On Sunday, the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister David Cameron and the Interior Ministry were forced to defend a sweeping wiretapping proposal, which would aim to monitor every single email, text message, and phone call flowing through the whole country. The proposal would likely force all UK Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to install “black boxes” on their systems that use Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology, which would give authorities access to all communications data without a warrant or any judicial oversight.
Law enforcement would have access to IP addresses, email addresses, when you send an email, to whom you send it, and how frequently—as well as corresponding data for phone calls and text messages. The government has claimed this proposal is needed to fight “terrorism and serious crimes,” but of course, it would be available to law enforcement for all purposes.
As the Washington Post reported, many privacy advocates in the UK say, “the move would intrude so deeply into the lives of British citizens that it would rival or exceed measures used by totalitarian governments.” While there’s still no public draft of the proposal, the government insists that law enforcement will not have access to the content of communications; however, retaining allother identifying information can easily reveal vast troves of information about a user’s private life. Mathematician and security researcher George Danezis explains:
Basically you can think of blanket traffic data retention and access as having a policeman following you around 24h a day / 7 days a week, and making notes about where you have been, what you have looked at, who you are talking to, what you are doing, where you are sleeping (and with whom), everything you bought, every political and trade union meeting you went to, … – but not actually hearing any of the conversation or seeing what you wrote. Traffic data provide an X-ray of your whole life, and the policy suggests they should be available to law enforcement and the intelligence services without any judicial oversight (only political review or police oversight).
Unfortunately for the UK government, a lot of popular email and social media services, like Google and Facebook, use SSL encryption to protect their users' data, so the government may not be able to access the information through DPI. Under this proposal however, Google and Facebook would be forced to comply with every data request.
In the UK, user data—such as IP address and contact information—already has relatively weak protection. Under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, law enforcement can get user data on a case-by-case basis from UK-based Internet Service Providers (ISPs) “upon request.” ISPs cannot challenge the request. But as Privacy International explains, the new proposal would also put non-UK based services like Google and Facebook under this regime, forcing them to comply with any request, regardless of its validity.
Currently, Google only provides data to governments when the request “complies with both the spirit and the letter of the law.” If not, Google says will refuse to hand over user information to the government. For example, according to Google’s Transparency Report, from January-June 2011 last year, they received 1,279 user data requests from UK authorities and refused to comply with 37%. Under this proposal, that number of refusals would drop to zero.
In addition to the massive encroachment on privacy, the new proposal has many security risks and potential for further abuse, as Privacy International has laid out in this helpful FAQ. While government advocates insist such an expansive bill is required to stop “terrorism” (a familiarrefrain), Privacy International explains:
“In a terrorism investigation, the police will already have access to all the data they could want. This is about other investigations - it is about the millions of requests made every year by local law enforcement and other authorities in the investigation of serious—and less serious—crime.”
In an ironic twist, a similar plan was shot down in 2006 by a minority coalition of Liberal Democrats and Conservative party members, some of whom now make up the ruling party that has put forth the new proposal. Thankfully, other members of Parliament are speaking up. Conservative lawmaker David Davis remarked, “It is not focusing on terrorists or criminals. It is absolutely everybody…This is an unnecessary extension of the ability of the state to snoop on ordinary innocent people in vast numbers.”
EFF stands with the diverse group of civil liberties organizations, privacy advocates, and ordinary citizens of the UK in opposing this truly Orwellian law.
New data from law enforcement agencies across the country has confirmed what EFF has long been afraid of: while police are routinely using cell phone location tracking information, only a handful of agencies are bothering to obtain search warrants.
Now new data -- obtained from a coordinated FOIA request by the ACLU -- shows just how pervasive cell phone tracking is throughout the United States. The ACLU obtained 5,500 pages of records from over 200 different law enforcement agencies. The records revealed that most law enforcement agencies are using location tracking information routinely, with only 10 out of the more than 200 claiming they had not tracked cell phones.
And even more troubling, the records demonstrate that different agencies use different standards to obtain this information, with only a few agencies obtaining search warrants in order to track. It looks like local law enforcement agencies are taking their lead from the federal government, who has been using cell location data obtained without a search warrant for years. The case of Antoine Jones is one example. If his name sounds familiar, its because in January of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a landmark decision that the warrantless surveillance of Jones for 28 days through a GPS device violated the Fourth Amendment. Now unable to use the GPS data, the government is turning to cell location data which it also obtained without a search warrant. In another case, the government has appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the decision of a magistrate judge - who we supported in an amicus brief - that required the government to obtain a search warrant in order to obtain cell tracking information. A magistrate judge in Massachusetts (PDF), and a district court judge in Maryland (PDF) have recently reached the opposite conclusion, ruling that the government didn't need a search warrant to obtain cell location data.
