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Senate Articles

CISPA Is Kind Of Dead, But Not Really CISPA Is Kind Of Dead, But Not Really
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Last week, a cry rang out from privacy advocates everywhere as the House overwhelmingly passed CISPA. Those same advocates soon gathered up their forces for a fight in the Senate, but it looks like the Senate got to killing CISPA …

Senate To Take Up Email Privacy Bill Today Senate To Take Up Email Privacy Bill Today

UPDATE: And it passed. Last week, Sen. Patrick Leahy said that the Senate Judiciary Committee would be marking up an update to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The decades old bill allows law enforcement to obtain emails without a warrant …

Senate Votes In Favor Of Moving Forward With Online Sales Tax Bill Senate Votes In Favor Of Moving Forward With Online Sales Tax Bill
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The Marketplace Fairness Act, a bill that would force online retailers to collect sales tax regardless of its physical location, has gained quite a bit of support in recent days. The Senate and White House are united in passing a …

House Passes CISPA, Controversial Cybersecurity Bill Moves To Senate House Passes CISPA, Controversial Cybersecurity Bill Moves To Senate
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During a vote in the House today, a majority of representatives voted in favor of passing CISPA for the second year in a row. Now the bill heads to the Senate where it will either live or die. Free Internet …

IRS Tells Congress That It Obtains Warrants Before Searching Emails IRS Tells Congress That It Obtains Warrants Before Searching Emails

Late last week, the ACLU reported that the IRS probably obtained emails without a warrant. The group came to this conclusion after an agency handbook from 2009 said that Internet users “do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.” Now …

Senate Judiciary Committee To Debate ECPA Reform This Week Senate Judiciary Committee To Debate ECPA Reform This Week

ECPA, or the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, has long been in need of an update. The Senate tried last year, but ran out of time. Now it’s a priority and it will hopefully get the time it deserves this week. …

Online Sales Tax Law Closer To Reality? Online Sales Tax Law Closer To Reality?
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Last week, Senators Mike Enzi and Dick Durbin were accused of trying to “sneak” through legislation similar to the controversial Marketplace Fairness Act as a budget amendment. They succeeded in getting that through the Senate. The basic premise of the …

Does Congress Even Understand The Cell Phone Unlocking Debate? Does Congress Even Understand The Cell Phone Unlocking Debate?
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You should have the right to unlock your cell phone. Any reasonable person would agree that it should be a basic consumer right. The problem is how one goes about making cell phone unlocking legal. Lawmakers have come forward with …

Sen. Patrick Leahy’s Cellphone Unlocking Bill Is A Temporary Fix For A Broken DMCA Sen. Patrick Leahy’s Cellphone Unlocking Bill Is A Temporary Fix For A Broken DMCA
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Cellphone unlocking has become a top priority in Washington since the White House threw its support behind the movement. Now it’s up to senators to pass the legislation required to permanently add an exemption to the DMCA. The latest bill …

Do Not Track Legislation Introduced In The Senate Do Not Track Legislation Introduced In The Senate
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Do Not Track was one of the biggest jokes of 2012. Sure, it was a honorable endeavor, but nobody could come to a consensus as to what Do Not Track means even after pledging to do something about it only …

Will Congress Finally Pass An Email Privacy Bill This Year? Will Congress Finally Pass An Email Privacy Bill This Year?
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An updated Electronic Communications Privacy Act, or ECPA, was a good idea proposed at the wrong time. The amendment would have protected our privacy in online communications, but its proposal at the end of the last Congress ensured its demise. …

Julian Assange Forms Wikileaks Party, Runs For Australian Senate Seat Julian Assange Forms Wikileaks Party, Runs For Australian Senate Seat
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Early last year, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange found that he could technically run for the Australian senate while under house arrest in London. A lot has happened since then, but Assange’s political aspirations have not diminished. The Age reports that …

Obama Signs Amended VPPA Into Law: Netflix Users Can Now Share Viewing History On Facebook Obama Signs Amended VPPA Into Law: Netflix Users Can Now Share Viewing History On Facebook
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In 2012, Netflix spent the year battling a decades old law that said its users couldn’t share what their viewing history on Facebook or social networks. The company started lobbying Congress and its efforts finally paid off with a bill …

The FISA Debate Proves That Congress Doesn’t Care About Your Privacy The FISA Debate Proves That Congress Doesn’t Care About Your Privacy
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Online privacy was a big ticket item in 2012. More and more people are becoming concerned with just how much of their personal lives are available online for everyone to see. In fact, there’s been a push to adopt certain …

Should The Government Regulate ISP Bandwidth Caps? Should The Government Regulate ISP Bandwidth Caps?
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Some of the major ISPs in the U.S. implement bandwidth caps in the name of controlling network congestion, but most caps are just a backhanded way of making more money. One senator is targeting the practice to bring better Internet …

The Future Of Sharing Your Netflix History On Facebook Is Now In Obama’s Hands The Future Of Sharing Your Netflix History On Facebook Is Now In Obama’s Hands
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Some of the best news this week was when the VPPA was approved by the House. The 1988 bill desperately needed to be updated so that Netflix socialites could share their viewing history on social networks. Now the bill has …

House Approves VPPA: Americans Might Soon Be Able To Share Netflix Viewing Data On Facebook House Approves VPPA: Americans Might Soon Be Able To Share Netflix Viewing Data On Facebook
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In the last few weeks of the current congress, members seem to going into overdrive as they introduce some last minute bills. The latest bill to reach approval in the House is of particular significance as its an update to …

Law Enforcement Now Wants Wireless Carriers To Store Your Text Messages As Evidence Law Enforcement Now Wants Wireless Carriers To Store Your Text Messages As Evidence
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Last week, the ECPA amendment that would greatly enhance Americans’ privacy has passed its first hurdle in the Senate. Now the bill will head for a proper vote in the Senate and House next year. If passed in its current …

ECPA Clears Senate Committee, Will Go To Vote Next Year ECPA Clears Senate Committee, Will Go To Vote Next Year
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Sen. Patrick Leahy’s ECPA amendment is an important one. It would require the authorities to obtain a warrant before pilfering emails. The current bill allows the authorities to access email with only a subpoena if the email in question is …

Should Law Enforcement Be Required To Obtain Warrants When Snooping Through Email? Should Law Enforcement Be Required To Obtain Warrants When Snooping Through Email?
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Senator Patrick Leahy was one of the good guys back in September. He was proposing a rewrite to the 26-year-old Electronic Communications Privacy Act that would require the feds to obtain a warrant to read your email. The Justice Department …

Senate Kills Cybersecurity Bill One Last Time Senate Kills Cybersecurity Bill One Last Time

Cybersecurity has become somewhat of a buzzword in Washington over the last year. Various government agencies and lawmakers from both sides have made it clear that something needs to be done about cybersecurity. Their efforts resulted in CISPA and CSA …