Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Deeplinks | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Deeplinks | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Defending your rights in the digital world

February 25, 2013 - 4:44pm | By Mark M. Jaycox and Kurt Opsahl

The privacy-invasive bill known as CISPA—the so-called "cybersecurity" bill—was reintroduced in February 2013. Just like last year, the bill has stirred a tremendous amount of grassroots activism because it carves a loophole in all known privacy laws and grants legal immunity for companies to share your private information. EFF has compiled an FAQ detailing how the bill's major provisions work and how they endanger all Internet users' privacy. Please join us in speaking out against CISPA by contacting Congress now.

February 25, 2013 - 4:24pm | By Daniel Nazer

EFF is pleased to see the Indiegogo campaign page of Internet startup CentUp has returned after the page was briefly taken down in response to a complaint by a patent troll. We hope this takedown is not the start of a trend of patent trolls sabotaging startups by complaining to online intermediaries. And we applaud Indiegogo, a crowdfunding platform crucial for financing many startups and projects, for doing the right thing and restoring the campaign.

February 25, 2013 - 11:15am | By Corynne McSherry

It's been a long time coming, but the copyright surveillance machine known as the Copyright Alert System (CAS) is finally launching.  CAS is an agreement between Big Content and large Internet Service Providers to monitor peer to peer networks for copyright infringement and target subscribers who are alleged to infringe—via everything from from "educational" alerts to throttling Internet speeds.

As part of the launch, the Center for Copyright Information, which administers the program, has revamped its website.  The website is supposed to help educate subscribers about the system and copyright.  Unfortunately, it's chock full of warning signs that this whole campaign is not going to go well.

For example, on the process for targeting subscribers, the site explains that:

February 22, 2013 - 2:08pm | By Adi Kamdar

Today, the White House released a memorandum (PDF) in support of a more robust policy for public access to research, making the results of billions of dollars of taxpayer-funded research freely available online. The memorandum gives government agencies six months to detail plans to ensure the public can read and analyze both research and data, without charge. Both open access and open data are key to promoting innovation, government transparency, and scientific progress.

As put by Dr. John Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy:

February 21, 2013 - 3:51pm | By Jennifer Lynch

The Los Angeles Times reported last week that the FAA has issued 1,428 permits to domestic drone operators since 2007 and noted this was "far more than were previously known."

This new number points out again how difficult it is to answer the most common questions EFF gets from reporters about drones — just how many agencies have applied for drone licenses? How many licenses has the FAA issued since it started issuing licenses (which was earlier than 2007)? And how much has domestic drone use increased over the years?

February 19, 2013 - 3:00pm | By Adi Kamdar

The domain name registrar Namecheap is running an awareness campaign against CISPA, the dangerous cybersecurity bill—and they're donating $1 to EFF for each tweet (#CISPAalert), Facebook share, and domain name bought using the code CISPAalert. Namecheap, a staunch opponent of SOPA last year, is now taking charge of spreading the word about CISPA's threats to your privacy.

February 15, 2013 - 3:30pm | By Parker Higgins

Yesterday the Alameda County Sheriff's Office presented a proposal for the purchase of a drone in a public hearing with the Board of Supervisors Public Protection Committee in Oakland, California. EFF joined the ACLU of Northern California and several other public interest groups in testifying against a drone purchase until the Sheriff's Office adopts a substantive, binding privacy policy—with no loopholes—that protects citizens from undue surveillance.


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Defending your rights in the digital world

February 15, 2013 - 3:11pm | By Adi Kamdar and Corynne McSherry

Internet users around the world got a Valentine's Day present yesterday in the form of new legislation that requires U.S. government agencies to improve public access to federally funded research.

The proposed mandate, called the Fair Access to Science & Technology Research Act, or FASTR (PDF), is simple. Agencies like the National Science Foundation, which invests millions of taxpayer dollars in scientific research every year, must design and implement a plan to facilitate public access to—and robust reuse of—the results of that investment. The contours of the plans are equally simple: researchers who receive funding from most federal agencies must submit a copy of any resulting journal articles to the funding agency, which will then make that research freely available to the world within six months.

February 15, 2013 - 11:46am | By Rebecca Jeschke

EFF is extraordinarily pleased to officially announce a new addition to our Board of Directors: entrepreneur and technologist Brian Behlendorf.  

