The Dev Download keeps you up-to-date with the latest tech policy news. The Download is published each Wednesday, ensuring you and your team are informed on what policymakers are talking about.
PRIVACY & GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE
Google: Requests for Data Rose in Second Half of 2015 (The Hill, 7/18)
On Monday, Google released statistics showing that in the second half of 2015, governments around the world submitted an all-time high number of requests for access to user data. These requests have been on the rise since 2010, when Google began releasing transparency reports highlighting them.
Microsoft Just Won a Huge Legal Battle on Email Privacy (The Washington Post, 7/14)
On Thursday, a federal appeals court sided with Microsoft and reversed a 2014 court order requiring the company to turn over email content being stored in Ireland. Privacy advocates lauded the decision as setting a precedent in protecting the data of U.S. consumers.
McCain: Encryption ‘Eroding’ U.S. Digital Advantage in National Security (Morning Consult, 7/14)
Calling encryption an “avenue for recruitment and radicalization,” on Thursday, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain expressed his resentment for end-to-end encryption. McCain criticized the feature for posing a “challenge” to law enforcement agencies.
TRANSATLANTIC DATA TRANSFERS
Q&A: The US Privacy Shield Negotiators (Politico, 7/15)
Politico interviews the negotiators behind Privacy Shield, the newly signed pact between the U.S. and EU which deals with the transfer of data across the Atlantic. Negotiators Justin Antonipillai and Ted Dean discuss the details of the agreement.
Germany to Require ‘Black Box’ in Autonomous Cars (Reuters, 7/18)
Legislation has been introduced in Germany requiring self-driving vehicles to come equipped with a black box to determine responsibility in the event of an accident. Some skeptics of the transformative self-driving technology believe that black boxes could provide additional information to investigators should an autonomous vehicle be involved in a crash.
The Roads Will Be Safer with More Self-Driving Cars (Los Angeles Times, 7/18)
Some continue to express reservations about autonomous vehicles, but these skeptics should instead look to the overwhelming data showing a majority of U.S. car crashes and subsequent injuries stem from driver errors — an element that would be neutralized with the adoption of autonomous vehicles.
POLITICS & TECH
Tech Is Prominent in GOP Platform, but Trump’s Silence Speaks Volumes (Morning Consult, 7/20)
The Republican Party’s tech platform includes expanding broadband access, strengthening digital privacy, and other sound promises — but Republican nominee Donald Trump still hasn’t released his own tech agenda. Industry leaders continue to call for Trump to draft his own platform and to publicly address his own policies on technology and innovation.
How Technology Is Changing Political Conventions (The Washington Post, 7/15)
Presidential conventions were born as a way for party leaders to meet and communicate in lieu of technology, and while the advent of tech did not end the practice, it has certainly made its mark on the political world. From the telegraph to the television to real-time “fact checking,” this article explains the ways technology is changing political conventions.
Donald Trump’s Running Mate, Gov. Mike Pence, Is Already Loathed in Silicon Valley (Recode, 7/14)
Last year, Indiana Governor Mike Pence found himself criticized by many tech leaders following a “religious liberty” measure that many saw as discriminatory towards the LGBT community. Given this, the tech community’s reaction to his selection as Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick has proved a less-than-enthusiastic welcome.
An Open Letter From Technology Sector Leaders on Donald Trump’s Candidacy For President (The Huffington Post, 7/14)
In an open letter published last Thursday, 145 tech industry leaders criticized Donald Trump’s stances on diversity, open internet and more as a “disaster for innovation.” Claiming that Trump runs on policies of anger and bigotry, the letter affirms that its endorsers stand against his campaign in its entirety.