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Senate Inquiry into Backpage’s Content Moderation Practices Would Set Dangerous Precedent for Free Speech Online

CDT has long urged website operators to be transparent, fair, and consistent in developing and implementing their content policies. Companies have an obligation to respect the human rights of their users, and transparency about their content moderation activities is an integral part of that. But when the government attempts to engage in intense scrutiny of a website’s lawful decisions to host constitutionally protected speech, it creates a backdoor to censorship that threatens user speech across the internet.

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An Unjust Repeat Infringer Case

The dispute between music publisher BMG and Cox Communications has proven to be a standout Digital Millennium Copyright Act case. What the case comes down to is whether internet access providers are required to have a “repeat infringer” policy that removes customers that have engaged in copyright infringement. The court should account for the current realities of internet access and the internet’s significance to economically and socially disadvantaged communities.

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Tech Talk: Tech Policy Priorities for the New Administration

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’ll talk about CDT’s recommended priorities for the incoming Administration when it comes to tech and internet policy. We’ll also unpack the FCC broadband privacy rules, which are a win for consumers if they hold up.

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A Closer Look at the Legality of "Ethnic Affinity"

ProPublica recently published a story criticizing Facebook for providing “Ethnic Affinity” categories among the options available to advertisers targeting ads. In some contexts, it is illegal for the person making the offer to exclude people based on race. While the Fair Housing Act clearly establishes liability for the person who creates and posts the ad, a host of user-generated content like Facebook is likely protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Nevertheless, there are steps Facebook can take to limit the ability of its advertisers to break the law.

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Improving Section 1201

The Copyright Office has initiated a policy study focused on Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which prohibits the circumvention of technological protection measures (TPMs). CDT commented in the initial phase of this study, and recently commented again in response to the Office’s request for additional comments. The Copyright Office is right to take a hard look at Section 1201, which very much needs updating to protect security researchers

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New Website Makes Thousands of CRS Reports Accessible

Twenty years ago, CDT listed accessible Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports at the top of its “10 Most Wanted Government Documents” list. In the years since, CDT and others have continued to ask Congress to make these reports more available to the public. With still no action, a new website has been launched enabling access to more than 8,000 of the report, free of charge.

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