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Inspector General: FBI Chomping at the Bit for Backdoors to Encryption

For years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been lobbying for backdoor access to the communications of every American. The Bureau has long argued it is “going dark” and can’t access communications protected by encryption. This concern was the basis of the famous Apple v. FBI case, where the FBI attempted to force Apple to break the encryption protecting the iPhone of San Bernardino, CA terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook. Now, a damning report released by the Department of Justice Inspector General casts significant doubt on that argument and the FBI’s honesty in making it.

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Election Officials Need Timely Information about Data Breaches and Network Intrusions

In the United States, a lack of a comprehensive notification strategy for network intrusions and data breaches in election systems undermines national interests and security. The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) crucial role in coordinating the protection of election systems as a critical infrastructure should include a plan for broad notification about data breaches and network intrusions to both election system owners and state-level Election Directors responsible for certifying the election results. This is not currently the case.

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We'll See You in Court! (Again.)

Earlier this week, CDT filed suit against the Federal Communications Commission over the agency’s plans to repeal net neutrality. If this all sounds familiar, it’s because CDT has been litigating this topic for years. Ensuring that all internet traffic is treated equally is good for both consumers and business, and CDT will continue working to protect an open internet.

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State Progress on Election Cybersecurity

Election security is the process of anticipating and responding to ever-evolving threats in an environment where voter confidence can be swayed just as much by perception as reality. Recent reports only provide a snapshot of where states fall short in their security efforts. Some states, like Colorado, Illinois, Rhode Island, Washington, and West Virginia, are already on their way to improving their election security grade.

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Opposing the Mandating of Kill Switches to Address Contraband Cell Phones

Citing the potential threat to law enforcement and the general public, correctional facility officials have pushed for the FCC to address the issue of contraband phone use in prisons. Now, the FCC is considering a mandate for hard kill switches on all wireless devices. This proposal would provide correctional facility officers with the ability to permanently disable (or “brick”) a phone upon request. CDT has joined our colleagues at the EFF in opposing this proposal and expressing our concerns in an ex parte filing to the FCC.

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Tech Talk: IoT Liability, ICE Those License Plate Readers

CDT’s Tech Talk is a podcast where we dish on tech and Internet policy, while also explaining what these policies mean to our daily lives. In this episode, we talk about liability and the Internet of Things – who should be held accountable if something goes seriously wrong? We also look into ICE’s use of a massive license plate reader database and address what the public needs to know.

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NYC May Be at the Vanguard of Algorithmic Accountability in 2018

The New York City Council has taken a proactive step by enacting a bill establishing a task force to explore fairness, accountability, and transparency in automated decision-making systems operated by the city. This is a big deal. The use of these technologies by city governments have real impacts on citizens. Today, in New York City, algorithms have been used to assign children to public schools, evaluate teachers, target buildings for fire inspections, and make policing decisions. However, public insight into how these systems work and how these decisions are being reached is inadequate.

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