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It was recently reported that the National Security Agency (NSA) is going above and beyond what should be legal and is spying broadly on people’s internet and phone records. We think that’s wrong and here’s what you can do to help.
One might think that recent allegations that the NSA is spying on everyone’s internet activity and phone records is just a privacy issue, but it is also an affront to the free flow of information on the internet and jeopardizes our ability to promote the ideals of an open internet abroad.
Any massive collection of information on internet activity, whether it be incidental or directed, is bound to cause some internet users to change their activity. That is wrong. People, both internationally and in the US, shouldn’t have to think twice about what they do, where they go, and what they say on the internet out of fear that the government may be watching. People will now be hesitant to use and create new things, and because of that, the growth of the internet as tool for creativity, innovation and democratic discourse will be stunted.
At a hearing on unlocking phones, some suggest that Congress added laws against circumventing access controls not just to fight piracy, but in order to protect particular business models. Businesses use this argument to justify using copyright law to criminalize activities that don't actually infringe copyright.
Up until last year, unlocking a cell phone so that it could be used with a different carrier was perfectly legal. That changed when the Librarian of Congress decided no longer to include it in a list of exceptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which forbids the circumvention of technology that controls access to copyrighted works. The Librarian's decision has sparked a great deal of controversy, and lead to several proposed bills that would once again make it legal to unlock cell phones. In a hearing before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet last Thursday, Congress heard testimony about one of these bills, and about the practice of unlocking phones.
Subcommittee Vice Chairman Tom Marino began the hearing by framing the considerations on each side in terms of their effect on the market and existing business models, pitting the promise of a more competitive marketplace that phone unlocking allows against the ability of carriers to recover the cost of subsidizing phones.
Location: The Ronald Reagan Building
1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Join us for drinks, hors d'ouvres, and music as we celebrate our 10th annual IP3 Awards.
The IP3 Awards are a special occasion to honor those who have made significant contributions in our field over the past year, or over the course of their carreer. Each year, we honor people in 3 areas of IP: Intellectual Property, Information Policy, and Internet Protocol.
Stay tuned for this year's winners! Have a nomination? Submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: Cafeteria of the Rayburn House Office Building
Come see the remarkable, disruptive technology of 3D printing in person. Chat with some of the people and companies that make it happen. Mingle with other 3D printing fans and curiosity seekers.
This is the second time PK has hosted the 3D printing community to come together in Washington, DC. Don't miss your chance this time around!
Today the White House issued an executive order calling for federal agencies to enhance the "efficiency and use of their spectrum to satisfy the demand of business and consumer broadband users."
Last year, Consumer Federation of America estimated that spectrum sharing technologies contribute over $50 billion each year to the economy through sales of devices and supporting wireless services. Cisco has estimated that one-third of global wireless traffic passes through shared spectrum technologies such as WiFi, and that the percentage of wireless data traffic flowing over shared spectrum will only continue to grow.
For the past three years, Public Knowledge has advocated for federal spectrum sharing. It is exactly the kind of return the public deserves in the management of "public airwaves."
The following can be attributed to Harold Feld, Senior Vice President:
Today, Public Knowledge, along with 85 Internet companies and organizations, sent a letter to Congress demanding an investigation of the National Security Administration's collection of telephone and internet records.
The letter calls for an investigative committee to immediately investigate the reports from the Guardian and Washington Post that the NSA is spying on American phone records and internet activity. It also calls for legal reforms to change our current state of unchecked global surveillance and for the persons responsible be held accountable for their actions.
The letter contains specific reforms including:
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