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Tech Talk: A News-tritious Media Diet

CDT’s Tech Talk is a podcast where we dish on tech and Internet policy, while also explaining what these policies mean to our daily lives. In this episode, we chat with Lata Nott about a new web tool aimed at improving your online media diet. We also welcome Teddy Hartman from Howard County Public Schools to get a local perspective on how to address student privacy.

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California Enters the Net Neutrality Fray to Fill a Gap in Consumer Protection

On Sunday evening, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 822 into law, enacting a strong set of protections for the state’s broadband subscribers and scoring a victory in the overall fight to protect net neutrality. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration is once again attempting to block net neutrality protections, and the U.S. Department of Justice immediately filed suit to strike down the law.

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CDT Supports Open Platforms in Herrick v. Grindr

CDT joined EFF in filing an amicus brief in Herrick v. Grindr, which arose when Appellant Matthew Herrick’s former partner repeatedly used Grindr, a dating app, to impersonate and harass Herrick. If platforms like Grindr were held liable for harms caused by content like the posts by Herrick’s former partner, consequences for users could include platform review of all content users intend to post. Subsequently, platforms would be more likely to prevent publication of potentially controversial comments or criticism, and remove accounts whose content could draw objections—potentially far beyond the harassing content at issue in the case.

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Google: Don’t Bow to China’s Censorship Regime

Today, CDT joined civil society groups in calling on Google to not offer a censored search engine app to users in China. We believe that the offer of a censored search app is inconsistent with the commitments Google has made and with the initiatives it has taken to protect human rights. The only way to avoid the impact of the Chinese government’s restrictions on freedom of expression is to avoid offering search in China.

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Tackling Disinformation: Proposed EU Code of Practice Should Not Lead to Politically Biased Censorship

In April 2018, the European Commission published a Communication on “Tackling Online Disinformation: A European Approach”. The Communication outlines overarching principles and objectives that should guide short and long term actions to tackle the phenomenon of disinformation. In our response to the Commission’s Communication, we cautioned against the potential risks to free expression of this self-regulatory initiative. While many of the specific commitments in the draft Code are benign, we remain concerned that the overall process is oriented toward pressuring platforms to remove or suppress content and accounts without meaningful safeguards.

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