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EFFector - Volume 22, Issue 20 - EFF Sues DOJ For Public Release of FBI Surveillance Rules


EFFector - Volume 22, Issue 20 - EFF Sues DOJ For Public Release of FBI Surveillance Rules

EFFector Vol. 22, No. 20  July 3, 2009

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
ISSN 1062-9424

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In our 513th issue:

EFF filed suit against the Department of Justice this week, 
demanding the public release of the "Domestic Investigative 
Operational Guidelines" that govern surveillance of Americans 
by the FBI. "Americans have the right to know the basic 
surveillance policies used by federal investigators and how 
their privacy is -- or is not -- being protected," explains EFF 
Senior Counsel David Sobel.

For the full press release:

TONES. EFF urged a federal court Wednesday to reject bogus 
copyright claims in a ringtone royalty battle that could raise 
costs for consumers, jeopardize consumer rights, and curtail 
new technological innovation.

As part of a ploy to squeeze more money out of mobile phone 
companies, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and 
Publishers (ASCAP) has told a federal court that each time a 
phone rings in a public place, the phone user has violated 
copyright law. Therefore, ASCAP argues, phone carriers must 
pay additional royalties or face legal liability for 
contributing to what they claim is cell phone users' copyright 
infringement. In an amicus brief filed Wednesday, EFF points 
out that copyright law does not reach public performances 
"without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage" 
-- clearly the case with cell phone ringtones. If phone users 
are not infringing copyright law, then mobile phone service 
providers are not contributing to any infringement.

For the full press release:

For the blog post:

For more on this case:

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EFF Updates

* Google and HTTPS
Google's announcement that it's going to be offering strong 
encryption for gmail messages was heartening. The next step 
is to figure out how to offer encrypted search capability!

* 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 
DRM wasn't so necessary after all.

* Help Protesters in Iran: Run a Tor Bridge or a Tor Relay
Internet users in Iran are using Tor to both (a) circumvent 
censorship systems and (b) remain anonymous while reading and 
writing on the Internet. Both are critically important to the 
safety of protesters, many of whom fear retaliation from the 
government. Preliminary reports indicate that use of the Tor 
client in Iran has increased in the days after the contested 
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~ Surveillance in Iran vs. Surveillance in the US
Iran has an Internet monitoring center built by Nokia and 
Siemens AG --
what kind of domestic spying is happening in the US?

~ Data Shows Music Fans Are Willing to Buy
TopSpin and Nettwerk have experimented with premium discs, free albums,
and free shows and have found that fans are still more than willing to pay.

~ Panasonic Blocking Use of Third-Party Batteries
A firmware update to some Pansonic cameras is preventing consumers from
using their choice of battery, forcing users to buy only "genuine"
Panasonic batteries.
~ Endless Privacy Concerns After Clear Shuts Down
What happens to all the fingerprints, iris scans, and Social Security 
numbers collected by the Clear registered traveler service?

~ Electronic Arts' New Motto: Please Pirate our, Storefronts
The video game publisher seeks to move beyond piracy by selling 
games that, as a rule, encourage payment for an improved experience, 
like access to the game community and better content.

~ Musician Makes $19k on Twitter; $0 on Major Label Solo Album
Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls recounts recent examples of using 
Twitter to reach out to fans directly and garner direct support for 
her creative efforts, while her major label album sales net nothing.

~ Does a Private Company Own City Bus Travel Times?
A controversy is brewing over NextBus Information Systems, which 
shut down an iPhone app by claiming to have exclusive ownership of bus arrival data. 

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* 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:

* 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

* 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 if you can help!

* 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 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 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:

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EFFector is published by:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation

Eva Galperin, Referral Coordinator

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