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EFFector - Volume 24, Issue 22 - Know Your Rights: What to Do When Law Enforcement Goes After Your Digital Data


EFFector - Volume 24, Issue 22 - Know Your Rights: What to Do When Law Enforcement Goes After Your Digital Data

EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation

In our 577th issue:

Know Your Rights: What to Do When Law Enforcement Goes After Your Digital Data

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects you from unreasonable government searches and seizures, and this protection extends to your computer and portable devices. But what should you do if the police or other law enforcement officers show up at your door and want to search your computer? EFF newest guide explains your rights if officers try to search the data stored on your computer or portable electronic device. Check out the guide now, then head over to our online quiz to test your knowledge.

Tor Challenge Level 3: Video Achievement

At the beginning of June, EFF issued its Tor Challenge, calling on individuals and organizations to set up Tor relays to strengthen the Tor network and help Internet activists all over the world. Now we’re unveiling the final achievement in our Tor Challenge: the Tor Video Challenge. Participants create instructional videos explaining how to set up Tor relays on different operating systems – and compete to win awesome prizes and props from EFF. We’ve already made the first video, showing people how to set up a Tor relay on a Mac. Now we want other videos to explain how to set up Tor on different operating systems. Videos can be funny, cute, scary, serious – but they must show users the steps they need to take in order to run a Tor relay in one of the six operating system categories.

Another Victory! Court Dismissed Another Righthaven Copyright Troll Lawsuit as a Sham

Righthaven had sued DiBiase, a former prosecutor and EFF client, for a post on his blog that provides resources for prosecutors in difficult murder cases where the victim is presumed dead but no body is found. A document unearthed by EFF in a related case showed that the copyright assignment was a sham and that Righthaven was merely agreeing to undertake the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper's case at its own expense in exchange for a cut of the recovery. Echoing his earlier decision, Judge Hunt ruled last Wednesday that Righthaven did not have the legal authorization to bring a copyright lawsuit, because it never owned the copyright in the first place. Said Kurt Opsahl, Senior Staff Attorney at EFF: "Now that the truth about its copyright ownership has been exposed, Righthaven's house of cards is falling apart."

EFF Updates

Felony Penalties Proposed for "Illegal Streaming": Senate Bill 978

In the ongoing efforts to harness law enforcement resources in the service of copyright enforcement, the so-called "illegal streaming” bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill would increase criminal copyright penalties to allow jail time of up to five years for infringing a copyright by “publicly performing” the copyrighted work, such as playing a sporting event broadcast or motion picture.

Do-Over, Please: EFF Asks Court to Revisit Ruling That Disloyal Employees Violate Hacking Law

EFF filed a "friend of the court" brief urging the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its troubling decision that employees face jail time when they access work computers for purposes that violate company policy. For example, a worker could be sued or prosecuted for reading personal email or checking the score of a baseball game if her employer's policy says that company computers may be used only for work.

Australia Heads Down the Slippery Slope, Authorizes ISPs to Filter

Starting next month, the vast majority of Australia’s Internet users will find their access censored, following a decision by the country’s two largest providers as well as two smaller ISPs to voluntarily block more than 500 websites from view.

Apple's "Censoring" Patent Just a Sign of Things to Come

Apple filed a patent application covering a camera system with infrared technology that could, among other things, allow the recording functionality to be shut off by a third party. For activists around the world who rely on video to capture and disseminate important footage, this censoring technology could have disastrous consequences.

Tennessee's Ban on Publishing Distressing Images: Let Us Count the Ways It's Unconstitutional

The governor of Tennessee has signed a law that says a person faces up to a year in jail if he publishes an image that he reasonably should know will "frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress" to a victim or "a similarly situated person of reasonable sensibilities" and doesn't have a "legitimate" reason for doing so. This criminalizes a wide swath of expression protected by the First Amendment.

Hoaxes Aside, Real Risks to Blogging in Syria

In the wake of "Amina" hoax, in which the popular blog of a Syrian woman turned out to be a fictional work by an American man named Tom MacMaster, it has been all too easy to gloss over the real tragedies on the ground in Syria. But Syria has arrested or jailed scores of real bloggers and social media users over the years, including Tal Al-Mallouhi, thought to be one of the world’s youngest prisoners of conscience, and Amjad Baiazy, a Syrian activist who worked with Doctors without Borders.

New Changes to FBI Guidelines Call into Question Proposal to Extend FBI Director’s Term

The New York Times reported that the FBI has updated its internal domestic investigations guidelines to provide its agents with "significant new powers." According to the Times, this update will provide agents with "more leeway to search databases, go through household trash or use surveillance teams to scrutinize the lives of people who have attracted their attention."

EFF Asks Supreme Court to Protect "First Sale" Rights

EFF asked the Supreme Court yesterday to weigh in on Vernor v. Autodesk, a case that tests whether the "first sale doctrine" will survive in the digital age. Under the first sale doctrine, once a copyright owner sells or gives you a copy of her work, she gives up control of that particular copy. But many copyright owners don’t like these limits; they’d rather be able to completely control the market for their products, including any secondary markets.


Chiptune Tribute to Jazz Record Hit With $32K Settlement

A photographer (mis)used copyright to punish a project that created a low-resolution image of Miles Davis for the cover of a chiptune tribute to the jazz musician. Isn't copyright supposed to encourage creativity?

Free to Search and Seize

David Shipler's op-ed in the New York Times notes that: "The Fourth Amendment is weaker than it was 50 years ago, and this should worry everyone."

How "National Security" Concerns Are Used to Hide Internet Censorship

In a video interview from the 2011 Personal Democracy Forum Conference, EFF's Jillian York explains how national security is used as a guise for censoring the Internet.


ISSN 1062-9424

EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Editor: Parker Higgins, Activist

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Action! Reject the PROTECT IP Act

The PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) is a threatening sequel to last year's COICA Internet censorship bill that would—like its predecessor—invite Internet security risks, threaten online speech, and hamper Internet innovation. Urge your members of Congress to reject this dangerous bill!

OECD: High Level Meeting ~ The Internet Economy: Generating Innovation and Growth

Katitza Rodriguez, EFF International Rights Director, will represent the Civil Society Information Society Advisory Council at the OECD High Level Meeting.
Location: Paris, France
Date: June 28-29, 2011

Black Hat Technical Security Conference

Meet attorneys from EFF at Black Hat! EFF supporters can enter code E9Fs7fa to receive a 20% discount off Black Hat USA 2011 briefings.
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Date: July 30 - August 4, 2011


DEFCON is the world's largest annual hacker convention, held each year in Las Vegas, Nevada. EFF will be there again this year! Our staff members always have interesting presentations, talks, and panel discussions, and this year will be no exception!
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Date: August 4-7, 2011

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