Related Press Releases

CDT and More than 50 Human Rights Organisations Call on EU Lawmakers to Reject Upload Filters

Today in an open letter, the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) and more than 50 human rights, media freedom, and press organisations called on European lawmakers to reject mandatory upload filters in Article 13 of the European Commission’s proposed DSM Copyright Directive. Article 13 would force website operators to use content filtering technology to systematically monitor all user uploads and screen for unlicensed copyrighted content.

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Significant Surveillance Reforms in Section 702 Bill; Much More Must Be Added

Today, the Republican and Democratic heads of the House Judiciary Committee revealed the “USA Liberty Act,” legislation that would reform and reauthorize an important intelligence surveillance authority that would otherwise sunset on December 31. The legislation marks an important step forward, but it must do more to protect the rights of both U.S. and global citizens.

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After London attacks, British prime minister calls for worldwide Internet regulations to fight terrorism

Washington Post: “May’s government now has incredible compulsory powers to do both targeted and bulk surveillance in her country,” said Michelle Richardson, deputy director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington-based think tank. “The only thing left you could seem to grab would be a complete surveillance state. If you’re proposing to go even further than the current authority, there’s not much you could do beyond that that isn’t an explicit attack on human rights.”

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NSA Halts Part of Invasive Surveillance Program, Need for Section 702 Reform Highlighted

The NSA is stopping a controversial part of its warrantless surveillance conducted under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which permits the targeting of non-U.S. persons outside the U.S. It reportedly abandoned the practice of collecting communications that merely mention an identifier associated with a target, such as an email address or telephone number. This “about” collection swept in many communications that involved Americans. NSA will continue to collect communications to which the target is actually a party. CDT has advocated against this form of untargeted surveillance.

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EU Squanders Opportunity to Modernise Copyright Rules

Today, the European Commission released its much anticipated legislation for copyright reforms in the EU as part of the Digital Single Market strategy. As previously leaked drafts suggested, the proposals contain major flaws and represent a significant step backwards. CDT has advocated for a progressive, innovation-friendly, and flexible copyright regime in the EU. This is not what the Commission is proposing today.

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Court Hands Microsoft Major Win, Rules US Warrants Don’t Reach Data Outside the Country

In a unanimous decision, the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals handed Microsoft a complete victory in its challenge to the US government’s demand that Microsoft turn over emails stored in Ireland. The Court of Appeals held that a US warrant does not reach data stored outside of the United States. CDT filed an amicus brief in support of Microsoft in the case and the ruling tracks closely with CDT’s arguments.

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UK Surveillance Bill Introduced with Rushed Process, Limited Regard for Human Rights Concerns

The United Kingdom’s new Investigatory Powers Bill has now been formally introduced to the UK Parliament by Home Secretary Theresa May. This introduction comes less than three weeks after a major parliamentary committee tasked with scrutinizing the Bill issued a highly critical report calling for significant changes. Perhaps not surprisingly, the newly published text appears to make few concessions to the serious human rights concerns that Members of Parliament and others have raised.

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UK Parliament Report Rejects Encryption Backdoors, Other Parts of Sweeping Surveillance Bill

The UK Parliament’s Draft Investigatory Powers Bill Joint Committee—a group of Members of Parliament charged with assessing a draft of sweeping new surveillance legislation—issued an important report recommending significant changes to the proposed law. The Committee’s report explicitly opposes any government effort to require encryption backdoors, urges the adoption of clearer definitions of key terms, recommends that the new body that would authorize UK surveillance be more independent, and calls out provisions for supposedly “targeted” surveillance that could be abused by authorities who wish to spy on large numbers of people.

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Can EU-US data pact survive without surveillance reform?

Christian Science Monitor: The deal would introduce the idea of “essential equivalence” between how privacy laws are interpreted and applied in the EU and in the US, said Chris Calabrese, vice president for policy at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a tech advocacy group in Washington. But it does not eliminate the government’s authority to force American firms to disclose data under the aegis of counter-terrorism. And that could be a problem from the EU Court of Justice’s point of view, said Mr. Calabrese.

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