New America’s Open Technology Institute, on behalf of a broad coalition of Internet companies, trade associations, and advocates for privacy and human rights, today released an open letter pressing Congress to pass legislation that would end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans’ communications records.
Consent of the Networked
The Worldwide Struggle For Internet Freedom
Will the Last Reporter Please Turn Out the Lights
The Collapse of Journalism and What Can Be Done to Fix It
New Technologies and the Transformation of Media Audiences
The Master Switch
The Rise and Fall of Information Empires
Beyond the Echo Chamber
How a Networked Progressive media Can Reshape American Politics
Speak Softly and Carry A Big Stick
How Local TV Broadcasters Exert Political Power
Collapse of Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger is a ‘Tremendous Victory’ for Consumers and Broadband Competition
WASHINGTON, DC — Comcast announced this morning that it is abandoning its acquisition of Time Warner Cable. The merger, which was announced in February 2014, faced significant headwinds at the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice. The Open Technology Institute repeatedly urged both agencies to block the deal.
Washington, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed, with a vote of 355-63, the Homeland Security Committee’s cybersecurity information sharing bill, the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015 (NCPAA, H.R 1731). Though still flawed, the NCPAA does a significantly better job at protecting Americans’ privacy than the House Intelligence Committee’s bill, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (PCNA, H.R. 1560). PCNA is opposed by OTI and 54 other civil society groups and security experts, and raises many serious concerns, including weak requirements to remove personal information, overbroad use authorizations for law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and automatic sharing with the NSA.
Washington, DC — According to various media reports today, Comcast may abandon its proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable. The merger, which was announced in February 2014, has faced significant headwinds at the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice in recent weeks. The Open Technology Institute has repeatedly urged both agencies to block the deal.
New Report Calls for Reimagining Outdated Policies
Washington, DC - Today, New America’s Family-Centered Social Policy Initiative released its first report, calling for new frameworks to help American families navigate today’s challenges. According to the report, Strengthening Ties: The Case for Building a Social Policy Centered on Families, outdated and siloed social policies fail to help families thrive and prosper in the face of new economic, demographic, and technological changes. Policymakers must adapt and think of innovative ways to support families and help them succeed.
What pressures do American families experience in our new data-driven, tech-dependent society? Over the past forty years, information and communication technologies have transformed the way we work, the nature of learning and education, and the methods by which we achieve personal and collective goals. Parents, grandparents, children, and the range of loved ones who form part of the modern family today face new and challenging choices about technology use, access, and control. In this blog, Seeta Peña Gangadharan, Lisa Guernsey, and Greta Byrum capture the broad trends, helping to link questions about technology other social concerns and set the stage to reenvision social policy through the lens of the family. The piece is an excerpt of a newly published report released by New America's program on Family-Centered Social Policy.
Washington, DC - Last night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Select Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr introduced a bill, S. 1035, that would extend for five more years the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act that are set to expire on June 1st, including PATRIOT Section 215 which has been used to authorize the National Security Agency’s controversial bulk collection of Americans’ phone records. The bill is a straight reauthorization without any new reforms. The Open Technology Institute (OTI) strongly opposes this bill.
House Passage of Intelligence Committee’s Cybersecurity Information Sharing Bill is Bad for Privacy, Bad for Information Security
Washington, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed the House Intelligence Committee’s bill, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (PCNA, H.R. 1560), with a vote of 307 to 116. The bill would authorize companies to share so-called “cyber threat indicators” with the government and with one another. OTI strongly opposes the PCNA, and recently joined a group of 55 civil society organizations, security experts and academics in a letter to Congress raising serious concerns and urging a “No” vote.
55 Civil Society Groups, Security Experts, and Academics Strongly Oppose Intelligence Committees’ Cybersecurity Information Sharing Bills
Washington, DC – Yesterday, a coalition of 55 civil society groups, security experts, and academics sent two letters to Congress: one letter strongly opposing the House Intelligence Committee’s cybersecurity information sharing bill, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (PCNA, H.R. 1560); and a second letter strongly opposing the Senate Intelligence Committee’s companion bill, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA, S. 754).
The story of Mass Tech’s Innovation Institute suggests that the divide between “government” and “civil society” is smaller than some expect. The two groups rely on each other to promote more efficacious and equitable governance. Educating more people about the innovative work of government can build stronger, more resilient systems while also fostering more trust in governance institutions.
New America's Michael Calabrese Available for Comment
This morning, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 5-0 to create a new Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS). For the first time, the FCC has opened a lightly-used Federal government band, used primarily for Navy radar, for shared use by both licensed and unlicensed users. The FCC Report & Order represents the initial implementation of a proposal for widespread spectrum sharing of underused Federal bands made in July 2012 by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).
In a country of at least 75 million people, half of whom are under the age of 24, the opportunity to grow interest in tech seems even more valuable. The fact that so many of them are highly educated and have already shown a hunger for the latest technology only ...
The department is walking a fine line as it formalizes a process for student debt forgiveness, said Ben Miller, a senior education policy analyst at the New America Foundation. “You want to place reasonable demands on the borrower, but not go too far overboard,” Miller said. “You don’t want to trap them in a horrible web of red tape.”
As Data Breach Legislation Advances in House Along Party Lines, Committee Votes Against Strengthening Protections for Consumers
Washington, DC - Today the House Energy & Commerce Committee marked up HR 1770, the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015, and advanced the bill to the full House. Despite being touted as a bipartisan bill, votes to advance it out of committee were split along party lines, with even Rep. Welch (D-VT), the only Democrat who originally co-sponsored the bill, voting not to advance the bill. As OTI has explained, the bill would eliminate key protections for sensitive information under existing state law and the Communications Act.
Peeling back sanctions on Iran would breathe life into Tehran's tech scene—and unlock a young, tech-savvy consumer base for Western tech companies.
For now, American tech companies that want to put their products in front of Iranians are held back by restrictions from both governments. On one side, the strict U.S. sanctions that prevent most companies from doing business in Iran have kept tech companies away from the country, despite special ...!--startfragment-->
As a bill moves toward markup by the full House Energy & Commerce Committee on Wednesday, OTI offers its analysis of the bill.
This week, the Energy & Commerce Committee in the House of Representatives will be considering the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015. The Open Technology Institute was critical of an earlier draft of the bill, and in testimony delivered at a subcommittee hearing last month, OTI Senior Policy Counsel ...
The CIO of the United States has proposed that all Federal government websites should support mandatory HTTPS encryption. The Open Technology Institute at New America wholeheartedly supports this proposal, which will significantly improve Americans’ privacy and security, and send a clear message that HTTPS protection should be considered a basic ...
But privacy groups, some key Senate Democrats and the White House could pose a threat to passage. House Homeland Security did get points from the privacy community on Monday for being the best of the three bills out there. "However, there are still some remaining concerns," said Robyn Greene, policy counsel with the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute. "The bill would still allow companies to share unnecessary personal information." You can check out the bill here, and get info on Tuesday's markup here.
The National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement NCPA Act, introduced Monday in the House of Representatives by two Texas Republicans, appears to do a "much better job" at protecting privacy than two bills that have passed through the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, said Robyn Greene, policy counsel at the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute. Still, the NCPA raises some concerns, Greene said. It would allow companies to share some "unnecessary" personal information with government agencies, and it authorizes companies to deploy defensive measures that could harm "innocent" network users who aren't cyberattackers, she said.