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EC Initiative on Disinformation Must Not Curb Free Expression

The European Commission has, as expected, published a Communication on “Tackling Online Disinformation: A European Approach”. The Communication comes on the back of a public consultation and a report from a “High-Level Group on Fake News”. But we worry that the speed with which the Commission wants to proceed, and the lack of clarity regarding the scope of the problem it wants to address, will push online service providers, aided by technology tools and fact checkers, to curtail free expression, political debate and access to information.

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The EC Wants Europe to Lead on AI – But Its Restrictive Copyright Draft Rules for TDM Will Not Help

On 25 April 2018, the European Commission published its Communication on “Artificial Intelligence for Europe”. The Communication lays out a broad set of policies and initiatives for the European Union to undertake the deployment and development of artificial intelligence (AI) in Europe. The Commission’s focus on ensuring that the benefits of AI can be enjoyed by all of society is appropriate. CDT’s thinking in this area has focused on tools that can help technology developers build safeguards against unintended bias and other ethical pitfalls as they design automated decision-making processes. We look forward to engaging with the proposed AI Alliance on these and other issues.

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Ten Human Rights Criteria for Cross Border Demands

The European Commission is slated to announce an initiative to facilitate cross-border demands for internet users’ communications content. CDT has prepared a list of human rights protections that should be built into any mechanism designed to facilitate cross-border law enforcement demands, and after the E-Evidence proposal is unveiled, we intend to grade it against this list.

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Copyright Reform: European Creators, Artists and Users Reject Upload Filtering

By now, the background to the DSM Copyright Directive is well-known. The global recording industry convinced European Commissioners about the existence of the “value gap”. The story goes that advertising-funded internet platforms that enable users to upload copyrighted content should pay record labels a larger share of their revenues. At the core, this is a commercial dispute between Youtube and a few more global content sharing platforms on one side, and on the other a handful of global record labels. However, in Article 13, the Commission proposed licensing requirements and upload filtering to give record labels more leverage in negotiations. These negotiations are by their nature confidential business discussions, and neither side discloses numbers.

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What Congress Should Ask Mark Zuckerberg

In the coming days, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before both houses of Congress about transparency and data use by his company. He will testify first at a hearing held jointly by the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees on April 10 and then before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 11. CDT hopes that members of Congress will ask about Facebook’s approach and commitment to the privacy of its users, its advertising-driven business model and susceptibility to abuse, and whether the company now believes it is time to support a comprehensive privacy law in the United States.

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EU Tech Policy Brief: March 2018 Recap

This is the March recap issue of CDT’s monthly EU Tech Policy Brief. It highlights some of the most pressing technology and internet policy issues under debate in Europe, the U.S., and internationally, and gives CDT’s perspective on them.

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CDT Urges Council of Europe to Ensure High Transparency Standards for Cybercrime Negotiations

Today, the Center for Democracy & Technology, along with 93 other civil society organizations, sent a letter to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, requesting transparency and meaningful civil society participation in the Council of Europe’s negotiations of the draft Second Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime.

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Who Needs Courts? A Deeper Look At the European Commission’s Plans to Speed Up Content Takedowns

Today, the European Commission released its “Recommendation on measures to effectively tackle illegal content online”, which presents the Commission’s ideas for how to speed up removal of allegedly illegal content. The Recommendation includes a number of departures from the traditional court-order process, which provides both substantive and procedural protections for individuals whose speech is challenged under the law. Instead, the Commission relies on several approaches to speedy censorship that circumvent the courts and provide the public with no way to hold the government accountable for declaring that someone’s speech violates the law. We provide a closer look at these alternative censorship models, which have been gaining traction in Europe over the past few years.

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