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OpenMarket: Privacy and Cybersecurity

  • CEI Files Amicus Brief In Support Of EPIC's Petition To Force A TSA Rulemaking On Strip-Search Machines

    July 19, 2012
    Today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) filed a brief of amici curiae in support of the Electronic Privacy Information Center's (EPIC) petition for writ of mandamus asking the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to force the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to begin a mandated rulemaking on the use of "Advanced Imaging Technology" (AIT) screening machines (aka, full-body scanners or strip-search machines). In addition to CEI, nine others signed on. They are:
    • Robert L. Crandall, former Chairman and CEO of AMR and American Airlines;
    • National Association of Airline Passengers;
    • Digital Liberty, a project of Americans for Tax Reform;
    • Electronic Frontier Foundation;
    • The Rutherford Institute;
    • Center for Individual Freedom...
  • TSA Roundup

    July 10, 2012
    Everyone's favorite sexy-searchers are back in the news, but not for the right reasons.
  • If Only All Policemen were Leroy Jethro Gibbs

    May 31, 2012
    As a fan of NCIS, I’m quite aware of the government's ability to track the location of individuals through their cell phones. One of the show’s recurring motifs involves a junior special agent hacking into the locational data of a suspect’s phone without ever obtaining so much as a court order. Luckily, NCIS is led by one Leroy Jethro Gibbs, a former Marine of exemplary character and intuitive knowledge. Gibbs routinely acts upon his gut instinct, and happens to always be correct in deciding whether a suspect is guilty. If all police officers were like Gibbs, or at least led by someone like Gibbs, then we might not need privacy protections. In fact, any limitations on government at all would arguably be unduly restrictive. If there were true philosopher-kings who had the requisite knowledge and character, then ceding to them unlimited power to plan the affairs of others would not be so...
  • CEI Podcast for April 26, 2012: The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)

    April 26, 2012
    Associate Director of Technology Studies Ryan Radia goes over CISPA's privacy problems and discusses the bill's political prospects.
  • House Hearing on Effects of EU Privacy Directive

    September 16, 2011
    Yesterday the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade held a hearing addressing the economic consequences of the European Union’s internet privacy regulations. The hearing is part of a comprehensive review of the online privacy aimed at encouraging discussion about how to best satisfy consumer privacy concerns while maintaining a robust and innovative digital ecosystem. Among the issues raised was the concern that the US’s less restrictive framework for online privacy puts American companies at a disadvantage in the form of aggressive enforcement by EU member states. Also discussed was the question of whether there is a demonstrable harm to consumers from behavioral advertising, which utilizes browsing data...
  • CEI Podcast for August 25, 2011: Mr. Fuddlesticks

    August 25, 2011
    Mr. Fuddlesticks is an anonymous YouTube user who posted embarrassing videos about the Renton, Washington police department. They convinced a judge to let them request Mr. Fuddlesticks' personal information from Google, YouTube's parent company.
  • TSA Chatterboxes Not as Friendly as they Seem

    August 4, 2011
    You may get some extra-special attention from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the near future -- but this isn’t just another pat-down or body scanner. Agents will be randomly interrogating flyers waiting in line at the security checkpoints of an expanded number of American airports, asking routine questions in the hopes of picking up on facial expressions that signify “deception” or “malicious intent.” Costing over $200 million per year since its implementation in 2007, The Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program has deployed over 3,000 Behavioral Detection Officers (BDOs) to 161 US airports. Despite the official-sounding moniker, these CIA-style lie-detectors go through a mere four days of classroom training and 24...
  • Mandatory Data Retention Rears its Ugly Head Again

    July 27, 2011
    This morning the House Judiciary Committee began markup on H.R. 1981, the “Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011,”  which would among other things force all commercial Internet providers who charge fees for web access to store data on the customer Internet Protocol (IP) addresses for an entire year. The Competitive Enterprise Institute, TechFreedom, and Americans for Tax Reform’s Digital Liberty joined together in raising grave concerns about the legislation in a letter which can be viewed here. Child exploitation is a heinous crime and should be punished severely. Allocating more resources to law enforcement to pursue such criminals and evaluating the effectiveness of current data sharing procedures is a logical first step. Instead, H.R. 1981 will impose a collection regime that...
  • Where Do TSA-Confiscated Items Go?

    June 22, 2011
    The TSA has a habit of confiscating security-unrelated items. Over at The American Spectator, I recall just such an experience that I had at O'Hare.
  • Laura Ingraham on Protecting Email from Unwarranted Governmental Access

    April 22, 2011
    On Wednesday, I appeared on the Laura Ingraham Show to discuss the Obama administration's stance on reforming the 1986 law that governs law enforcement access to private electronic communications. CEI has joined a number of policy groups, corporations, and academics in urging Congress to amend outdated U.S. laws originally intended to protect citizens against unwarranted law enforcement access to their private information held electronically by third parties. However, as CNET's Declan McCullagh has chronicled, the Justice Department recently expressed to Congress its opposition to strengthening privacy laws. You can listen to the...


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