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EFFector - Volume 22, Issue 22 - Don't Let Google Close the Book on Reader Privacy!


EFFector - Volume 22, Issue 22 - Don't Let Google Close the Book on Reader Privacy!

EFFector Vol. 22, No. 22  August 3, 2009

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
ISSN 1062-9424

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In our 514th issue:

EFF Updates

* Don't Let Google Close the Book on Reader Privacy!
EFF has written a letter to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, demanding that
Google take specific steps to protect your freedom to read privately.
We've asked that Google only respond to legitimate warrants when the
government comes calling and we've asked that they not share your
private reading data with third parties without your permission.

* Farhad Manjoo on the Future of Book Banning
Farhad Manjoo at Slate has written the best summation to date on
Amazon's 1984 Scandal, in which digital versions of the Orwell classic
were surreptitiously removed from users' Kindles without their
permission. Amazon has apologized and promised never to delete books
in this fashion in the future. But Manjoo points out that the real
lesson here is that the power to delete digital books remotely exists
in the first place

* The Book vs. The Kindle
San Francisco bookstore Green Apple Books has put together a series of
humorous videos that point up the advantages of paper books over
Amazon's Kindle e-book reader. We hope that bookstores will take the
lead in ensuring that digital books give readers the same or better
rights and freedoms that we enjoy with paper books.

* EFF Releases Interim Report on the Automated Targeting System
EFF today released an interim report on the Automated Targeting
System(ATS) through which the Department of Homeland Security monitors
and assigns risk assessment scores to Americans and others who cross
into or out of the United States. The data reviewed under the ATS
system includes seven large government databases, plus the Passenger
Name Record data from the airlines (which includes data like whether
you've ordered a Muslim or Hindu or Jewish special meal). Effectively,
if you travel internationally, ATS creates an instant, personal and
detailed dossier on you that CBP officers use to decide whether you
get to enter the country, or will be subject to an enhanced (and
potentially invasive) search. EFF's report details what we've learned
about the ATS program from the over 2,000 pages released by the
government so far. We note that because of government's very heavy
redacting and refusal to release key information Americans remain in
dark about how this powerful system is used on travelers.

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~ Can You Protect Your Privacy on Facebook?
The NY Times Gadgetwise blog says the best way to protect your privacy
and the privacy of your friends on Facebook is to avoid those spammy
third-party apps.

~ Cindy Cohn on Google Books
An interview with EFF's Legal Director about Google Books and

~ The Kindle Ate My Homework
A class action lawsuit against Amazon is being led by a high school
student whose margin notes were deleted when Amazon surreptitiously
deleted digital copies of Orwell's book from users' Kindles.

~ Apple Says Sky Will Fall If iPhone Jailbreaking Is Legal
Apple has a new reason why jailbreaking iPhones should not be allowed,
and (don't laugh) it has to do with national security.

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* Help the EFF Technologists!

EFF is doing some research on the Amazon Kindle e-book reader.  If you
have a Kindle 2 or a Kindle DX that you can donate to EFF, please

* 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

* 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

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 August 17, 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

More on the EFF Pioneer Awards:

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EFFector is published by:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation

Eva Galperin, Referral Coordinator

Membership & donation queries:

To support EFF:

General EFF, legal, policy, or online resources queries:

Back issues of EFFector are available at:

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