States and a number of other countries, including Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, and South Korea, have been negotiating an "Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement" (ACTA). The aggressive timetable of the negotiation effort, together with a pronounced lack of transparency, create a risk that controversial or ill-advised provisions could find their way into the final text of an agreement with no meaningful opportunity for…

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Three Years Later: A Primer on REAL ID

The 9/11 Commission Report highlighted the need for increased security when issuing driver’s licenses and ID cards in the United States. In response, Congress passed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA) of 2004. Among other provisions, the law called for a negotiated rulemaking to create new federal standards for state driver’s licenses nationwide. Notably, the rulemaking process included state DMV representatives, state elected officials, the…

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