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EFFector - Volume 20, Issue 44 - AT&T Whistleblower Urges Senate to Reject Blanket Immunity for Telecoms


EFFector - Volume 20, Issue 44 - AT&T Whistleblower Urges Senate to Reject Blanket Immunity for Telecoms

EFFector Vol. 20, No. 44  November 7, 2007

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
ISSN 1062-9424

In the 448th Issue of EFFector:
  • AT&T Whistleblower Urges Senate to Reject Blanket Immunity for Telecoms
  • Why DRM on Video Will Persist: DVD-CCA Targets Kaleidescape (Again)
  • Oregon Fights Back Against RIAA Subpoena
  • Fair Use Principles for "UGC"
  • Right-wing Bloggers and MoveOn Unite on Fair Use of Debate Footage
  • Nominate a Pioneer for EFF's 2008 Pioneer Awards!
  • EFF Members Save on No Starch Press Books
  • miniLinks (6): NSA Sought Data Before 9/11
  • Administrivia

For more information on EFF activities & alerts:

Make a donation and become an EFF member today!

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effector: n, Computer Sci. A device for producing a desired

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* AT&T Whistleblower Urges Senate to Reject Blanket
Immunity for Telecoms

Earlier today, telecommunications technician and AT&T
whistleblower Mark Klein explained at a press conference on
Capitol Hill why he is asking lawmakers to reject immunity
for telecoms that assisted the Bush administration's spying
on millions of Americans.

Klein is visiting Washington this week, just as the Senate
Judiciary Committee considers legislation granting telecom
immunity, despite outrage from activists, editorial boards,
and civil liberties groups across the nation. Telecom
immunity is a blatant attempt to derail dozens of lawsuits
accusing the telecoms of violating customers' rights by
illegally assisting the National Security Agency (NSA) with
domestic surveillance.

Klein witnessed first-hand the technology AT&T built to
assist the government's domestic warrantless wiretapping
program at AT&T's main switching facility in San Francisco.
As part of his job at AT&T, Klein connected high-speed
fiber optic cables to sophisticated equipment that
intercepted communications from AT&T customers and then
copied and routed every single voice conversation and data
transmission to a room controlled by the NSA. Klein has
provided evidence for EFF's class-action lawsuit against
AT&T for its role in the illegal spying.

"My job required me to enable the physical connections
between AT&T customers' Internet communications and the
NSA's illegal, wholesale copying machine for domestic
emails, Internet phone conversations, web surfing and all
other Internet traffic. I have first-hand knowledge of the
clandestine collaboration between one giant
telecommunications company, AT&T, and the National Security
Agency to facilitate the most comprehensive illegal
domestic spying program in history," said Klein.

Also speaking at the event Wednesday was network systems
and infrastructure expert Brian Reid, who explained how the
infrastructure that Mr. Klein helped install likely fits
into and facilitates the massive warrantless surveillance

Interviews with both Klein and Reid were featured in a PBS
Frontline documentary called "Spying on the Home Front"
that covered the NSA domestic spying program, among other
surveillance efforts initiated by the government.

For more on EFF's case against AT&T:

To stream the Frontline documentary, "Spying on the
Homefront," for free and without DRM:

For this release:

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* Why DRM on Video Will Persist: DVD-CCA Targets
Kaleidescape (Again)

As we've said before, DRM is not about preventing piracy,
it's about giving entertainment companies control over
disruptive innovation. What follows is the latest example
of this principle. Kaleidescape allows you to make digital
copies of your DVDs and music to store on a home server for
personal use. Kaleidescape played by the rules, obtaining a
DVD-CCA license to use the CSS. Fearing the existence of
digital copies of content, DVD-CCA sued them, but lost.
Now, three major movie companies are pushing an amendment
to change the CSS license in a way that puts Kaleidescape
out of business.

CSS has been broken for years, yet movie studios continue
to use it on every commercial DVD release. Why? Because by
using CSS, the movie studios, acting through DVD-CCA, can
force technology companies to sign a license agreement
before they build anything that can decrypt a DVD movie.

This gives the movie studios unprecedented power to
influence the pace and nature of innovation in the world of
DVDs. Any new feature must first pass muster in a 3-way
"inter-industry" negotiation, which includes movie studios,
incumbent consumer electronic companies, and big computer
companies. In other words, innovators seeking a license
must get permission from adversaries and competitors before
innovating. If these had been the rules in the past, there
would never have been a Betamax or an iPod.

That's the lesson of DRM: it doesn't matter whether DRM is
effective at stopping unauthorized copying, so long as it
gives the entertainment industry the ability to veto
disruptive innovation in the mainstream marketplace. That's
why we're likely to be stuck with DRM on movies for some
time to come, whether or not their DRM systems are broken.

