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Category Archives: Free Speech

Conflict Minerals and Resource Extraction: Dodd-Frank, SEC Regulations, and Legal Challenges

Conflict Minerals and Resource Extraction: Dodd-Frank, SEC Regulations, and Legal Challenges. Michael V. Seitzinger, Legislative Attorney; Kathleen Ann Ruane, Legislative Attorney. October 15, 2014.

“Two sections of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) require that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) issue regulations to make public the involvement of U.S. companies in conflict minerals and in resource extraction payments. Supporters of the Dodd-Frank conflict minerals statute and the SEC implementing rule believe that such disclosures could have an impact on the amount of violence involved with the mining of conflict minerals. Opponents of the statute and rule argue that they require disclosures that are arbitrary and capricious and that some of the required disclosures violate the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech. Supporters of the resource extraction statute and the SEC implementing rule believe that they are needed to achieve the goal of the transparency of payments made by resource extraction issuers to governments in order to foster reform and anti-corruption and to improve the tax collection process. Opponents believe that they are arbitrary and capricious and violate the First Amendment. Legal challenges to the statutes and regulations have occurred, based primarily on administrative law and First Amendment grounds.”

Report claims NSA has operatives in foreign communications companies

“The National Security Agency has had agents in China, Germany, and South Korea working on programs that use “physical subversion” to infiltrate and compromise networks and devices, according to documents obtained by The Intercept. The documents, leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, also indicate that the agency has used “under cover” operatives to gain access toContinue Reading

NSA Releases “12333” Report, Fails to Address Bulk Collection

EPIC: “The NSA released a privacy report on its surveillance activities under 12333, an Executive Order that provides broad authority for data collection. But the report only addresses a narrow aspect of the EO 12333 collection – protections for U.S. persons in the context of targeted signal intelligence activities. The report fails to address bulk collection orContinue Reading

Russia, Ukraine, and the West: Social Media Sentiment in the Euromaidan Protests

“Internet Monitor is delighted to announce the publication of  “Russia, Ukraine, and the West: Social Media Sentiment in the Euromaidan Protests,” the fourth in a series of special reports that focus on key events and new developments in Internet controls and online activity. The report, authored by Bruce Etling, analyzes content from a range of online Russian- and English-language sources,Continue Reading

A Public Accountability Defense for National Security Leakers and Whistleblowers

A Public Accountability Defense for National Security Leakers and Whistleblowers, Yochai Benkler. The Harvard Law & Policy Review, Vol 8 No 2. July 2014. “In June 2013 Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Barton Gellman began to publish stories in  The Guardian and The Washington Post based on arguably the most significant national security leak in American history. By leakingContinue Reading

Mapping Digital Media: Global Findings

Open Society Foundations: “The Mapping Digital Media project examines the global opportunities and risks created by new and digital media. Covering 56 countries, the project assesses how these changes affect the core democratic service that any media system should provide—news about political, economic, and social affairs—and how they can help advance open society values. Is aContinue Reading

Testimony of Nuala O’Connor on Open Internet Rules

“CDT President & CEO testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 17, 2014. The hearing, entitled “Why Net Neutrality Matters: Protecting Consumers and Competition Through Meaningful Open internet Rules,” comes as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) works to restore open Internet protections and has sought public comments on the best path forward.” “We believe thatContinue Reading

The Crypto-democracy and the Trustworthy

Sebastien Gambs, Samuel Ranellucci, and Alain Tapp (Submitted on 8 Sep 2014).  Cite as: arXiv:1409.2432 “In the current architecture of the Internet, there is a strong asymmetry in terms of power between the entities that gather and process personal data (e.g., major Internet companies, telecom operators, cloud providers, …) and the individuals from which this personal data is issued. InContinue Reading

International Law and Secret Surveillance: Binding Restrictions upon State Monitoring of Telephone and Internet Activity

CDT: “In the year that has followed Edward Snowden’s first disclosures concerning secret US and UK surveillance practices, many governments, human-rights groups, and UN bodies have debated—and at times disagreed sharply—about whether the Internet and telephone surveillance practices that governments employ today are consistent with international law. With a view to informing these discussions, thisContinue Reading

ABA Draft Report on Stand Your Ground Laws

American Bar Association National Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws, Preliminary Report and Recommendations, August 8, 2014. “This report represents the culmination of the Task Force’s analysis of a substantial compilation of information: testimony from experts and stakeholders received at five regional hearings, extensive legal research on each jurisdiction’s self-defense regime, quantitative assessments ofContinue Reading

Federal and State Wiretaps Up 5% in 2013 According to Annual Report

EPIC: “The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has issued the 2013 Wiretap Report, detailing the use of surveillance authorities by law enforcement agencies. This annual report, one of the most comprehensive issued by any agency, provides an insight into the debate over surveillance authorities and the use of privacy-enhancing technologies. In 2013, wiretap applications increasedContinue Reading

Surveillance Costs: The NSA’s Impact on the Economy, Internet Freedom & Cybersecurity

New America Foundation – “It has been over a year since The Guardian reported the first story on the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs based on the leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, yet the national conversation remains largely mired in a simplistic debate over the tradeoffs between national security and individual privacy. It is timeContinue Reading