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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FBI’s “Going Dark” Claims Now Even More Dubious

Is strong encryption causing the FBI to “go dark”, blocking access to evidence from criminal investigations? That claim has long been dubious, and a new report from the Washington Post, confirming that that FBI inflated the number of locked devices it cannot open by at least 4x, makes the claim even less credible. CDT advocates for strong encryption to keep our daily communications secure and protect information and networks across sectors.

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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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Pennsylvania race shows need for U.S. voting machine upgrades: experts

Reuters: “With paper, you can recount or audit that paper and carefully check the performance of the voting system, ensuring that the electronic result would match what a full hand count would show. Without a paper audit trail, any recount is just like hitting enter on the keyboard over and over again: You get the same answer and you have no clue if that answer is correct,” said Joseph Lorenzo Hall, an election security expert with the Center for Democracy & Technology.

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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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