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Why the OPM Data Breach is Unlike Any Other

The scope of the recent hack of the Office of Personnel Management, in which the records of millions of current and former federal employees were breached, is exponentially greater than the many other recent headline-generating breaches in the private sector. This breach not only impacts government employees but countless of their partners, associates, and confidantes, and the stolen information includes some of the most intimate personal details about the individuals affected. It also raises real questions about the government’s ability to safeguard the data in its possession.

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CDT’s Greg Nojeim Honored by American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

There are few civil liberties advocates that are more passionate or effective than Greg Nojeim. In his time at CDT, his tireless work has helped rein in overly intrusive government surveillance, enhance privacy protections online, and make government surveillance a human rights issue globally. CDT and all of those who work with Greg know what an incredible leader he is, and we are thrilled that the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is honoring him with their Ralph Johns Award. He will receive the award tomorrow night at their annual gala.

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4

Regaining Our Right to Live Freely and Be Left Alone

After weeks of political grandstanding, brash rhetoric, and failed power plays, one of the of the National Security Agency’s most egregious mass surveillance authorities is no more. This is a monumental victory for every American who values their privacy and freedom. While it was easy to get distracted by the posturing that took place in Congress, that’s the real meaning of this reform: our personal thoughts and expressions will not be swept up in a mass dragnet on the off chance they might be useful.

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7

Encryption Makes Us All Safer

It’s crucial that users demand the highest level of security to both protect our personal privacy and mitigate the potential harm that can result from theft of personal data. In response to these concerns, Apple and Google recently made headlines by announcing that their smartphones would encrypt content stored on all phones by default. Personal data has become a valuable currency on the black market, and victims of identity theft know that data is often far more valuable to a criminal than the device that holds it.

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10

To Forgive or Forget

Forgetting is often not easy, and forgiveness is even more difficult, but both are fundamental parts of being human. In today’s always on, always connected world, both forgetting and forgiving are made more challenging. The Court of Justice of the European Union decided that Google should be forced to help us with the forgetting part. In a controversial ruling, the Court stated that an individual should have the right to require a search engine to stop returning results about them if requested, even if the results report true information. Yes, Europeans now have the “right to be forgotten.”

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