The flow of data across international borders creates jurisdictional challenges and causes international tensions. Increasingly, countries have responded by imposing new requirements to store data locally, threatening cross-border data flows, which generate approximately $2.8 trillion of global gross domestic product each year. CFR Senior Fellow for Digital Policy Karen Kornbluh argues that the United States should take the lead in addressing these tensions.
Protecting the privacy of user data from unauthorized access is essential for business executives, policymakers, and users themselves. But strong privacy protection software is often difficult for nonexperts to use. In this Cyber Brief, Sara "Scout" Sinclair Brody explains how promoting and improving open-source software can go a long way toward strengthening privacy online.
Facebook and Google have aroused concerns about encroachments on privacy online, but media expert Jeff Jarvis says policymakers need to be careful not to overreact and encroach on the Internet's value as a public sphere and lifeline in closed societies.
On November 26, 2014, the European Union adopted guidelines for search engines to use when deciding whether to remove, upon request, specific articles from search results for a person's name, in accordance with EU data privacy laws. These privacy laws are also referred to as "the right to be forgotten," for citizens to request that searches for their names not surface particular results.
In July 2012, the European Union requested that the European Commission study the future of RPAS in Europe and how to integrate civil and commerical remotely-piloted aircraft systems (RPAS, a type of unmanned aircraft system, also called drones) into the European Aviation System and to prepare regulation for implementation by 2016. This report, written by experts from Trilateral Research & Consulting and Vrije Universiteit Brussel for the European Commission, provides independent analysis on privacy concerns associated with civil use of drones and was released November 7, 2014.
President Barack Obama delivered these remarks at the Department of Justice on January 17, 2014. He discussed changes to the National Security Agencies' operations regarding intelligence collection of American citizens' records.
This resolution was adopted December 18, 2013. It discusses the rights of citizens to privacy and free expression and the restrictions on the collection of personal data online by governments, companies, or other individuals.
The President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies released this report on December 18, 2013. The document details forty-six recommendations for protecting national security and foreign policy interests while continuing to value privacy, civil liberties, and the public's trust.
Several U.S. technology companies, Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and AOL, published an open letter to the government in newspapers on December 9, 2013. The letter requests an end bulk collection of user data, including email, address books, and video chats, and lists accountability and transparency principles the companies support.
Office of the Director of National Intelligence General Counsel Robert Litt delivered remarks titled, "Privacy, Technology, and National Security: An Overview of Intelligence Collection," at the Brookings Institution on July 18, 2013.
The Guardian obtained a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order requiring Verizon to give the National Security Agency "information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the U.S. and between the U.S. and other countries" on an "ongoing, daily basis" from April 25 through July 19, 2013.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released a statement to address the recent "unauthorized disclosure" of a U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order. The document requires Verizon to provide the National Security Agency with detailed telephone call records of millions of U.S.-based customers on a daily basis. In response, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has declassified selected details related to the "business records" provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Senator Christopher Dodd gave this speech on the Senate floor on December 17, 2007, during a hearing about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. He argues that companies have violated their customers' privacy rights in handing over information to the government without warrants and that they should not be granted immunity.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »