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In this issue

Upcoming CDT Apperances

Washington, DC
Deven McGraw will present during an audio seminar on "Best Practices & New Issues in Data De-Identification for Healthcare & EHRs," December 1st, from 2-2:30 p.m. Eastern.
Link to event.

Washington, DC
CDT Senior Counsel Greg Nojeim, on December 3rd, will speak about the USA Patriot Act during a panel discussion at the CATO Institute. Greg will stress the need to reform National Security Letters, which allow the FBI to obtain banking and communications records without judicial approval.
Link to event.

News of Note
CDT Launched a new Web site last week providing users with better navigation tools and an advanced search engine.
Click here for more info.


For more information about CDT, or to receive CDT's Tech Policy Download, click here.


CDT’s Tech Policy Download

The holiday season is ramping up and tech policy is getting its share of attention from Washington to Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. Cybersecurity is in the news, again, as is health privacy and the health of the Internet. In each of these areas CDT is in the mix, talking to Congress, weighing in on policy and keeping an eye on international Internet governance.

What’s Next for Cybersecurity?

At a cybersecurity hearing last week, key executive branch officials revealed that they are working up a cybersecurity legislative proposal. This was first time that the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Security Agency disclosed that that they are coordinating with the White House National Security Council to draft cybersecurity legislation. The disclosure should raise alarm bells.

This is not to say that legislation isn’t needed. In fact, narrowly tailored changes to surveillance laws may very well be necessary, as we acknowledged in the testimony that CDT’s Greg Nojeim presented to at the hearing. Our concern, however, is how broad will the Administration’s proposal be and what impact will it have on Internet innovation and openness?

When the White House conducted its Cyberspace Policy Review this spring – culminating in a report to the President on May 29– senior officials engaged in genuine consultation with industry representatives and civil liberties advocates. So far, however, we have not seen this spirit of consultation carrying over into the formulation of cybersecurity legislative proposals. If we are ever to effectively address the cybersecurity problem, transparency and consultation are needed – with industry and the privacy and civil liberties communities -- about the problems that need to be addressed and the ideas for dealing with them.

CDT Weighs in on Health Record Privacy

Under interim HHS regulations, health care organizations are the ones that decide whether or not to notify patients about a breach of sensitive information. CDT has called for regulations to be revised so that there is improved transparency for consumers and accountability for providers. Reps. Rangel and Waxman have stated similar concerns and asked for HHS to apply more exacting standards. Deven McGraw, the director of CDT's Health Privacy Project, noted, "The rules give health care organizations discretion to make a value judgment on whether consumers would be harmed by a breach. This approach undermines the intent of the law, which is to provide information to consumers when their information is at risk."

International: Who Governs the Internet

The Internet Governance Forum met last week in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, discussing a broad range of issues about the domain name system, free expression, child safety, disabilities access, and other topics. John Morris of CDT was there. The IGF was created five years ago as an annual meeting for stakeholders from around the world to discuss critical Internet policy issues. One hot topic this year was the recent shift in the relationship between the U.S. Government and ICANN, the entity that manages the domain name system. Many applauded the greater independence of ICANN, while others expressed concern that ICANN is still too closely tied with the U.S. Most IGF participants supported extending the IGF process beyond next year (when the IGF mandate is due to end), but the Chinese government opposed extending IGF in favor of greater control over Internet governance issues by the worlds' governments. CDT has long warned of the risks to the Internet were governments to exert greater control over it. In 2007, issued a paper distinguishing "governance" from "governments."

CDT's key issue at IGF this year: how to protect children online while protecting freedom of speech. CDT's Morris participated in a panel discussion on that topic, engaging with a range of child safety and free speech advocates to seek common ground

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