How will internet governance change after the ITU conference?
Fri 7 Nov 2014, 18:00

Is the United Nations trying to take over the internet? Read anything in much of the western media about the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and you might think so, especially in the lead-up to the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference 2014 just wrapping up in Busan, Korea.

EFF report on the US patent system
Tue 24 Feb 2015, 10:43

The "Defend Innovation" whitepaper is the culmination of two-and-a-half years worth of research, drawing from the stories, expertise, and ideas of more than 16,500 people who agree that the current patent system is broken. Split into two parts, the report covers both the challenges facing innovators under the current patent regime, as well as concrete measures that policymakers must take in the coming year.

EPIC: the new consumer privacy bill is not helpful and unworkable
Mon 2 Mar 2015, 19:20

The White House has released a consumer privacy proposal, prepared by the Commerce Department. The bill falls far short of the recommendations for a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” set out by President Obama in 2012 and broadly supported by consumer organizations. The draft proposal lacks meaningful protections for consumers, would preempt stronger state laws, and create unnecessary regulatory burdens for businesses. EPIC has long recommended enactment of consumer privacy legislation based on “Fair Information Practices,” the basic framework for modern privacy law.

NSA authorization to collect bulk phone data extended to June 1
Mon 2 Mar 2015, 08:40

A U.S. secret court has extended until June 1 the controversial bulk collection of private phone records of Americans by the National Security Agency.

The government said it had asked for reauthorization of the program as reform legislation, called the USA Freedom Act, was stalled in Congress. The bill would require telecommunications companies rather than the NSA to hold the bulk data, besides placing restrictions on the search terms used to retrieve the records.

An added urgency for Congress to act comes from the upcoming expiry on June 1 of the relevant part of the Patriot Act that provides the legal framework for the bulk data collections. Under a so-called “sunset” clause, the provision will lapse unless it is reauthorized in some form or the other by legislation.

White House privacy proposal aims to give consumers control over data
Sat 28 Feb 2015, 01:20

U.S. businesses that collect personal data would be required to describe their privacy and security practices and give consumers control over their personal information under a proposed privacy bill of rights released Friday by President Barack Obama’s administration.

The proposal would also require companies and nonprofit groups to collect and retain only the personal data they need to operate.

However, the proposal allows industry groups to submit their own codes of conduct to the Federal Trade Commission and shields companies that follow those codes from FTC enforcement actions.