Category Archives: Internet Freedom

Digital inclusion and who controls the Internet

34 Organizations Unite to Release Principles for Privacy Legislation

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Today, 34 civil rights, consumer, and privacy organizations join in releasing public interest principles for privacy legislation, because the public needs and deserves strong and comprehensive federal legislation to protect their privacy and afford meaningful redress.

Irresponsible data practices lead to a broad range of harms, including discrimination in employment, housing, healthcare, and advertising. They also lead to data breaches and loss of individuals’ control over personal information. Existing enforcement mechanisms fail to hold data processors accountable and provide little-to-no relief for privacy violations.

The privacy principles outline four concepts that any meaningful data protection legislation should incorporate at a minimum:

  • Privacy protections must be strong, meaningful, and comprehensive.
  • Data practices must protect civil rights, prevent unlawful discrimination, and advance equal opportunity.
  • Governments at all levels should play a role in protecting and enforcing privacy rights.
  • Legislation should provide redress for privacy violations.

Continue reading 34 Organizations Unite to Release Principles for Privacy Legislation

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Advocates Kick Back on Industry Attempts To Water Down CA State Privacy Bill

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Twenty consumer protection, privacy and civil rights groups urged the California Legislature today to resist industry attempts to neuter California’s new online privacy bill under the guise of “cleaning it up.”

The rushed passage of then Assembly bill 375 right in front of a ballot initiative deadline left the bill language signed by Governor Brown a bit typo-rich, so another bill Senate Bill 1121 was incorporated for clean-up purposes.

But never ones to miss an opportunity, business groups submitted a 20 page letter filled with substantive changes to the bill designed to make it more industry-friendly, which they suggested could be snuck in there at the last minute. Continue reading Advocates Kick Back on Industry Attempts To Water Down CA State Privacy Bill

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CA Passes Strongest Net Neutrality Legislation In The Nation

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Update: At 5pm on September 30, 7 hours before the deadline, Senate Bill 822 was signed into law, and California enacted the strongest net neutrality protections in the country, 10 months after the FCC repeal in December of 2017.

After a saga worthy of a Greek sailing epic, the California Legislature sent Senate Bill 822,  the strongest statewide Net Neutrality bill yet to the states governor, Jerry Brown, for a signature.

If enacted, Senate Bill 822 would entirely restore consumer protections lost in the December 2017 FCC repeal driven by Ajit Pai to the people of the state that created the Internet. Continue reading CA Passes Strongest Net Neutrality Legislation In The Nation

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California Enacts Law Protecting Consumer Privacy, But There is Still a Ways to Go

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By Alexis Collins. Originally posted on Dissent Wire

The 2018 California Consumer Privacy Act is a law that will require technology corporations, such as Google and Facebook, to drastically alter their business models regarding data collection and privacy regulations. The legislation was unanimously approved by the state legislature on June 28 and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) the same day. The bill’s quick turn around resulted from pressures that legislators faced from an upcoming November ballot initiative, which would have created more stringent privacy rules. It will go into effect on January 1, 2020. Continue reading California Enacts Law Protecting Consumer Privacy, But There is Still a Ways to Go

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24 Social Justice Organizations Write That Kavanaugh Is A Threat to Net Neutrality

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24 prominent social justice groups wrote to the United States Senate to highlight Supreme Court nominee Kavanugh’s disturbing take on the 1st Amendment as expressed in his dissent in USTA vs FCC, the case that upheld the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet ruling in all respects.

Kavanaugh pointed to the “free speech of companies” and asserted  that broadband providers should have the liberty to “exercise editorial discretion about what content to carry or favor.” Continue reading 24 Social Justice Organizations Write That Kavanaugh Is A Threat to Net Neutrality

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New Poll Shows Republican Swing District Voters Want Support For Net Neutrality CRA

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Net Freedom’s poll  says that 58% of undecided voters in Republican-held swing districts say they are more likely to vote for an incumbent who takes immediate action to force a vote to overturn the FCC — while only 8% are less likely to support such an incumbent. Conversely, not supporting the CRA is a potential liability: If a Republican incumbent refuses to take immediate action to force a vote to overturn the FCC, 45% of undecided voters are less likely to vote for them.” Continue reading New Poll Shows Republican Swing District Voters Want Support For Net Neutrality CRA

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Profiles in Corruption: How Telecoms Control the State Legislature

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by Chris Witteman and Tracy Rosenberg. Originally published in 48 Hills. 

The last couple of weeks have not been good ones for those who see communications as a social justice issue.

The 2015 Open Internet Order, which ensured Internet neutrality and fairness, was finally stripped out of the law books per order of the Trump FCC, now run by a former lawyer for Verizon. San Francisco’s plan for a publicly-owned fiber broadband network was put on hold, and all indications are that Mayor Breed will likely bow to AT&T and Comcast by keeping it from resurfacing. And California’s own net neutrality bill, designed to reverse what Trump’s FCC had done, got ambushed by an upstart young Assemblymember. Continue reading Profiles in Corruption: How Telecoms Control the State Legislature

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