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EFFector - Volume 24, Issue 12 - Documents Obtained by EFF Reveal FBI Patriot Act Abuses


EFFector - Volume 24, Issue 12 - Documents Obtained by EFF Reveal FBI Patriot Act Abuses

EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation

In our 569th issue:

Documents Obtained by EFF Reveal FBI Patriot Act Abuses

In last week's Senate Judiciary Hearing, FBI Director Robert Meuller testified that he was "not aware" of any negative reports or abuse of the three expiring PATRIOT Act provisions. Well, Director Mueller -- EFF is aware of some. We issued a FOIA request for records of intelligence violations stemming from the FBI's use of the expiring provisions. By comparing two sets of FOIA documents we received, the murky details of at least one violation became clear: FBI agents, using a "John Doe" roving wiretap, monitored the conversations of "young children" for "approximately" five days.

What Location Tracking Looks Like

Your cell phone company knows everywhere you go, 24 hours a day, every day. Malte Spitz, a German politician and privacy advocate, found out just what that meant. He used German privacy law to force his cell phone carrier to reveal what it knew about him. The result? 35,831 different facts about his cell phone use over the course of six months. Zeit Online used it to prepare a remarkable interactive map, which animates Spitz's movements, moment by moment, over the course of half a year.

It's Time for the Recording Industry to Stop Blaming "Piracy" and Start Finding a New Way

As many -- EFF included -- have been saying for years, filesharing is not the reason the recording industry has fallen on hard financial times. In fact, the recording industry's complaints that the sky is falling really only apply to the recording industry. Musicians and fans, on the other hand, have seen increased music purchases, increased artist salaries, and more music available than ever before. Two new reports further debunk the recording industry's myth.

Reader Privacy Act Introduced to Upgrade Book Privacy for the Digital Era

EFF is pleased to support California Senator Leland Yee's introduction of the Reader Privacy Act of 2011 (SB 602). The law would bring a much-needed upgrade to match Californians' reading habits. Under SB 602 the government and other third parties would need a warrant or court order for access to sensitive reading records. This would establish protections for book records -- both e-books and in physical bookstores -- in line with long-established protections for library records and other expressive material.

EFF Updates

Mobile Carrier Delays Harm Internet Security
By delaying or even blocking security updates for mobile devices, mobile carriers put their users, their business, and the country's critical infrastructure at unnecessary risk.

House Oversight Committee Investigates DHS FOIA Practices -- EFF's Requests Were Singled Out
Congress is investigating an issue we raised last October -- that the Department of Homeland Security is targeting certain Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests -- such as those from activist groups, watchdog organizations, and journalists -- for an extra layer of review by politically-appointed officials.

Judge Stays Discovery in OpenMind v. Does
Good news! Responding to EFF's brief, a judge in a copyright troll suit stayed discovery, meaning ISPs need not comply with the subpoenas sent out by OpenMind's attorney, John Steele.

Microsoft Shuts off HTTPS in Hotmail for Over a Dozen Countries
Microsoft denies deliberately blocking HTTPS access to Hotmail in over a dozen countries on March 25th, blaming the problem on a bug.

EFF Urges Council of Europe to Ensure Privacy, Transparency, and Freedom of Expression in Search Engine Guidelines
Search engines play a central role as intermediaries -- entrusted with connecting the public with information while being privy to unique insights into the views and interests of users. EFF urged the Council of Europe to protect user rights, including privacy and free speech, in its search engine guidelines.

"Operation in Our Sites" Moves Ahead
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, is stepping up intellectual property–related enforcement, launching almost half as many cases in the past two months as it had in total in 2010.

Where's EFF? Why EFF Is Sometimes Quiet About Important Cases
Whether it's attacks on coders' rights, overreaching copyright claims online, or governments' efforts to censor or spy on people, EFF is often the first place people turn to for information about troubling events online. Here's why we sometimes don't make public comments about breaking cases.


Play Games, Help EFF
Cheers to indie game developers and Henko! Half of the donations from this game will benefit EFF. Download, play, and feel good about helping digital rights.

Congress Eyes Cell Phone Tracking
An article on cell phone tracking in the New York Times prompts Congress to demand answers from cell carriers (finally!).

The State of Do Not Track on the Internet
Do Not Track offers a method for users to protect their privacy without having to turn off advertisements entirely.

Job Opportunities

Development Director
EFF is seeking a highly experienced development director to lead us into the next phase of our organizational expansion. The right candidate has a proven track record of doing prospect cultivation and stewardship, as well as identifying potential foundation funding sources and editing grant proposals and reports. He or she must have experience managing membership acquisition and growing a membership base. Experience running a capital campaign and/or planned giving campaign is highly desirable. At least five years of experience managing a development team is required, as is a seasoned knowledge of fundraising best practices.

Because our donor base comes from the world of high tech, the best candidate will understand the tech community. In addition, a firm grounding in civil liberties, such as freedom of speech and privacy, is highly preferred.


ISSN 1062-9424

EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Editor: Rainey Reitman, Activist

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ACTION! Tell Obama to Fight for PATRIOT Act Reform!

Join us! On April 5, call the White House and tell President Obama to keep his campaign promises by vetoing any PATRIOT Act renewal bill that lacks substantial new checks and balances to protect the privacy of innocent Americans. RSVP now!

ACTION! Don't Let TPP Become the Next ATCTA

Like ACTA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is being negotiated in secret, and on a fast timetable. Contact your lawmakers and demand transparency!


Visit our friends at RoboGames -- the Olympics of robots! The organizers are inviting the best minds from around the world to compete in over 50 different events: combat robots, fire-fighters, LEGO bots, hockey bots, walking humanoids, soccer bots, sumo bots, and even androids that do kung-fu.
Location: San Mateo, CA
Date: April 15-17, 2011

SOURCE Boston and SOURCE Seattle

EFF is a proud partner of two SOURCE Security Conferences! In addition to advanced technical talks, SOURCE offers workshops on entrepreneurship, management strategies, job interviewing, presentation skills, and proficiencies and strategies designed for the security industry.
Location: Boston, MA
Date: April 20, 2011
Location: Seattle, WA
Date: June 15-16, 2011

EFF at LinuxFest Northwest

Hear Senior Staff Technologist Seth Schoen at the 12th annual LinuxFest Northwest! This great community event is free and open to the public.
Location: Bellingham, WA
Date: April 30-May 1, 2011

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