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Ethics, Consequence, and Free Speech Online

As the pace of technology increases, the definition of “the internet” is ever changing (e.g., the IoT space, virtual reality, etc.), so trying to nail down what should and shouldn’t be protected speech quickly becomes a bit of a harrowing task for any individual citizen. That doesn’t mean we should stop trying. Playwright Jennifer Haley’s remarks at our Future of Speech Online event highlighted the fact that these aren’t just decisions to be made in a vacuum.

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An Optimistic Realist About Speech Online

Like many of us working in tech and tech policy, Mindy Finn started out as an extreme optimist about how the internet could make the world a better place. For better or worse, she is no longer a “sunny idealist,” but instead, a realist. In her remarks at the Future of Speech Online, Finn, touched on some of the most pressing challenges that technology poses to a functioning democracy.

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Tech Talk: Pai and Mckesson on the Future of Speech Online

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 hear from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Civil Rights Activist DeRay Mckesson. Both were speakers at The Future of Speech Online and offered their thoughts on what the future holds for internet empowered speech.

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Free Speech is a Moving Target

Figuring out what the future of speech online is requires posing a series of new questions, not falling back on old answers. Carlos Maza, a Vox video producer, showed a willingness to ask such questions, and even be wrong, in order to move the conversation about censorship ahead.

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Tech Talk: Good intentions, bad policy?

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 look at how attempts to address the serious issue of online sex-trafficking could unintentionally harm broader online free speech. We also take a look at a new art installation aimed at highlighting online privacy risks.

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Four Questions Senators Should Ask at Tomorrow’s SESTA Hearing

Members of Congress must seriously consider the consequences of altering one of the cornerstones of the open internet in the US, the law known as Section 230. Tomorrow, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on S.1693, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA). CDT and many other organizations have opposed SESTA. As members Committee consider SESTA the hearing, here are several questions that they should be asking.

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Tech Talk: Allied for Startups and Asserting Creative Control

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 talk to Melissa Blaustein of Allied for Startups about how startups and policymakers can better work together. We also explore how social justice and intellectual property are related, while previewing a new legal clinic for content creators.

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SESTA Would Undermine Free Speech Online

A group of Senators led by Senators Portman and McCaskill introduced a bill that would radically change the way that US law protects freedom of speech online. The bill, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017 (SESTA), would amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, as well as the federal criminal code, creating substantial new risks for any host of user-generated content online.

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FCC Should Reject NPRM to Roll Back Net Neutrality

Last week, CDT submitted comments to the FCC concerning its proposal to roll back the net neutrality protections established under the 2015 Open Internet Order (OIO). The comments are a direct response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) released by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, which details the formal basis for the repeal. Our analysis details our concerns about the legal and policy rationale for the NPRM, highlighting the lack of legal authority for the proposal and the practical policy consequences for internet users and internet-based companies.

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EU Copyright Reform: Winter is Coming

Those involved in EU copyright reform discussions are likely to be feeling rather ‘chilly’ in view of recent developments. The original Commission proposal for a Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive was already highly problematic, but with the unexpected change of leadership of the dossier in the European Parliament last month, our initial concerns have escalated.

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