Related Insights

A Big-Apple Judge Sides with Apple: A Breakdown of Magistrate Judge Orenstein’s Opinion

The end of the Apple/FBI case in California is a win for cybersecurity and privacy – but a temporary one. It’s only a matter of time before another judge considers whether or not the All Writs Act can be used to force Apple or another company to weaken the security of its devices in aid of ongoing investigations. In fact, less than a month ago, a New York magistrate judge faced a similar legal question involving an iPhone from a drug trafficking case; his answer was an emphatic “no.” This is CDT’s in-depth breakdown of the opinion, which the government appealed to the District Court.

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CDT Joins Pressure to Include Civil Society in Conversations with Internet Companies about CVE Efforts

CDT joins New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) and a coalition of privacy and human rights organizations that pressed the White House to include civil society in its conversations with Internet companies about its so-called “combatting violent extremism” (CVE) efforts. In a joint letter addressed to top White House staff, groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International emphasized the importance of human rights and the need for greater transparency when it comes to collaboration between the government and the technology industry to address terrorists’ use of the Internet.

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Issue Brief: A “Backdoor” to Encryption for Government Surveillance 

Encrypting smartphones and other tech products will help protect against malicious hacking, identity theft, phone theft, and other crimes. However, a government mandate requiring companies to build a “backdoor” through encryption to facilitate surveillance would put consumers at grave risk and impose heavy costs on US businesses. The government can obtain information for investigations from other sources and may be able to compel an individual to decrypt information with a search warrant.

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CDT Files Brief in Support of Apple

The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) has filed an amicus brief in support of Apple in its challenge to the FBI order to unlock the cell phone of an attacker in the San Bernardino shootings. CDT’s brief addresses the inappropriate application of the All Writs Act in an attempt by the government to compel Apple to create a new, less secure operating system for the phone. CDT has long opposed government-mandated backdoors in technology, and believes that strong encryption strengthens the security of our nation.

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CDT & PEN American Center Intervene in Big Brother Watch vs. UK Case

CDT intervened jointly with PEN American Center on the case “Big Brother Watch and others v. the United Kingdom,” arguing that the US’ protections for individual rights in the area of secret surveillance are so weak that the UK violates its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when it receives data the NSA obtains through large-scale surveillance programs.

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Model Privacy Best Practices for Unmanned Aircraft

The goal of CDT’s model best practices is to credibly safeguard individual privacy while enabling a wide range of private drone uses. Strong distrust of drones on privacy grounds holds back broad public acceptance of the industry, but following a meaningful set of best practices can help address these issues. Ultimately, it is in the best interests of both the industry and consumers to establish sensible norms for drone privacy, transparency, and accountability. CDT believes our proposed privacy best practices for drones advance us toward that goal.

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