To civil liberties organizations like us and the ACLU, the privacy implications of obtaining this data without a search warrant are obvious and troubling. But it seems that at least one law enforcement agency recognized the likely public outrage too. The New York Times reports that the Iowa City Police Department warned officers in a training manual not to "mention to the public or the media the use of cellphone technology or equipment used to locate the targeted subject,” and even to keep them out of police reports.
But the story doesn't just end with location data. Because once the police find the phone they've been tracking, its getting easier (and more frequent) for them to search the contents of the phone without a warrant, and to obtain reams of your personal data in minutes. A video demonstration posted online by Micro Systemation, a Swedish mobile forensics company that sells its devices to law enforcement agencies, demonstrated how easily police can crack a cell phone's security and suck all of the data out in seconds. Unsurprisingly, once the video went viral last week, it was pulled from YouTube.
And as we've noted before, recent court decisions have allowed the police to search an arrested person's cell phone "incident to arrest" without a warrant, or any reason to believe they will find anything incriminating on it. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals is the latest court to authorize this practice, issuing a decision (PDF) in February finding no Fourth Amendment violation in a warrantless search of a cell phone of an arrested person. The police have now been armed to turn any pretextual arrest - say, an Occupy Wall Street arrest for disorderly conduct - into a cell phone fishing expedition, getting access to your calendar, contacts, emails, text messages, voicemails and reading and web browsing history.
All this gloom and doom can be fixed in two ways. First, courts need to recognize that the Fourth Amendment prohibits pervasive and sustained government surveillance unless the police get a search warrant. For centuries, the government's biggest limitation was technological; it was difficult - if not impossible - to follow a person for days at a time. But with surveillance tools becoming smaller and cheaper, its easier for the government to use surveillance information from our own cars to investigate mundane, non-violent crimes. The Fourth Amendment needs to keep up with the changes in technology in order for its longstanding privacy protections to have meaning.
Second, Congress needs to step up and update our electronic privacy laws. The law that governs cell phone location data - the Electronic Communications Privacy Act ("ECPA") - is more than 25 years old, enacted in a time where cell phones were far from ubiquitous. The law has been unable to keep up with the rapid technological changes that have occurred since 1986, and the conflicting court opinions on the constitutionality of warrantless cell phone location tracking noted above is the end result. It's time for Congress to reexamine the law and bring it in line with our expectations of privacy today.
You can do your part by getting informed and checking out the ACLU's location data map to figure out whether the cops where you live use location tracking data. Regardless of whether or not you live in a state where the cops track, you can tell Congress that its time to fix our broken and ancient technology laws by signing our action alert, and taking a stand to protect our locational privacy from the prying eyes of the government.
It can't be easy to convince millions of subscribers that there's no reason to be worried when their service providers agree to collaborate with big content to tackle online infringement -- especially when those subscribers weren't given a chance to review or comment on the deal. But yesterday's announcement of the membership of the executive and advisory boards for the Center for Copyright Information, which is in charge of implementing the "graduated response" program announced last year, seemed to be an attempt to do just that. The press release stressed the free speech credentials of the executive director and the identified the various consumer advocates who have agreed to serve on the advisory board. So, all will be fine, right?
Wrong. An advisory board is just that: a group of advisors, not decisionmakers. No matter how you slice it, subscribers don't have a seat at the table now any more than they did in the earlier negotiations.
For those who haven’t been following this, here’s a brief sampling of issues subscribers might have wanted to address, if they'd been given a chance:
The alerts and other measures contemplated in the original "memorandum of understanding" released last summer are prompted by a mere allegation of infringement, based on detection mechanisms users cannot independently investigate (there is a process for independent review, but the reports won’t be public), with no way to hold content owners accountable for mistakes.
Subscribers can challenge improper notices -- but they get just 10 days to prepare their case, and can only assert certain limited defenses.
Thus far, while various reports about the system are supposed to be generated, there’s no mechanism to make those public, nor the “prevailing legal principles” the reviewers are supposed to apply.
