135 episodes

Tech Talks are a podcast imagined and created by the folks over at the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT). We're a 501(c)3 nonpartisan nonprofit organization that fights to put democracy and human rights at the center of the digital revolution. We work to promote democratic values by shaping technology policy and architecture, with a focus on equity and justice. #techtalkcdt

Support CDT's work with a donation: https://cdt.org/techtalk/

CDT Tech Talks Center for Democracy and Technology

    • Technology

Tech Talks are a podcast imagined and created by the folks over at the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT). We're a 501(c)3 nonpartisan nonprofit organization that fights to put democracy and human rights at the center of the digital revolution. We work to promote democratic values by shaping technology policy and architecture, with a focus on equity and justice. #techtalkcdt

Support CDT's work with a donation: https://cdt.org/techtalk/

    Talking Tech with Rachel Cummings & Daniel Susser on Differential Privacy

    Talking Tech with Rachel Cummings & Daniel Susser on Differential Privacy

    In recent years, differential privacy has emerged as a promising solution for enhancing privacy protections in data processing systems. However, beneath its seemingly robust framework lie certain assumptions that, if left unquestioned, could inadvertently undermine its efficacy in safeguarding individual privacy.

    Here to discuss their recent papers on differential privacy is Rachel Cummings, Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at Columbia University and CDT Non-Resident Fellow and Daniel Susser, Associate Professor for the Department of Information Science at Cornell University and CDT Non-Resident Fellow.

    • 29 min
    Talking Tech with Kate Ruane & K.J. Bagchi on Moody v. NetChoice & NetChoice v. Paxton

    Talking Tech with Kate Ruane & K.J. Bagchi on Moody v. NetChoice & NetChoice v. Paxton

    On February 26, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Moody v. NetChoice and NetChoice v. Paxton, two pivotal cases that could alter the landscape of free expression on the internet.

    In this episode, we sat down with CDT’s Director of the Free Expression Project, Kate Ruane, and Vice President of the Center for Civil Rights and Technology, K.J. Bagchi to discuss the two cases that are challenging the constitutionality of the controversial Texas and Florida social media laws.

    • 30 min
    Talking Tech with Nabeel Gillani on The Black Box of AI in Education

    Talking Tech with Nabeel Gillani on The Black Box of AI in Education

    In today's episode, we’ll delve into the exciting realm of Artificial Intelligence, and its transformative impact on education. The recent strides in AI have reignited curiosity about its potential to enhance learning experiences. However, it's essential to recognize that AI encompasses a diverse array of methods, capabilities, and limitations. Join us as we navigate through the nuances often overlooked by researchers, education technology firms, and other developers in the AI landscape.

    Here to discuss what this means and share insights from his paper, “Unpacking the "Black Box" of AI in Education”, is Nabeel Gillani, CDT Non-Resident Fellow and Assistant Professor of Design and Data Analysis at Northeastern University.

    • 30 min
    Talking Tech with Mallory Knodel and Niels ten Oever On Inclusive Language in Internet Standards

    Talking Tech with Mallory Knodel and Niels ten Oever On Inclusive Language in Internet Standards

    Back in 2018, CDT’s own, Mallory Knodel, teamed up with Niels ten Oever from the critical infrastructure lab at the University of Amsterdam to present a draft document at the internet standards governing body called the Internet Engineering Task Force, or IETF. This draft outlined a proposal that urged the community to officially reject the use of discriminatory and exclusive language in Internet Drafts and RFCs. As we persistently uncover and confront systemic racial inequality across society, it becomes equally vital to guarantee that the fundamental design comprising one of our most critical and democratic technologies– the internet– is devoid of any historically racist or prejudiced terms.

    • 36 min
    Talking Tech with Sharon Bradford Franklin On FISA 702

    Talking Tech with Sharon Bradford Franklin On FISA 702

    CDT’s Tech Talk is a podcast where we dish on tech and Internet policy, while also explaining what these policies mean to our daily lives. You can find Tech Talk on Spotify, SoundCloud, iTunes, and Google Podcasts, as well as Stitcher and TuneIn.


    Recently, the US Privacy and Civil Liberties Board released a comprehensive report on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, commonly called FISA 702. FISA 702 is a warrantless surveillance authority that was first established in 2008. It empowers the government to designate foreigners abroad as surveillance targets and to compel communication service providers in the US to turn over their communications without court approval. Unless renewed by Congress, FISA 702 is set to expire at the end of the year and is facing serious scrutiny from Democrats and Republicans alike.

    In this episode, Sharon Bradford Franklin, Chair of the US Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, will explain why CDT and other groups across the political spectrum have been calling for serious reforms to Section 702.

    • 24 min
    Tech Talk: Google v. Gonzalez & Twitter v. Tamneh — Talking Tech with Caitin Vogus & Jonathan Stray

    Tech Talk: Google v. Gonzalez & Twitter v. Tamneh — Talking Tech with Caitin Vogus & Jonathan Stray

    Note: This podcast episode was recorded BEFORE the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decisions on the crucial online free expression cases: Gonzalez v. Google and Twitter v. Taamneh. Nevertheless, we've chosen to release this episode NOW because the conversation contains important information about the potential risks to users’ free speech that is more relevant than ever.

    While the legal landscape may have shifted since this recording, the principles of protecting free expression and fostering an open and inclusive digital environment are not going away. In the Gonzalez and Taamneh opinions, the Supreme Court dodged any detailed consideration of Section 230 or the role of recommendation algorithms in enabling access to online speech, but we can expect that those topics will be back before the Court before long. So, let's dive into this discussion and keep advocating for the preservation of free speech in the online world.

    The Center for Democracy & Technology – along with six other technologists with expertise in online recommendation systems – filed an amicus brief in the case of Gonzalez v. Google. The brief urges the U.S. Supreme Court to hold that Section 230’s liability shield applies to claims against interactive computer service providers based on their recommendation of third-party content, because those claims treat providers as publishers.

    Here to talk a little bit about the amicus brief is Jonathan Stray, Senior Scientist at the Berkeley Center for Human-Compatible AI and Caitlin Vogus, (former) Deputy Director of CDT's Free Expression Project (currently Deputy Director of Advocacy at Freedom of the Press Foundation).

    More on our host, Jamal: bit.ly/cdtjamal
    More on Caitlin: cdt.org/staff/caitlin-vogus/
    More on Jonathan: jonathanstray.com/me

    (CDT relies on the generosity of donors like you. If you enjoyed this episode of Tech Talk, you can support it and our work at CDT by going to cdt.org/techtalk. Thank you for putting democracy and individual rights at the center of the digital revolution.)

    Attribution: sounds used from Psykophobia, Taira Komori, BenKoning, Zabuhailo, bloomypetal, guitarguy1985, bmusic92, and offthesky of freesound.org.

    • 34 min

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