Related Press Releases

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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EU and US Reach New Data-Sharing Agreement

Associated Press: “Absent reform of U.S. surveillance law, it is highly unlikely that the Privacy Shield agreement will be deemed sufficient by the (European) Court of Justice,” said Jens-Henrik Jeppesen, director of European affairs. He called on the U.S. Congress to swiftly move to reform its surveillance law and for EU member states to narrow their own surveillance laws and practices to also be more aligned with international human rights norms.

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ECPA Finally Moves to Markup in the House

Today, the House Judiciary Committee Chairman announced that the Committee plans to markup the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 699), which would reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) has long advocated for reform of the outdated legislation and welcomes the action.

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Yet another bill seeks to weaken encryption-by-default on smartphones

Ars Technica: “Human trafficking is obviously a major social issue that we need to address,” Gautam Hans told Ars. “However, I don’t think this is the best way to solve that issue. Weakening encryption will do a great deal of harm to the security of the Internet, and it’s not clear that it helps with the law enforcement goals. Encryption proposals that include backdoors are fundamentally insecure and would create vulnerabilities that unauthorized actors could exploit.”

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House considers requiring search warrant to get old emails

AP: Investigators would need a search warrant to get people’s old emails under a bill considered Tuesday by a House panel looking to update a nearly 30-year-old federal law to reflect today’s communications. This is a “modest step for bringing our privacy protections into the 21st century,” said Chris Calabrese, who is vice president for policy for the Center for Democracy & Technology.

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Homeland Security Readies Privacy Guidance on Drone Use

WSJ: Two issues of concern to privacy advocates are the warrantless use of drones over private property in law enforcement operations and the retention by the government of information collected by drones, said Harley Geiger, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology, an advocacy group that supports a warrant requirement.

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