EFFector Vol. 20, No. 47 December 5, 2007 firstname.lastname@example.org A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation ISSN 1062-9424 In the 451st Issue of EFFector:
- EFF Obtains Documents Detailing High-Level Battles Over Surveillance Law
- EFF Releases Reports and Software to Spot Interference with Internet Traffic
- EFF Moves to Block New Jersey Township From Unmasking Blogger
- Arizona Affirms Strong Protections for Anonymous Speech Online
- Between Friends: The Perils of Centralized Blogging
- Darknet Assumptions Still True
- Thanks to Jonathan Zittrain and News.com
- Nominate a Pioneer for EFF's 2008 Pioneer Awards
- Get Your Holiday Gifts and Support Digital Freedom at the EFF Store!
- Dear Santa: EFF Seeking Donations of Digital Video Equipment
- miniLinks (8): Robert Reich on Telecom Immunity
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. : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : Dear EFFector Readers, As 2007 draws to a close, the board and staff of EFF would like to thank you for your support over the past year. This year was not an easy one in cyberspace, but EFF was there fighting for your rights:
- * EFF fought against government attempts to give immunity to telecom companies that broke the law and violated their customers' rights.
- * EFF challenged overzealous companies and individuals who misused copyright law to shut down legitimate, legally-protected speech.
- * EFF worked at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) against mandates that would have created new copyright-like rights in digital broadcasts.
- * EFF opposed new laws in Europe that would make copyright violations a criminal offense.
- * EFF continued to challenge software patents that threaten innovation.
- * EFF utilized the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to shine light on government behaviors and programs.
And we did so much more, as I'm sure you've noticed as an EFFector reader. But none of our work is possible without the financial support of folks like you. Only one-third of EFFector recipients are current dues-paying members. If you haven't already done so, please join your fellow EFFector readers in becoming a member today, so we can continue to protect your rights in 2008 and beyond. Visit: http://secure.eff.org/friends2007 Thanks so much for your help! Here's wishing you and yours a happy holiday season. Shari Steele Executive Director Electronic Frontier Foundation : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * EFF Obtains Documents Detailing High-Level Battles Over Surveillance Law Records Posted on EFF's Website San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has received the first of two batches of records from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) concerning the Administration's attempts this past summer to enact the Protect America Act and eviscerate the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The records reveal new details about the contentious negotiations between Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and members of Congress that resulted in the passage of the Protect America Act -- expansion of spying powers that undermined the Constitution and the privacy of Americans. In one letter, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV claims that McConnell made "assurances" and "agreements" that were not carried out, and says, "I and others involved in these important and intense FISA negotiations are left to question whether the negotiations were carried out in good faith or whether your commitments were overruled by others at the White House or within the Administration." Senator Sheldon Whitehouse also expressed "deeply felt displeasure with the administration's legislative strategy on the recent 'FISA Fix'" and says that the Protect America Act was passed "at a substantial price, one that will be paid in rancor, suspicion and distrust." "These documents give Americans a unique inside look at high-level discussions about how a controversial -- and critically important -- change to the law occurred," said EFF Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann. "A Senate vote on more changes to FISA is just weeks away, and these records could not be more relevant to the ongoing debate on these issues." EFF sued for the release of the records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) earlier this year, demanding documents concerning briefings, discussions, or other contacts ODNI officials have had with representatives of telecommunications companies or members of Congress about amending FISA. This initial 250-page disclosure focuses on communications between ODNI and members of Congress but includes no information about the telecom industry's lobbying efforts. A federal judge ordered ODNI to release the rest of the relevant documents by December 10. EFF represents the plaintiffs in Hepting v. AT&T, a class-action lawsuit brought by AT&T customers accusing the telecommunications company of violating their rights by illegally assisting the National Security Agency in domestic surveillance. The Hepting case is just one of many suits aimed at holding telecoms responsible for knowingly violating federal privacy laws. For part one of the ODNI documents: http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/foia_C0705278/113007_odni01.pdf For part two of the ODNI documents: