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Blog

Internet Got Faster Without Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality proponents argue that internet service providers (ISPs) will slow your internet speed and charge you extra fees if the FCC abandons its Title II regulatory expansion. Wrong. This goes against every ounce of recorded history, which shows that speeds increase and prices decline, and have done so without Title II.

06/08/2017
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Net Neutrality Has Nothing to Do With Censorship

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai put the Obama-era “net neutrality” rules on the chopping block in a 2-1 vote on May 18th to move forward with a proposed rulemaking to overturn the 2015 Open Internet Order. One mythical claim by activists who favor net neutrality is that repeal of the Open Internet Order legalizes website censorship and hurts free speech. Following this narrative, internet service providers (ISPs) could arbitrarily block their broadband customers from accessing any websites they please. An especially feared target of censorship is online services provided by competitor companies.

06/05/2017
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Section 702’s Expiration Date -- Could it Bring Backdoor Searches to an End?

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act (FISA) is set to expire on December of 2017, and the debate over Fourth Amendment protections vs. security will be revisited. Intelligence officials have been pushing for its renewal for a year already. The use of Section 702 for spying on Americans created a national uproar when revealed by Edward Snowden, who disclosed classified information about the mass surveillance of Americans by the government.

04/08/2017
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Blog

If You Build the Blockchain, Regulators Will Come

The hardest part of drafting any new regulation is establishing a definition. In fact, most of the policy work is in the definition and there are alarmingly few policy considerations after something is defined as a covered entity. The definition of cryptocurrency has already proved problematic for regulators. Essentially, to commodities regulators, virtual currency is a commodity. For bank regulators, it is a bank. For securities regulators, it is a security. For those who regulate money transmitters, it is a money transmitter. For the purpose of property taxes, it is a property. Everyone wants a stake in the new world of virtual currency.

07/12/2016
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With Unanimous Passage through the House, the Email Privacy Act will Modernize Online Data Privacy

Back in the 1980s, everyone was walking around with their perms and mullets, Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson were playing sold out concerts, and people still couldn’t believe that Darth Vader was Luke’s father (spoilers). Clearly, things have changed a lot since then, yet, curiously, privacy standards regarding emails have not. While email certainly wasn’t a dominant form of communication back in the 80’s, the computer revolution that our society has undergone makes online data and information more valuable than ever. It’s time for our privacy standards, then, to reflect the new and ever-more-digitized world we live in.

04/28/2016
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With Viber’s Latest Update, Congress is Losing the Encryption Battle

WhatsApp, the popular online messaging service, recently changed the landscape of the encryption debate after announcing that their entire platform, between all devices, would offer end-to-end encryption. This announcement was made on the tail end of Apple’s dispute with the FBI, precisely about breaking into encrypted iPhones. This past week, Viber, another popular messaging app, announced that their latest update would also include end-to-end encryption for all of its users. While this may just seem like another example of encryption making its way onto popular apps, the case with Viber is particularly more salient in proving just how futile it is for Congress to try to restrict encryption.

04/22/2016
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Comcast Strikes Deals with Samsung and Roku, Leaving FCC in the Dust

For quite some time now, the FCC has been trying to sell the idea of “opening” the set-top box as something innovative and beneficial for consumers. However, on the eve of the proposal’s filing deadline, Comcast and the free market have already moved well beyond the set-top box, into much more innovative territory. In two separate press releases this past Wednesday, Comcast announced new partnerships with Samsung and Roku to allow Xfinity streaming through the two platforms. Such partnerships demonstrate that, while the FCC ruling isn’t even official yet, they will essentially be obsolete on arrival. The set-top box is on its way out, and the market, not the FCC, is providing the alternative.

04/22/2016
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Anti-Encryption Bill is an Affront to Privacy, Technological Security

In recent months, the government has regularly been unable to underscore technological security and privacy in the digital sphere, as more and more tech companies turn to encrypting their data. From the Apple case to the recent WhatsApp encryption overhaul, individuals have witnessed a glimmer of hope that their privacy may once again be protected from government interference. However, this consumer privacy is in danger once more as Congress seeks to nullify the system of encryption.

04/13/2016
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WhatsApp Extending Encryption to Billions, Protecting Privacy Worldwide

The debate regarding encryption and privacy in the digital age has become a hot-button issue in light of the recent legal struggles between Apple and the FBI. Many technology producers and consumers have become particularly concerned with their messaging privacy, fearing similar compelled actions forced by governments. In response to these concerns, the developers at WhatsApp have taken a strong stance in favor of encryption, protecting the privacy rights of people around the world.

04/07/2016
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House of Hypocrisy – Netflix and Net Neutrality

In Netflix’s hit series House of Cards, Frank Underwood has proven time and again to be a regular hypocrite, offering a fake public persona while acting entirely against his word. In recent days, it would seem that the show’s parent company has taken a page from Mr. Underwood’s playbook regarding net neutrality.

04/05/2016

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