Last month, Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), along with Ilena Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Jared Polis (D-CO) and other co-sponsors introduced the Copyright and Marriage Equality Act, a new bipartisan bill that would amend the Copyright Act to more fully include same-sex married couples under the Copyright Act’s protection regarding the transfer of the rights to original work.
NGOs and left-leaning MEPs have voiced concern that an EU bill on trade secrets could harm the public's access to information on matters of vital interest.
MEPs are trying to walk a fine line between business interests and civil liberties in a new bill on trade secrets. The directive is to unify member states’ legislation on how to protect business from illegal access and disclosure of secret information, for instance, on upcoming patents or innovative technologies.
Similar to last year's bill, the new USA Freedom Act attempts to end the bulk collection of calling records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act by limiting collection to instances where there is "reasonable, articulable suspicion" that a "specific selection term" used to request call detail records is associated with international terrorism. The government must use a specific selection term, which represents an "individual, account, or personal device."
Last week, the updated version of the Dutch secret service bill has been published for public consultation. Ronald Plasterk, the Dutch Minister of the Interior, wants to make sure that the Dutch secret services have the powers to spy on the behaviour of all citizens and gain insight in all of their communications: phone calls, emails, chat messages and website visits.
The secret services will gain the power to use a dragnet form of surveillance. The Minister has given assurances that the dragnet will only be used for specific purposes, but has not provided adequate safeguards limiting the mass surveillance of unsuspected citizens. A second issue in the proposed bill is access to this bulk data by foreign services. Data which has been intercepted in bulk by the Dutch secret services can be shared in bulk with foreign services, even before the data has been evaluated.
The online consultation will be open till September 1st, 2015.
Congress could soon vote on a bill that would require law enforcement agencies to get a search warrant from a judge to obtain emails, photographs and other documents Americans have stored online.
Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, government agents need a warrant if they want access to email stored on the servers of companies like Google and Yahoo, but only if the messages are less than 180 days old. For older messages and other digital files, law enforcement officials can issue subpoenas to technology companies without going to a judge.
A bill introduced in the House by Kevin Yoder, Republican of Kansas, would require a warrant for all information stored online, regardless of how old it is and what kind of file it is. The legislation includes a sensible exception that would allow civil enforcement agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission to subpoena messages sent by employees on a corporate computer system.
A new bill that allows blocking gambling websites without a licence in the Czech Republic has been passed through the Czech Chamber of Deputies. The bill is in now the Senate who can suggest changes but these can be overridden by the Chamber of Deputies. Besides traditional reasoning of regulation’s opponents, the bill is controversial because the black list of websites will be created and maintained by decision of the Ministry of finance and not by the order of court.