http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/foia_C0705278/113007_odni02.pdf For more on EFF v. ODNI: http://www.eff.org/issues/foia/cases/C-07-05278 For this release: http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2007/11/30 : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * EFF Releases Reports and Software to Spot Interference with Internet Traffic Technology Rights Group Addresses the Comcast Controversy San Francisco - In the wake of the detection and reporting of Comcast Corporation's controversial interference with Internet traffic, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has published a comprehensive account of Comcast's packet-forging activities and has released software and documentation instructing Internet users on how to test for packet forgery or other forms of interference by their own ISPs. Separate tests in October from EFF, the Associated Press, and others showed that Comcast was forging small parcels of digital data, known as packets, in order to interfere with its subscribers' and other Internet users' ability to use file-sharing applications, like BitTorrent and Gnutella. Despite having been confronted by this evidence, Comcast continues to issue incomplete and misleading statements about their practices and their impact on its customers. "Comcast is discriminating among different kinds of Internet traffic based on the protocols being used by its customers," said EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney Fred von Lohmann. "When confronted, Comcast has been evasive and misleading in its responses, so we decided to start gathering the facts ourselves." Protocol-specific discrimination gives ISPs a tremendous amount of power over the kinds of new applications and services that can be deployed by innovators and competitors. To the extent that practices like those employed by Comcast change the "end-to-end" architecture of the Internet, those practices jeopardize the Internet's vibrant innovation economy. "This recent interference by Comcast in their subscribers' Internet communications is a cause for grave concern," said EFF Staff Technologist Peter Eckersley. "It threatens the open Internet standards and architecture that have made the network such an engine of technical and economic innovation." In addition to an account of the results of EFF's independent testing of Comcast's packet forging activities, EFF has also issued a detailed document and software to assist other networking experts in conducting their own testing. "If ISPs won't give their customers accurate information about their Internet traffic controls, we have to detect and document them for ourselves," said EFF Staff Technologist Seth Schoen. For "Packet Forgery by ISPs: A Report on the Comcast Affair": http://www.eff.org/wp/packet-forgery-isps-report-comcast-affair For "Detecting Packet Injection: A Guide to Packet Spoofing by ISPs": http://www.eff.org/wp/detecting-packet-injection For more on EFF's research into Comcast's packet monitoring: http://www.eff.org/testyourisp For this release: http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2007/11/28 : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * EFF Moves to Block New Jersey Township From Unmasking Blogger Last week, EFF took action in the latest battle to protect the anonymity of an online speaker. And in this case, the at-fault litigant is a government entity. On June 13, 2007, the New Jersey Township of Manalapan filed a malpractice lawsuit against its former attorney Stuart Moskovitz, alleging misconduct regarding the Township's purchase of polluted land in 2005. The decision to file suit was met with a lively debate in the regional press and among local bloggers. One Blogspot blogger by the name of "datruthsquad" was particularly critical of the Township for this and other decisions. Attorneys for the Township issued a subpoena to Google (owner of Blogspot) demanding that the identity of this anonymous critic be turned over, along with datruthsquad's contact information, blog drafts, e-mails, and "any and all information related to the blog." Despite repeated requests from EFF to explain how this could be anything other than an attempt to expose a vocal critic, attorneys for the Township refused to withdraw the subpoena and informed EFF that it could go to court to object to the subpoena if it so chose. EFF filed a motion to quash the subpoena and for a protective order to prevent the Township from issuing similar subpoenas in the future. This case offers a number of twists that set it apart from an "ordinary" Doe case, but one in particular is worth noting: the Township is absolutely barred from using an ordinary discovery subpoena to obtain such identity-related information. When the government seeks to uncover information stored with online providers, the federal Stored Communications Act forces them to use other more restrictive procedures that are subject to more intense court scrutiny. No matter how compelling the Township's justification, the law says that discovery subpoenas simply can't be used by the government for such purposes. For the full motion to quash: http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/manalapan/motiontoquashmpa-signed.pdf For more on this case: http://www.eff.org/cases/manalapan-v-moskovitz For the full post by EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2007/11/eff-moves-block-new-jersey-townships-attempt-unmask-critical-blogger : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Arizona Affirms Strong Protections for Anonymous Speech Online An Arizona appellate court joined a growing judicial consensus recognizing the need to protect the anonymity of online speakers from overreaching discovery requests. Mobilisa, a Washington-based communications company, went to court last year to seek the identity of an individual who had obtained an email initially sent by the company's CEO to his mistress. The individual had forwarded the email to company employees. A lower court agreed to issue a subpoena requiring Doe's ISP to reveal Doe's personal information. Doe and the ISP, represented by longtime EFF cooperating attorney Charles Lee Mudd, Jr., immediately appealed. EFF and Public Citizen (with help from Arizona attorney John Flynn) filed an amicus brief in support of Doe, pointing out that strong protection for the right to engage in anonymous communication -- to speak, read, listen, and associate without revealing your full identity -- is fundamental to a free society. Concerns about political or economic retribution, harassment, or even threats to their lives lead many people today to choose to speak anonymously. For these individuals and the organizations that support them, secure anonymity is critical, often to their very safety, and courts should not permit the use of trumped up legal claims as an excuse to silence people who need anonymity. At the same time, people who have legitimate grievances against anonymous speakers should be able to pursue them in court. Recognizing these competing concerns, courts around the country have set up a flexible test for those seeking to unmask anonymous speakers. The courts have required litigants who seek an anonymous speaker's identity to show that they have given notice of the attempt to the Doe (so she can protect herself), present evidence to show that their case is legitimate, and demonstrate that their need for the information outweighs Doe's right to anonymity. We're very pleased that the Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed this test and thereby struck the right balance between the competing interests of subpoenaing parties and the anonymous speakers they seek to unmask, recognizing that once an online user's anonymity and privacy have been eviscerated, they cannot be repaired. For the amicus brief filed by EFF and Public Citizen: http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/Mobilisa_v_Doe/mobilisa_doe_amicus.pdf For this post by EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2007/11/arizona-affirms-strong-protections-anonymous-speech-online : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Between Friends: The Perils of Centralized Blogging One of the paradoxes of current social software is how many of your closely-guarded secrets you are obliged to entrust to a third party. The news that LiveJournal has been sold to SUP, a Moscow-based company, is the latest vivid indication of this danger. Now, LiveJournal journal entries are under the control of not only a young new company, but a new jurisdiction: Russia. What does that mean for the privacy of LiveJournal posts and the free expression of LiveJournal users? Countries like Russia have weaker protections over privacy and free speech, both legally and culturally, than many users might have come to expect. Legal considerations aside, LiveJournal may come under far more intense pressure to turn over user information or remove content when run from Moscow than from the United States. The site is very popular among Russian-speakers and is used by opposition politicians there as much as by enthusiastic fan-fiction authors. The political status of free expression in Russia is on shakier ground, with journalists, online and off, assaulted and threatened by the authorities. LiveJournallers, already disturbed by previous acts of control by Six Apart in the U.S., could well find themselves caught up in far nastier fights over the public and private content held by SUP's servers. That's of particular concern for Russian users, or the many Russian-speaking LJers in the former-Soviet republics that surround Russia, who do not necessarily trust the political or business culture of Moscow. Fortunately for those concerned by the implications, LiveJournal's legacy in the world of open source and open standards means that extracting data from the service is not as painful as it might otherwise be. But for now, the most important lesson for Americans and Russians alike is to be cautious about with whom and where you share your secrets. The Internet has given us the opportunity to make our own data public and secure; hopefully the next generation of social software will give us the tools to use these capabilities for ourselves, rather than entrust the responsibility to others. For the full post by EFF International Outreach Coordinator Danny O'Brien: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2007/12/between-friends : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Darknet Assumptions Still True In a recent blog post, Princeton professor and EFF Board Member Ed Felten reminds us that one of the core "Darknet premises" -- that DRM systems on mass media content will inevitably be broken -- continues to prove itself true. The victim this year is AACS, the encryption scheme used to prevent the copying of