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EFFector - Volume 19, Issue 8 - Action Alert: End Game for PATRIOT in Senate, Public Loses


EFFector - Volume 19, Issue 8 - Action Alert: End Game for PATRIOT in Senate, Public Loses

EFFector       Vol. 19, No. 8       February 24, 2006

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

In the 369th Issue of EFFector:

Action Alert: End Game for PATRIOT in Senate, Public Loses

Two months ago, a bi-partisan filibuster in the Senate prevented renewal of the PATRIOT Act without significant new reforms. We cheered, but not for long. Now, the PATRIOT supporters have announced a sham "compromise" bill and stand poised to have it passed.

In the end, the Senate rebellion left the bill barely changed - only a few token modifications agreed to by the Administration are included in the new version of the bill. It looks like these phony modifications will be sufficient to break the deadlock and extend a dangerously unchecked PATRIOT Act.

Your senators have one last chance to make a real stand for your civil liberties. On the Senate floor next week, they should vote against the "cloture" motion that would end the debate and against the latest PATRIOT renewal deal. Your senators should also support amendments proposed by Senators Feingold, Bingaman, and Leahy that would add new civil liberties protections and mitigate the worst excesses of that bill.

Visit our action center now and urge your Senator to vote against cloture, against the PATRIOT renewal deal, and for the reform amendments.

Write to your senator now

Senator Feingold on what's missing from the latest PATRIOT bill

More info at EFF's PATRIOT pages

Help Make E-Voting Safe: Become a Citizen Lobbyist in Washington, DC, April 6-7

Join EFF in Washington, DC, on April 6 and 7 to help secure the future of safe, reliable electronic voting.

A change in the leadership of a key Congressional committee has provided a new opportunity to promote HR 550, the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act. EFF is a strong advocate of HR 550, which would ensure a voter verified paper record of every vote, establish mandatory random hand- counted audits, and prohibit the use of secret software and wireless communication devices in voting machines.

HR 550 has made significant progress in the House largely through the grassroots effort of voting activists. EFF supporters like you took part in Washington Lobby Day events in June and August of 2005, both of which were a huge success, generating 24 new cosponsors on the bill from both parties.

EFF needs your help to keep the momentum going. The HR 550 "I Count" Coalition (Electronic Frontier Foundation, Common Cause, Verified Voting, Voters Unite VoteTrustUSA, and Working Assets) will be hosting Lobby Days this April 6 and 7 in the nation's capitol at which you will get the opportunity to tell your member of Congress to support this critical piece of legislation.

You can sign up to take part in these Lobby Days at the "I Count Coalition" website. Even if you can't make it to Washington, you may still be able to help out with follow-up activities in your home state during the Congressional recess. Either way, you'll be making a difference.

Sign up for the Lobby Days

See our report from last year's events

Get involved in your home state

Send a letter to your representative, supporting HR 550, right now

Join EFF and Get Free Online Privacy Protection

EFF and Anonymizer have partnered to provide new EFF members a free subscription to Anonymous Surfing. This service helps keep others from tracking your activity online. It also protects you from identity theft, helping you avoid phishing and other website scams. When you connect to the Internet wirelessly, Anonymous Surfing makes sure that hotspot providers can't spy on what you do.

Join EFF now and protect your privacy online!

To join EFF:

To learn more about Anonymous Surfing

It's Not Too Late - Nominate a Pioneer for EFF's Pioneer Awards!

EFF established the Pioneer Awards to recognize leaders on the electronic frontier who are extending freedom and innovation in the realm of information technology. This is your opportunity to nominate a deserving individual or group to receive a Pioneer Award for 2006.

The International Pioneer Awards nominations are open both to individuals and organizations from any country. Nominations are reviewed by a panel of judges chosen for their knowledge of the technical, legal, and social issues associated with information technology.

This year's award ceremony will be held in Washington, DC, in conjunction with the Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference (CFP), which takes place in early May.

How to Nominate Someone for a 2006 Pioneer Award

You may send as many nominations as you wish, but please use one email per nomination. Please submit your entries via email to It's not too late -- we have extended the deadline and will now accept nominations until March 1, 2006!

Simply tell us

  1. The name of the nominee;
  2. The phone number or email address or website by which the nominee can be reached; and, most importantly,
  3. Why you feel the nominee deserves the award.

Nominee Criteria

There are no specific categories for the EFF Pioneer Awards, but the following guidelines apply

  1. The nominees must have contributed substantially to the health, growth, accessibility, or freedom of computer-based communications.
  2. To be valid, all nominations must contain your reason, however brief, for nominating the individual or organization and a means of contacting the nominee. In addition, while anonymous nominations will be accepted, ideally we'd like to contact the nominating parties in case we need further information.
  3. The contribution may be technical, social, economic, or cultural.
  4. Nominations may be of individuals, systems, or organizations in the private or public sectors.
  5. Nominations are open to all (other than current members of EFF's staff and executive board or this year's award judges), and you may nominate more than one recipient. You may also nominate yourself or your organization.
  6. Persons or representatives of organizations receiving an EFF Pioneer Award will be invited to attend the ceremony at EFF's expense.

More on the EFF Pioneer Awards

CopyNight Reminder: Cocktails and Copyright, February 28

Join your fellow copyfighters this upcoming Tuesday, February 28th, for drinks and discussion at CopyNight meet- ups all across North America. Details about topics and which cities are having meet-ups are available at the CopyNight website:

Come See EFF at eTech, March 7-9

EFF will be at the O'Reilly Emerging Technologies Conference in San Diego, CA. Please visit our booth and grab some EFF swag during exhibit hours -- we look forward to seeing you!

Tuesday, March 7, 2006
6:00PM - 7:30PM (Sponsor Reception)
Wednesday, March 8, 2006
10:00AM - 11:00AM
12:00PM - 2:00PM
3:00PM - 4:30PM
Located in the Exhibit Hall

Staff Attorney Jason Schultz and Activism Coordinator Danny O'Brien will also discuss the policy and legal challenges facing innovators, presenting a session entitled "America's Next Top Tech Lawsuits."

Thursday, March 09
2:35pm - 3:20pm
Located in Madeleine AB

For more information about the conference


miniLinks features noteworthy news items from around the Internet.

3G Phone Makers Called "Bunch of Big Girls" for Caving to Hollywood
Audience member points out to mobile phone manufacturers that their markets dwarf the industry telling them how to cripple their devices.

The Ballad of Jack Valenti
A detailed, if not entirely flattering, portrayal by RetroCrush.

Trademark not so Sweet for "Sweet Peas"
Companies and websites using the term "sweet pea" are being threatened with trademark violation suits by a Florida clothing firm.

California Tying Education Tech Grants to Copyright Education
Surely the bill includes requirements to teach the flexibility of fair use, and the differences with tangible property, and the state monopoly that makes up "intellectual property." No?

Your Friendly Local Censor
Local Homeland Security officers shakedown librarian Net users for what they're browsing.

Lawsuit Filed Against Verizon for NSA Wiretaps
The wiretap lawsuits widen, and this one looks very familiar.

Text Messages, the Net, and Chinese Freedoms
The Washington Post runs a series on the Great Firewall of China.

Tollbooths on the Internet Highway
The New York Times states its position on network neutrality.


EFFector is published by:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation
454 Shotwell Street
San Francisco CA 94110-1914 USA
+1 415 436 9333 (voice)
+1 415 436 9993 (fax)

Derek Slater, Activist

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