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EFFector - Volume 24, Issue 14 - Sony v. Hotz Ends With a Whimper, I Mean a Gag Order


EFFector - Volume 24, Issue 14 - Sony v. Hotz Ends With a Whimper, I Mean a Gag Order

EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation

In our 571st issue:

Sony v. Hotz Ends With a Whimper, I Mean a Gag Order

After months of expensive litigation, Sony has finally settled its case against George Hotz and dismissed the remaining defendants from the case. In the settlement, George Hotz has agreed to leave Sony alone. He is not even allowed to link to anyone else’s research on Sony products or share any Sony confidential information he might receive, even if he obtains it legally. Given that all Sony has accomplished is silencing one lonely researcher and angering loyal customers, this lawsuit seems driven by a single motivation: to chill security research on Sony products.

Well-Meaning "Privacy Bill of Rights" Wouldn't Stop Online Tracking

Senators John McCain and John Kerry recently introduced the long-awaited Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights, a sweeping bill that covers online and offline data collection, retention, use, and dissemination practices. While EFF applauds efforts to update privacy laws to address the needs and expectations of today’s digital consumers, we can't help but wish this well-meaning bill provided more comprehensive rights to users. The bill's most glaring defect is its emphasis on regulation of information use and sharing, rather than on the collection of data in the first place. For this and other reasons, the bill may fall short of what's needed to protect our privacy.

YouTube Sends Users To Copyright School: Will Content Owners Have to Go, Too?

YouTube announced its new and "improved" copyright policies, and it’s a mixed bag for YouTube users: they have a new opportunity to remove strikes on their accounts, but they have to watch some copyright propaganda first. YouTube has created a "lesson plan" for users who receive take-down notices — a short cartoon and an accompanying quiz about copyright law. But this copyright education leaves much to be desired. The materials send a strong message to users that they will get into legal trouble if they post anything other than content that is entirely self-created and/or drawn from the public domain — despite the multitude of important transformative uses that are permissible under the law and are a fundamental part of our cultural experience.

Humble Frozenbyte Bundle: Don’t be left out in the cold!

Pay what you want to download five independently developed, DRM-free, cross-platform computer games, and support the game developers, Child's Play, and EFF! The Frozenbyte Bundle includes Trine, Shadowgrounds Survivor, the unpublished game Splot, and prototype Jack Claw, in which you get to rampage through a city, throw cars, and cause mayhem. The Humble Bundle's innovative business model shows how users, given the right opportunities, will generously support content that they want — without having to be sued, surveilled, or censored into compliance.

EFF Updates

Reader Privacy Bill Passed Through California Senate Judiciary Committee

In another big step towards updating reader privacy for the digital age, the California State Senate Judiciary Committee passed through SB 602, the Reader Privacy Act, after hearing testimony from EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn.

EFF to San Francisco Entertainment Commission: Don’t Turn SF into a Police State

EFF joined civil liberties and privacy groups in criticizing a proposal from the San Francisco Entertainment Commission that would require all venues with an occupancy of over 100 people to record the faces of all patrons and employees, while also scanning ID’s for storage in a database — information which would need to be given to law enforcement upon request.

Do the Companies That Hold Your Data Stand With Their Users?

Check out EFF's analysis of leading Internet companies to find out whether privacy, due process, and transparency will be considered when the government comes seeking your data.


How Dropbox Sacrifices User Privacy

Security Researcher Chris Soghoian discusses privacy issues with Dropbox and offers a few suggestions.

New Zealand Internet Copyright Law Sneaks Through Second Reading

The government of New Zealand sneaked a controversial "3-strikes" Internet disconnection law into emergency legislation dealing with the Christchurch earthquake.

U.S. Rolls Out Internet Identity Plan

The federal government rolled out its vision for online credentialing -- a plan to replace the current system of multiple accounts and passwords with a single online identity -- heavily emphasizing that the plan will be voluntary.


ISSN 1062-9424

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Editor: Parker Higgins, Activist

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Last Chance! Apply to EFF's Summer Activism Internship

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World Affairs Council: Freedom on the Net 2011: Growing Threats to the Internet and Digital Media

EFF's International Director, Gwen Hinze, joins a distinguished panel at the World Affairs Council discussing the role of internet technology as it facilitates political change.
Date: April 18, 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA

Council of Europe and Internet Freedom: From Principles to Global Treaty Law

Katitza Rodriguez, EFF International Rights Director, is attending the The Council of Europe and Internet Freedom, which will examine possible international law responses to the need to ensure Internet freedom and universality and the proper functioning and stability of the Internet.
Date: April 18-19, 2011
Location: Strasbourg, France

SOURCE Boston 2011

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

Members-Only Speakeasy: Bay Area

Attention current EFF members: you're invited to the next San Francisco members-only happy hour at a secret location on April 21st, or email for details.
Location: San Francisco, CA
Date: April 21, 2011

EFF at LinuxFest Northwest

Attention digital rights supporters in the Pacific Northwest! Hear Senior Staff Technologist Seth Schoen at the twelfth annual LinuxFest Northwest.
Location: Bellingham, WA
Date: April 30, 2011

ACLU of Sonoma County's 2011 Awards Celebration & Annual Dinner

EFF's Activism Director Rainey Reitman is the keynote speaker at ACLU of Sonoma County's annual dinner and 2011 Jack Green Civil Liberties Award. Rainey will speak about "Your Privacy Under Attack: The Internet & You" as writer, comedian and winemaker Tom Smothers is honored. Location: Santa Rosa, CA Date: May 6, 2011

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