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Take Control of Your Smartphone Usage -- Talking Tech with Nick Fitz & Kevin Holesh

In this episode of CDT's Tech Talk, host Brian Wesolowski addresses this question: when tech is designed to draw us in, is it possible to disengage and just live life? Brian sits down with Nick Fitz, recently a senior researcher at Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight. Then he brings in Kevin Holesh the designer of Moment, an app that allows you to track just how much time you and your family members spend on their phones. More on Moment: More on Nick:...


Election Cybersecurity & the Mueller Indictment –– Talking Tech w/ Maurice Turner

With the recent indictments in the ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, the importance of election security is even more front and center. Russian military intelligence officers, or the GRU, successfully hacked the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee, bringing to light vulnerabilities in election infrastructure at the campaign level. Joining host Brian Wesolowski to talk about the key takeaways from the Mueller...


DDOS Prevention, Data Science Ethics -- Talking Tech w/ Jigsaw, Cloudflare, and Laura Norén

If you want to silence an advocacy group or media outlet, a fairly easy way to do so it to take down its website. Two organizations, Cloudflare and Google are doing great work to help nonprofits and journalists, as well as elections officials, protect themselves against cyber attacks. In this episode we talk to Alissa Starzak from Cloudflare and George Conard from Google about their efforts. We also share how you can take advantage of their free services (Cloudflare's Project Galileo and...


Watching the Watchdogs –– Talking Tech w/ Thorsten Wetzling & Greg Nojeim

ATTN: This week we have a guest host - CDT’s Director of Surveillance & Security, Greg Nojeim. Greg sits down with Dr. Thorsten Wetzling, the head of research for the German think tank, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung (SNV). Greg and Thorsten have a fascinating conversation about government surveillance practices in the US and in countries across Europe, with Thorsten currently researching the democratization and professionalization of intelligence governance in Germany and Europe. More on...


Habeas Data, the Future of Work –– Talking Tech w/ Cyrus Farivar & Aaron Pinto

Host Brian Wesolowski sits down with author and journalist Cyrus Farivar about his new book, "Habeas Data." It takes a close look at the legal cases and policies that are shaping American surveillance practices, and shows, how not surprisingly, they have not kept up with new technologies. Then Brian welcomes Aaron Joshua Pinto, a delegate to the G7 Youth Summit who shares his insights on the future of work and highlights how young leaders from the G7 countries see technology impacting...


GDPR & the History of Privacy –– Talking Tech w/ Joseph Jerome & Sarah Igo

Host Brian Wesolowski sits down with CDT's Joseph Jerome as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is finally here. They talk about what it means for businesses both in Europe and the US, and what it means for your personal data. Brian then brings in Vanderbilt professor, historian, and author Sarah Igo to discuss how the meaning of privacy has evolved over time in the United States – and how that changing notion of privacy has impacted policy and society. Sarah's new book,...


Social Contagion Online -- Talking Tech w/ Ashley Merryman

Ashley Merryman is the best-selling author of Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing, and Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children, and she recently wrote about how our President’s incivility can infect society like the flu ( She joins Brian to discuss what social contagion is, whether or not the internet and social media's making this worse, and what, if anything, social media companies should be doing to combat this? More about Ashley:...


What Should Congress Ask Mark Zuckerberg? -- Talking Tech w/ Nuala O'Connor & Michelle De Mooy

This week, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be testifying before both the House and Senate about how the data of Facebook’s users was used by Cambridge Analytica to target swing voters. The questioning will undoubtedly go beyond just this issue, especially with the recent admission by Facebook that all of its users likely had their information scraped from the site. To preview the hearings and the broader issues around the Facebook Cambridge Analytica story, I’m joined by CDT’s two...


Cybersecurity in an Insecure Age -- Talking Tech w/ Susan Landau

When Susan Landau talks about cybersecurity, everyone should listen. In this episode of Tech Talk we hear from the esteemed cybersecurity expert about issues she addresses in her latest book, "Listening In: Cybersecurity in an Insecure Age." Landau talks about how the ultimate goal should be for everyone to have access to easy-to-use encryption to make society as a whole more secure. She pushes back against the notion that law enforcement and intelligence agencies are “going dark” because...


How to Fix the Future -- Talking Tech w/ Andrew Keen

Host Brian Wesolowski invites one of the most notable tech skeptics (or in his words, realist) of our time onto the podcast. In his latest book, How to Fix the Future, he addresses the ways we can tackle the biggest problems in the digital world, with a goal of saving humanity. We cover a lot of ground in our conversation, including the role tech is playing in societal unrest, the potential for regulations on internet companies, and innovative models of civic engagement. [Note there's an...


