The U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering H.R. 1981, a bill that would order all of our online service providers to keep new logs about our online activities to help the government identify the web sites we visit and the content we post online. This sweeping new "mandatory data retention" proposal treats every Internet user like a potential criminal and represents a clear and present danger to the online free speech and privacy rights of millions of innocent Americans. Act now and tell your Representative to oppose this dangerous bill, before this week's critical vote!
In light of the recent spate of high-profile hacking campaigns, NextGov.com reports that parts of the U.S. government are advocating for a separate, "secure" Internet. The idea calls for segmenting "critical" networks (not yet fully defined, but presumably including infrastructure and financial systems) and applying additional security mechanisms to these networks. The trouble is that this ".secure" Internet doesn’t make much technical or economic sense: the security mechanisms are simply not powerful or cost-effective enough to warrant re-engineering an Internet.
Platforms such as iOS and Android allow small software developers the ability to widely distribute their work, which is good for both developers and consumers. This has created a robust new economy of mobile apps. But just as these developers were finding new audiences, patent trolls started sending cease-and-desist letters demanding license fees and even suing app developers. Not surprisingly, we're now seeing reports of software developers pulling their apps out of U.S. app stores. This provides yet more evidence that the patent system, which is intended to promote innovation, is being used to hurt creators.
Tor is software that individuals can use to mask their IP addresses and proxy out to uncensored networks, helping them dodge network surveillance and elude online censorship. But Tor isn’t merely software – it’s also a network of volunteer computers, each donating bandwidth and acting as a router so that people can bounce their requests through the network. On May 31st, we launched a campaign with the goal of starting 100 new Tor relays. Thanks to the contributions of supporters around the world we're now finishing our campaign with 549 new relays.
Several major Internet access providers struck a deal with big content providers to help them police online infringement, educate allegedly infringing subscribers and, if subscribers resist such education, take various steps including restricting their Internet access. But the memorandum of understanding they've developed fails to consider the needs of Internet subscribers and fails to do anything substantial to help artists get paid for their work.
A federal court in Las Vegas ordered the notorious copyright troll Righthaven to pay $5,000 in sanctions and to file the court transcript containing its admonishment in hundreds of other copyright cases. EFF represents Democratic Underground in this case.
Lodsys has sued several small and large mobile developers claiming they are infringing on patents it owns that cover in-app purchasing methods, among other things. The newest target: Rovio, best known for the game Angry Birds.
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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
EFF Senior Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann joins a panel with Chris Soghoian, Roger Dingledine, Damon McCoy, and Caspar Bowden discussing The Ethics of Research on Tor Users at PETS 2011.
Location: Waterloo, Canada
Date: July 27-29, 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
Join EFF at the 20th USENIX Security Symposium, which brings together researchers, practitioners, system administrators, system programmers, and others interested in the latest advances in the security of computer systems and networks.
Location: San Francisco, CA
Date: August 8-12, 2011