EFFector Vol. 22, No. 19 June 18, 2009 firstname.lastname@example.org A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation ISSN 1062-9424 : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : In our 512th issue: * EFF HAS BUSTED A BOGUS INTERNET SUBDOMAIN PATENT. U.S. Patent No. 6,687,746, now held by Hoshiko, LLC, claimed to cover the method of automatically assigning Internet subdomains, like "action.eff.org" for the parent domain "eff.org." Previous patent owner Ideaflood used this bogus patent to demand payment from website hosting companies offering personalized domains, such as LiveJournal. In the original reexamination request, EFF showed that the method Ideaflood claimed to have invented was well known before the patent was issued. In fact, website developers were having public discussions about how to create these virtual subdomains on an Apache developer mailing list and on Usenet more than a year before Ideaflood filed its patent application. The open source community's public record of the technology development provided the linchpin to EFF's patent challenge. For the full press release: http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2009/06/16 * EFF AND PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE HAVE RELUCTANTLY DROPPED THEIR LAWSUIT FOR INFORMATION ABOUT ACTA. The Obama Administration's decision to support Bush-era concealment policies forced the drop of the suit, which sought important documents about the secret anti-counterfeiting enforcement treaty that has broad implications for global privacy and innovation. Very little is known about ACTA, currently under negotiation between the U.S. and more than a dozen other countries. Leaked documents indicate that it could establish far-reaching customs regulations governing searches of personal computers and iPods, could require mandatory filtering of Internet communications for potentially copyright-infringing material, and could adopt "Three Strikes" policies requiring the termination of Internet access after repeat allegations of copyright infringement. Last year, more than 100 public interest organizations around the world called on ACTA country negotiators to make the draft text available for public comment. For the full press release: http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2009/06/17 : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : EFF Updates * RIAA $1.9 Million Win in Thomas Retrial: Constitutional? Given the size of the statutory damages award, Ms. Thomas-Rasset's legal team is likely considering a constitutional challenge to the verdict. http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/06/record-labels-awarde * Are US Regulations Hurting Free Speech in Iran? EFF has been watching with concern the blocking of Web 2.0 sites in countries like Iran. This new threat doesn't come from foreign governments: it appears to be coming from the ambiguity of the United States' own export regulations. http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/06/sanctions-and-web * Into the DTV Era, With No Broadcast Flag Mandate Entertainment industries like to argue that they "need" DRM to make works available. And policymakers have eagerly adopted this argument. But when the bluff is called, it turns out that the DRM wasn't so necessary after all. http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/06/dtv-era-no-broadcast * New York Times Editorial Board Calls for Repeal of FISA Responding to repeated reports that the National Security Agency's surveillance dragnet is continuing to intercept Americans' purely domestic communications in the millions, the New York Times editorial board is calling on Congress to repeal the deeply-flawed FISA Amendments Act (FAA). http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/06/hear-hear-new-york-t * More from the NYT on NSA's Domestic Spying Following up on their report in April detailing the NSAÕs systemic and significant illegal interception of Americans' domestic communications, the New York Times has just published a new story with even more detail about the NSA's ongoing warrantless wiretapping and the concerns it is raising in Congress. http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/06/more-nyt-nsas-domest * Google Considering More HTTPS, Other Services to Follow? Earlier this week, privacy and security researchers urged Google to improve the security of Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar by enabling the more secure HTTPS encryption by default. http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/06/more-https-from-google-others * Amendments to CFAA a Dark Cloud with Ray of Light In September of last year, Congress amended the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) as part of a larger bill dealing with identity theft. Unfortunately, the amendments broaden the already extensive reach of the law and fail to clarify the most vexing question about the statute, the definition of Òunauthorized accessÓ. http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/06/amendments-computer- : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : miniLinks ~ REAL ID Revival Bill Is Another Attempt at a National ID A new "PASS ID" bill seeks to create a privacy-invasive national ID, just like its antecedent, REAL ID. http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2009/06/17/is-the-real-id-revival-bill-pass-id-a-national-id/ ~ IP Colloquium Podcast Tackles Patent Damages Reform UCLA Law Professor Doug Lichtman and his guests explore the contentious issues around patent reform, including the difficulty of calculatingdamages and considering the many possible reforms. http://www.ipcolloquium.com/Programs/7.html ~ Copyright in the Rye J.D. Salinger has filed a copyright infringement complaint against the writer of a novel attempting to chronicle the later years of a character from "The Catcher in the Rye." http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/17/books/17salinger.html : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : Announcements * IT Equipment for EFF Offices We are looking for donations of computer equipment to support EFF's office operations. As thanks for your donation, we can offer a free membership and, of course, some cool swag. Requested Items: - 2 x 2TB external USB hard drives, preferably Western Digital. Or a larger number of smaller drives with the same interface. - PATA IDE hard drives, 20GB or larger Please contact email@example.com if you can help! * EFF at Velocity Conference We will have a table at Velocity, the O'Reilly web performance and operations conference in San Jose! Come check it out! O'Reilly Media is offering a 20% discount on Velocity registration for EFF's supporters. Register here: https://en.oreilly.com/velocity2009/public/register Discount Code: vel09sd20 Location: Fairmont San Jose 170 S. Market Street San Jose, CA 95113 Exhibit Hall Hours: Tuesday, June 23: 9:45 AM - 4:30 PM Tuesday Exhibit Hall Reception: 6:15 PM 7:15 PM Wednesday, June 24: 9:45 AM - 4:30 PM For More Information: http://en.oreilly.com/velocity2009 * Help EFF Go to DEFCON! EFF is looking for donations of airline tickets and hotel points for the DEFCON hacking conference, as well as other conferences and speaking engagements. If you have enough airline miles for a free ticket and would like to send an EFF staffer to a conference, let us know, and we will help you with the process of making the reservation. Please note that at this time we are unable to combine miles from multiple individuals. We are also looking for hotel rewards points to help reduce our overall travel costs. As a thanks for your donation, we can offer a free membership and a mention in EFFector (if you'd like). Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help! * Nominate a Pioneer for EFF's 2009 Pioneer Awards! EFF established the Pioneer Awards to recognize leaders on the electronic frontier who are extending freedom and innovation in the realm of information technology. This is your opportunity to nominate a deserving individual or group to receive a Pioneer Award for 2009. The International Pioneer Awards nominations are open both to individuals and organizations from any country. Nominations are reviewed by a panel of judges chosen for their knowledge of the technical, legal, and social issues associated with information technology. How to Nominate Someone for a 2009 Pioneer Award: You may send as many nominations as you wish, but please use one email per nomination. Please submit your entries via email to email@example.com. We will accept nominations until July 15, 2009. Simply tell us: 1. The name of the nominee, 2. The phone number, email address or website by which the nominee can be reached, and, most importantly, 3. Why you feel the nominee deserves the award. Nominee Criteria: There are no specific categories for the EFF Pioneer Awards, but the following guidelines apply: 1. The nominees must have contributed substantially to the health, growth, accessibility, or freedom of computer-based communications. 2. To be valid, all nominations must contain your reason, however brief, for nominating the individual or organization and a means of contacting the nominee. In addition, while anonymous nominations will be accepted, ideally we'd like to contact the nominating parties in case we need further information. 3. The contribution may be technical, social, economic, or cultural. 4. Nominations may be of individuals, systems, or organizations in the private or public sectors. 5. Nominations are open to all (other than current members of EFF's staff and operating board or this year's award judges), and you may nominate more than one recipient. You may also nominate yourself or your organization. 6. Persons or representatives of organizations receiving an EFF Pioneer Award will be invited to attend the ceremony at EFF's expense. More on the EFF Pioneer Awards: http://www.eff.org/awards/pioneer/ * Intern Opportunity! EFF is looking for a summer intern to help in our development and media departments. This is an unpaid, full-time position. Projects will include: -Working on our annual report and contacting major donors and foundations (40% of time); -Assisting with membership fulfillment and bulk mailing (40% of time); and -Identifying and organizing press clippings (20% of time). Excellent writing and editing skills, strong organizational abilities, and the capacity to take instruction and run with it is a must. Interest in development and/or public relations as a career is a plus, as is knowledge and familiarity with EFF's issues. To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to: firstname.lastname@example.org * Volunteer at EFF! EFF is looking for volunteers to assist with operations in our membership department. If you're quick, organized, detail-oriented, and looking for a hands-on way to support EFF, contact us today! Duties include: * Membership fulfillment * Organizing premiums * Print mailing * Event assistance Learn about fundraising operations in the nonprofit world while supporting your favorite organization in a tangible way! Interest in grassroots fundraising is a plus, as is knowledge and familiarity with EFF's issues. Send a letter of interest to email@example.com : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : Administrivia EFFector is published by: The Electronic Frontier Foundation http://www.eff.org/about Editor: Sara Bassett, Membership Services Assistant firstname.lastname@example.org Membership & donation queries: email@example.com To support EFF: http://links.eff.org/emaildonate General EFF, legal, policy, or online resources queries: firstname.lastname@example.org Back issues of EFFector are available at: http://www.eff.org/effector/ To unsubscribe or change your subscription preferences: http://action.eff.org/site/CO To change your email address: http://action.eff.org/addresschange Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged. This newsletter is printed on 100% recycled electrons.