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How to Fix the Internet: Don't Be Afraid to Poke the Tigers

EFFector - Volume 21, Issue 29 - EFF Secures a Free Speech Victory for Security Researchers


EFFector - Volume 21, Issue 29 - EFF Secures a Free Speech Victory for Security Researchers

EFFector Vol. 21, No. 29  August 22, 2008

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
ISSN 1062-9424

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In our 482nd issue:

RESEARCHERS, successfully urging a federal judge to lift an
unconstitutional gag order that prevented three MIT
students from making a presentation about transit card
vulnerabilities at the DEFCON security conference. The
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Agency (MBTA) claimed in
the suit that the research presentation would violate the
federal computer crime law -- wrongly equating a
presentation at a security conference with some sort of
computer intrusion. However, the successful defeat of the
gag order is only the first part of the lawsuit -- the MBTA
is continuing to litigate, despite the students' offer to
cooperate with the MBTA in explaining the security problems
and working on solutions.

FAIR USE AT YOUR PERIL! In a definitive win for fair use
and free speech, a federal judge ruled that content owners
must consider fair use before sending takedown notices
under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The case
arose when Universal Music Corporation sent a DMCA takedown
notice for a short YouTube video of a toddler dancing to
Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" emanating from a radio in the
kitchen. Universal tried to argue that it had no obligation
to consider whether the song in the video was a fair use
before sending the notice -- but the judge ruled otherwise,
confirming what the EFF No Downtime For Free Speech
Campaign has been saying all along: a copyright owner must
consider fair use before issuing a takedown notice that may
result in the unnecessary censorship of free speech.

company behind the DISH satellite TV service. The company
is outrageously demanding the personal contact information
of consumers that bought "Coolsat" free-to-air satellite
receivers. Echostar claims that the Coolsat can be modified
to pirate DISH TV programming, but Echostar's demand seeks
all purchasers regardless of whether they actually pirated
DISH TV -- a gross violation of user privacy that would
leave innocent purchasers vulnerable to bogus legal

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EFF Updates

* Appeals Court Remands Gov't Appeal in Hepting v. AT&T
The state secrets privilege will not keep the courts from
dispensing justice in the class-action case against AT&T --
for now.

* The Stakes in MBTA v. MIT Students
Before the ruling, EFF's Hugh D'Andrade answered key
questions for those interested in the issue but not deeply
familiar with computer security research and law.

* Order Against Comcast Issued, FCC Credits EFF
EFF Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann spotlights the
interesting bits from the FCC's freshly issued ruling.

* The FCC and Regulatory Capture
The FCC issued a good ruling against Comcast, but sharp
policy watchers see some risks ahead.

* What If the Kindle Succeeds?
As the sales of digital books grow, what questions should
the publishing industry be asking?

* DRM for Streaming Music Dies a Quiet Death
Two leading, legal on-demand streaming sites are not using
DRM on their audio streams, yet another example of why
there is no legitimate business case for DRM on music.

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~ Senators: FBI Rules Could Target Innocent People
Four Senators criticized proposed Attorney General
guidelines that the Senators say would allow the FBI to spy
on innocent Americans.

~ Watch-Listed Fliers Can Sue
An appeals court ruled that passengers can sue the
government to have their names removed from no-fly lists.

~ Why the MIT Students Were Right
Bruce Schneier argues that the benefits of full disclosure
in security research far outweigh the dangers.

For more miniLinks:

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(no announcements this week)

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EFFector is published by:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation

Richard Esguerra, EFF Activist

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