The Debate on Internet Regulations

The debate over internet regulations and protecting online users has been a growing concern among policymakers and regulators, especially today, when so much of our lives are digital.

As tech giants have continued to grow in influence and power, conversations have centered around the need to update internet regulations that are adapted to the modern-day internet. There have been debates in Congress over if and how to regulate Big Tech through hearings and legislative proposals. Read more

Focus of Data Privacy Legislation Should Center on the Needs of People

There are many problems with the way companies collect, use, share, and sell data in the modern world. At the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the leading advocacy organization for digital rights, we think a lot about solutions to those problems and ways to improve digital privacy. The way the technology industry, and even most privacy regulation, treats privacy now focuses on what works for businesses. It doesn’t work for average people, who have their privacy rights intruded upon every minute of the day.

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Reform Section 230 to Empower Parents and Protect Children

In 1996, Congress passed the Communications Decency Act (CDA) with Section 230, which states that United States policy is to “encourage the development of the Internet and other interactive computer services” and to “empower parents to restrict their children’s access to objectionable or inappropriate online material.”

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A Path Forward For Section 230

Twenty-five years ago, Congress passed a piece of legislation which made little if any splash. As policy areas such as content moderation, privacy, and online safety drifted into the mainstream conversation here in Washington, this legislation—Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act—came to be recognized for what it is: the legislation which created the modern internet industry. Unfortunately, in the same ways that 230 is now widely discussed and widely utilized, it is also widely misunderstood. At its core, this law makes the best of the internet possible by enabling companies of all shapes and sizes to create enjoyable spaces online. However, DC seems to have lost sight not only of the original purpose of 230, but what exactly we are seeking to resolve with a renewed evaluation of it.

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Trustbusting Has the Spotlight, But We Need a Federal Privacy Law More Than Ever

A few years ago, after decades of debate, Congress came closer than ever to finally passing a federal privacy law. The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal had laid bare the weakness of U.S. privacy laws and shown vividly how data can be reused and exploited for purposes we don’t expect or want. California had just enacted its own privacy law, raising the specter of multiple, conflicting laws at the state level. The EU had recently struck down the Safe Harbor Agreement, citing the weakness of U.S. privacy protections and halting many cross-border data flows. Consumer concerns about privacy had never been greater. And the similarities between Democratic and Republican privacy bills suggested compromise might finally be possible.

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