EFFector Vol. 20, No. 24 June 20, 2007 email@example.com A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation ISSN 1062-9424 In the 428th Issue of EFFector:
- Court Protects Email from Secret Government Searches
- Judge Orders FBI to Release NSL Abuse Records
- FBI's Abuse of USA PATRIOT Act Even Worse Than We Thought
- Senate Committee Sets Subpoena Vote for NSA Docs
- AT&T to Play Copyright Cop, Sell Out Customers
- HR 811: Separating Truth From Fiction in E-Voting Reform
- Blogging WIPO: The New Development Agenda
- Pay-To-Send Mail Spreads
- Get LiveJournal For Life and Donate to EFF!
- miniLinks (11): Bush Administration Attacks 'Shield' for Bloggers
For more information on EFF activities & alerts: http://www.eff.org/ Make a donation and become an EFF member today! http://eff.org/support/ Tell a friend about EFF: http://action.eff.org/site/Ecard?ecard_id=1061 effector: n, Computer Sci. A device for producing a desired change. : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Court Protects Email from Secret Government Searches Landmark Ruling Gives Email Same Constitutional Protections as Phone Calls San Francisco - The government must have a search warrant before it can secretly seize and search emails stored by email service providers, according to a landmark ruling Monday in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court found that email users have the same reasonable expectation of privacy in their stored email as they do in their telephone calls -- the first circuit court ever to make that finding. Over the last 20 years, the government has routinely used the federal Stored Communications Act (SCA) to secretly obtain stored email from email service providers without a warrant. But today's ruling -- closely following the reasoning in an amicus brief filed the by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and other civil liberties groups -- found that the SCA violates the Fourth Amendment. "Email users expect that their Hotmail and Gmail inboxes are just as private as their postal mail and their telephone calls," said EFF Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "The government tried to get around this common-sense conclusion, but the Constitution applies online as well as offline, as the court correctly found. That means that the government can't secretly seize your emails without a warrant." Warshak v. United States was brought in the Southern District of Ohio federal court by Steven Warshak to stop the government's repeated secret searches and seizures of his stored email using the SCA. The district court ruled that the government cannot use the SCA to obtain stored email without a warrant or prior notice to the email account holder, but the government appealed that ruling to the 6th Circuit. EFF served as an amicus in the case, joined by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Democracy & Technology. Law professors Susan Freiwald and Patricia Bellia also submitted an amicus brief, and the case was successfully argued at the 6th Circuit by Warshak's counsel Martin Weinberg. For the full ruling in Warshak v. United States: http://eff.org/legal/cases/warshak_v_usa/6th_circuit_decision_upholding_injunction.pdf For EFF's resources on the case, including its amicus brief: http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/warshak_v_usa For this release: http://www.eff.org/news/archives/2007_06.php#005321 : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Judge Orders FBI to Release NSL Abuse Records New Evidence of Misuse Prompts Immediate Response in EFF FOIA Lawsuit Washington, D.C. On Monday, a judge ordered the FBI to finally release agency records about its abuse of National Security Letters (NSLs) to collect Americans' personal information. The ruling came just a day after the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged the judge to immediately respond in its lawsuit over agency delays. EFF sued the FBI in April for failing to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request about the misuse of NSLs as revealed in a Justice Department report. This week, the Washington Post uncovered more evidence of abuse, and EFF urged the judge Thursday to force the FBI to stop stalling the release of its records on the deeply flawed program. "The reports we've seen so far about NSL abuse are just the tip of the iceberg," said EFF Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann. "FBI officials told the Washington Post that there have likely been several thousand total instances of misuse. Americans deserve answers about this scandal and how the FBI has abused its power to spy on ordinary citizens." Under the USA PATRIOT Act, the FBI can use NSLs to get private records about anyone's domestic phone calls, emails and financial transactions without any court approval -- as long as it claims the information could be relevant to a terrorism or espionage investigation. Without a judge's oversight, the law is ripe for the abuse that has been uncovered in these recent reports. "The law itself is the source of the problem. It's time for Congress to repeal these expanded NSL powers and protect Americans from this abuse of authority," said Hofmann. The judge's order requires the FBI to process 2500 pages of NSL-related records by July 5, and then 2500 pages every 30 days thereafter. For the judge's order: http://www.eff.org/flag/nsl/bates_order.pdf For EFF's supplemental memo: http://eff.org/flag/nsl/supplemental_memo.pdf For the Washington Post article on NSLs: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/13/AR2007061302453_pf.html For this release: http://www.eff.org/news/archives/2007_06.php#005317 : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * FBI's Abuse of USA PATRIOT Act Even Worse Than We Thought According to the Washington Post, "An internal FBI audit has found that the bureau potentially violated the law or agency rules more than 1,000 times while collecting data about