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EFFector - Volume 21, Issue 39 - What Obama Can and Should Do to Stop Telecom Immunity

EFFector Vol. 21, No. 39  November 21, 2008  editor@eff.org

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
ISSN 1062-9424

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In our 491st issue:

* EFF IS HELPING A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER IN NEW YORK CITY
FIGHT BACK after her parody website was shut down by a
baseless copyright infringement and cybersquatting lawsuit.
Savitri Durkee is an activist concerned about the future of
New York City's historic Union Square neighborhood. She
created a website parodying the official website of the
Union Square Partnership (USP), a group backing extensive
redevelopment of the area. USP responded with a battery of
heavy-handed legal claims. However, Durkee's parody is
protected by the First Amendment and the fair use doctrine.
EFF is fighting to make sure that USP's efforts at
censoring a politically-engaged citizen's free speech will
not stand.

For the EFF press release about the case:
http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2008/11/18

* EFF ENCOURAGED A KENTUCKY COURT OF APPEALS TO OVERTURN A
BASELESS COURT ORDER TO SEIZE 141 DOMAIN NAMES. The
Commonwealth of Kentucky originally convinced a state court
to "seize" 141 domain names because the names allegedly
constituted "gambling devices" that are banned under
Kentucky law -- even though the sites were owned and
operated by individuals outside of the state, and in many
cases even outside of the country.

The court's theory -- that a state court can order the
seizure of Internet domain names regardless of where the
site is registered -- is not only wrong but also dangerous.
If the mere ability to access a website gives every court
on the planet the authority to seize a domain name if a
site's content is in some way inconsistent with local law,
the laws of the world's most repressive regimes will
effectively control cyberspace.

For the EFF press release about the amicus brief:
http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2008/11/13

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EFF Updates

* What Obama Can and Should Do to Stop Telecom Immunity
Newly elected President Obama can make good on his
opposition to telecom immunity by stopping the
implementation of the immunity scheme he criticized as a
candidate.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/11/what-obama-can-and-should-do-stop-telecom-immunity

* EFF Joins Coalition in Publishing New Policy Roadmap
Titled "Liberty and Security: Recommendations for the Next
Administration and Congress," the document is a
comprehensive catalog of policy recommendations on many
critical civil liberties issues.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/11/coalition-policy-roadmap

* Tennessee Governor Signs Campus Network Filtering Law
The ridiculous new law gives entertainment industry giants
the ability to hold struggling Tennessee universities
hostage through the use of infringement notices.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/11/riaa-wins-campuses-lose-tennessee-governor-signs-c

* Bogus Jones Day Trademark Claims Allowed to Go Forward
Judge refuses to dismiss bogus trademark claims against a
website's fair use of a law firm's name in an article
headline.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/11/judge-allows-bogus-jones-day-trademark-claims-go-f

* Google Is Done Paying Silicon Valley's Legal Bills
The Google Book Search settlement portends a shift in the
distribution of legal burdens on innovators.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/11/further-thoughts-google-book-search-settlement

* FCC Unanimously Approves Use of Television "White Spaces"
Enthusiastic approval from the FCC brings wireless
broadband many steps closer to the public.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/11/fcc-unanimously-approves-use-television-white-spac

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miniLinks

~ Massive Study on Kids' Online Activities Published
The MacArthur-funded collection of research is a welcome
departure from fear-driven reports on kids' and teens'
Internet use.
http://www.boingboing.net/2008/11/20/digital-youth-projec.html

~ Electronic Frontiers Australia Opposes Net Filtering Plan
EFA presents the facts against the government's "clean
feed" censorship plan, providing helpful information on
combating moral panic in Australia and beyond.
http://nocleanfeed.com/learn.html

~ Mobile Phone Surveillance Primer
MobileActive.org, a mobile phone-based activism
organization, recently published an informative guide to
mobile phone surveillance.
http://mobileactive.org/wiki/Mobile_Surveillance-A_Primer

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Announcements

* Apply for the Google Policy Fellowship and Work with EFF

Are you interested in technology law and policy? Do you
want to use your skills to make a difference? Then apply
for a Google Policy Fellowship to work at EFF in the summer
of 2009! Google has kindly offered to provide the Google
Policy Fellow with a $7000 stipend to work at EFF for a
minimum of 10 weeks in June-August 2009. Applications are
due on Friday, December 12th. Students who are accepted
will be notified by Friday, February 13th.

For more about EFF's policy work and projects:
http://www.google.com/policyfellowship/hosts.html

For the Google Policy Fellowship application:
http://www.google.com/policyfellowship/

* EFF's New NSA Spying T-Shirts

We recently produced a new graphic to accompany our recent
case against the government, Jewel v. NSA, challenging the
Bush administration's illegal spying program. The graphic
retools the NSA's logo and features a glowering eagle using
his talons to illegally plug into the nation's
telecommunications system -- with the help of telecom giant
AT&T.

With a donation of $65 or more you can help us continue the
fight against illegal spying and receive a shirt (as well
as other premiums) in return. Your support makes our work
possible! Thank you!

For a close up of the design:
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/10/effs-new-nsa-spying-shirts

To make a donation to EFF:
http://secure.eff.org/friends2008

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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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