Read Kaleidescape's letter to the DVD-CCA:

For EFF Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann's complete

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* Oregon Fights Back Against RIAA Subpoena

The Recording Industry v. The People blog reports that the
University of Oregon has gone to court to fight a recording
industry subpoena seeking the identities of 17 students.
Oregon is not the first university to resist a boilerplate
subpoena that targets students for lawsuits for
file-sharing, but they are among the few that have put up a
fight in court.

One argument in the university's brief calls upon a section
of the DMCA covering subpoenas, and could change the nature
of the RIAA's litigation campaign, if accepted by the
court. The recording industry's strategy currently relies
on pressuring universities into handing over student
targets, either by having the university deliver
"pre-litigation settlement letters" to students or, failing
that, forcing universities to respond to subpoenas obtained
after filing a "John Doe" lawsuit. If these avenues are
blocked, the recording industry would have to undertake its
own investigatory efforts to determine who to sue.

Whether the university wins or loses its effort, it's nice
to see it standing up on behalf of its students, rather
than simply giving in to recording industry demands.

For the Recording Industry v. The People's blog post on the
University of Oregon opposition to RIAA suits:

For the EFF report "RIAA v. The People: Four Years Later":

For this post:

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* Fair Use Principles for "UGC"

Last week, EFF and other public interest groups devoted to
protecting free speech and fair use issued a document
entitled "Fair Use Principles for User Generated Video
Content," a document addressing media companies and video
hosting providers that are negotiating over new mechanisms
to address copyright infringement while protecting fair

The "Fair Use Principles" document describes a set of
concrete steps that service providers and content owners
should take to protect the "remix culture" that has been a
foundation for sites like YouTube. Accompanying the
document is a "test suite" of sample videos that EFF
believes should not be blocked by automated copyright
filters, but may nevertheless be in jeopardy based on their
use of excerpts from copyrighted material.

For the EFF document "Fair Use Principles for User
Generated Video Content":

For the "test suite" of sample "fair use" videos:

For this complete post:

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* Right-wing Bloggers and MoveOn Unite on Fair Use of
Debate Footage

Last week, an alliance of right-wing bloggers joined the
progressive public policy organization MoveOn in opposing
the Fox News Channel for sending cease and desist letters
to Republican presidential candidates that used Fox News
clips in their TV ads. The barrage of cease and desist
letters came after Fox individually targeted the campaign
of presidential candidate John McCain for running an ad
with a Fox News clip of a recent Republican debate.

According to the New York Times, "lawyers for Mr. McCain
say they are within their 'fair use' rights to use the clip
of their candidate talking for 19 seconds of a 90-minute
debate." An attorney for Mitt Romney's campaign, which also
used debate footage in political ads, responded similarly,
defending the use of debate footage as protected political
speech. We're glad to see candidates resisting media
efforts to control their free speech rights, as the reuse
of short video clips from a previously televised debate
strikes us as plainly protected by fair use.

Earlier this year, a group including many of the same
political bloggers and organizations liberated presidential
debate footage for sharing, blogging, and reposting to
sites like YouTube from CNN, ABC and NBC. Fox is notably
absent from that list, and with this latest round of cease
and desist letters, has firmly planted itself in opposition
to politically active communities seeking the freedom to
share candidates' messages.

For the ad making fair use of the Fox News clip:

For this post:

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* Nominate a Pioneer for EFF's 2008 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 2008.

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.

How to Nominate Someone for a 2008 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 We will accept nominations
until January 1, 2008.

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

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

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 operating 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:

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* EFF Members Save on No Starch Press Books

Did you know that EFF members get a discount on No Starch
Press books? Founded in 1994, No Starch Press publishes
unique books on technology, with a focus on open source,
security, hacking, programming, alternative operating
systems, and LEGO. No Starch Press has supported EFF for a
number of years. For certain books sold on its site,
including Andrew "bunnie" Huang's "Hacking the Xbox," No
Starch Press donates a percentage of the purchase price to

If you're an EFF member and you're buying a book from No
Starch Press, send an email to to get
the discount voucher code.

For the No Starch Press site:

For a list of No Starch Press books that give back to EFF:

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* miniLinks
The week's noteworthy news, compressed.

~ NSA Sought Data Before 9/11
A National Journal article provides the details on Qwest's
history with the NSA.

~ A Response to Rockefeller on Immunity
Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald dissects the senator's New
York Times op-ed.

~ A Response to Ashcroft on Immunity
Huffington Post blogger John Seery responds to former
attorney General John Ashcroft's New York Times op-ed.

~ Congressman Defends Fair Use
Congressman Mike Doyle says the mashup artist Girl Talk
deserves to be heard.

~ Nine Inch Nails Frontman Admits to File-Sharing
Trent Reznor says fans share music files because the
legitimate services don't give them what they want -- a
large selection without DRM.

~ DMCA Safe Harbors and Viacom v. YouTube
EFF Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann and a panel of legal
experts discuss the DMCA's "safe harbors" for online
service providers and the Viacom v. YouTube litigation.

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* 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)	

Richard Esguerra, EFF Activist	

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