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EFFector - Volume 21, Issue 42 - MBTA and MIT Students Join to Discuss Improvements to Automated Fare System

EFFector Vol. 21, No. 42  December 24, 2008  editor@eff.org

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
ISSN 1062-9424

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In our 494th issue:

*Happy Holidays from EFF! Thank you to all of you, our
friends and supporters, for another good year in the fight
for digital rights. Please enjoy our animated holiday
greeting celebrating the season.

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/12/twelve-days-eff

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EFF Updates

* THE MASSACHUSETTS BAY TRANSIT AUTHORITY (MBTA) AND MIT
STUDENTS WILL JOIN TO DISCUSS IMPROVEMENTS TO THE AUTOMATED
FARE SYSTEM following the dismissal of a federal lawsuit
brought by the MBTA against the MIT students. The parties
have agreed to work together to identify and help improve
security issues in the MBTA's Automated Fare Collection
System in a way that is as straightforward and inexpensive
to address as possible. The MIT students were represented
in the lawsuit pro bono by the Coders' Rights Project of
the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). EFF was assisted
in this case by the ACLU of Massachusetts Legal Director
John Reinstein and Fish & Richardson attorneys Adam Kessel,
Lawrence Kolodney, and Tom Brown.

For the full press release:
http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2008/12/22

For more on MBTA v. Anderson:
http://www.eff.org/cases/mbta-v-anderson

* The Whistleblower Who Kick-Started Spying Revelations
Thomas M. Tamm has come forward, and his story is a timely
lesson on how important -- and frightening -- it can be to
do the right thing.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/12/whistleblower-who-kick-started-domestic-spying-rev

* First Interview with the NSA Whistleblower
Clips and excerpts from Thomas M. Mann's first public
interview on The Rachel Maddow Show.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/12/first-interview-nsa-whistleblower

* RIAA v. The People Turns from Lawsuits to 3 Strikes
The recording industry has halted its mass litigation
campaign against music fans for Internet file sharing and
is instead pressuring U.S. ISPs into adopting a "3 strikes"
approach.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/12/riaa-v-people-turns-lawsuits-3-strikes

* EFF, Others Urge Michigan State to Respect Student Speech
EFF and 11 other civil liberties organizations sent an open
letter to Michigan State University (MSU) President Lou
Anna K. Simon in defense of MSU student government leader
Kara Spencer, who was labeled a "spammer" for sending
e-mails to 391 faculty members about a controversial change
in the university's calendar.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/12/eff-fire-and-others-urge-michigan-state-respect-st

* Court Rules Against National Security Letter Gag Orders
The federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals gave another
setback to the Bush Administration's claims for sweeping
new Executive powers when it found the National Security
Letter statute's gag provision unconstitutional in Doe v.
Mukasey.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/12/second-circuit-rules-against-national-security-let

* Yahoo to Anonymize Logs After 90 Days
Yahoo has announced a new data retention policy, providing
for anonymization of search queries -- as well as page
views, page clicks, ad views and ad clicks -- after 90
days.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/12/yahoo-anonymize-logs-after-90-days-compared-google

* Reactions to Yahoo Data Retention Policy
Google and Microsoft weigh in on Yahoo's 90-day retention
policy.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/12/reactions-yahoo-data-retention-policy

* Is It Patentable?
The In re Bilski finding that to be patent-eligible an idea
must be "tied to a particular machine or apparatus," or it
must "transform a particular article into a different state
or thing," is put into practice.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/12/is-it-patentable

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miniLinks

~ Obama's Total Information Awareness
The New Republic says no campaign in history has ever
compiled more information on its supporters.
http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=80cdafca-1f22-4fce-9663-3f4845bc54f4

~ FBI Turning Cell Phones Into Eavesdropping Devices
By remotely activating the microphone in mobile phones, the
FBI has been able to eavesdrop on suspects.
http://news.cnet.com/2100-1029_3-6140191.html

~ Analysis of the 2nd Circuit Decision on NSLs
Eugene Volokh goes deep inside the 2nd Circuit's decision
to ask whether the ruling is good for free speech.
http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2008_12_14-2008_12_20.shtml#1229385049

For more miniLinks:
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/12/minilinks-2008-12-23

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Announcements

* Come Visit EFF at Macworld '09!

Visit EFF at Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco
from January 6-9. We'll be at booth 4418 in the North hall
with a wide range of EFF paraphernalia and other goodies.
We hope to see you there!

Register online with the EFF priority code: CSO13105 for a
$25 Expo Pass ($45 Value)

Macworld Conference & Expo:
http://www.macworldexpo.com

* Celebrate EFF's 18th Birthday Party on January 7, 2009!

Come celebrate EFF's 18th year of defending digital rights
with our biggest bash yet! Special guest DJ Spooky will be
rocking the DNA Lounge in San Francisco, with help from
Bootie mashup party pioneers Adrian and the Mysterious D,
as well as copyfighter and Surya Dub DJ Kid Kameleon. The
first 400 people through the door will receive a free mix
CD from DJ Spooky!

Party with us from 8 p.m. until ???. We'll be asking for a
$25 donation at the door to fund our work defending your
digital freedom, but no one will be turned away for lack of
funds. Please RSVP to events@eff.org. 21+ only, cash bar.

Pre-pay for the party using our Happy Birthday donation
page, and you'll have the option to get a discounted
membership!  As always, membership includes great EFF swag
- perfect for wearing to an EFF party!

Please use this URL: http://secure.eff.org/happybirthday

* Before the main Birthday Party, please join EFF staff,
founders, board members, and other luminaries at a special
VIP event beginning at 7 p.m. The reception will feature a
reading by DJ Spooky from his new book, Sound Unbound,
which asks artists to report from the front lines on the
role of sound and digital media in an information-based
society. The ticket price of $100 includes admission to the
main party; wine and light hors d'oeuvres will be served.

The first 40 people to RSVP at the VIP level will receive a
free autographed copy of Sound Unbound.

For more on the VIP pre-party:
http://www.eff.org/calendar/2009/01/07/vip-birthday

To RSVP:
http://secure.eff.org/happybirthday .

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Administrivia

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

Editor:
Sara Bassett, Membership Services Assistant
sara@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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