HD-DVD and Blu-ray discs. Despite the best efforts of the entertainment industry to change encryption keys and otherwise lock down content, AACS is broken time and time again. To many who follow DRM issues closely, this is hardly news; the regular breaking of DRM systems, followed by the steady leak of formerly-protected content into file-sharing channels, is now so common that it barely rates a mention in the tech press. But copyright policy-makers still haven't gotten the message that DRM does not slow piracy. Whether they get the message or not, this steadily mounting pile of empirical evidence continues to show that the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA (i.e., "thou shalt not circumvent DRM") are a failure if the goal was to impede digital infringement. At the same time, of course, the DMCA continues to be a valuable tool for rightsholders who want to use DRM to impede competition, innovation, and free speech. For Professor Ed Felten's post: http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/?p=1229 For the full post by EFF Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2007/11/year-end-2007-darknet-assumptions-still-true : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Thanks to Jonathan Zittrain and News.com Last week, Jonathan Zittrain delivered a presentation titled "The Future of the Internet -- And How to Stop It" at CNET Networks in San Francisco. The event attracted a keen audience, eager to hear about the dangers implied by recent trends in networked devices and Internet security. EFF would like to thank Jonathan Zittrain for his excellent presentation and News.com for hosting the event! : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * 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 email@example.com. 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 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 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: http://www.eff.org/awards/pioneer/ : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Get Your Holiday Gifts and Support Digital Freedom at the EFF Store! Spread some freedom and holiday cheer through the EFF Store. Our t-shirts, hats, 4th Amendment shipping tape, and other items make great gifts -- and the proceeds from your purchase make a fine gift to EFF: http://secure.eff.org/shop : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Dear Santa: EFF Seeking Donations of Digital Video Equipment EFF is hoping to augment our digital rights activism in 2008 by creating online video. We have awesome ideas, but unfortunately, we don't have the video making tools! Maybe you're a webcaster who's upgrading to a newer camera and have last year's model gathering dust in the corner, or perhaps your company wants to donate the full package. If you can help us with any of the items on our list below, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. In a perfect world, here's what we'd like to have: 1. HD camcorder with audio input 2. Fluid head tripod 3. Final Cut Express 4 EFF is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization. Your gift will be tax deductible to the full extent provided by law. : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * miniLinks The week's noteworthy news, compressed. ~ Robert Reich on Telecom Immunity Former Secretary of Labor argues against offering immunity to telecoms in warrantless wiretapping cases. http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2007/11/28/reich_commentary ~ Feds Routinely Tracking Cellphones Cellphone companies are facing routine requests from federal officials to turn over real-time tracking data on suspects. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/22/AR2007112201444.html?hpid=topnews ~ Firefighters Trained to Gather Intelligence Will firefighters, who do not require warrants to enter a home, be used to spy on the public? http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071123/ap_on_re_us/firefighters_terrorism ~ Facebook's Other Privacy Violation An employee claims Facebook voluntarily handed her private info over to her employer. http://valleywag.com/tech/your-privacy-is-an-illusion/gun-owner-says-facebook-gave-employer-access-to-her-private-profile-323882.php ~ France Plans to Cut Off Internet Pirates French President Sarkozy plans to suspend or terminate Internet accounts for those found guilty of downloading music and films without paying. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21931741/ ~ Internet CEO Calls on ISPs to Block P2P Mark Cuban supports an outright ban on P2P, claiming Internet service is slowed by P2P content distribution. http://www.blogmaverick.com/2007/11/20/an-open-letter-to-comcast-and-every-cable-telco-on-p2p/ ~ UK Retailers Call for Ditching DRM A retailers' organization says that DRM is "stifling growth and working against the consumer interest." http://www.pcpro.co.uk/macuser/news/140652/uk-retailers-called-for-ditching-of-drm.html ~ Pay What You Like Music Plan Following in Radiohead's footsteps, CASH Music would let fans pay what they please. http://blog.wired.com/music/2007/11/cash-music-pay.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: Richard Esguerra, EFF Activist email@example.com Membership & donation queries: firstname.lastname@example.org General EFF, legal, policy, or online resources queries: email@example.com 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.