domestic phone calls, emails and financial transactions in recent years, far more than was documented in a Justice Department report in March that ignited bipartisan congressional criticism." That report painted a horror story, including massive abuses of so-called National Security Letters (NSLs). Before PATRIOT, the FBI could only use NSLs to obtain the records of suspected terrorists or spies. But under PATRIOT, the FBI can use them to get private records about anybody without any court approval, as long as it believes the information could be relevant to an authorized terrorism or espionage investigation. From the moment PATRIOT was passed, EFF said the NSL power was unconstitutional and ripe for abuse, and these new revelations make it more clear than ever that Congress should repeal PATRIOT's expansion of NSL powers and reform the USA PATRIOT Act as a whole. Take action now and tell Congress to stop the abuse of surveillance powers: https://secure.eff.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=283 For this post: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005314.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Senate Committee Sets Subpoena Vote for NSA Docs On the heels of Representatives in the House threatening to subpoena documents related to NSA's domestic spying program, the New York Times reports that the Senate Judiciary Committee has now set a vote on whether to authorize subpoenas. Read the New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/13/washington/13nsa.html For this post: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005310.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * AT&T to Play Copyright Cop, Sell Out Customers AT&T has announced plans to sell out its customers. No, this time we're not talking about spying on telephone and Internet communications on the government's behalf. AT&T is now kowtowing to the entertainment industry and jointly developing undisclosed technical measures in yet another desperate attempt to stop "piracy." AT&T's plan is currently pure vaporware, and it has stated that "once a technology was chosen, the company would look at privacy and other legal issues." In other words, the AT&T Internet traffic cop appears poised to shoot first, and ask questions about the impact on your civil liberties and ability to access lawful content and applications later. For the entire post and related links: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005311.php See also Alex Curtis' commentary on Public Knowledge's blog: http://www.publicknowledge.org/node/1009 : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * HR 811: Separating Truth From Fiction in E-Voting Reform After years of painstaking lobbying, email and phone campaigns, congressional hearings, and committee markups and amendments, Rep. Rush Holt's Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act finally appears poised for a floor vote in the House of Representatives. With an impressive 216 bipartisan co-sponsors, the bill has a real chance of passing. If signed into law, HR 811 would dramatically improve the electoral process in both the short and long term. While it would not solve the immense shortcomings in the current system, HR 811 would take a giant step towards returning much-needed transparency and accountability to the process. Not unexpectedly, now that the bill has gained traction in the 110th Congress, critics have descended onto the bill with a fury, complaining that it is too weak or too strong, that its deadlines are too ambitious or too distant, that it takes too much autonomy away from the states or not enough. EFF strongly supports the passage of HR 811 and hopes that you will as well. Don't just take our word for it: read the bill for yourself and then make your own decision. If you don't think that HR 811 goes far enough, then push for passage of complementary legislation, either in Congress or with your own State legislatures. EFF will continue to support sensible legislative proposals that can build on the foundation of HR 811. But whatever you do, don't fall for the false choice offered in the breathless rhetoric of the "all or nothing" contingent. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. And HR 811 is good. Read the bill: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:h.r.00811: Read EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman's complete analysis of the bill: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005308.php Tell Congress to Support E-Voting Reform: http://action.eff.org/site/Advocacy?id=109 Read more about EFF's E-voting work: http://www.eff.org/Activism/E-voting/ : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Blogging WIPO: The New Development Agenda The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Provisional Committee finished Development Agenda discussions in Geneva last Friday. The good news is that it recommended creating a new WIPO permanent committee to implement 45 public interest-oriented proposals designed to turn WIPO into an organization that can help foster sustainable development in all its Member States. Somewhat surprisingly, the week's closed-door, non-public negotiations produced 21 concrete proposals that, if adopted, will help WIPO safeguard the public interest and promote innovation and knowledge creation. The Development Agenda meetings are really about the future of WIPO as an international organization. As an agency of the United Nations, WIPO has an institutional obligation to facilitate and implement the wider development perspective of the United Nations' Millennium Declaration. In addition, as recognized in the 1974 Agreement between the United Nations and WIPO, WIPO has an institutional mandate to facilitate the transfer of technology and the building of technical capacity in developing countries. Read the complete session updates and see related links: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005320.php