We have long been a fan of Brian and his tireless work in the open source community – ranging from software development in the early days of the Web to open source advocacy at the highest levels of government.  

As the Web was in the midst of its first big growth spurt, Brian co-founded the Apache Group (later the Apache Software Foundation), helping to build and give away the popular Apache HTTP Server.  He also launched CollabNet, which brought the principles and tools used by the open source software community to large enterprises.

February 15, 2013 - 10:10am | By Parker Higgins

In a welcome turn of events, President Barack Obama spoke directly to the patent troll problem and the need for more comprehensive patent reform yesterday in a "Fireside Hangout" — a live question and answer session hosted in a Google+ hangout. The President was responding to a question by the prominent electrical engineer and entrepreneur Limor "Ladyada" Fried, who in 2009 won an EFF Pioneer Award for her work with free software and open-source hardware.

February 14, 2013 - 2:22pm | By Adi Kamdar

In a recent blog post, Jill Lesser, Executive Director of the Center for Copyright Information, responded to widespread concerns that the copyright surveillance machine known as the Copyright Alert System—or "Six Strikes"—would cripple libraries and cafes that provided open wireless networks. The title of said post: "CAS Will Not Harm Public Wi-Fi."

We disagree. 

February 14, 2013 - 10:45am | By Julie Samuels

There is much wrong with software patents. But one of their worst side effects has to be the advent of the patent troll: one who makes nothing, sells nothing, and capitalizes on legal loopholes to extort money in the guise of "licenses," oftentimes from parties who don't even arguably infringe the patent at issue. Lately, patent trolls have behaving even worse than usual, targeting downstream users, consumers, and others who lack the resources to fight back.

February 13, 2013 - 11:13pm | By Mark M. Jaycox

It's official: The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act was reintroduced in the House of Representatives yesterday. CISPA is the contentious bill civil liberties advocates fought last year, which would provide a poorly-defined "cybersecurity" exception to existing privacy law. CISPA offers broad immunities to companies who choose to share data with government agencies (including the private communications of users) in the name of cybersecurity. It also creates avenues for companies to share data with any federal agencies, including military intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA).

EFF is adamantly opposed to CISPA. Will you join us in calling on Congress to stop this and any other privacy-invasive cybersecurity legislation?

February 13, 2013 - 10:05pm | By Trevor Timm

A few months ago, in EFF's backyard, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office tried to sneak approval for surveillance drone funding at the county's board of supervisors without a public hearing.  Worse, they told the board of supervisors it only wanted to use the drone for emergency purposes. Yet in internal documents obtained by EFF and MuckRock as part of our 2012 drone census showed the Sheriff's Office said it wanted to use the drone for activities like spying on "suspicious persons" and "large crowd control disturbances."

February 13, 2013 - 12:13pm | By Eva Galperin

This weekend, the Cairo Administrative Court issued a 30-day ban order on YouTube and all other websites that host or link to content from the anti-Islam film "The Innocence of Muslims," which was protested worldwide after footage from the trailer was shown on Egyptian television. The court's ruling may force the hand of the National Telecom Regulation Authority (NTRA) and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), which have refrained from pursuing such a ban themselves.


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Score one for the space marines. 

Last month, a UK game developer, Games Workshop, complained to that an ebook, Spots the Space Marine, infringed its trademarks in the term "space marine."  Turns out Games Workshop sells a popular game, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, and has registered marks in the term "space marine" in connection with games. But Games Workshop lost all sense of proportion and decided that it also had trademark rights to the term in books. And thus a trademark bully was born.  

After it received the complaint, Amazon promptly removed the book from its virtual shelves.  When the author, M.C.A Hogarth, protested, Amazon initially refused to reinstate the book and instead politely suggested she resolve the dispute directly with Games Workshop.  

Defending your rights in the digital world

February 6, 2013 - 5:24pm | By Kurt Opsahl

Copyright troll Righthaven LLC just doesn't know when to stay down. Faced with six district court judges determining it didn't have the right to sue people over copyrights it didn't own, it turned to a higher power: the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Yesterday, EFF appeared before that court to argue (audio) against Righthaven on behalf of Tad DiBiase, a criminal justice blogger who provides resources for difficult-to-prosecute "no body" murder cases and was one of Righthaven's victims.