The ISPs and the media groups announced the project last summer to much fanfare and criticism. But a funny thing happened on the way to the final rollout: Internet users joined together to tell policymakers and big media, in no uncertain terms, that we oppose backroom deals governing the Internet. That this deal applies to Internet access, among other things, makes it no less palatable; quite the contrary.
Given the importance of Internet access today, it's crazy to imagine being cut off for unproven accusations from a record label, movie studio, or book publisher. You can tell the participating ISPs today to publicly commit to not use this program to cut off users from the Internet.
And here's one more idea for the groups involved in negotiating this agreement: press reset. This collaboration has been years in the making, with the ISPs under heavy pressure from the content industries and government officials. It may be that they made the best deal they could under the circumstances, but since then the world has changed. If the ISPs decided to take this back to drawing board, we think their customers will stand with them, loudly and publicly -- but only if they also insist that their customers have voice in the process.
ACLU Public Records Requests Shed New Light on Use of Cell Phone Tracking
Over the weekend, the ACLU released an exhaustive study of state and local law enforcement’s surveillance practices in regards to how often police forces are tracking citizens’ movements through their cell phones. The findings were staggering. As the New York Timesreported, the documents prove warrantless cell phone tracking “has become a powerful and widely used surveillance tool for local police officials, with hundreds of departments, large and small, often using it aggressively with little or no court oversight, documents show.”
Thirty-five ACLU affiliates helped file over 380 public records requests, and they received over 5,500 pages of documents in response from over 200 local law enforcement agencies. Despite the invasive nature of cell tracking, “only a tiny minority”—10 agencies total—consistently obtained a warrant before tracking someone through their cellphone.
EFF has repeatedly argued that law enforcement should be required to get a warrant before tracking someone’s movements through their phone. The ACLU’s important work shows that the problem is much more widespread than previously reported and underscores the need for either Congress or the courts to definitively declare that a warrant should be required before the police can turn a device in your pocket into a surveillance tool.
FOIA Lawsuits Seek Answers on Federal Government’s Drone Programs
In a stinging blog post, New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal accused the Obama administration of using secrecy to avoid legal accountability, declaring, “In some ways, his administration is even worse than the Bush team when it comes to abusing the privilege of secrecy.”
Rosenthal referred to two Freedom of Information Act lawsuits the ACLU filed that demanded the government release evidence and the legal authority used to justify the killings of American citizen Anwar al-Alwaki with a drone in Yemen. The Times is also suing for the release of the legal memo justifying the extrajudicial killing. In response, the government has invoked the controversial “state secrets” privilege, arguing that they can neither “confirm nor deny” the drone program’s existence, despite mountains of public evidence that the program exists.
As Rosenthal notes, former CIA director and current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has repeatedly acknowledged the drone program in public. President Obama has also commented that “obviously a lot of these [drone] strikes have been in” Pakistan. And the administration has continually leaked information about the program to newspapers when it suits their purpose. “So this is not a secret program, but the government continues to hide behind the secrecy shield to avoid turning over the legal document justifying (or at least rationalizing) it,” Rosenthal concluded.
To underscore the absurdity of the government’s secrecy argument, the same week the ACLU was highlighting the government’s refusal to acknowledge the program, the Associated Press published information leaked by anonymous US officials discussing their ongoing negotiations with the Pakistani government to continue to conduct strikes within Pakistan.
Separately, EFF is also still waiting for results from our lawsuit against the FAA, asking that they release information on who has received authorization to fly drones in the United States and for what purpose.
Documents Expose Disturbing Aspects of FBI National Security Investigations
In a stunning revelation, Wired’s Danger Room published documents showing FBI training material instructing agents that it was okay to “bend or suspend the law and impinge on freedoms of others” in the FBI’s hunt for terrorists and criminals. The documents, according to Danger Room, also “warned agents against shaking hands with ‘Asians’ and said Arabs were prone to ‘Jekyll & Hyde temper tantrums.’”
A letter from Senator Richard Durbin to FBI Director Robert Mueller initially tipped Wired off that the documents existed, but the FBI initially refused to release it. The FBI eventually relented and released the full document, “but refused to say who prepared the document; how long it was in circulation; and how many FBI agents, analysts and officials received its instruction.”
Worse, no one at the FBI has been punished for telling its agents to break the law, and there is no plan to re-train the agents who were exposed to the materials. As Senator Dick Durbin said, “It’s stunning that these things could be said to members of our FBI in training. It will not make them more effective in their work and won’t make America safer.”
