Congress is considering a bill that would federalize E-Verify, creating a single, government-controlled database of highly sensitive, detailed information about every legal worker in the United States. EFF joined dozens of other civil liberties and labor groups in urging Congress to uphold worker privacy and reject the Legal Workforce Act. In letters sent to both houses of Congress, the coalition of advocacy groups decried the implementation of a nationwide system that could lead to downstream abuses by intelligence and law enforcement groups. The proposed bill could create a bureaucratic nightmare for American businesses while trampling on the privacy rights of workers.
For forty years, individuals in the United States applying for jobs have held certain protections under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). But as employment background checks move into the digital world—via websites such as Background Record Finder or mobile apps like the recently-released BeenVerified app—will jobseekers be able to maintain their protections?
EFF and a coalition of more than 80 global civil society groups declined to endorse a Communiqué on Internet Policy-Making Principles released at a High Level Meeting on the Internet Economy on June 29 by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and endorsed by the 34 member countries of the OECD and IT and business industry stakeholder groups. EFF and the other members of the OECD’s Civil Society Information Society Advisory Council (CSISAC) were unwilling to accept the high profile OECD Communiqué because of its provisions relating to Internet intermediaries. Civil society groups worry that the Communiqué is intended to encourage states to use Internet intermediaries to police online content, undermining freedom of expression, privacy and innovation across the world. Also see our prior blog post on this topic.
EFF filed comments in response to the Patent Office's Proposals on Streamlined Patent Reexamination Proceedings. We applaud the Patent Office's (PTO) efforts to streamline the reexamination process, which can be slow and expensive. Patent reexaminations can serve as a crucial check when the PTO has issued an overbroad patent that is harmful to the public interest. That's one reason EFF launched its Patent Busting Project, which has been successful in narrowing and, in some cases, invalidating harmful and overbroad patents.
To bolster his claim that commenters are writing without thinking about the real IP issues, Sherman Frederick - the former CEO of Stephens Media and former publisher of the Las Vegas Review Journal - does exactly what his company has contended was infringement. Without, apparently, thinking about it.
Copyright trolls have faced resounding defeat at the hand's of EFF lawyers. But they haven't yet given in up. One is now trying a new tactic - using a provision in the Copyright Act that allows copyright holders to ask federal clerks to issue subpoenas in order to obtain the identity of a copyright infringer, getting 49 subpoenas issued. Large ISPs are fighting these subpoenas and a judge has granted one motion to quash.
Users shouldn't be dependent on company policies to protect our privacy. The law should protect it too, even as technologies change. As part of our "Who Has Your Back" campaign, EFF rates the companies that hold our data on whether they stand up in Congress to make legal changes necessary to protect user privacy.
Eleven teams, comprised of the Bay Area's sharpest legal minds from law firms, universities, and technology companies, faced-off last Tuesday at EFF's annual pub quiz trivia night. At stake: the coveted EFF Pub Quiz Cup and a year's worth bragging rights.
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Join the American Constitutional Society for Law and Policy and the ACLU of Northern California
for a discussion on "The Impact of Technology on Social Change: A Double-Edged Sword," featuring Jillian York, EFF's Director for International Freedom of Expression.
Location: San Francisco, CA
Date: July 13, 2011
EFF is in the OSCON Dot Org Pavillion at booth 916! Stop by to say hello and learn about our latest work. You can even take advantage of event-only offers and sign up as a member on the spot!
Location: Portland, OR
Date: July 25-29, 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