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Seven Key Issues for EU Justice Ministers on the Right To Be Forgotten

Few cases before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) have provoked more, or more heated, debate than the 13 May ruling on the “right to be forgotten.” The ruling interprets existing EU data protection law to include a right for individuals to demand that search engines refrain from linking to specified search results under certain…

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Welcome to Erik Stallman

CDT is excited to announce Erik Stallman as our Director of the Open Internet Project and General Counsel. Stallman, most recently with law firm Steptoe & Johnson LLP, has expertise in both telecommunications and intellectual property policy issues, with particular experience working on Internet regulatory matters and copyright law.

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LEADS Act Extends Important Privacy Protections, Raises Concerns

Today, Senators Hatch, Coons, and Dean Heller introduced legislation that would preclude the use of U.S. warrants to obtain communications content stored outside the U.S. unless the content is in the account of an American. The Law Enforcement Access To Data Stored Abroad Act (“LEADS Act”) may garner support from tech and telecom companies. While CDT has some specific concerns with the bill, we applaud the bill’s overall thrust and we commend Senators Hatch, Coons, and Heller for taking on one of the most difficult and important issues affecting the global Internet.

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Five US Surveillance Programs Undermining Global Human Rights

CDT and the ACLU submitted comments to the United Nations describing five particularly egregious surveillance programs that have had a grievous impact on human rights around the world. In our submission we make it clear that on a daily basis, US authorities are intercepting the private communications of hundreds of millions of people across the globe, the vast majority of whom are not suspected of any wrongdoing.

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What will it take to end mass surveillance in the EU?

When the media reports containing startling revelations about the scale and scope of electronic surveillance conducted by the US National Security Agency (NSA) appeared in June 2013, Europe’s response was mixed. It quickly became clear that while European officials and Members of the European Parliament took the revelations and their impact on fundamental rights very seriously, no such response was forthcoming from national governments.

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Why Government Collection and Retention of Data Can Interfere with Privacy Rights

In international human-rights law, our instinctive sense that governments abuse us when they intercept our private letters, e-mails, chats, text messages, and calls without a sufficient justification is captured in provisions that prohibit countries from committing any “interference” with the right to privacy unless they have a compelling reason to do so.

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UN Privacy Report Is a Strong Blow against US Surveillance Regimes

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights—the world’s top human-rights official—released a highly anticipated report about “the right to privacy in the digital age.” Overall, the report reaches bold legal findings that are clear, well-reasoned, and urgently needed. Calling mass surveillance a “dangerous habit,” the High Commissioner reaches a number of legal conclusions that have genuine implications for US secret surveillance practices.

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To Forgive or Forget

Forgetting is often not easy, and forgiveness is even more difficult, but both are fundamental parts of being human. In today’s always on, always connected world, both forgetting and forgiving are made more challenging. The Court of Justice of the European Union decided that Google should be forced to help us with the forgetting part. In a controversial ruling, the Court stated that an individual should have the right to require a search engine to stop returning results about them if requested, even if the results report true information. Yes, Europeans now have the “right to be forgotten.”

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