EFFector Vol. 19, No. 33; September 5, 2006
A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
In the 394th Issue of EFFector:
- Action Alert—National Call-In to Stop the Surveillance Bills!
- California Lawmakers Pass Safeguards for Privacy-Leaking RFID Chips
- Spread the Word and Tell CA Governor to Sign SB 768!
- miniLinks (6): How Not to Secure Your Search Privacy
effector: n, Computer Sci. A device for producing a desired change.
Action Alert - National Call-In to Stop the Surveillance Bills!
Congress returns from recess this week, and EFF is joining a
coalition of organizations for a two week national call-in
to stop the dangerous NSA spying bills. Visit our Action
Center to call your members of Congress now, and spread the
word to friends and family about these bills. Let's keep the
phones ringing in the Congressional halls for two weeks
Senator Arlen Specter is still rushing to pass his surveillance bill, which would help the government and the NSA continue to break the law by spying on ordinary Americans. He's planning a committee vote this Thursday, and a vote by the entire Senate as early as next week. Meanwhile, Senator Mike DeWine has proposed a bill that would attempt to retroactively legalize the NSA dragnet surveillance.
That's bad enough, but now there's another dangerous bill afoot in the House -- Representative Heather Wilson's H.R. 5825. The House will hold a hearing tomorrow (Wednesday, September 6) on this proposal, and a vote may shortly follow.
Take action now to stop the surveillance bills:
California Lawmakers Pass Safeguards for Privacy-Leaking RFID Chips
Groundbreaking Bill Waits for Governor's Signature
Sacramento - The California State Senate passed tough new privacy safeguards last week for use of "tag and track" devices known as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips embedded in state identification cards. The bill helps ensure that Californians can control the personal information contained on their drivers' licenses, library cards and other important ID documents.
The State Assembly passed the Identity Information Protection Act (Senate Bill 768), authored by Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), earlier last month. Governor Schwarzenegger has until September 30 to sign the bill into law. The legislation is sponsored by EFF, the ACLU, and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, and it is supported by groups ranging from the AARP to the California Alliance Against Domestic Violence to the Gun Owners of California.
"Without security safeguards, RFID tags can expose you to identity theft, covert tracking, and stalking," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien. "This bill is a good first step toward ensuring that critical state-issued IDs don't leak your personal information."
RFID tags are tiny devices connected to miniature antennae that can be used to store and transmit personal information. When an RFID reader emits a radio signal, RFID tags respond with their stored information. The federal government has decided to embed RFID tags in new U.S. passports, and states across the country are considering their use in ID cards. The Identity Information Protection Act has drawn national attention as a model for future privacy-protecting laws in other states.
"RFID technology is not in and of itself the issue. The issue is whether and under what circumstances the government should be allowed to compel its residents to carry technology that broadcasts their most personal information," said Senator Simitian. "This bill provides a thoughtful and rational policy framework for making those decisions. I hope the Governor agrees."
EFF's Identity Information Protection Act fact sheet:
For more on RFID:
For this release:
Spread the Word and Tell CA Governor to Sign SB 768!
You can help the above bill, SB 768, clear its last hurdle - - the governor's signature. If you live in California, follow this link and call the governor's office immediately to voice your support for S.B. 768. Regardless, forward that link to friends and family who live in California and urge their support:
The week's noteworthy news, compressed.
How Not to Secure Your Search Privacy
Computer security expert Bruce Schneier explains some of the defects in a recently touted privacy tool.
Bloggers Unmask Sneaky Senator Protecting Pork Barrel
Bills And, lo and behold, it's Senator Ted "The Internet is a series of tubes" Stevens.
Engadget: iTunes DRM Broken, Again
QTFairUse reappears for iTunes 6.0
Dutch ISP Discloses User Identity in P2P Case
International war on P2P continues to threaten privacy.
Ed. Department Turns Student Data Over to FBI
Yet another instance of the government sifting through personal information.
RIAA's Bogus "Education" Materials
Consumer interest groups slam misleading video.
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Derek Slater, Activist
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