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Legislative Analysis

Legislative Analysis

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FAQ: Why Brazil’s Plan to Mandate Traceability in Private Messaging Apps Will Break User’s Expectation of Privacy and Security

Despite widespread complaints about its effects on human rights, the Brazilian Senate has fast-tracked the approval of “PLS 2630/2020”, the so-called “Fake News” bill. The bill lacked the necessarily broad and intense social participation that characterized the development of the 2014 Brazilian Civil Rights...

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Stop This California Bill that Bans Affordable Broadband Rules

The California Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee will soon be the first to consider new and terrible amendments to Assemblymember Quirk-Silva’s A.B. 2749—which is backed by AT&T and other telecommunications interests. The legislation would prohibit the state from implementing affordable broadband rules for broadband companies receiving state subsidies as...

We Finally Have a Federal Fiber Broadband Plan

There is a lot to appreciate in the recently published “Notice of Funding Opportunity” (NOFO) by the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA). It is arguably the first federal government proposal that seeks to promote infrastructure policies focused on the future, rather than the usual subsidizing “good enough...
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The EU Digital Markets Act Places New Obligations on “Gatekeeper” Platforms

The European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) is a proposal for bringing competition and fairness back to online platform markets. It just cleared a major hurdle on the way to becoming law in the EU as the European Parliament and the Council, representing the member states, reached a political...

The EU Digital Markets Act’s Interoperability Rule Addresses An Important Need, But Raises Difficult Security Problems for Encrypted Messaging

The European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) allows new messaging services to demand interoperability (the ability to exchange messages) from the internet's largest messaging services (like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage). Interoperability is an important tool to promote competition and prevent monopolists from shutting down user-empowering innovation. But...

What Low-Income People Will Lose with a Deadlocked FCC

When the massive, bipartisan infrastructure package passed Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was tasked with ensuring equal access to broadband access services. That provision is called “Digital Discrimination” and it states, for the first time in federal law, that specifically broadband access cannot be built along the lines of...
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DSA: EU Parliament Vote Ensures a Free Internet, But a Final Regulation Must Add Stronger Privacy Protections

The European Parliament had an important decision to make this week about the Digital Services Act (DSA). After months of considering amendments, members oscillated between several policy options on how to regulate online platforms, including the dystopian idea of mandating dominant platforms act as internet police, monitoring content on behalf...

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Indonesian Court Allows Internet Blocking During Unrest, Tightening Law Enforcement Control Over Users’ Communications and Data

Indonesia’s Constitutional Court dealt another blow to the free expression and online privacy rights of the country’s 191 million internet users, ruling that the government can lawfully block internet access during periods of social unrest. The October decision is the latest chapter in Indonesia’s crackdown on tech platforms,...

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EU Parliament Takes First Step Towards a Fair and Interoperable Market

Update: On December 15, the European Parliament overwhelmingly approved important key changes to the EU Commission’s Digital Markets Act Proposal, including a prohibition on dark patterns and ambitious rules to help ensure interoperability of messaging and social media network services. The Parliament also added more options for users to...

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