As part of EPIC's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis released to EPIC documents related to the Russian interference of the 2016 presidential election. One notable document is "Cyber Threats and Vulnerabilities to US Election Infrastructure." The report, issued before the presidential election, stated that the "DHS ha[d] no indication that adversaries or criminals are planning cyber operations against US election infrastructure that would change the outcome of the coming US election." The DHS report also stated that a successful widespread cyber operation against US voting machines would require "a multiyear effort with significant...resources available only to a nation state" but this level of level of effort "would make it nearly impossible to avoid detection." According to election experts, this assertion ignores the possibility that an adversary can change an election outcome without a widespread attacks. Launching targeted attacks on swing districts could compromise an election, especially when few states engage in post-election audits and the impossibility of a recount in states with paperless voting machines. EPIC is pursuing several other related FOIA cases about Russian interference with the 2016 election: EPIC v. FBI (response to Russian cyberattacks), EPIC v. ODNI (Russian hacking), EPIC v. IRS I (release of Trump's tax returns), and EPIC v. IRS II (release of Trump's offers-in-compromise).
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In detailed comments to the Department of Transportation EPIC urged the agency to establish national privacy and safety standards for connected cars. The agency requested comment on its revised framework that establishes "voluntary guidance" for the development of autonomous vehicles. "A connected car is the ultimate Internet of Things device," EPIC explained, highlighting the risks of autonomous vehicles. EPIC has diligently advocated for stronger regulation of IoT. EPIC has called attention to the privacy and security risks of connected cars in comments to NTHSA, complaints to the CFPB, congressional testimony, FTC workshops, petitions to NHTSA and an amicus brief to Ninth Circuit.
EPIC has sent a statement to the House Judiciary Committee in advance of a hearing on Google's business practices. EPIC said that "algorithmic transparency" should be required for Internet firms. EPIC explained that Google's acquisition of YouTube led to a skewing of search results after Google substituted its secret "relevance" ranking for the original objective ranking, based on hits and ratings. EPIC pointed out that Google's algorithm preferences YouTube's web pages over EPIC's in searches for videos concerning "privacy." Last year the European Commission found that Google rigged search results to preference its own online service. The Commission required Google to change its algorithm to rank its own shopping comparison the same way it ranks its competitors. The US Federal Trade Commission has failed to take similar action, after even receiving substantial complaints. EPIC also urged Congress to consider the Universal Guidelines for AI as a basis for federal legislation.
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EPIC in the News
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