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The American AI Initiative: A Good Start, But Still A Long Way to Go

This week, President Trump signed an executive order titled the “American AI Initiative.” While this order lays out some useful first steps toward a larger national policy and course of action for artificial intelligence, the administration will need to do more to ensure its goal of maintaining American leadership in AI technologies. Although the order’s broad “policies and principles” section includes calls to preserve civil liberties, privacy, and American values, it is not entirely clear what those values are or whether they might conflict with the other priorities listed in the order. In this post, we’ll talk about what the order does and does not do.

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A “Smart Wall” That Fails to Protect Privacy and Civil Liberties Is Not Smart

Congress needs to be smart about this “smart wall.” CBP’s history of grossly mismanaging technology projects, and its liberal use of surveillance tools beyond the physical border, caution against a hands-off approach. Any funding Congress provides to invasive border surveillance technologies should be conditioned on efficacy requirements and limitations on use that are designed to preserve the human and civil rights of those against whom they will be used.

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Tech Talk: Fiber, The Coming Revolution

Welcome to CDT’s Tech Talk, where we dish on tech and internet policy, while also explaining what these policies mean to our daily lives. This episode brings us Susan Crawford – author, and a professor at Harvard Law School. She digs into her most recent book, Fiber: The Coming Tech Revolution—and Why America Might Miss It.

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The Supreme Court Didn’t Take the Net Neutrality Case, and That’s Good

On Monday, the Supreme Court announced its decision not to hear an appeal to the D.C. Circuit’s decision in US Telecom Association v. FCC, which upheld the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order and its net neutrality protections. That is a good thing for net neutrality advocates for two reasons. First, the Court’s denial eliminated one opportunity for opponents to chip away at the validity of the (former) rules or the Commission’s authority to create and enforce them. Second, the Court’s decision not to vacate the US Telecom decision means that opinion remains the most on-point legal precedent in the other net neutrality case, Mozilla v. FCC.

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Getting Better All the Time: Security Research and the DMCA

CDT applauds the U.S. Copyright office and Acting Register’s efforts to improve both the process and exemptions from section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) after their ask, along with others, to remove many of the limitations and conditions so that researchers might work on even more kinds of products and systems and enjoy even greater legal certainty in the future.

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