February 6, 2013 - 12:43pm | By Jillian C. York and Maira Sutton

Following the events of the 'Arab Spring,' numerous countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa have begun assessing—or reassessing—their regulation of the Internet. Last April, we criticized Iraq's attempt at legislation: a heavy-handed bill that, if passed, would impose life imprisonment for vaguely-worded "crimes" such as promoting "ideas which are disruptive to public order" and lesser sentences for a range of other offenses.

February 6, 2013 - 10:52am | By Nate Cardozo

You might be surprised to learn that the vast majority of new cars sold in the United States contain a device that continuously monitors the driver's behavior and vehicle performance. This so-called "black box" or Event Data Recorder (EDR) records at least the last several seconds of vehicle and driver data before a crash, ostensibly for use by crash investigators. Last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed rules that would mandate EDRs in all new cars and light trucks.

While we agree that EDRs can serve a valuable forensic function, we are concerned that the NHTSA's proposed rules fail to address driver and car-owner privacy in a meaningful way.

February 6, 2013 - 10:49am | By Hanni Fakhoury

The next time you allow a guest into your home for dinner, should you be worried they're secretly video recording every detail of your home for the government? In a new amicus brief filed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, we've asked the court to reconsider a decision finding that allowing someone into your home means you're also placing yourself at the risk of warrantless home video surveillance. 

February 6, 2013 - 9:43am | By Daniel Nazer

Patent trolls — companies that assert patents as a business model instead of creating products — have been in the news lately. This is hardly surprising, given that troll lawsuits now make up the majority of new patent cases. And the litigation is only the tip of the iceberg: patent trolls send out hundreds of demand letters for each suit filed in court. At EFF, we have been following this issue closely and are working hard to bring reform to fix the patent mess.

February 5, 2013 - 5:44pm | By Adi Kamdar and Peter Eckersley

The Washington Post boldly led a front-page story last weekend with the claim: "The federal government wants to create super WiFi networks across the nation, so powerful and broad in reach that consumers could use them to make calls or surf the Internet without paying a cellphone bill every month."

Let's get one thing straight: the government is not creating its own "super WiFi network", but its plans will indeed make awesome new WiFi networks possible. Technically, what the FCC is actually trying to do is increase the amount of open spectrum that is available for WiFi networks of all sorts—and for other "unlicensed" uses. This is a very good idea. Increasing the amount of unlicensed spectrum will lead to better functioning routers, tablets, laptops, and smartphones—and to a host of other new products in the marketplace. It will enhance the quality and supply of extremely useful open wireless networks, but it will also increase the quality of (somewhat less efficient) password-locked WiFi networks as well.

February 5, 2013 - 1:18pm | By Julie Samuels

Another day, another patent troll. Or so it seems. The threat of the patent troll is not new—we've written about it time and again. But the troubling trend of suing downstream users and content providers really makes us mad. First it was the app developers, then those who scan documents to email. Now, the latest outrage: podcasters. Yes, really. And EFF wants to help organize those facing the threat so that we can gauge the size of the problem and hopefully help people find counsel and a way to work together in response. 


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Defending your rights in the digital world

February 4, 2013 - 6:42pm | By Corynne McSherry

Can Congress embrace and enact sensible copyright policy? Four years ago, for a brief shining moment, it seemed the answer might be yes, as various interested stakeholders rallied around long-overdue legislation that would have helped to fix the orphan works problem.  Orphan works are those whose owner cannot be located. Consequently, those who would like to use and share these works may hesitate to do so out of fear that they could later be found liable for copyright infringement because they didn't get permission.  In 2008, a variety of interested parties managed to come up with a way to limit that liability.  It wasn't perfect, but it represented real progress.

February 4, 2013 - 10:56am | By Marcia Hofmann and Rainey Reitman

In the wake of social justice activist Aaron Swartz's tragic death, Internet users around the country are taking a hard look at the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the federal anti-hacking law.  As we've noted, the CFAA has lots of problems. In this three-part series, we'll explain these problems in detail and why they need to be fixed. For more details about our proposal for CFAA reform, see part 2 and part 3.

