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A Look Back at the First Big Fight for Free Expression on the Internet

The Center for Democracy & Technology was part of a broad coalition fighting back against the CDA when it was a draft bill and challenging it in court. Today, we take a look back at the fiery public debate that went on as the case made its way to the Supreme Court, and how lawmakers and corporations alike had a stake in this landmark case declaring that speech on the internet was protected under the First Amendment.

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Packingham v. North Carolina: A Win for Free Expression Online

Yesterday, in Packingham v. North Carolina the Supreme Court decided that a law that bars sex offenders from using sites like Facebook and Twitter was unconstitutional. In its decision, the Court recognized the fundamental nature of the internet and social media to exercising one’s First Amendment rights, and found North Carolina’s law to be far too broad. This is an important decision for the protection of free expression online.

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Holding Platforms Liable for Terrorist Tweets Would Open Door to Mass Censorship

When online content hosts face a risk of litigation over user-generated content, they will respond with overbroad censorship measures that limit individuals’ rights to post and access lawful, constitutionally protected speech.  This is true whether the litigation risk comes from the government (as it would under the proposed online censorship bill we’re fighting in Germany)…

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Tech Talk: Media Outlets in the Trust Economy; the Latest on Section 702

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 with the Associate Publisher of the Christian Science Monitor about how media outlets must find new ways to succeed in the trust economy. We also bring you the latest on reform efforts around Section 702 of FISA.

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Paywall to Georgia's State Legal Code a Broad Misapplication of Copyright Protections

CDT joined the ACLU Foundation, the ACLU Foundation of Georgia, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda on an amicus brief in Code Revision Commission v. Public.Resource.Org. The brief calls on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit to preserve equal access to justice by upholding established precedent that bars the state from copyrighting its laws.

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Why the FTC Shouldn't Be the Only "Cop On the Beat"

As the internet has become more ubiquitous and users generate more valuable data, we have been forced consider how much privacy we are entitled to from private parties like internet service providers. Under former Chairman Tom Wheeler, the FCC answered this question through the Broadband Privacy Order in October 2016. But the order was recently repealed, and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has suggested completely ceding oversight of consumer privacy to the FTC in his Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). CDT has stated its opposition to previous efforts to roll back consumer privacy protections, and in this post, we will outline the basis for some of our concerns.

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Parliamentary Committee Leading AVMSD Debate Rejects Upload Filtering But Leaves Much to be Desired

Despite the apparent improvements on intermediary liability protection provisions, a concern we had previously highlighted, the text adopted in the Culture & Education (CULT) committee of the European Parliament remains far from satisfactory, raising new concerns around the take down of legal content, and thus threatening freedom of expression online.

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Rules of the Road: Net Neutrality’s Bright Line Protections

Broadly speaking, net neutrality rules are the protections that internet users have in their relationship with ISPs. In this context, the rules could be thought of as a Bill of Rights for users, enumerating fundamental individual rights that cannot be infringed upon by ISPs. As defined by the FCC, the three bright-line rules are as follows: No Blocking. No Throttling. No Paid Prioritization.

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