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EFFector - Volume 24, Issue 25 - Don't Let Congress Order Internet Companies to Spy on You

 
 
EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation
 
 

In our 580th issue:

Don't Let Congress Order Internet Companies to Spy on You

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!

Fragmenting the Internet Is Not a Security Solution

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.

Patent Trolls Drive App Developers from U.S. Market

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.

EFF Updates

EFF Campaign Increases the Number of Tor Relays by 13.4%

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.

The “Graduated Response” Deal: What if Users Had Been At the Table?

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.

Righthaven Ordered to Pay $5,000 in Sanctions for Its Misrepresentations to Court

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.

miniLinks

Activist Indicted for Alleged Computer Crimes

Aaron Swartz, activist and co-founder of Demand Progress, was arrested and indicted in relation to allegedly downloading millions of documents from the academic archive JSTOR.

Kickstarter Succcessfully Funds Over 10,000 Projects

The online platform Kickstarter.com is celebrating its 10,000th successfully-funded project - and over 3,000 of them are music-related.

Patent Troll Lodsys Sues Rovio Over Angry Birds

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.

Administrivia

ISSN 1062-9424

EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Editor: Parker Higgins, Activist
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Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged. Signed articles do not necessarily represent the views of EFF. To reproduce signed articles individually, please contact the authors for their express permission.

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Announcements

EFF Seeks Activist

EFF is looking for a full-time activist to fight for free speech, innovation, and privacy.

OSCON - O'Reilly's Open Source Convention

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

The 11th Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS 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

Black Hat Technical Security Conference: USA 2011

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, 20111

EFF at DEFCON 19

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

20th USENIX Security Symposium

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

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