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New Voting System Vulnerabilities in Congo

The Sentry, an NGO that works to prevent genocide and mass atrocities in Africa, released a detailed analysis of the new system slated for use in the upcoming elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Sentry worked with Argentinian security researchers Javier Smaldone and Alfredo Ortega and CDT Chief Technologist Joseph Lorenzo Hall to examine what little public information is available about this system. The verdict is not good. A lot of unanswered questions should be addressed before it can be used safely in DRC elections.

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Mega-Merger: Vertical Integration in a Deregulated Environment

The combination of massive vertical integration and deregulation could set off a tectonic shift in the landscape of the internet. Vertically-integrated ISPs will have an even greater incentive to favor their own content and edge providers, and will be better positioned to leverage their control of popular content to effect negotiations with competing services. In a world where a few ISPs control both access and content, protecting the rest of the internet against discriminatory treatment will be crucial to preserve the internet as an open and flat communications network.

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When Your Internet Won’t Go the Speed Limit: CDT Seeks to File An Amicus Brief in People v. Charter

CDT filed a brief supporting the New York AG’s position in the pending appeal of People v. Charter Communications and Spectrum Management Holding Company, in which we focused on two issues: that the Federal Communications Commission’s Transparency Rule (the only rule slated to survive the net neutrality repeal) should not preempt New York’s consumer protection laws and that consumers are right to expect their broadband speeds to match advertised claims.

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Mobile Carrier Proposal to Limit eSIMs Would Subvert User Choice and Control

The Department of Justice has opened an antitrust investigation into potential coordination between major telecom carriers and the GSMA, stemming from a proposal that would restrict consumers from switching carriers with their current devices by imposing new limitations on embedded SIMs. If GSMA adopts the proposal, mobile carriers would be able to restrict users from unlocking their phones and switching carriers. CDT, Consumers Union, and Public Knowledge urge GSMA to reject any measure that would place new constraints on consumer rights.

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Can Cybersecurity Tech Accord Really Curb State Actions?

Guest Post: Thirty-four leading global technology firms announced a new private-sector agreement intended to curb the worst excesses of state behavior in the cyber domain, and to improve the general state of global computer network security. The agreement is a worthwhile effort. It indicates that the private-sector is prepared to take some responsibility for actual and potential harms enabled by their business operations. However, it places firms in clear opposition to states, and commits these companies to taking steps that governments may interpret as inhibiting their legitimate prerogatives in the conduct of foreign policy.

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Paid Prioritization: We Have Solved This Problem Before

Net neutrality does not end today, but that doesn’t mean the debate is standing still. Instead, some in the telecom industry have argued for watered-down consumer protections, most recently on the subject of paid prioritization, or when online companies pay ISPs to give their data traffic preferential treatment. Unfortunately, ISPs and their advocates have tried to hide the negative effects and incentives paid prioritization creates.

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When IoT Kills: Preparing for Digital Products Liability

Today we released a paper that examines issues in product liability for Internet of Thing (IoT) devices to mark the start of a research agenda in this area. We expect that the digital technology industry is about to undergo a process of change akin to what the automobile industry experienced in the 1960s and 70s. Then, as now, insufficient security measures, dangerous design or adding-on of security features post-design were widely accepted industry practice. Those practices had to change as the perils of unsafe cars became obvious – as is increasingly the case today with IoT devices.

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DNS: Strengthening the Weakest Link in Internet Privacy

For many, the conversation about online privacy centers around a few high-profile companies, and rightly so. We consciously engage with their applications and services and want to know who else might access our information and how they might use it. But there are other, less obvious ways that accessing the World Wide Web exposes us. One such part of the web’s infrastructure, the Domain Name System (DNS), “leaks” your private information, but there are now ways to better protect your privacy and security.

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Taking the Pulse of Security Research

Security researchers and hackers are the tinkerers of the digital age; they toil among bits and bytes and occasionally come up with new, clever methods to both build and break the increasingly digital infrastructure all around us. Today, a number of important things are happening in the world of security research that CDT is involved with.

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