As the result of a Freedom of Information Act request, the ACLU also received separate FBI guidelines, further illuminating the FBI’s expansive approach to terrorism investigations. As the Washington Postreported, the documents showed “the bureau’s San Francisco division used its Muslim outreach efforts to collect intelligence on religious activities protected by the Constitution.”
Under the U.S. Privacy Act, the FBI is generally prohibited from maintaining records on how people practice their religion unless there is a clear law enforcement purpose. ACLU lawyers said the documents, which the organization obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, showed violations of that law.
The FBI denied to the Post that such surveillance violated any laws. But as past EFF Freedom of Information Act requests have shown, widespread violations involving the FBI’s surveillance authorities are nothing new, especially in national security investigations. These new documents are just another example of why the FBI needs greater accountability when it comes to protecting Americans’ constitutional rights.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has signed on to a joint statement with a global coalition of organizations to demand the Pakistani Ministry of Information Technology, the Information Communication Technology Research & Development Fund, and the Prime Minister, to publicly commit to stop all efforts to mandate a national Internet filtering and blocking system.
As a global community, we actively campaigned to stop the impending firewall and to inform the government and international surveillance companies of the repercussions this will have on academia, businesses, trade, and civil society. As a result, five major international companies known to sell surveillance, filtering, and blocking systems have publicly committed not to apply for the government’s call for proposals.
In Pakistan, only approximately 20 million out of 187 million people have access to the Internet. Despite this, the Internet generates positive benefits for Pakistan through economic growth, education, entrepreneurship, and exchange of culture. The ICT R&D Fund was developed to further the use of ICTs and promote research in the field. An announcement contrary to the progress and development of ICTs from the same organization is disappointing.
While it has become common knowledge that surveillance and censorship technologies are often used in Pakistan, the extent to which this is taking place has only recently become apparent with public reports on censorship and surveillance technologies by a large number of international companies. We also understand the Pakistan government may attempt to involve an academic institution in developing the system, making the biggest victim of this technology also a contributor.
Bushra Gohar, member national assembly, recently informed us of a verbal commitment by Secretary IT, Mr Farooq Awan, that the plan for a national URL filtering and blocking system has been withdrawn. However, no public statement exists.
As members of civil society and organizations committed to ensuring the government upholds democratic principles in Pakistan, and with concerns about restrictions on privacy as well as access to information, we strongly urge the ICT R&D fund of the Ministry of IT to reconsider its decision to filter URLs in Pakistan and make a public commitment that they will not purchase the URL filtering and blocking technology. If the Pakistani government wants to further develop business, innovation, entrepreneurship, trade, and academia, it must realize the adverse effects this filtering system would have on these priorities, and hence, not go ahead with this plan.
More than a year after the start of the "Arab Spring," large portions of the Middle East remain in upheaval. Even in the most stable of countries, press freedom--and by extension, online freedom--remains up for debate. We've highlighted the ongoing debate in Tunisia over online filtering, and have touched on new threats to bloggers in several countries. This week it is legislative proposals in both Iraq and Lebanon that have us on alert.
Iraq's Harsh Informatics Crime Law
All eyes are currently on Baghdad, where an Arab League Summit is taking place. But, as the Economistnotes, "once the dignitaries and television cameras [have departed]," a broadly-worded bill that would severely punish thought crimes is due to come up in front of Iraq's Parliament. According to a translation from the Centre for Law and Democracy, Article 3 of the Act includes mandatory life sentences for using computers or the Internet to:
"compromise" the "unity" of the state;
"subscribe, participate, negotiate, promote, contract or deal with an enemy ... in order to destabilize security and public order or expose the country to danger";
"damage, cause defects, or hinder [systems or networks] belonging to security military, or intelligence authorities with a deliberate intention to harm [state security]".
Under Articles 4 and 5 of the bill, life imprisonment is also imposed upon those who establish or manage a website with deliberate intent to:
promote "ideas which are disruptive to public order";
"implement terrorist operations under fake names or to facilitate communication with members or leaders of terrorist groups";
"promote terrorist activites and ideologies or to publish information regarding the manufacturing, preparation and implementation of flammable or explosive devices, or any tools or materials used in the planning or execution of terrorist acts";
facilitate or promote human trafficking "in any form";
engage in "trafficking, promoting or facilitating the abuse of drugs".
