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EFFector - Volume 22, Issue 32 - Two Battles Won: PATRIOT Reform AND State Secrets Reform Bills Pass House Committee


EFFector - Volume 22, Issue 32 - Two Battles Won: PATRIOT Reform AND State Secrets Reform Bills Pass House Committee

EFFector 22.32: PATRIOT Reform and State Secrets Reform Bills Pass House Committee

EFFector Vol. 22, No. 32, November 9, 2009

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
ISSN 1062-9424

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In our 522nd issue:

* Two Battles Won: PATRIOT Reform AND State Secrets Reform Bills Pass House Committee
After two long days of legislative battle, the House Judiciary Committee rejected almost all amendments that would have weakened Chairman Conyers' PATRIOT reform bill, HR 3845. Thanks in no small part to those of you who took action with our alert, the Committee voted to recommend the bill to the House floor by a vote of 16 to 10.

Better still, the Committee kept going after it was finished with PATRIOT to consider Representative Nadler's State Secret Protection Act (HR 984), which would reform the state secrets privilege that the government has repeatedly used to try and throw EFF's warrantless wiretapping cases out of court. After an impassioned defense by Mr. Nadler, who described how the government has used the privilege like a "magic incantation" to cover-up wrongdoing and warned that state secrecy "is the greatest threat to liberty at present," the bill passed with even better numbers than the PATRIOT bill, 18 to 12!

* Leaked ACTA Internet Provisions: Three Strikes and a Global DMCA
Negotiations on the highly controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) began last week in Seoul, Korea. The closed negotiations focused on Òenforcement in the digital environment.Ó Negotiators discussed the Internet provisions drafted by the US government. No text has been officially released, but as Professor Michael Geist and IDG are reporting, leaks have surfaced. The leaks confirm everything we have feared about the secret ACTA negotiations. The Internet provisions have nothing to do with addressing counterfeit products but are all aimed at imposing a set of copyright industry demands on the global Internet, including obligations on ISPs to adopt Three Strikes Internet disconnection policies and a global expansion of DMCA-style TPM laws.

For the leaked commission memo:

For the full Deeplink:

* New York Court Scores Over Orgeon in Recent Email Privacy Opinions
Two recent district court opinions took opposing views on the question of whether the Fourth Amendment protects stored email. One of the cases easily adopted the prevailing view that the Constitution protects electronic communications, while the other ignored existing U.S. Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit precedent to find that consumers have no expectation of privacy in messages stored with third parties. EFF will be watching these developments closely as we continue to press for email privacy rights in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in U.S. v. Warshak.

* DVR Is TV's New BFF
Digital Video Recorders (DVRs), once considered a mortal threat by the entertainment industry, have now become its new best friend. It's just the latest example of how the industry's constant warnings of the dangers of "piracy" frequently turn out to be baseless hysteria.

* Hey Texas Instruments  Stop Digging Holes
Texas Instruments (TI) ultimately failed to stand behind its misguided claim that calculator hobbyists violated copyright law by having public, online discussions about techniques to get more functionality from TI calculators. Yet the company continues to dig itself new holes by issuing more improper take-down letters. While it's no surprise that TI gave up when it found itself in the legal wrong, it is scandalous that the company continues to send its improper demands to other bloggers and hosting companies.
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~ Map of Threatened or Arrested Bloggers Around the World
Global Voices' interactive map showing bloggers who have been threatened, arrested, or killed for speaking out online.

~ 60 Minutes Gets Piracy Wrong
An hour of laughable, factually incorrect MPAA propaganda on movie piracy.

~ EFA Board Report
What Electronic Frontiers Australia (no relation, still awesome) has been up to this year.

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* Vote for EFF on Credo's 2009 Donations Ballot

Each year, the progressive phone service provider Credo polls its
members to figure out how to distribute donation funds to various
nonprofits. This year, EFF is one of the nonprofits listed on the ballot! The size of the donation is proportional to how many votes
the organization gets, so every vote for EFF counts! If you've taken a
Credo action alert, or if you're a Credo mobile, Credo long distance,
or Working Assets credit card customer, then supporting EFF is easy --
simply log in and vote for the Electronic Frontier Foundation now:

* "The Future of DVD" Panel/Happy Hour, Monday, November 9, at 5:30 p.m.

Please join the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) for a panel discussion on "The Future of DVD" at the Varnish Gallery in San Francisco tonight, Monday, November 9, at 5:30 p.m.

Panelists include Kaleidescape CEO Michael Malcolm, Real Networks Vice President and General Counsel Bill Way, and EFF Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann. "The Future of DVD" will examine the legal battles over DVD rentals, ripping, backups, home media servers, and portable media players. The current legal battles involving RealDVD, Kaleidescape, and Redbox underscore the continuing struggle between Hollywood, consumers, and innovators over the future of the DVD.

"The Future of DVD" panel is free and open to the public and includes a hosted bar. EFF would like to thank Real Networks for helping to make this event possible.

"The Future of DVD" Panel and Happy Hour

Monday, November 9
5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Varnish Gallery
77 Natoma St.
San Francisco, CA

For more information or to RSVP, please email

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EFFector is published by:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation

Eva Galperin, Referral Coordinator

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