EFFector Vol. 18, No. 18 June 9, 2005
A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation ISSN 1062-9424
In the 334h Issue of EFFector:
- Transparent Lobbying for E-voting Reform This Week
- Tor Named One of the Year's Best Products
- Fighting Infringement on Campus Peer-to-Peer Networks: EFF White Paper Helps Universities Understand Their Options
- MiniLinks (15): Three Notes Bad
Transparent Lobbying for E-voting Reform This Week
Washington, DC - Today and tomorrow, EFF will provide a series of weblog reports on a two-day lobbying effort by a coalition of activist groups fighting for transparent, auditable electronic voting.
The lobbying "blitz" is aimed at supporting HR 550, the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act. This law would require electronic voting systems used in federal elections to generate a paper trail that could be verified by voters prior to their votes being cast. The coalition includes Common Cause, VerifiedVoting.org, VoteTrustUSA, VotersUnite.org, Rock the Vote, Working Assets, and other election-reform advocates.
More than 200 citizen activists from 25 states have signed up for the blitz and have already set up at least 80 meetings with their representatives. The coalition will hold a lobbying training session for activists before they fan out across the Hill to lobby the House and Senate for the legislation, which is sponsored by Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ). On Friday, the coalition will hold a press conference with Rep. Holt, after which activists and lobbyists will be available for interviews, blogging, and podcasts, to talk about the importance of voter-verified paper trails.
EFF's "real-time" reports on the initiative will appear on the EFF weblog, "Deep Links," at www.eff.org/deeplinks
EFF action alert on the Holt bill:
More about e-voting:
For this release:
Tor Named One of the Year's Best Products
PC World Lauds Free Anonymous Communication Tool as Superior to Paid Competitors
San Francisco, CA - PC World has included the Tor anonymous Internet communication tool in its list of the year's best products. Tor is being developed with support from EFF and was previously funded by the US Navy.
The PC World review says, "[Tor's] onion routing service strips away information from Internet data packets that might reveal your identity while you are browsing. Tor goes a step further than paid competitors, anonymizing your email, IM, IRC chat, or any other TCP/IP network data."
"It's great to see Tor getting mainstream recognition, even as we continue to develop the system and make it easier for ordinary Internet users to protect their privacy," said EFF Technology Manager Chris Palmer.
Tor protects Internet users' privacy by allowing them to visit websites without revealing IP addresses and other tracking information that can be used to find out where individuals go and what they see online. Currently, many websites alter the information you see depending on what country you come from, your Internet provider, or whether you've previously visited the site. This tracking information is also stored by many websites and can be used to profile users, as well as made available to the government or private parties in litigation. More worrisome, the ability to track Internet users can create physical risks for those such as human rights workers and domestic violence victims. Tor protects against this sort of privacy invasion, called "traffic analysis," by obscuring the route your communications take through the Internet.
PC World: "The 100 Best Products of 2005":
Help Tor and EFF protect online privacy. Give now!
More about Tor:
Listen to EFF Technology Manager Chris Palmer talk about Tor
on the public radio program, "Future Tense":
http://www.eff.org/cgi/tiny?urlID=494 (RealAudio file; PublicRadio.org)
Fighting Infringement on Campus Peer-to-Peer Networks
EFF White Paper Helps Universities Understand Their Options
San Francisco, CA - With entertainment companies now suing thousands of college students for using the high-speed Internet2 network for filesharing, universities are under more pressure than ever to address the problem of copyright infringement on campus networks. In doing so, they must balance academic freedom with attempts to reduce infringement. To address the issue, EFF today released a white paper exploring solutions. Entitled "When Push Comes to Shove: A Hype-Free Guide to Evaluating Technical Solutions to Copyright on Campus," the paper examines the benefits and drawbacks of several systems designed to combat infringement on university networks.
"The music and movie industries want schools to spy on their students and ban whole categories of computer programs from the learning environment," said EFF Staff Attorney Jason Schultz. "But there are ways to reduce infringement without undermining education and research. This paper explains what they are."
While the paper reviews specific tools such as AudibleMagic, PacketShaper, and the Automated Copyright Notice System (ANCS), it also explores educational and policy solutions. "When Push Comes to Shove" is a must-read for anyone who runs or uses university networks and cares about how the entertainment industry's lawsuits are affecting the future of these networks and the academic environment.
"When Push Comes to Shove: A Hype-Free Guide to Evaluating
Technical Solutions to Copyright on Campus":
More about filesharing:
For this release:
miniLinksminiLinks features noteworthy news items from around the Internet.
Worlds Without Music
Multiplayer games are being forced to ban music in their virtual worlds for fear of liability if anyone plays a copyrighted tune:
The sad story of an artist forced to redesign his fiberglass buffalo because of copyright claims to the image of Crazy Horse painted on its side:
Three Notes Bad
The Sixth Circuit Appeals Court denied a rehearing for its maverick decision that sampling three notes of a song is still infringement:
A Policymaking Riddle Inside an Analysis-Free Enigma
Copyright expert William Patry on the sampling decision: "Bridgeport is policy making wrapped up in a truncated view of law and economics, shorn of analysis of all the public interest factors and harm to derivative creators that nuanced exponents, such as Judge Posner, engage in":
(The Patry Copyright Blog)
On the Identity Trail
A blog about the politics of online anonymity, featuring the contributions of EFF Policy Analyst Annalee Newitz:
Open Access Law Program Debuts
Creative Commons' "Science Commons" project unveils a new project advocating for open access to legal scholarship:
If You Don't Believe in DRM, It Can't Hurt You
Linux Journal Editor-in-Chief Don Marti advocates missing the boat on DRM's "ship of fools": http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/8123
Supreme Court Rejects Lexmark's Petition for Hearing
The Supreme Court this week denied Lexmark's petition for a hearing, thereby ending its attempts to use the DMCA to control after-market sales of toner cartridges. The scuttlebutt is that Lexmark not only failed to impress the Court with its claims, it also filed its petition a day late:
ICANN Gives Preliminary Go-Ahead to .XXX Domain
Any bets on how long it'll take governments to attempt to ghettoize adult content? http://icann.org/announcements/announcement-01jun05.htm
ICANN Announces ".Polinc" TLD for Politically
EFF Chairman Brad Templeton with an idea whose time has clearly come:
Common Sense Prevails in Cook County
Cook County in Illinois, which happens to be the third-largest electoral jurisdiction in the country, has chosen an optical scan-based system with a paper trail over e-voting systems that can't be audited:
PATRIOT Subpoena - or Just Use Google?
In the wake of reports that there was a handwritten threat in the margin of a library's copy of a book about Osama bin Laden, the FBI demanded that the library turn over the names of everyone who borrowed it. The library refused, but the library counsel thought to search for the words using Google, which revealed that the notes may simply have been copied from a widely available bin Laden interview:
When You Search with Google, Google Searches You
Speaking of Google and privacy, Reuters has an apropos piece on Google's endless data retention policy:
TV Industry Gets Flagged Over Another Evil Plan
Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun-Times on the continuing push for a Broadcast Flag from "the same idiots who swore that cable television and VCRs would destroy the entertainment industry":
Offering != Distribution
Judge Marilyn Patel issued a ruling that settles an important question in the ongoing Napster case - whether under the law, simply offering copyrighted material to others means you're distributing it. The short answer is "no." Ernest Miller has a detailed analysis:
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