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EFFector - Volume 23, Issue 7 - EFF is Demanding Better Privacy Protections For Energy Customers Receiving “Smart Meters”


EFFector - Volume 23, Issue 7 - EFF is Demanding Better Privacy Protections For Energy Customers Receiving “Smart Meters”

EFFector Vol. 23, No. 07  March 19, 2010

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

ISSN 1062-9424

effector: n, Computer Sci. A device for producing a
desired change.

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In our 530th issue:

* EFF CELEBRATES SUNSHINE WEEK, a national initiative
to highlight the importance of government transparency
and freedom of information. On Thursday, EFF urged the
White House to fulfill its promises for open government
during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
meeting on open government. In addition, EFF has posted a
fascinating comparison of a censored FBI document and the
uncensored version of the same FBI document, highlighting
the Bureau's attempts to keep information under wraps
even as EFF (and other government agencies!) fight for
oversight and accountability.

For more about the redacted FBI documents:

For the side-by-side comparison:

For more about our congressional testimony:

that measure your home's energy use in unprecedented
detail. Energy usage data, measured moment by moment,
allows the reconstruction of a household's activities:
when people wake up, when they come home, when they
go on vacation, and maybe even when they take a hot
bath. Without strong protections, this information can and
will be secured by civil litigants (like divorce lawyers
or insurance companies), criminals, law enforcement, and
more. The states and the federal government should ensure
that energy customers get the protection they deserve at
their homes -- where privacy rights should be strongest.

For more about smart meters and privacy:

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to NASA, which
responded with a relevant version of the "iPhone Developer
Program License Agreement." The content is troubling and
provides some background to the hotly circulated statement
from programmer Tim Bray about the iPhone platform:
"It's a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded
by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps
serve at the landlord's pleasure and fear his anger."

For the troubling provisions of the iPhone developer

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EFF Updates

* Thousands Petition FCC: "Remove the Copyright Loophole"
More than 7000 individuals echoed EFF's concerns that
the "reasonable network management" loophole could
allow overbroad copyright enforcement to target lawful

* Government Investigations of Your Online Data
EFF asked the government for information about how law
enforcement agencies use social networking sites to
gather information in investigations. So far, we've seen
some interesting documents from the IRS and the Justice

* Wiring Up the Big Brother Machine... And Fighting It
AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein's journey, from quiet
cubicle technician to personal enemy of the White House
and Pentagon, is amazing, moving and eerie.

* EFF Protects Anonymity of Online Critic
A candidate for public office in Illinois wants to uncover
the identity of an anonymous critic who spoke out on a
local newspaper's website -- but anonymity is a key aspect
of free speech and is protected by the First Amendment.

* Better U.S. Net Rules for Iran, Cuba and Syria
The regulations implementing United States sanctions
against Cuba, Iran and Sudan are now more clear in
allowing freedom-enhancing Internet communication
services, like email, instant messaging, and Twitter,
to be provided overseas.

* Federal Intellectual Property Enforcement Gears Up
The Obama Administration has been giving a lot of
attention to the interests of the entertainment industry
and little attention to the public good. EFF and others
want to see more balance.

* Unintended Consequences: 12 Years Under the DMCA
The report aims to catalog instances where the DMCA's ban
on tampering with DRM has been abused to stymie fair use,
free speech, and competition, rather than to address
so-called "piracy."

* YouTube's Content ID (C)ensorship Problem Illustrated
Poor design decisions in YouTube's "Content ID" system
have resulted in the over-blocking of videos that remix
copyrighted materials -- this time targeting a lecture
by Professor Larry Lessig about the cultural importance
of remix creativity.

* Italy's Personal Attack on Intermediary Liability
An Italian magistrate convicted three Google employees
for an Internet video that none of them had produced,
uploaded, or even seen, providing a powerful example
of the increasing pressure on "Internet intermediaries"
that threatens the openness of the Internet.

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* Help EFF Go to SouthEast LinuxFest!

EFF is looking for donations of airline miles, flight
vouchers, and hotel points for travel to SouthEast
LinuxFest in Spartanburg, NC, 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!

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* Administrivia

EFFector is published by:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation
454 Shotwell Street
San Francisco CA 94110-1914 USA
+1 415 436 9333 (voice)
+1 415 436 9993 (fax)


Richard Esguerra, EFF Activist

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