February 1, 2013 - 11:05am | By Adi Kamdar

The open access movement is a long-standing campaign in the world of research to make scholarly works freely available and reusable. One of its fundamental premises is that the progress of knowledge and culture happens scholarly works of all kinds are widely shared, not hidden in ivory towers built with paywalls and shorn by harsh legal regimes.

January 31, 2013 - 12:09pm | By Mark M. Jaycox

Last year, we saw more battles in Congress over Internet freedom than we have in many years as user protests stopped two dangerous bills, the censorship-oriented SOPA, and the privacy-invasive Cybersecurity Act of 2012. But Congress ended the year by ramming through a domestic spying bill and weakening the Video Privacy Protection Act.

In 2013, Congress will tackle several bills—both good and bad—that could shape Internet privacy for the next decade. Some were introduced last year, and some will be completely new. For now, here's what's ahead in the upcoming Congress:

Reforming Draconian Computer Crime Law

January 31, 2013 - 8:59am | By Rainey Reitman

Recentemente, EFF está trabalhando com TOS;DR para hospedar uma hackathon na Campus Party Brasil, no Centro de Convenções do Parque Anhembi em São Paulo, Brasil. Novidades sobre o conteúdo, inscrição e agenda estão disponíveis no site oficial do evento. Abaixo algumas fotos do evento. 

Você está na Campus Party Brasil? Então mande um e-mail para o Pedro Markun para participar de nossa hackathon.

January 30, 2013 - 5:09pm | By Rebecca Jeschke

EFF is pleased to welcome our newest staff attorney, Daniel Nazer.  He joins our intellectual property team thanks to a generous donation from Mark Cuban, and will focus on an area of increasing importance in our digital world: patent reform.


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Defending your rights in the digital world

January 29, 2013 - 9:42pm | By Eva Galperin

When you use the Internet, you entrust your thoughts, experiences, photos, and location data to intermediaries — companies like AT&T, Google, and Facebook. But when the government requests that data, users are usually left in the dark. In the United States, companies are not required by law to alert their users when they receive a government request for their data. In some circumstances, they are explicitly prohibited from doing so. As part of our ongoing Who Has Your Back campaign, EFF has called on companies to be transparent by publishing their law enforcement guidelines and statistics on government requests for user data.

January 29, 2013 - 3:45pm | By Adi Kamdar

Facebook's Graph Search has certainly caused quite a stir since it was first announced two weeks ago. We wrote earlier about how Graph Search, still in beta, presents new privacy problems by making shared information discoverable when previously it was hard—if not impossible—to find at a large scale. We also put out a call to action—and even created a handy how-to guide—urging people to reassess their privacy settings.  

January 29, 2013 - 10:30am | By Jillian C. York

An article in this week's Economist describes a scenario in which—following the destruction of a mall's kiddie dinosaur display by the country's morality police—Saudi Arabia's Twitter users quick make a hashtag go viral, building off one another's jokes and mocking some of the country's most archaic laws.  As the article notes, many of the jokes mocked the morality police themselves, such as one in which a Twitter user quipped: "They worried that people would find the dinosaurs more highly evolved than themselves."

January 29, 2013 - 9:23am | By Katitza Rodriguez

January 28 marks International Privacy Day. Different countries are celebrating this day calling attention to their own events and campaigns. This year, EFF is honoring the day by sharing some advocacy strategies utilized by human rights advocates and activists from Argentina, the UK, Canada, and the United States, that have helped to defeat overreaching surveillance proposals that threaten civil liberties.

January 29, 2013 - 8:17am | By Parker Higgins

In the wake of social justice activist Aaron Swartz's tragic death, Internet users around the country are taking a hard look at the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the federal anti-hacking law.  In addition to the below overview, we have a three part series explaining these problems in detail and why they need to be fixed. For more details about our proposal for CFAA reform, see part 1, part 2, and part 3.

January 28, 2013 - 2:35pm | By Mitch Stoltz

Legal protection for people who unlock their mobile phones to use them on other networks expired last weekend.  According to the claims of major U.S. wireless carriers, unlocking a phone bought after January 26 without your carrier's permission violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") whether the phone is under contract or not. In a way, this is not as bad as it sounds. In other ways, it's even worse.


