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Techsplanations: Part 3, What is net neutrality?

Welcome back to Techsplanations, the series explaining the technologies surrounding us. In the next two posts we will look at the concept and principles of net neutrality and some of the ways to preserve them. Net neutrality is the idea that the internet should be neutral towards the information crossing it and should not treat some traffic differently based on what kind of traffic it is, who sent it, or who will receive it.

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Discussing Democracy in the Digital Age

Addressing issues around privacy, cybersecurity, and online speech, and disinformation is essential to advancement of fundamental democratic rights in the digital age. And of course, you can’t address these issues if you don’t talk about them – and do so across partisan lines and oceans. Spurring those important nonpartisan, transatlantic conversations on tech issues is why CDT, the R Street, and the Delegation of the EU to the US are hosting the Tech Summer Series.

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FCC Informal Complaints Rule Change Raises Barriers to Justice

Written by CDT summer intern Alicia Loh Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a seemingly small change to the language of its informal consumer complaints process that may have a huge practical effect on consumers. The change undermines the effectiveness of the informal complaint process, forcing consumers to use the more difficult and costly formal…

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DOJ Writes to Copyright Office: Security Research is Cool.

On June 28, the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) of the Department of Justice voiced its support for CDT’s request that the Copyright Office expand an exemption under Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that allows computer security researchers to find and repair flaws and vulnerabilities in programs without running afoul of copyright law. We hope the Office will give the CCIPS letter due consideration as it prepares its recommendations for the next round of exemptions.

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Net Neutrality: India Gets It

On Wednesday, India’s Department of Telecommunications approved the recommendations set forth by its regulatory body, which require ISPs to adhere to net neutrality principles. This represents a significant step forward for Indian internet users and companies, ensuring that ISPs will not block, throttle, or offer preferential treatment of internet traffic.

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Mega-Merger: Vertical Integration in a Deregulated Environment

The combination of massive vertical integration and deregulation could set off a tectonic shift in the landscape of the internet. Vertically-integrated ISPs will have an even greater incentive to favor their own content and edge providers, and will be better positioned to leverage their control of popular content to effect negotiations with competing services. In a world where a few ISPs control both access and content, protecting the rest of the internet against discriminatory treatment will be crucial to preserve the internet as an open and flat communications network.

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