Related Press Releases

Supreme Court Rules on Location Privacy

The Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement officers must have a warrant in order to obtain historic cell site location information. In one of the most widely-anticipated decisions in a blockbuster year for the Supreme Court, the Court found 5-4 in Carpenter v. U.S. that collecting 127 days of cell site location information requires a warrant. The Court rejected the government’s argument that the third-party doctrine, which holds that an individual loses Fourth Amendment protections in data voluntarily shared with a third party, nullified the warrant requirement.

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Omnibus Spending Bill Fails to Protect Privacy of Americans

The CLOUD Act, inserted at the very end of the 2,232-page omnibus spending bill, will make substantial amendments to ECPA. It grants U.S. law enforcement entities new powers to compel U.S. companies to disclose communications and data on U.S. and foreign users that is stored overseas. It also empowers foreign governments to demand the stored and real-time data and communications of users outside the U.S. The CLOUD Act omits the Email Privacy Act, legislation unanimously passed twice by the U.S. House of Representatives, which would amend ECPA by requiring the government to obtain a warrant before accessing email content. CDT has long advocated for this protection to become law.

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U.S. House Renews FISA Authority to Spy on Americans

In a blow to Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights, the U.S. House of Representatives voted this morning to renew the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for another six years. The bill passed today makes practically no meaningful reform to current surveillance law, which allows the government to conduct “backdoor searches” under Section 702 that target Americans’ communications.

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White House Releases Information On Vulnerability Equities Process

Today, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Rob Joyce released information about the Vulnerability Equities Process (VEP), which determines whether the U.S. government discloses or exploits cybersecurity flaws that it finds or learns about in companies’ products and services. The complicated and important process has implications for cybersecurity, privacy, and economic competitiveness, and the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) has previously pushed for the process to be more transparent to the public.

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USA RIGHTS Act Offers Strong 702 Surveillance Reform

Today, the USA RIGHTS Act, which is aimed at reforming a secretive government surveillance program, was introduced in both the Senate and House of Representatives. The bipartisan bill, which would make major changes to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), would create stronger protections for the rights of American citizens while also allowing intelligence agencies to conduct targeted surveillance. The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) supports the USA RIGHTS Act and believes it is the best proposal currently before Congress. Section 702 is set to expire at the end of 2017 unless Congress acts.

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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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Facebook 'likes' could land immigrants, naturalized citizens in trouble with fed

Detroit Free Press: According to legal and privacy experts, a DHS policy made public on Sept. 18 could send the country into uncharted territory when it comes to immigration protocol by targeting permanent residents and naturalized citizens for their online activities. Nuala O’Connor, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Democracy & Technology, said that she is deeply concerned about the scope of inquiry given the Trump administration’s actions on immigration and that it’s uncertain how the policy will play out in practice.

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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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CDT Supports the Protecting Data at the Border Act

Today, Senators Wyden (D-OR) and Paul (R-KY) and Representatives Polis (D-CO), Farenthold (R-TX), Smith (D-WA), and Beyer (D-VA) introduced the Protecting Data at the Border Act, which would require the government to obtain a warrant to search the data of U.S. persons. CDT supports the bill and believes, as the bill’s sponsors say, that our “Constitutional rights shouldn’t disappear at the border.”

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