The UK Parliament’s Draft Investigatory Powers Bill Joint Committee—a group of Members of Parliament charged with assessing a draft of sweeping new surveillance legislation—issued an important report recommending significant changes to the proposed law. The Committee’s report explicitly opposes any government effort to require encryption backdoors, urges the adoption of clearer definitions of key terms, recommends that the new body that would authorize UK surveillance be more independent, and calls out provisions for supposedly “targeted” surveillance that could be abused by authorities who wish to spy on large numbers of people.
Today, the White House announced a new federal initiative called the Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP) encompassing a substantial new cybersecurity budget request and two new Executive Orders that would establish a Cybersecurity Commission and a cross-government Privacy Council. The goal of CNAP is to “enhance cybersecurity awareness and protections, protect privacy, maintain public safety as well as economic and national security, and empower Americans to take better control of their digital security.” The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) welcomes the President’s action, especially its inclusion of privacy provisions and individual empowerment in cybersecurity.
Today, the House Judiciary Committee Chairman announced that the Committee plans to markup the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 699), which would reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) has long advocated for reform of the outdated legislation and welcomes the action.
CSO: Katharina Kopp, director, privacy and data at the Center for Democracy & Technology, said data collection and analytics can result not only in the “micro-targeting” of some voters, but of others being ignored. “We should not just ask who is getting what message,” she said. “We need to think about who is not being addressed and what topics are being left out. Who is being left out of the conversation?”
Associated Press: The chief technologist at the privacy advocacy group Center for Democracy and Technology, Joe Hall, said politicians are unlikely to strengthen privacy protections as their campaigns become more and more reliant on mining personal data to squeeze out votes.
Forbes: Nuala O’Connor, the president and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology, a nonprofit that focuses on individual liberty in a digital world, says Clapper’s remarks are an example of the blurring of the lines between the private sector and the public sector, which she calls the most compelling public policy issue of the decade.