Policy Scorecards

We’ve rated legislation related to our policy pillars – Privacy, Encryption, Open Internet, Mass Surveillance and Censorship – to provide insight into the laws that impact our Internet experience. Policy is rated on a 1-5 scale, with 1 being terrible and 5 as good as we can expect. For ratings in between: 2 recognizes the necessity of the bill but indicates terrible execution. 3 signifies indifference; the policy doesn’t seem particularly beneficial but we don’t take large issue with it. 4 indicates it’s a good bill that’s missing a few key components. The pros and cons columns for each bill include details to back the rankings.

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  • Censorship
  • Encryption
  • International
  • Mass Surveillance
  • Open Internet
  • Privacy
  • United States

HR 135

Cyber Privacy Fortification Act of 2017

Score:

2 out of 5

A bad bill that has some good elements mixed in. The bill has three parts. The first part imposes criminal penalties for failing to report security breaches that involve sensitive personally-identifiable information. The second part expands…

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HR 288

Small Business Broadband Deployment Act

Score:

5 out of 5

The bill exempts small businesses from the enhanced transparency requirements in the FCC's 2015 Open Internet Order. These rules are still nominally in place even after the recent CRA, which only vacated additional rules promulgated in…

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HR 387

Email Privacy Act

Score:

5 out of 5

The Email Privacy Act is the bill to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), which governs how and when the government can view our electronic communications. The communication methods covered in the bill include email,…

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HR 404

Safe and Secure Federal Websites Act of 2017

Score:

5 out of 5

This bill finally gives some recognition to the importance of security and privacy. It requires federal websites to be secure, eliminating vulnerabilities in an attempt to stop hacking of users' personally identifiable information (PII) before websites…

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HR 600

Digital GAP Act

Score:

3 out of 5

A feel good piece of legislation that would authorize U.S. foreign assistance in helping developing countries improve Internet access. This bill has the potential to spur economic development.

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HR 1865

Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017

Score:

1 out of 5

This bill is a solution in search of a problem. The misleading title distracts from what the policy will actually accomplish, which is eliminating free speech online by changing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.…

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HR 1868

Restoring American Privacy Act of 2017

Score:

5 out of 5

This bill would essentially undo the Congressional Review Act vote to override the FCC’s open Internet privacy rules and automatically reinstate those rules. We supported the FCC’s broadband privacy rules and would support their return.

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HR 2520

BROWSER Act of 2017

Score:

1 out of 5

According to the bill's author, this bill authorizes FTC enforcement of companies in obtaining opt-in permission from consumers prior to using their sensitive information. This is a bad bill. It regulates all edge services, which is…

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H.R. 3175

The Online Privacy Act

Score:

2 out of 5

This bill requires the FCC to do new rulemaking and promulgate some (but not necessarily all) of the FCC's original broadband privacy rules within 180 days. The rules must become effective within these 180 days. We…

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H.R. 3989

USA Liberty Act of 2017

Score:

2 out of 5

This bill reauthorizes Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act as amended in 2008, which gives intelligence agencies the ability to monitor communications of foreign targets outside of the United States. The law is set…

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S 1693

Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017

Score:

1 out of 5

Sex trafficking is a scourge. This bill won't really solve any problems not already adequately dealt with under current law. Section 230 does not protect site operators who knowingly and actively assist in trafficking, and it…

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S 19

Mobile Now Act

Score:

4 out of 5

The goal of the bill is to increase technology usage via the Internet to encourage economic development. This would be accomplished by promoting more spectrum available for licensed and unlicensed broadband, as well as reduce obstacles…

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SJ Res 34

Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services

Score:

1 out of 5

This bill blocked privacy protections for consumers from going into effect. These protections would have forced Internet service providers (ISPs) to obtain explicit opt-in permission from consumers before monitoring, collecting and selling their personal data.

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S 88

DIGIT Act

Score:

1 out of 5

Encourages federal agencies to embrace the Internet of Things (IoT), and convenes workgroups to advise on the issue. Also requires the FCC to study and report on IoT spectrum needs in an effort to encourage IoT…

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China

Cybersecurity Law

Score:

1 out of 5

The law prescribes that instant messaging services and other Internet companies must require users to register their real names and personal information, and censor content that is “prohibited.” The law also forces “critical information infrastructure operators”…

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EU

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Score:

4 out of 5

This European Union regulation would mandate all organizations implement personal security protections at an unprecedented scale - especially in an age where data collection is so often synonymous with national security. Among its many protections, the…

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Germany

Draft Law to Improve Law Enforcement in Social Networks

Score:

1 out of 5

Germany's attempt to reduce "fake news," this policy proposal would impose criminal consequences for social networks that do not censor vaguely defined "hate speech" or "defamatory fake news." Punishment would be an administrative offense that could…

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India

National Encryption Policy 2016

Score:

1 out of 5

This terrible policy from India would compel any company in the country to grant the government access to all encrypted information stored on computer servers, including personal emails, text messages and data. The policy further instructed…

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Russia

Yarovaya Package

Score:

1 out of 5

This Russian law is oppressive on many fronts, but we'll focus on the Internet and technology-related aspects. This law was named after Irina Yarovaya, the head of Russia's parliamentary security committee. The self proclaimed "anti-terrorism" law…

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United Kingdom

Investigatory Powers Act

Score:

1 out of 5

This British law compels Internet service providers and mobile providers to store all consumer metadata for 12 months, and make this data accessible to the government upon request. The Act also legalises state-sponsored hacking, and clarifies…

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