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Podcast Episode: Chronicling Online Communities

EFFector - Volume 22, Issue 8 - EFF Launches a Search Tool for Uncovered Government Documents


EFFector - Volume 22, Issue 8 - EFF Launches a Search Tool for Uncovered Government Documents

EFFector Vol. 22, No. 08  March 20, 2009

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
ISSN 1062-9424

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In our 503rd issue:

DOCUMENTS as part of our celebration of Sunshine Week. The
search tool is sophisticated technology that allows the
public to closely examine thousands of pages of documents
we have pried loose from secretive government agencies. In
addition, we're posting scores of never-before seen
documents on several controversial government initiatives,
including the FBI's Investigative Data Warehouse and DCS
3000 surveillance program, and the Department of Homeland
Security's Automated Targeting System and ADVISE
data-mining project.

Over the past two and a half years, EFF has filed hundreds
of FOIA requests and made thousands of pages of once-secret
documents available to the public on our website. Our FOIA
work has revealed details about the FBI's improper use of
National Security Letters, uncovered the Department of
Homeland Security's internal policies on searching and
interrogating travelers at the border, and revealed
information about the technology the government uses to
wiretap cell phones.

The release of these new documents is just one step in the
ongoing fight for greater government transparency. EFF will
continue to pressure the government to remember its
obligations to transparency and to the public.

To support EFF's FOIA work:

For the full press release:

More on our celebration of Sunshine Week:

EFF argued before the United States Sentencing Commission
this week.  EFF urged the court to reject modifications to
federal sentencing guidelines that would require extra
prison time for people who use technology that hides one's
identity or location. Under current rules, a criminal
defendant can get additional time added to a prison
sentence if he used "sophisticated means" to commit the

In its testimony before the commission, EFF argued that
sentencing courts should not assume that using proxies --
technologies that can anonymize users or mask their
location -- is a mark of sophistication. In fact, proxies
are widely employed by corporate IT departments and public
libraries and, like many computer applications, can be used
with little or no knowledge on the part of the user.
For the full press release:

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EFF Updates

* EFF Urges Court to Block Ploy for Cell Phone Location
EFF urged a U.S. appeals court Monday to block the
government's repeated attempts to seize cell phone location
information -- a record of where the cell phone user
travels throughout each day -- without a warrant in
violation of communications privacy statutes and the

* Attorney General Sets New FOIA Policy
The new FOIA guidelines released this week by Eric Holder
express strong support for government transparency and
establish a presumption in favor of disclosure of
information requested under FOIA.

* CNET Axes Blogger Who Exposed Privacy
CNET will no longer carry Surveillance State by Chris
Soghoian, an blogger who produced some of the best coverage
on the issue of privacy for users of government websites.

* DOJ Seeks Jail Time for Music Sharing
The government asked for a six-month prison sentence for
Kevin Cogill, who recently plead guilty to a pre-release
leak of the Guns N' Roses album Chinese Democracy.

* The Fair Use Massacre Continues
Thanks to the good folks at YouTomb, we've learned that
Warner Music's automated takedown net has now caught two
videos of little kids being little kids.

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~ Pentagon Official Warns of Risk of Cyber Attacks
An Air Force general made the case that the US is
vulnerable to attack, but says the military has not been
asked to defend Internet infrastructure.

~ Partial List of Corporations Allowed to See ACTA
The public and activist groups don't have access to the
secret copyright treaty, but these corporations do.

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* You're Invited to a "Geek Reading" with Authors Cory
Doctorow, Rudy Rucker, Annalee Newitz, and Charlie Anders
at 111 Minna Gallery

Join EFF on Monday, March 23rd, for a fundraising event
featuring award-winning writer Cory Doctorow.  Cory will be
reading from his novel, "Little Brother," a story of
high-tech teenage rebellion set in the familiar world of
San Francisco.  As he currently calls the UK home, this is
a rare opportunity to to hear Cory read from his work in
person.  He will be joined by fellow writers Rudy Rucker,
Annalee Newitz and Charlie Anders reading from their latest


Monday, March 23rd, at 7:30 p.m.


Cory Doctorow ( is a science fiction
novelist, blogger and technology activist.  He is the
co-editor of the popular weblog Boing Boing
(, and a contributor to Wired, Popular
Science, Make, the New York Times, and many other
newspapers, magazines and websites.  Cory is an EFF fellow
and the former Director of European Affairs at EFF.  He has
won the Locusand Sunburst Awards and been nominated for the
Hugo, Nebula and British Science Fiction Awards.  His
latest novel, New York Times Bestseller "Little Brother,"
was published in May 2008, and his latest short story
collection is "Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present."

Rudy Rucker is a popular science fiction and nonfiction
writer.  Born in Kentucky in 1946, Rudy studied
mathematics, earning a Ph.D. from Rutgers University in the
theory of infinite sets.  After working 15 years as a
mathematics professor on the East Coast, Rudy moved to
Silicon Valley in 1986 to become a computer science
professor at San Jose State University, also working as a
software engineer at Autodesk, Inc.  After some 20 years at
SJSU, Rudy retired from teaching.  Rudy has published 29
books, including five non-fiction popular science books on
such topics as relativity, infinity, the fourth dimension,
and information.  "The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the
Soul"--his most recent nonfiction book--is about the
meaning of computation.

Annalee Newitz is a journalist who covers the cultural
impact of science and technology, covering such topics as
open source software and hacker subcultures.  Annalee
writes for many periodicals, including Popular Science and
Wired, and since 1999 has had a syndicated weekly column
called Techsploitation.  From 2004-2005, Annalee was a
policy analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  She
is the editor of io9, a Gawker-owned science fiction blog.

Charlie Jane Anders blogs about science fiction at
She organizes the Writers With Drinks reading series and is
starting a weekly podcast called "I Am So Smart."  Her
writing has appeared most recently in "The McSweeney's Joke
Book Of Book Jokes," Mother Jones magazine, and the
upcoming "Science Fiction: The Best of the Year, 2009
Edition."  Charlie wrote a novel called "Choir Boy" and
co-edited an anthology called "She's Such a Geek."  Find
her on Twitter as "charliejane."


111 Minna Gallery
111 Minna St. @ 2nd
San Francisco, CA 94105

Admission is $25.  No one turned away for lack of funds.
Must be 21 or older to attend.

RSVP to:

111 Minna Gallery is accessible via BART.  Get off at the
Montgomery station and use the exit marked 2nd and Market.
Walk south on 2nd Street until you reach 111 Minna Gallery
on the right.  It's also walking distance from the Caltrain
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EFFector is published by:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation

Sara Bassett, Membership Services Assistant

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