IoT Liability, ICE Those License Plate Readers -- Talking Tech w/ Ben Dean & Mana Azarmi

Almost everything is connected to the internet today, from household devices to traffic lights. What happens when these Internet of Things devices cause real harm, whether it’s damage to your home or the disruption of a critical service at a hospital? CDT's Ben Dean previews his latest paper. And we’ll also tackle the many questions around how the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) is using data from license plate readers across the country. What does the public need to...


CDT EU and 2018, Natasha Councils NYC -- Talking Tech w/ Jens, Laura, Natasha Duarte

[NOTE: No, that's not a typo in the title – we're having funs with puns. NOTE NOTE: You make notice this EU segment is the same as one posted on it's own. It is.] It will be a very busy year in tech and internet policy in Europe, with a number of major policies rolling out, including the General Data Protection Regulation and the ePrivacy regulation. In this episode, our Brussels-based EU policy team, Jens Henrik-Jeppesen and Laura Blanco preview the year ahead. Then we talk about how New...


Looking Ahead in 2018 -- Talking Tech w/ Nuala O'Connor & Chris Calabrese

With the new year's optimism also comes numerous policy challenges to our digital rights and concerns about the ways technology and the internet might be adversely affecting society. Host Brian Wesolowski previews the year ahead with CDT’s President & CEO Nuala O’Connor and CDT’s VP of Policy Chris Calabrese. More on Nuala: More on Chris: More on our host, Brian: Attribution: sounds used from Psykophobia, Taira...


Just Call Congress –– Talking Tech w/ Ferras Vinh & Michelle Richardson

As 2017 winds down, we talk about two issues that are core to CDT’s advocacy efforts - in fact two issues that we seem to keep talking about without resolution. The first is net neutrality – we’ll talk with CDT Policy Counsel Ferras Vinh about what the Chairman’s proposal means and what the path ahead for supporters of net neutrality looks like. Then we talk about US government surveillance and a rapidly approaching deadline on the reauthorization of the Section 702 surveillance program....


Producer, Co-founder, Playwright @ FOSO–– Talking Tech with Carlos Maza, Mindy Finn & Jennifer Haley

Host Brian Wesolowski steps away from the microphone (again) for this episode – instead we get to hear from Vox Media video producer Carlos Maza, Stand Up Republic co-founder Mindy Finn, and playwright Jennifer Haley. Maza, Finn, and Haley were speakers at CDT's recent “The Future of Speech Online” event, and were all tasked with thinking about the challenges and opportunities that that the internet creates for speakers. They reflected on what they hope to see in the future. More on the...


The Chairman & The Activist at FOSO –– Talking Tech with Ajit Pai & DeRay Mckesson

Host Brian Wesolowski steps away from the microphone for this episode – instead we get to hear from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson. Chairman Pai and DeRay were speakers at CDT's recent “The Future of Speech Online” event, and were both tasked with thinking about the challenges and opportunities that that the internet creates for speakers. They reflected on what they hope to see in the future. More on the FOSO event: More on...


SESTA, Privacy as an Art –– Talking Tech w/ Emma Llansó & Jared Moore

Host Brian Wesolowski sits down with CDT's Free Expression Director Emma Llansó to discuss whether SESTA is a case where good intentions to address a serious issue create a policy that will do more harm than good. SESTA, simplified and analyzed. Then Brian talks with University of Washington graduate student Jared Moore, who has created a multimedia art installation that is aimed making people more aware of some of the ever-present privacy risks in our connected world –– by making them a...


Stop Lying, VPNs & Better-Made Algorithms –– Talking Tech w/ Michelle De Mooy, Natasha Duarte

Host Brian Wesolowski brings in Michelle De Mooy to chat about CDT's complaint with the FTC about a popular VPN (Hotspot Shield Free) that we believe isn’t living up to its privacy promises. Then Brian chat's with Natasha Duarte about a new tool from CDT that helps the developers of algorithms think about the broader social ramifications of the decisions they program, our Digital Decisions Tool (beta). More on our FTC complaint: More on Michelle:...


Engaging Startups, IP Social Justice -- Talking Tech w/ Melissa Blaustein, Taylor Moore

Host Brian Wesolowski sits down with Melissa Blaustein to discuss whether lawmakers are effectively engaging entrepreneurs and startups in policy debates –– and do these startups know the most effective ways to engage? Then he brings in CDT's Free Expression Fellow, Taylor Moore, to detail how she's helping launch a legal clinic for all creators aimed at helping them take control of their IP. PLUS she also discusses her forthcoming paper on IP and social justice – yes, the two are...


Election Hacking, Everyday VPNs –– Talking Tech w/ Joe Hall & Sunday Yokubaitis

Today we talk about the fact and fiction of Russia’s hacking the 2016 US election. What do we know and what can be done to make our elections more cyber secure in the future? And we also talk about taking control of your own cyber security, specifically about VPNs. Sales of VPNs in the US have skyrocketed since the election as more citizens worry about their personal information being compromised. Are VPNs still only for paranoid techies or should we all be using one? More on Joe Hall:...