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EFFector - Volume 21, Issue 28 - The EFF is Defending Free Speech for Computer Researchers

EFFector Vol. 21, No. 28  August 14, 2008  editor@eff.org

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
ISSN 1062-9424

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In our 481st issue:

* EFF IS DEFENDING FREE SPEECH FOR COMPUTER RESEARCHERS in
a legal battle between the Massachusetts Bay Transit
Authority (MBTA) and three MIT students. The undergraduate
students were planning to present their findings on
magnetic stripe and RFID vulnerabilities at the DEFCON
computer security conference in Las Vegas when a
Massachusetts judge stepped in and issued a gag order,
preemptively halting the research presentation. EFF is
urging the judge to lift the unconstitutional gag order --
the court cannot silence researchers, even if their speech
exposes technological flaws.
http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2008/08/13

* EFF HELPED WIN A VICTORY FOR FREE SPEECH IN
USER-GENERATED CONTENT when a judge dismissed a lawsuit
between a literary agent and Wikipedia. The agent sued
Wikipedia for edits identifying her as one of the "dumbest
of the twenty worst" agents and that she had "no documented
sales at all." But EFF argued that the operators of
"interactive computer services" such as Wikipedia cannot be
held liable for users' comments -- an important protection
that allows Wikipedia, Craigslist, and other online
communities to include user-generated content without
living in constant fear of costly lawsuits.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/08/wikipedia-wins-dismissal-baseless-defamation-claim

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EFF Updates

* MIT Students' Response to MBTA Statements
The MIT student researchers clarify some misrepresented
facts from an MBTA statement to CNET.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/08/mit-students-response-mbta-statements

* Condition or Covenant, and Why Should You Care?
EFF Senior Staff Attorney Michael Kwun explains parts of
the decision in Jacobsen v. Katzer and the potential
implications for open source software and EULAs.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/08/condition-or-covenant-and-why-should-you-care

* Olympic Committee Takedown Shows Risks of Ill-Timed
Take-Downs
In another frustrating misuse of the DMCA, the
International Olympic Committee took down a YouTube protest
video from Students for a Free Tibet.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/08/olympic-committee-takedown-shows-risks-ill-timed-t

* Universities Quietly Fighting Back Against RIAA Tactics
Schools tired of being harassed by the RIAA are looking for
new solutions to the incessant legal pressures.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/08/universities-quietly-fighting-back-against-riaa-ta

* Public Pressure Mounts Against Invasive Border Searches
The battle against suspicionless laptop border searches
heats up as the government claims shockingly expansive
search and seizure authority.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/08/public-pressure-mounts-against-invasive-border-sea

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miniLinks

~ Oops! FBI Sorry For Spying on Journalists
FBI Director Robert Mueller called the NY Times and the
Washington Post to express regret for breaching reporters'
phone records.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/08/AR2008080803603_pf.html

~ Google Tells Congress About Targeted Advertising
The Internet giant confessed to using DoubleClick cookies
to deliver targeted advertising to users.
http://government.zdnet.com/?p=3934

~ Coordinated Cyberattack in Georgia War
The embattled state of Georgia accused Russia of launching
denial of service attacks against Georgian websites.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10014150-83.html

~ Jobs Confirms iPhone Kill Switch
Steve Jobs admitted that Apple implemented a tool to pull
the plug on any iPhone software that appears malicious --
or otherwise disrupts the business model.
http://www.engadget.com/2008/08/11/jobs-60-million-iphone-apps-downloaded-confirms-kill-switch/

For more miniLinks:
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/08/minilinks-2008-08-14

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Announcements

* EFF Fundraiser at San Francisco's Kansai Bistro
Restaurant
Come support EFF at Kansai Bistro tonight! Mention
EFF to your server to receive a free dessert AND have
Kansai Bistro donate 15% of your bill to EFF! EFF staffers
will be on hand throughout the evening to chat and mingle.
Kansai Bistro is located at 4112 Geary Blvd. (between 5th &
6th Avenues) in San Francisco. Call (415) 386-6188 to make
reservations. We look forward to seeing you there!
http://www.eff.org/calendar/2008/08/14/eff-fundraiser-san-franciscos-kansai-bistro-restau

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Administrivia

EFFector is published by:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation
 http://www.eff.org/about

Editor:
Richard Esguerra, EFF Activist
 richard@eff.org

Membership & donation queries:
 membership@eff.org

General EFF, legal, policy, or online resources queries:
 information@eff.org

Back issues of EFFector are available at:
 http://www.eff.org/effector/

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