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Solutions to Identity Verification Errors Urgently Needed to Help Those Facing Hardship

Lucy* (not her real name), a 29-year-old grocery delivery worker and mother of two in the US city of Houston, Texas, was under enormous financial strain when we interviewed her in May. She said her income had dropped steeply during the pandemic; she…
Workers in Texas may apply for unemployment benefits on the Texas Workforce Commission website.
News

Ensure Alternative Registration Methods for Covid-19 Shots

Most US states have prioritized people over 75 in the first wave of Covid-19 vaccinations, but obstacles to securing an appointment can hinder delivery. Most states are using online systems for scheduling. But while technology was once considered the…
Allegheny Health Network employees run a Covid-19 vaccine clinic at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, February 6, 2021.
News

Refusal to Restore Communications Threatens Public Health

Every time you place a call in Ethiopia, you get an educational message about coronavirus prevention – but that only helps if you can make a call. Millions of Ethiopians living under a months-long government-imposed shutdown of internet and…
A volunteer provides hand sanitizer to passengers entering a bus
News

Secure Devices Protect Users from Hacking and Surveillance

The United States Attorney General William Barr announced this week that the government has asked Apple to unlock two encrypted iPhones belonging to the perpetrator of last month’s fatal shooting at a naval base in Pensacola, Florida.…
Attorney General William Barr speaks during a tour of a federal prison in Edgefield, South Carolina
News

Coalition Calls for Stronger Oversight of City’s AI-based Decision-Making

Algorithmic decision-making is becoming the new norm in New York. City agencies use computerized algorithms to make important decisions about New Yorkers’ daily lives, from school assignments to public benefits evaluations and more. But…
A line of police cars are parked along a street in Times Square, in New York, December 29, 2016.
News

Resignation of US Rep. Katie Hill Highlights Severe Protection Gaps

  Katie Hill, a US Congress member elected to the House of Representatives less than a year ago, has just resigned, days after nude photos of her – which she says were released without her consent – were posted online by media outlets. Hill…
Katie Hill
News

States Can Protect Open Internet, but Federal Rollback Upheld

Firefighters struggling against one of the largest blazes to hit California in 2018 had to pause and turn to a much more mundane fight – with their internet service provider. In the midst of the blaze, data speeds slowed to a trickle,…
A router and internet switch are displayed in New Hampshire, United States
News

Courts Should Protect the Public, Not Duck and Cover

Today marks 11 years since the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a federal lawsuit against mass surveillance in the United States on behalf of Carolyn Jewel and other AT&T customers. When it eventually concludes, this case will…
A notice of electronic surveillance is posted near a 95-by-50-foot American flag unfurled on the side of an apartment complex in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., June 14, 2017.
News

Tackling School Violence Should Still Respect Privacy, Free Expression

School is out for the summer in the United States, but concerns about shootings and other violence on campus loom large. In response, some US school districts are turning to programs that monitor students’ social media activities for…
A student checks her phone at Nathan Hale Elementary School in Chicago
News
In a stunning and unprecedented assault on press freedom, the Trump administration has issued an expanded indictment of Julian Assange for publishing classified information. Much of the information was of great public interest and…
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News

US Could Use Data Demanded from UK – But Pretend It Didn’t

After heated debate, the United Kingdom has just inched closer to adopting laws that would allow the United States to demand and obtain digital evidence – such as e-mails, texts, and chats – directly from companies that are storing it…
WhatsApp and Facebook messenger icons are seen on an iPhone in Manchester , Britain March 27, 2017.
News

Criminalizing Speech Won’t Solve Problem

Hate and dangerous speech is a serious and growing problem in Ethiopia, both online and offline. It has contributed to the growing ethnic tensions and conflicts across the country that have created more than 1.4 million new internally…
Internet café in Lalibela, Amhara Region, Ethiopia.
News

Free Speech, Profiling, and Why the US Needs Stronger Data Protection Laws

Anyone in the US who has ever used the internet has probably had this moment: fingers hovering over the keyboard, wondering about the consequences of “liking” or searching for something. Who’s going to know we did this? What kinds of…
A 3D-printed Facebook Like symbol is displayed in front of a U.S. flag in this illustration taken, March 18, 2018.
News

Characterization of Security Threats May Feed Bias Against Minorities

Next year, the US Congress will grapple with whether to extend the USA Freedom Act, which currently imposes limits on the government’s powers to sweep up US telephone call records under Section 215 of USA Patriot Act. If history is any…
A notice of electronic surveillance is posted near a 95-by-50-foot American flag unfurled on the side of an apartment complex in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., June 14, 2017.
News

European Court Ruling Highlights Need for Checks on Data-Swapping Powers

Buried in the confirmation hearings record of former US Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo is an alarming observation about US surveillance that has never received the level of attention it deserves. A ruling…
A man and woman use their mobile phones as commuters walk past the columns of the Bank of England in the City of London, July 3, 2012.
News

Court Should End Abusive Global Monitoring

The myths, knowledge gaps, and abuses of power that let the United States government get away with massive warrantless surveillance were on display yesterday in federal court – and showed why courts should find this monitoring violates…
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News

FOSTA will inhibit free speech, put workers at risk

Want to fight for the rights of sex workers? Hang on—in the United States it could now land you in jail or subject you to serious damages. A vaguely defined US law – the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) – raises the…
News

Unchecked Surveillance Could Abuse Data You Never Chose to Share

In today’s five-to-four majority opinion in Carpenter v. United States, the US Supreme Court found that police need to get a warrant from a judge before demanding location data generated by  your cell phone. In this case, Chief Justice…
A woman uses her cell phones in Manhattan, New York, U.S., January 30, 2018.
News

Faces Possible Indictment under Outdated Espionage Act

It has been six years since Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, fled to the Ecuadorean Embassy in London to seek asylum from possible extradition to the United States to face indictment under the US Espionage Act.  At the…
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017.