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UK Investigatory Powers Bill Imperils Public Safety by Undermining Data Sharing with the US

The British House of Lords reconvenes on September 5, when it will resume consideration of the Investigatory Powers Bill. So far, the British government has failed to adequately address the many troubling aspects of this legislation. If this trend continues, the legislation will pass and confer vast surveillance authorities on British intelligence and law enforcement entities. While this might appear to be a boon to intelligence and law enforcement surveillance, it may turn out to be a bust because it would undermine the United Kingdom’s efforts to strike a data sharing agreement with the United States.

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GNI Finds Member Companies In Compliance with Obligations

The Global Network Initiative released a report on the independent assessments of its member companies, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Yahoo!, finding each company in compliance with the GNI Principles and Implementation Guidelines. The assessments amount to a demanding inquiry into company practices and processes as they relate to decision making about free expression and privacy.

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Congress Begins to Consider Solutions on Cross-Border Law Enforcement Demands

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on International Conflicts of Law Concerning Cross Border Data Flows and Law Enforcement Requests. CDT believes this is an important, complex issue and we compliment the Committee for taking it up. We ask that Congress ensure that any reforms adopted in this arena do not diminish the privacy and free speech rights of Internet users, and, indeed, encourage stronger protections for these rights.

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MLAT Reform: Who Decides?

This is the final post in a series analyzing the Daskal-Woods reform proposal for law enforcement demands for communications content across national borders. Daskal and Woods have proposed that countries whose laws and practices meet certain human rights standards, and whose system for cross-border requests includes certain elements, ought to be able to make content disclosure demands directly to U.S. communications service providers rather than having to make the demand through mutual legal assistance processes. In the first post, I examined how the proposal dealt with communications content and in the second, how the proposal should be adjusted to account for cross-border demands for communications metadata.

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Cybersecurity Information Sharing In the “Ominous” Budget Bill: A Setback for Privacy

Overall, the “compromise” that lawmakers came up with took the bad parts of the three bills on the table and, in many cases, made them worse. Unfortunately, the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 will probably become law, because any “nay” votes at this stage would be against the entire budget deal. There are, however, significant privacy costs built into this legislation.

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MLAT Reform Proposal: Eliminating U.S. Probable Cause and Judicial Review

Jennifer Daskal and Andrew Woods recently put forth a reform proposal for law enforcement demands for communications content across national borders. Their proposal is the product of extensive consultation and it merits extensive consideration. It is similar, in some ways, to the “straw man” MLAT reform proposal that we at the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) released some months ago. The purpose of this and subsequent posts is to examine a few aspects of the Daskal-Woods proposal to promote understanding of its implications, drawbacks and benefits. This post will consider how the proposal relates to the U.S. probable cause requirement for cross-border requests for content.

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Cybersecurity Detour on the Road to Surveillance Parity

For some time, the European Commission and European Data Protection Authorities have complained that US law provides insufficient protection to Europeans for the data that is shared from Europe to the United States. Ironically, legislation that the Senate just passed, CISA, or S. 754, would increase the gap in data protection between Europeans and Americans in US law, rather than help close it. CISA permits companies to share with the Federal government “cyber threat indicators” derived from Internet users’ communications.

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Guide To Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act Amendments

The Senate is expected to resume consideration of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA, S. 754) on Monday, October 26. None of its pending amendments will fix the fundamental flaws in the legislation. However, specifically, rejection of the Cotton amendment and adoption of the other pending amendments would diminish some of the damage the bill would do to privacy. Greg and Jadzia explain why, addressing the amendments in the order they will be considered on the Senate floor.

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CISA Managers’ Substitute Makes Limited Privacy Improvements

The Senate has begun to consider the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act or CISA (S. 754) on the Senate floor and will do so again next week. First up is consideration of a Managers’ Substitute for the bill –– which includes some, mostly very modest, additional pro-privacy changes that are derived in part from amendments proffered to the bill. We explain those changes below, while delving into the key privacy and security concerns (that CDT identified) that remain unaddressed or insufficiently addressed.

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