Other articles of the Act aim to provide legal protection for the "legitimate use of computers and information networks" and to "punish the perpetrators of acts which violate the rights of users whether they may be individuals or legal entities." The more alarming elements of the Act include provisions to punish those who utilize information networks to "create chaos in order to weaken the trust of the electronic system of the state," "provoke or promote armed disobedience," "disturb public order or harm the reputation of the country," or "intrudes, annoys or calls computer and information network users without authorization or hinders their use." The penalties for these proposed crimes range from 3 months to life in prison.
There are also extreme penalties related to copyright--2-3 years imprisonment for publishing or copying "any scientific research work, literary, or intellectual properties which belong to someone else and is protected by international laws and agreements"--and hacking, punishing those who access "a private website of a company or institution with the intent to [change, modify, delete or unduly use it]."
Human rights group, Access, has issued an extensive report detailing the many troubling facets of the proposed Act, calling it "vague, broad, and overly harsh." We couldn't agree more: Iraq's new bill presents a grave threat to free expression and innovation. While the harsh, disproportionate sentences are most egregious, the overbroad wording of most of the articles would strip away protections for the press, whistleblowers, activists, and even ordinary citizens.
It is worth noting that while Iraq has placed restrictions on the press, there has been no previous evidence of website blocking, although reports have suggested that Iraqi authorities struck a deal in 2009 with a French company to implement a "security system" that would allow both surveillance and blocking of sites.
Part of the reason, perhaps, that Iraq is now cracking down is the low number of Internet users in the country: an estimated 2.5% of the total of population, according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The number of people who access the Internet via mobile devices in Iraq is on the rise, however, with an estimated 33% of Iraqis getting news via their mobile device (that same survey states that 28% of Iraqis use the Internet for news).
Regardless of the true number of Internet users in Iraq, two things are certain: Iraqis are increasingly using the Internet and this proposed Act would severely limit their ability to do so. We echo Access in advising the Iraqi Parliament to conduct a proper human rights impact assessment of the Act and engage with civil society actors and technologists to revise the bill.
Lebanon's Internet Regulation Act Hurts Bloggers
Lebanon's press is among the most liberal in the Middle East. Though self-censorship is prevalent and the country's 1963 press law limits the number of press licenses issued for political publication, Lebanon's uncensored Internet has filled that void in many ways, allowing independent websites to offer a broader range of opinions than are available in print.
Now, the Lebanese Internet Regulation Act (LIRA) proposed by Lebanon's Minister of Information, M. Walid Daouk, threatens to disrupt online space. The Act would limit what bloggers and independent media sites (as well as ordinary citizens, and even politicians) can and cannot say online, as well as where they can express themselves.
The proposed law [text in Arabic, rough translation in English available here] would prohibit any publication by electronic means "affecting the morals and ethics" of Lebanon, as well as anything related to gambling. Furthermore, Article 4 of the law would require website owners to register with the Ministry of Information and report identifying information such as their name, address in Lebanon, and contact information. Article 4 would also place conditions on who can own a website, restricting those convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, as well as those who have legal immunity (which includes parliamentarians), and limit site owners to owning only one website.
Article 6 of the Act would bring websites within the purview of the existing Press Law 382/94, which was initially devised to authorize private audiovisual channels to operate in Lebanon. Article 7 would apply to the Internet existing laws that govern published and broadcast advertising. Furthermore, Article 8 would authorize the country's press court to handle all violations and legal disputes arising from electronic media work.
Lebanon's blogger community has been vocal about the proposed law, which would undoubtedly hinder their freedom of expression. One concern that has been raised again and again is what constitutes a website. With ever-increasing participation on social networks, will Lebanese who have pages on both Google Plus and Facebook be held liable for their "ownership" of them?
Using the hashtag #StopLIRA, Lebanese netizens have protested the bill. There is also a video explaining why LIRA is problematic and it calls on the global community to stand in solidarity against it. Additionally, Ontornet--an organization primarily concerned with the implementation of high-speed affordable Internet in Lebanon, but also involved in digital rights activism--conducted an interview with Minister Daouk regarding the Act, but concluded that the government has no plans to listen to the outcry against LIRA.
EFF supports the local opposition to LIRA and calls on the Lebanese Ministry of Information to consult with the country's online community in re-drafting the law.