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Defending your rights in the digital world

January 28, 2013 - 2:12pm | By Adi Kamdar

Continuing our series of posts about the importance of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA 230), we spoke with John Swapceinski, co-founder of the Ratingz Network, which runs over a dozen review sites. Swapceinski got his start in the rating business when he founded in 1999, a site for college students to review their teachers (which he sold in 2005). In 2004, he started RateMDs to let people review doctors, and in 2005 he co-founded LawyerRatingz, RealEstateRatingz, VetRatingz, and more as part of the Ratingz Network.

January 28, 2013 - 12:46pm | By Corynne McSherry

After years of litigation, it appears Stephanie Lenz may have a chance to tell her story to a jury. Back in 2007, you'll remember, she posted a video to YouTube of her children dancing and running around in her kitchen with Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" playing in the background. A few months later, Universal Music Corp. used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's rapid-fire takedown process to get the video removed from YouTube, claiming that it infringed copyright law. With help from EFF and Keker & Van Nest, Lenz fought back. She filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to hold Universal accountable for misrepresenting that her fair use video violated copyright law. Late last week, Judge Jeremy Fogel issued a ruling in the case that sent contradictory signals on the future of fair use under the DMCA.

January 28, 2013 - 12:00pm | By Katitza Rodriguez

This is the second in a series of posts mapping global surveillance challenges discussed at EFF's Surveillance Camp in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In December 2012, EFF organized a Surveillance and Human Rights Camp in Brazil that brought together the expertise of a diverse group of people concerned about state electronic surveillance in Latin American and other countries. Among other concerns, participants spotlighted the many ways in which the private sector is increasingly playing a role in state surveillance. Here are a few examples:

January 28, 2013 - 2:16am | By Rainey Reitman

This is a re-posting of a guide by TOSBack developer Jimm Stout

TOSBack is an open-source project that aims to assist users around the world by tracking the changes to Terms of Service (TOS) and other policies on the web, but we need some help to bring it back to life! We are hosting a hackathon at Campus Party Brazil later this week to give the project a healthy revamp. The project uses Rails and we'd love people to contribute code. But if you aren't a Rails developer, you can still contribute by submitting rules and letting us know which policies are important to you. This is a developers' guide for submitting new policies for TOSBack to crawl. If you want to get started as quickly as possible, you can scroll down to the "Putting it all together" section below.

January 24, 2013 - 2:51pm | By Rainey Reitman

EFF, TOS;DR and Campus Party Brazil are Teaming Up for a Liberty-Enhancing Hackathon

UPDATE (2/1/13): For the last three days, hackers and activists in Sao Paulo attending Campus Party have been working with EFF and TOS;DR to improve the free software tool TOSBack. TOSBack is a software project spearheaded by EFF to track the changes to Terms of Service over time. It was in dire need of a revamp, and we're happy to say that hackers at Campus Party rose to the effort.

While there's still a lot to be done, we began the process of relaunching TOSBack over the 3 day hackathon.  Here's what we've done so far:

January 23, 2013 - 1:47pm | By Cindy Cohn and Marcia Hofmann

In our first post, we presented some initial thinking about how to fix the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and wire fraud law in light of the tragic prosecution of Aaron Swartz. 

Now we present part two: suggestions to address the CFAA's penalty structure.  The CFAA, which is the primary federal computer crime law, allows for harsh punishments and makes too many offenses felonies. The statute is also structured so that the same behavior can violate multiple provisions of the law, which prosecutors often combine to beef up the potential penalties. 


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Defending your rights in the digital world

January 22, 2013 - 1:26pm | By Marcia Hofmann




January 19, 2013 - 4:25pm | By Maira Sutton

We asked leading digital rights activists who have been involved in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations to discuss copyright law and their advocacy work in the countries where they are based.

This week, Jeremy Malcolm of Consumers International explains recent changes to Malaysia's copyright law, and his current work in pushing for positive global standards that would protect the rights of users against abusive copyright policies. Jeremy is the Project Coordinator for Intellectual Property and Communications. He is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


January 18, 2013 - 1:27pm | By Rainey Reitman

We created some digital shwag to celebrate Internet Freedom Day — the one year anniversary of the Internet-wide blackout protests that killed the censorship bills SOPA and PIPA. Below are two images designed to be used as Twitter headers. Download the images and try them on your Twitter profile today. Everyone who sees your profile will instantly recognize you as a proud member of the larger EFF community and the movement that helped defeat SOPA.

