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Listening to the Experts on Human Trafficking

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee is considering two pieces of legislation that would help combat sex trafficking in the United States. As these bills enter committee markup on Thursday, it’s important that they remain focused on essential victim-centered reforms and providing law enforcement with necessary prosecution and prevention resources – not on measures that infringe on the First Amendment.

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FEC Should Preserve ‘Breathing Space’ for Online Political Debate

CDT joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation last week in comments urging the Federal Election Commission to leave in place a key policy decision protecting individuals’ ability to engage in political speech online. When the FEC launched its first inquiry into the topic, CDT advocated for “breathing space” for online political speech, warning that the complex welter of campaign finance regulations would discourage individuals from engaging in robust online debate about political candidates and policy proposals. The FEC’s hands-off approach should ensure that it continues to promote – not discourage – political participation online.

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Digital India’s Impact on Privacy: Aadhaar numbers, biometrics, and more

Much of the discussion at the recent India-U.S. Information and Communications Technologies Working Group focused on the Indian government’s “Digital India” initiative to promote universal connectivity, with the goal of providing every citizen with broadband connection by December 2016. As part of a “cradle-to-grave digital identity” for its citizens, the government plans to draw on the Aadhaar program, a controversial unique identification system that has led the Indian government to create the world’s largest biometric database. Lisa discusses its privacy concerns and more.

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Responses to Charlie Hebdo Attack: Governments Should Protect, Not Limit, Free Expression

The horrific terrorist attack at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris has shaken the European continent profoundly. The tragedy lays bare controversial and divisive questions regarding free expression and efforts to prevent terrorism and violence motivated by political and religious extremism. European leaders have been quick to announce heightened security responses. However, caution is needed to ensure that any new security measures are proportionate, that they strengthen and advance the free expression rights of all, and that they avoid creating a chilling effect from surveillance.

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Change the Channel: How UK’s Adoption of a Mandatory Anti-Radicalization Program Could Violate Human Rights

CDT believes that the provisions of the CTS Bill that would codify Channel—and, potentially, similar programs that are beginning to appear in places such as the Netherlands—are not only flawed policy, but also bad law. We delve into why, and urge the UK Parliament to take a hard look at aspects of the bill and redraft them to ensure that the fundamental human rights of all individuals in the UK are fully respected.

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Ancillary Wrongs in Spain’s "Ley de Propiedad Intelectual"

Unless amended, Spain’s recently enacted “Ley de Propiedad Intelectual” (LPI) will have negative consequences for free expression and innovation online for years to come. Because the LPI gives publishers (not authors) an ancillary right to payment from news aggregators who display snippets for their articles – and does not allow publishers to opt out of payment – Google announced that it will shutter Google News Spain and that Google News will no longer index or display content from Spanish publishers. Erik delves in and discusses.

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Tech & Inclusion Series: Mobile App Privacy is About Equal Rights, Too

Alex delves into our third post of the Tech & Inclusion series, to explore how diversity impacts technology from a sociological, business, and design perspective. She brings to point that privacy in today’s digital world is as much about equality as it is about liberty, and highlights when certain demographic groups’ digital interactions afford them fewer privacy protections than others (and how that should be addressed).

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Getting Specific About Transparency, Privacy, and Free Expression Online

Amid the contentious global debates about privacy and surveillance since the Snowden revelations, few proposed reforms have attracted more consensus than calls for greater transparency. Although the devil remains in the details, the need to increase transparency around the requests that governments make of companies to hand over personal data or restrict content online is one of the rare points on which governments, companies, and civil society at least somewhat agree.

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