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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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The EU-US Umbrella Agreement and the Judicial Redress Act: Small Steps Forward for EU Citizens’ Privacy Rights

One of the European Commission’s responses to the Snowden revelations was the swift adoption of the ‘EU-US Umbrella Agreement’. The objective of the Commission is to put in place a high level of data protection when personal information is transferred between the US and an EU country for the purpose of investigating, detecting, or prosecuting a crime. It was recently initialed by EU and US negotiators, pending US Congress adoption of the Judicial Redress Act. We view these developments as limited, but not insignificant improvements on the privacy rights of EU citizens.

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CISA Manager’s Amendment Falls Short on Privacy and Security

The Senate is expected to consider the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) (S. 754) on the Senate floor this week. The managers of the bill released a manager’s amendment on July 31 that makes some important changes to the bill, but that leaves key privacy and security concerns that CDT identified unaddressed or insufficiently addressed. In short, there are some partial fixes, but huge problems remain.

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Troublesome Cyber Surveillance Bill Advances

After adopting several privacy amendments in a closed door meeting last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee has publicly released the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). The bill would permit companies in the private sector to share information about their users’ Internet activity with the federal government. CDT welcomes many of the amendments, but still opposes the legislation.

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