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EFFector - Volume 21, Issue 24 - Viacom and Google Upped Commitments to Users’ Privacy This Week


EFFector - Volume 21, Issue 24 - Viacom and Google Upped Commitments to Users’ Privacy This Week

EFFector Vol. 21, No. 24  July 17, 2008

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
ISSN 1062-9424

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In our 477th issue:

LAST WEEK, EFF recognizes that the year-long battle was
made possible by record-breaking resistance from a fearless
cadre of organizations and individuals. This resulted in
far more opposition than immunity proponents were
bargaining for when they initially sought to hide from
accountability for cooperation with warrantless spying. In
spite of the support of powerful corporations, and
incessant political posturing by the Executive branch, wave
after wave of public opposition delayed passage of immunity
over and over and over again.

Though telecom immunity was eventually passed in the FISA
Amendments Act, the fight is far from over. We have shown
that there is a constituency -- a loud, organized, and
active constituency -- that will passionately defend the
Constitution, privacy rights, and the rule of law.
Lawmakers risk their offices in ignoring this principled,
tireless, permanent movement.

Also, EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston guest
blogged for The Hill, declaring that "our long war against
warrantless wiretapping has only just begun."

THIS WEEK in response to concerns aired by EFF after a
court order that could have exposed the viewing habits of
YouTube users. While the proposals are not perfect, they
represent a sensitivity to users' privacy, even amidst
controversial litigation. Viacom and Google have agreed
that user IDs and IP addresses will be replaced with a
"unique substituted value," and also that the parties will
not try to reverse-engineer real identities from the unique

In addition, Viacom's General Counsel sent EFF a letter
promising not to change the plan to protect users' privacy
without informing EFF -- which leaves a chance for EFF to
air privacy concerns in court if need be.

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EFF Updates

* You Bought It, But You Don't Own It
In a blow to users' rights, an Arizona federal court has
ruled that software users can be guilty of copyright
infringement if they violate the end user license agreement
by loading the software in RAM, when the software is
"licensed" and not sold.

* Tiffany v. eBay: Court Rejects Tiffany's Expansive
Trademark Infringement Theories
A ruling in a case about eBay's advertising of Tiffany
jewelry confirms that trademark law is about consumer
protection, not about squelching speech.

* FCC Chairman Hints at Order Against Comcast
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin signaled that the FCC may issue
an order against Comcast in the wake of the scandal over
their use of packet forgery to interfere with BitTorrent,
Gnutella, and other Internet protocols.

* Sixth Circuit Dodges Constitutional Question on Email
The appeals court decided not to address a critical
question: Does the Fourth Amendment require the government
to obtain a search warrant based on probable cause before
secretly rifling through your Yahoo! mail or Gmail

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~ Apple Sues Psystar
The Psystar OpenMac has incurred the wrath of the "Closed
Software Movement."

~ Prosecutor Flagged by US Terror Watch List
Air travel is difficult for Assistant Attorney General Jim
Robinson, who has been put on a secret list by mistake.

~ A Foreign Correspondent Speaks Out About the FISA
Amendments Act
Chris Hedges is a long-time reporter on the Middle East and
says his ability to report the news will be compromised.,0,1553314.story

For more miniLinks:

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* Stop by the EFF Booth at the O'Reilly Open Source
Convention (OSCON)
Now in its tenth year, OSCON is a vibrant meeting ground
for the open source community, taking place on July 21-25
at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland Oregon.

* Visit EFF at the 2008 Usenix Security Symposium
Join us in San Jose, CA, July 28 - August 1, for the 17th
USENIX Security Symposium.

* EFF is IN at Black Hat USA 2008!
Look for us or stop by our booth at Black Hat USA, August
2-7 in Las Vegas, the world's premier technical security
conference. We'll be giving out useful legal information to
assist security researchers with intellectual property and
free speech issues that affect their work.  We'll also be
available to consult with individuals or companies who want
more information about how the law might affect their
current research and upcoming presentations. To make an
appointment for a consultation, please email Alyssa
Ralston, Development Assistant, at, or drop
by the table.

EFF supporters receive a $100 discount off the prevailing
registration rate by inserting BHUS8SUAS in the box marked
"coupon" on the web registration page! 

* Visit EFF at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo from
August 4-7
Thinking about going to the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo
in San Francisco? You can use the priority code "VPL616"
for a Free Exhibit Hall Pass or 20% off the conference
package of your choice. Stop by our booth to say hello and
update your membership!

While you're there, check out the LinuxWorld session "Cold
Boot Attacks on Hard Drive Encryption" with EFF Staff
Technologist Seth Schoen. He will demonstrate attacks in
which encryption keys are recovered from memory chips
quickly taken from powered down computers, and they will
discuss countermeasures that users can take to protect

* Vegas 2.0 presents theSummit: Fundraiser for EFF and The
Hacker Foundation 
Kick off DEFCON right at the 4th Annual theSummit
fundraiser on Thursday, August 7th, 2008. Organizers plan
to have 50+ featured guests from the hacker community. Past
guests have been DEFCON/Black Hat speakers, high profile
hackers, and security book writers.

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EFFector is published by:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation

Richard Esguerra, EFF Activist

Membership & donation queries:

General EFF, legal, policy, or online resources queries:

Back issues of EFFector are available at:

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