Make sure to click each image to get the full-size version for download. We'll have more Twitter header options available in the future, so keep an eye here on the EFF blog for updates.

January 18, 2013 - 11:24am | By Adi Kamdar

Earlier this week, Facebook launched a new feature—Graph Search—that raised some privacy concerns with us. Graph Search allows users to make structured searches to filter through friends, friends of friends, and strangers. This feature relies on your profile information being made widely or publicly available, yet there are some Likes, photos, or other pieces of information that you might not want out there.

Since Facebook removed the ability to remove yourself from search results altogether, we've put together a quick how-to guide to help you take control over what is featured on your Facebook profile and on Graph Search results. (Facebook also has a new video explaining how to control what shows up in Graph Search.)

January 18, 2013 - 11:23am | By Adi Kamdar

The famed technology writer Steven Levy starts his long-form history of Facebook's newest product—Graph Search—by describing it as a feature that "promises to transform its user experience, threaten its competitors, and torment privacy activists." Though it takes quite a lot to torment us these days, Graph Search does raise a few eyebrows.

January 18, 2013 - 7:44am | By Trevor Timm

One year ago today, Internet users of all ages, races, and political stripes participated in the largest protest in Internet history, flooding Congress with millions of emails and phone calls to demand they drop the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)—a dangerous bill that would have allowed corporations and the govenrment to censor larger parts of the Web.

But the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and the fight for Internet freedom continues.  Here's a look at the top five issues SOPA activists should focus on next:

January 17, 2013 - 4:40pm | By Parker Higgins and Trevor Timm

The FBI had to rewrite the book on its domestic surveillance activities in the wake of last January's landmark Supreme Court decision in United States v. Jones. In Jones, a unanimous court held that federal agents must get a warrant to attach a GPS device to a car to track a suspect for long periods of time. But if you want to see the two memos describing how the FBI has reacted to Jones — and the new surveillance techniques the FBI is using beyond GPS trackers — you're out of luck. The FBI says that information is "private and confidential."


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Defending your rights in the digital world

January 17, 2013 - 1:41pm | By Cindy Cohn and Mark M. Jaycox and Marcia Hofmann

The death of our friend Aaron Swartz has resulted in an unprecedented outpouring of grief, along with a strong commitment to use this tragedy to make some of the change Aaron wanted to see in the world.

At EFF, Aaron's death created two imperatives on issues that are close to our hearts. The first is to continue his work to open up closed and entrenched systems that prevent ordinary people from having access to the world's knowledge, especially the knowledge created with our tax dollars. More on that soon.  

January 12, 2013 - 11:29am | By Peter Eckersley

Yesterday Aaron Swartz, a close friend and collaborator of ours, committed suicide. This is a tragic end to a brief and extraordinary life.

Aaron did more than almost anyone to make the Internet a thriving ecosystem for open knowledge, and to keep it that way. His contributions were numerous, and some of them were indispensable. When we asked him in late 2010 for help in stopping COICA, the predecessor to the SOPA and PIPA Internet blacklist bills, he founded an organization called Demand Progress, which mobilized over a million online activists and proved to be an invaluable ally in winning that campaign.

January 11, 2013 - 6:03pm | By Hanni Fakhoury

Late Friday, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction in the lawsuit EFF filed with the ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC) that challenges the unconstitutional provisions in Proposition 35, a ballot measure passed by California voters in November that restricts the legal and constitutionally protected speech of all registered sex offenders in California.

January 11, 2013 - 10:25am | By Maira Sutton

Expanding copyright to allow rent seeking for linking would break the fabric of the Internet. Links and citations to articles do not infringe copyright, as links do not copy, distribute, or perform any copyrighted work. Despite some desperate assertions of the contrary, copyright protection of links is not enshrined in law. Newspapers, however, are pushing for legislation to support this dangerous claim, regardless of the implications it would have for free speech.