The proposed legislation mandated compulsory civilian ID cards containing a chip designed to store personal and biometric information, including home address, marital status, eye colour, and fingerprints. Proponents argued that the biometric ID card would be used to stop “honest folk” from becoming the victims of identity fraud. In fact, the law would have enabled the "honest folk" database to be used for criminal and judicial purposes. The Conseil correctly determined that such uses constituted a serious incursion into the right to private life, disproportionate to the law’s stated objective.
Another provision in the law would have allowed for a second, optional chip to be used for online authentication in e-commerce transactions. The Conseil determined that such use would require too broad a range of personal data to be collected without any guarantees of security and confidentiality. Furthermore, it condemned the law’s vague conditions for authenticating individuals, especially minors. EFF welcomes the Conseil's decision to strike out substantial parts of the legislation to protect privacy. Nevertheless, the Conseil should explain their unmotivated reasoning behind leaving significant anti-privacy portions of the law intact, namely biometric data collection for the purpose of preventing ID fraud.
The argument for biometrics is predicated on the flawed assumption that a national biometric ID scheme will prevent identity fraud. Massive databases already invite security breaches anda biometrics database of this scale is a honeypot of sensitive data vulnerable to exploitation. Such a data breach is not just costly—it is irreversible, you cannot change your fingerprints or your irises.
This decision of the Council's should not be interpreted as being either in favour of biometrics or against it. Nor is the Council expressing any opinion either in favour of a register of biometric data or against it. What the Council is saying is that the safeguards involved in the creation and deployment of this register are inadequate. In the circumstances, the Council is not in a position to over-ride the wishes of the legislature.
The Conseil’s ambivalent statement is politically understandable. Regulators tend to romanticize the security and accuracy of biometric systems. In fact, there is a lack of evidence to demonstrate the reliability and proportionality of this new technology. Jean Marc Manach, a blogger and journalist from Owni.fr, argues that biometrics has proven inaccurate and therefore ineffective in fighting identity fraud or anything else. As long ago as August 2009, TheRegister magazine suggested that our trust in biometric technology is a delusion.
Last year, a French report revealed that 10% of biometric passports were fraudulently obtained [French]. The introduction of biometrics is exacerbating the problem of identity fraud instead of solving it. The French government already has several powerful surveillance technologies available to track people's movements, including mobile phone logs, web usage logs and credit card usage logs. They must provide evidence first that they can use this technology to enhance security before spending taxpayer money on another National ID biometric scheme.
The proposed collection of this vast amount of biometric information gives governments too much unchecked power and opens the door for government abuse. In their referral to the Conseil, French parliamentarians quoted Martin Niemöller's chilling poem "First they came." They argued that had this kind of database existed during WWII, the Nazis and collaborators in Vichy France could have more easily arrested French Résistance fighters based on their fingerprints or facial scans.
EFF, as one of 80 civil liberties organizations, has requested the Council of Europe in 2011 to investigate if National ID biometrics laws in Europe comply with the Council of Europe Privacy Treaty and the European Convention on Human Rights.
In light of the long list of privacy concerns surrounding biometrics, and the guarantee of future security breaches, biometric national ID laws cannot be justified. As more nations continue to adopt and implement biometric ID laws, now is the time for the Council of Europe to comply with its duty to seriously confront all of these issues. Under our watch, we refuse to let states collect massive amounts of biometric data without regard to our privacy rights.
H.O.P.E. stands for Hackers On Planet Earth, one of the most creative and diverse hacker events in the world. HOPE Number Nine will be taking place on July 13, 14, and 15, 2012 at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. If you haven't been before, this is the year to attend. For every ticket purchased in the month of April, conference organizers 2600: The Hacker Quarterly are donating 10% of the proceeds to EFF--so buy your tickets today!
For three full days and nights you can explore hackerspace villages, film festivals, art installations, vintage computers, electronic workshops, savor the country's biggest supply of Club-Mate, and attend the host of provocative talks that HOPE has become well-known for offering. Join thousands of hackers to hear this year's keynote on hacking corporations by famous troublemakers and EFF clients The Yes Men, as well as these exciting talks from EFF staffers:
Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury will talk about the law on location data, and what the Supreme Court's recent U.S. v. Jones ruling means for the future of warrantless surveillance.
Senior Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann will talk about protecting your data from the cops.
Activist Eva Galperin will talk about the Google+ Nymwars and the struggle to maintain a space for anonymity and pseudonymity on the Internet.
Web Developer Micah Lee will give some privacy tips for web developers building activist websites.