To learn more about the WIPO Development Agenda and EFF's role as a permanent observer: http://www.eff.org/IP/WIPO/dev_agenda/ For the United Nations' Millennium Declaration: http://www.un.org/millennium/declaration/ares552e.htm : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Pay-To-Send Mail Spreads As EFF members will recall, we were part of a large coalition of groups that raised serious concerns about the introduction of Goodmail, an email authentication and certification service that charges those who send email to guarantee delivery, splitting the money with the ISPs who are supposed to deliver you your email. We were concerned that the trend to such pay-to-send email would spread and would affect nonprofits and others who run large mailing lists who would face the choice of paying or not having their email delivered. We were also worried that this process was not easily visible to the recipients of email -- you and me -- who would not then be able to complain when their ISPs stopped delivering email except from those willing to pony up. We eventually reached a sort of detente with AOL and Yahoo about it, including promises from both that they would maintain their ordinary white list processes that aren't based on payment but objective mailing practices. Well, Goodmail continues to sign up ISPs, and now has announced partnerships with Comcast, Cox, Verizon, and Roadrunner. They join AOL and Yahoo! in the CertifiedEmail program. What will happen now that the program has expanded to companies whose track record with white and blacklisting is shadier, and whose incentives to maintain high mail deliverability are lower? Find out in our complete post: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005309.php For more information on our campaign against AOL's Goodmail: http://www.eff.org/spam/aolmail/ EFF would like to hear from noncommercial email senders who run into problems with their email delivery. Contact us at
if you've been unable to resolve problems with blocking intermediaries when sending your noncommercial mass email. : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Get LiveJournal For Life and Donate to EFF! From Thursday, June 21, to Thursday, June 28, 2007, LiveJournal will make you "an offer you can't refuse." LJ will be holding a rare sale of Permanent Accounts for its members. The best part of the deal is that if you buy your LJ lifetime account during the first 36 hours of the sale, Six Apart will donate $25 from your $125 purchase price among four worthy organizations: EFF, Creative Commons, RAINN and Witness. You can also choose EFF as the sole recipient of the $25 donation. Either way, we want to thank Six Apart for generously supporting EFF with this unique event! To learn more about the "LiveJournal 4 Life" sale: http://news.livejournal.com/100432.html : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * miniLinks The week's noteworthy news, compressed. ~ Bush Administration Attacks 'Shield' for Bloggers Should bloggers have "reporter's privilege"? http://news.com.com/Bush+administration+attacks+shield+for+bloggers/2100-1028_3-6191053.html ~ Which ISPs Are Spying on You? Wired News asks the major ISPs about what information they gather on their customers. http://www.wired.com/politics/onlinerights/news/2007/05/isp_privacy ~ Watchdog Group Slams Google on Privacy A watchdog group says Google's privacy policies are the worst on the Internet. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/09/AR2007060900840.html ~ Yahoo's China Policy Rejected Yahoo shareholders rejected plans for the company to adopt a policy that opposes censorship on the Internet. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6747095.stm ~ Censorship Continues in Thailand Thailand continues to ban YouTube and also blocks the blogging platform "Blogger". http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2007/06/13/beat-the-censors-a-gift-of-freedom-for-thai-internet-users/ ~ Politics and Hip-Hop Are Doing a Mash-Up Mash up artist Girl Talk meets his champion in Congress. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19263088/site/newsweek/page/0/ ~ AT&T Slammed Over Piracy Plan AT&T is promising to help Hollywood track down digital pirates. http://contentagenda.com/articleXml/LN627585829.html?industryid=45174 ~ Michael Moore on Copyright Law Filmmaker Michael Moore, whose film Sicko has reportedly been pirated, speaks out on copyright law. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVYhwKu7J5E ~ Can the Music Industry Sue Its Way to Profit? Publisher Kurt Hanson and attorney Jay Rosenthal debate the economics of online music. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-op-dustup15jun15,0,43795.story? ~ Arbitrary Sneakwrap Takes Some Hits Two recent court decisions side with consumers on clickwrap/sneakwrap licenses. http://www.gripe2ed.com/scoop/story/2007/6/19/0355/71352 ~ A Recording Industry EULA, Circa 1909 Looks like the fine print has always been bad... http://www.boingboing.net/2007/06/18/record_company_eulas.html : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Administrivia 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) http://www.eff.org/ Editor: Julie Lindner, Education Outreach Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org Membership & donation queries: email@example.com General EFF, legal, policy, or online resources queries: firstname.lastname@example.org Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged. Signed articles do not necessarily represent the views of EFF. To reproduce signed articles individually, please contact the authors for their express permission. Press releases and EFF announcements & articles may be reproduced individually at will. Current and back issues of EFFector are available via the Web at: http://www.eff.org/effector/ Click here to change your email address: http://action.eff.org/addresschange This newsletter is printed on 100% recycled electrons.