January 10, 2013 - 3:36pm | By Parker Higgins

Today the California Attorney General released "Privacy on the Go," [pdf] a report of privacy recommendations for players in the smartphone ecosystem focused on mobile app developers. These guidelines continue a push from the Attorney General to extend privacy protections from the online world onto the smaller screens of our mobile devices, kicked off by an agreement last year to incorporate app privacy policies into the six largest mobile "app stores." 

January 10, 2013 - 12:04pm | By Parker Higgins

Update: On January 10, YouTube informed Jonathan McIntosh that his video had been reinstated. The copyright "strike" appears to be removed from his account. YouTube did not wait for the DMCA's 10 to 14 day waiting period to expire, choosing to stand up for its user and putting a stake in this disappointing abuse of the takedown process.


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Defending your rights in the digital world

January 9, 2013 - 5:36pm | By Trevor Timm

The 113th Congress was sworn into office last week and will start regular business later this month. They'll have a huge, and perhaps unprecedented, slate of Internet related legislation in the next year, including potentially taking up a dangerous new Internet surveillance bill—which we will detail in the coming days and weeks.

But before they do, they should take a lesson from the 112th Congress on how not to conduct business. In their final official week of existence—and the cover of holidays—the 112th Congress used underhanded and undemocratic tactics to pass two bills that have terrible effects on your online privacy.

January 9, 2013 - 3:49pm | By Adi Kamdar

Free speech has very strong protections in the United States. Not only do we have laws like CDA 230 that allow review sites like Yelp to exist, but we also have very strong defenses ingrained both in our Constitution and in our statutes. Unfortunately, there are aspects of the legal system that are easily abused; people too often use lawsuits to intimidate others and stifle their speech.

January 9, 2013 - 3:08am | By Eva Galperin

In the last two days, Kuwaiti courts have issued back-to-back 2-year jail sentences to Twitter users for allegedly insulting Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al Sabah. The first verdict was issued on Sunday against 26-year old Rashid Saleh al-Anzi over a Tweet he made to his 5,700 followers in October, that the court said, "stabbed the rights and powers" of the Emir. Al-Anzi has been sentenced to two years in prison and is expected to appeal.

January 7, 2013 - 9:36pm | By Parker Higgins and Rainey Reitman

On December 28, 2012, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) spoke out eloquently against the warrantless wiretapping program instituted by the Bush Administration and continued by the Obama Administration. In his testimony before the Senate, Wyden explained how the original FISA Act worked - and how, after September 11th, the Bush Administration exceeded its legal authority and instituted a warrantless surveillance program.

In the clip below, Wyden explains that he was never briefed on the warrantless wiretapping program when it was created- even though he was a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence:

Like you, I have been on the Intelligence Committee and I have been a member for 12 years. But the first time I heard about the warrantless wiretapping program - the first time I heard about it - was when I read about it in the newspaper. It was in the New York Times before I - as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence - knew about it.

January 7, 2013 - 8:08pm | By Eva Galperin

UPDATE 1/10/13: After a two-day trial, a court in the city of Vinh convicted all 14 of the defendants that appeared in court. Thirteen of the activists and bloggers were sentenced to serve prison terms ranging individually from 3 to 13 years. One [Nguyen Dang Vinh Phuc] was given a three-year conditionally suspended sentence, making him easily vulnerable to re-arrest. EFF condemns these harsh sentences and calls for the immediate release of the imprisoned activists.

January 7, 2013 - 3:46pm | By Seth Schoen

We're really happy that Yahoo! is starting 2013 right by letting Yahoo! Mail users use HTTPS to access their e-mail accounts securely. (That means that, just a few days into 2013, we got one of the items on our holiday wishlist!)

January 6, 2013 - 7:05pm | By Jennifer Lynch

In the amount of time it takes to get lunch, the government can now collect your DNA and extract a profile that identifies you and your family members.

Rapid DNA Analyzers—machines with the ability to process DNA in 90 minutes or less—are an operational reality and are being marketed to the federal government and state and local law enforcement agencies around the country. These machines, each about the size of a laser printer, are designed to be used in the field by non-scientists, and—if you believe the hype from manufacturers like IntegenX and NetBio—will soon "revolutionize the use of DNA by making it a routine identification and investigational tool."


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