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IRS should not trample on bitcoin users By Celeste Arenas | March 16, 2017

Bitcoin users face increasing pressure from the IRS to disclose private information unrelated to taxation purposes. This follows a recent IRS summons against the Bitcoin trader Coinbase, calling for the mandatory collection of detailed customer data.

In 2015, the IRS concluded that bitcoin holders “may fail, or may have failed, to comply with one or more provisions of the internal revenue laws” and that the solution was to demand all US user records from 2013 - 2015 from Coinbase that include transaction history, IP addresses and transcripts with customer support.

Fintech: Reformer or Revolutionary? By Celeste Arenas | March 13, 2017

The accelerating impact of technology in banking begs the question: will fintech overthrow traditional finance as we know it? The short answer is no. Instead of replacing banks, fintech is improving them with better outcomes for investors, customers and businesses of all shapes and sizes. 

Innovators have described the role of fintech to “make financial services compelling again” for the industry, injecting competitive and collaborative elements that provoke lenders to “stop cost cutting downward spirals” and “start creating powerful visions for the future.” 

Digital Liberty supports reconfirmation of Ajit Pai as FCC Chairman By Celeste Arenas | March 09, 2017

Digital Liberty Executive Director Katie McAuliffe made the following statement in relation to Ajit Pai’s confirmation as FCC Chairman:

"Confirming Ajit Pai as Chairman to the FCC is a welcome decision from the Trump Administration. Since assuming leadership, Chairman Pai has been essential towards restoring sound bipartisan leadership to the Commission. Chairman Pai’s extensive expertise in telecommunications law has directed the FCC away from outdated practices and into modern approaches that benefit American consumers and taxpayers alike."
 

False Privacy Rules Must Go By Katie McAuliffe | March 09, 2017

Senator Jeff Flake's (R-Ariz.) resolution to undo false broadband privacy rules will restore consumer choice and online competition in the marketplace for internet service providers.

The resolution, introduced through the Congressional Review Act (CRA ), has 34 co-sponsors, who realize that just because a rule includes privacy in the headline, doesn't mean the privacy protections are real. The FCC's narrow view on what constitutes privacy protection, make its rules counterproductive to actual consumer privacy protections.

Intellectual Property is the key to innovation, economic growth By Celeste Arenas | March 02, 2017

The last 200 years have demonstrated that innovation is the blueprint for a prosperous society. Entrepreneurs and inventors who commercialize brilliant ideas create unprecedented opportunities for improving customer experience with better products and services. This has built the compounded economic impact of advanced technological progression in the 21st century, fostered by and through sound patent protection.

 

Digital Liberty Joins Coalition Supporting IP By Celeste Arenas, Katie McAuliffe | February 21, 2017

Digital Liberty supports intellectual property rights, and recognizes the importance of IP in creating economic growth and fostering world-class innovation. In 2017 the United States continued to rank No.1 for global intellectual property standards, yet our administration can do much more to embed intellectual property in law and practice. 

Dollars GON down the drain By Katie McAuliffe, Celeste Arenas | February 17, 2017

The experiment of government owned broadband networks (GONs) is over.  The experiment failed.  A failed experiment isn't a failure if we use the information to pursue another path. Continuing down a path of wasted dollars, however, is a failure.

Over 450 municipal broadband networks spread across the states have not delivered effective broadband for unserved Americans and they continue to lose taxpayer dollars. Four hundred and fifty is a more than adequate sample size to judge the ineffectiveness of GONs.

ATR joins coalition to oppose FTC midnight litigation By Katie McAuliffe, Celeste Arenas | January 30, 2017

The Trump administration could be saddled with numerous legal hurdles following last-minute litigation attempts by the previous government targeting American business interests. ATR recently signed a coalition letter against this kind of legislation.

Midnight litigation launched in the final days of the eight-year Obama administration is politically motivated, not policy oriented and fails to undergo the scrutiny of regular procedure. It has posed a direct threat to American businesses in the protection of intellectual property, setting a precedent for foreign entities to undercut patent property rights.

A substantial proportion of midnight litigation cases have been issued by the Federal Trade Commission, one suit involving Qualcomm was announced just three days prior to the President’s inauguration ceremony. 

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai appointed by Trump administration By Katie McAuliffe, Celeste Arenas | January 24, 2017

President Donald Trump has officially elevated Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai to lead the agency as FCC Chairman. In response, Digital Liberty's Executive Director, Katie McAuliffe, issued the following statement:

“With an extensive background in telecommunications and notable proponent of high tech innovation, FCC Chairman Pai is the right person for the job. 

"Over the last few years, under the tumultuous and divisive reign of former Chairman Tom Wheeler, then Commissioner Pai, articulately and firmly vocalized his strong support of the First Amendment, fiscal responsibility and innovation that arises from free market competition. 

"He has consistently denounced threats to digital liberties including net neutrality, as well as opposing preemptive regulations and anti-competitive measures.

"Even in the melee, when his attempts were thwarted or flatly ignored by former Chairman Tom Wheeler, Chairman Pai did not turn his back or compromise.