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EC Will Not Push For Encryption “Backdoors”, But Member States Might

The European Commission (EC) announced this week a package of counter-terrorism measures as part of its European Agenda on Security initiative. These include, among other things, “measures to support law enforcement and judicial authorities when they encounter the use of encryption in criminal investigations”. It is heartening that the EC restates its recognition of encryption as a crucial element in ensuring both cybersecurity and the right level of security for processing personal data. We welcome the explicit realisation that backdoors, or any form of weakening online security, would have disastrous consequences for online communications and commerce.

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EU Tech Policy Brief: October 2017

This is the October issue of CDT’s monthly EU Tech Policy Brief. It highlights some of the most pressing technology and internet policy issues under debate in Europe, the U.S., and internationally, and gives CDT’s perspective on them.

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EU Tech Policy Brief: September 2017

This is the September issue of CDT’s monthly EU Tech Policy Brief. It highlights some of the most pressing technology and internet policy issues under debate in Europe, the U.S., and internationally, and gives CDT’s perspective on them. Copyright in the DSM: Run-up to the Parliamentary Vote in Leading Committee JURI The Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee, which leads the Copyright…

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EU Tech Policy Brief: April 2017

This is the April issue of CDT’s monthly EU Tech Policy Brief. It highlights some of the most pressing technology and internet policy issues under debate in Europe, the US, and internationally, and gives CDT’s perspective on them.

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Promising Hearing on Section 702

On Wednesday, March 1, the House Judiciary Committee held a promising hearing to review Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which expires on Dec. 31, 2017 unless reauthorized. Section 702 authorizes surveillance targeting non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be outside the United States if a “primary purpose” of the surveillance is to collect foreign intelligence information. Section 702 surveillance programs were among the more prominent surveillance programs revealed in 2013 by Edward Snowden. After a lengthy, reportedly well-attended classified session with intelligence officials, only a handful of members returned for the open session. But the members who did return made the most of their time; in particular, Representatives Ted Lieu (D-CA), Raul Labrador (R-ID), Ted Poe (R-TX), and Jim Jordan (R-OH) asked many of the right questions and signaled the need for meaningful reforms to 702 to protect civil liberties. Their questions and concerns suggest that Section 702 reauthorizing legislation must include substantial reforms in order to get through the House Judiciary Committee.

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European Commission Strategy on Criminal Justice in Cyberspace Can Move the Debate Forward

As part of the European Agenda on Security, the European Commission committed to addressing, among many other things, the challenges law enforcement authorities face when obtaining digital evidence for cross-border criminal investigations. The Council of Europe’s Cybercrime Convention Committee’s progress report provides new and very relevant data that can help inform the efforts towards workable solutions

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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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