In our 582nd issue:
Du Daobin, a dissident writer in China, was detained and interrogated by the Chinese government after he and other pro-democracy activists filed a lawsuit against Cisco Systems alleging "knowing and willful aiding and abetting of the Chinese government's harassment, arrest, and torture of Chinese political activists." Mr. Du and the other plaintiffs are in danger of imprisonment and torture — please challenge Cisco to use its influence to safeguard Mr. Du and others like him who would speak out against political repression. Sign our petition now.
EFF, in collaboration with the Tor Project, has launched an official 1.0 version of HTTPS Everywhere, a tool for the Firefox web browser that helps secure web browsing by encrypting connections to more than 1,000 websites. HTTPS protects against numerous Internet security and privacy problems, including the search hijacking on U.S. networks that was revealed by an article published in New Scientist magazine. The article documents how a company called Paxfire has been intercepting and altering search traffic on a number of ISPs' networks. Download HTTPS Everywhere for Firefox now!
Facebook's (former) Marketing Director Randi Zuckerberg said on a panel discussion about social media that: "I think anonymity on the Internet has to go away. People behave a lot better when they have their real names down." Zuckerberg's so-called civility argument contends that if you allow people to speak anonymously online, they will act worse than if they use their names. This argument willfully ignores the many voices that are silenced by such policies: activists living under authoritarian regimes, whistleblowers, victims of violence, and many others.
Widespread Hijacking of Search Traffic in the United States
Earlier this year, two research papers reported the observation of strange phenomena in the Domain Name System (DNS) at several U.S. ISPs. On these ISPs' networks, some or all traffic to major search engines, including Bing, Yahoo! and (sometimes) Google is being directed to mysterious third party proxies. A report in New Scientist documents that the traffic is being rerouted through a company called Paxfire. Here's our analysis.
Mexican Newspaper Uncovers Systemic Monitoring Plans of Public Online Sources
The Mexican newspaper El Milenio, using information received through a Freedom of Information Act, reported on a U.S. Department of Homeland Security initiative to monitor social media sites, blogs, and forums throughout the world.
Website Blocking - Off The Table in the UK (For Now)
In countries across the world, IP rightholders are pushing website blocking as the latest weapon against online copyright infringement. But we're glad to see the UK government’s announcement that it will not go forward with a highly controversial website blocking regime - at least for the time being.
Developers and Fans Benefit From Humble Indie Bundle Pay-What-You-Want Model
Founders of the Humble Indie Bundle discovered that the combination of empowering fans and offering desirable features is incentive enough for people to donate substantial amounts of money for something they could receive for cheap (or acquire elsewhere for free).
Spanish Court Rules That Linking to Potential Copyright Infringing Material Is Not Copyright Infringement
A recent decision of the influential Court of Appeals of Barcelona has clarified that merely providing a link on a website is not "making available" content, and does not infringe copyright.
Court Refuses to Return Seized Domain Name, Claims Shutting Down Speech Doesn't Cause a Substantial Hardship
In a cursory opinion, a federal judge has ruled that the government does not have to return a domain name seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, because its seizure did not create a substantial hardship. This ruling is profoundly disappointing, and certainly doesn't bode well for those whose websites might be targeted under the PROTECT-IP Act now pending in Congress.
EFF Backs Another Blogger Fighting Off Baseless Righthaven Lawsuit
EFF filed an amicus brief in support of a defendant Leland Wolf, a blogger sued by Righthaven for a parody of a photo printed in the Denver Post documenting a TSA agent performing a pat-down search.
Mass Copyright Litigation: Another Court Gets It Right
In a major blow to one of the most pernicious copyright trolls now operating, the US Copyright Group, federal judge Robert Wilkins of the District of Columbia has effectively dismissed thousands of Doe defendants due to lack of jurisdiction.
Line Noise: Electronic Device Search and Seizure
Whether law enforcement wants to search your home computer, tries to browse through your smart phone at a traffic stop, or seeks to thumb through your camera at customs, you should know your rights. Listen to our discussion on this edition of the EFF podcast.
Senate Panel Votes to Extend Surveillance Law
The Senate Intelligence Committee has voted to extend a wide-ranging surveillance law, but thankfully Sen. Ron Wyden says he will block the measure unless the public is told more about the law's impact on people living in the United States.
California Court of Appeals Rules DNA Collection from Arrestees is Unconstitutional
Striking down a 2004 voter-enacted provision, the Court of Appeals found that DNA collection from arrestees violates the Fourth Amendment provisions against unreasonable search and seizure.
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