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Time for a Trans-Atlantic Partnership on Human Rights and Surveillance

On Tuesday, I, along with my colleague Greg Nojeim, had the opportunity to testify before the European Parliament on behalf of CDT’s President Leslie Harris. CDT was invited to testify in front of the LIBE Committee as part of its inquiry on electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens. We shared information about privacy gaps in U.S. security laws, as well as our call for reform in the U.S. Our focus, however, was on the obligation of the U.S. and EU to work together to find a global solution.

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No Right To Be Forgotten says the EU’s Advocate General

On 25 June, Advocate General Jääskinen issued his Opinion in Case C-131/12 (Google Spain SL and Google Inc. vs Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD) and Mario Costeja González). The Advocate General’s opinion, which precedes the final judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union, analyzes important questions about the balance between freedom of expression and the right to privacy, and about whether search engine providers can be held responsible for personal data on web pages they serve up. CDT supports the Advocate General’s conclusions on both questions. The Advocate General argues that a broad right to eliminate all unwanted personal information would cause unacceptable if unintended damage to freedom of expression, and that search engines cannot be held responsible for personal data contained in search results.

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3

CDT Calls for Data Privacy Safeguards in The EU Cybersecurity Directive

Another week, another high-profile cyber attack, this time on a popular Lithuanian news website, causing slowdown of that country’s Internet traffic. The challenge of how to deal effectively with cybersecurity threats confronts governments across the globe. This week, NATO defense ministers met in Brussels to review the state of the alliance’s capabilities and readiness to respond to threats to information infrastructures. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has named cyber attacks the top threat facing the Alliance’s members in the 21st century.

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4

In EU, Pseudonymous Data Needs Incentives and Protection

For nearly 18 months, European politicians and officials have been deep in debate on the proposed Data Protection Regulation. The discussion has been heated and at times controversial, with keen participation by companies, civil society, data protection authorities, and governments – from the European Union and beyond. Currently, Members of the European Parliament face the difficult task of assessing several thousand proposed amendments to the original proposal, and representatives of Member State governments try to work out how differences in rules and practices across the 27 countries can be reconciled.

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5

CDT Responds to European Commission Consultation on Intellectual Property enforcement

Last week, CDT submitted its response to the European Commission’s consultation on copyright enforcement. The Commission has previously held public consultations, conferences, and ‘stakeholder dialogues’ on this issue, and the present consultation was structured as a ‘technical survey’ to gather specific information on the efficiency of proceedings and accessibility of measures used for civil enforcement of intellectual property rights. Some groups have argued that the Commission’s effort is too focused on streamlining access to legal remedies and stronger enforcement measures, and have encouraged individuals and civil society groups to use the consultation to raise calls for broader copyright reform.

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