In response to outrage over the temporary shutdown of cell phone service in four San Francisco subway stations on rumors of a planned protest, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officials have repeatedly claimed their decision was necessary to maintain public safety. BART spokesman Linton Johnson has gone so far as to invent a new Constitutional “right to safety” which trumps the First Amendment. As it happens, we are in full agreement that BART has an obligation to the safety of its passengers. We believe that working cell phones throughout the BART system do not pose a danger to riders; rather, they help to promote public safety.
TorrentFreak ran two posts offering opposing views on whether a person who runs an open wifi network can be held liable when others use the network for copyright infringement. The truth is that no court has ever found that anyone is liable simply because another user of his or her open wifi committed some legal wrong. Every day cafes, airports, libraries, and individuals operate open wifi router. The world gets a valuable public service, and the open wifi providers are not liable.
In Vietnam, being an outspoken blogger can land you in jail. Pham Minh Hoang, a university professor with dual French and Vietnamese citizenship, was sentenced on August 10 to three years in prison and an additional three years under house arrest, for trying to "overthrow the government." EFF joins the French and U.S. governments, Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and Viet Tan, in condemning the sentence and urging the Vietnamese government to release Pham Minh Hoang immediately.
Dan Ward, attorney to pro-democracy activist and blogger Du Daobin, noted the efficacy of EFF's campaign to spread awareness about Cisco’s responsibilities to stand up for human rights: "[R]ecent events lead us to believe that the safety of our clients in Du v. Cisco is dependent, in no small part, on the fact that the world is watching."
In Egypt, an activist and blogger is facing trial for a tweet allegedly defaming the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces, while the governments of Argentina and Pakistan escalate censorship of the Internet.
EFF would like to thank all of the attendees at this year's Black Hat USA, Security BSidesLV, and DEF CON conferences in Las Vegas. We are humbled by the infosec community's outpouring of generosity to sustain EFF's work defending coders rights and upholding our freedoms online.
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Reports indicate that networking giant Cisco Systems, Inc., an American company based in Silicon Valley, has been knowingly selling Internet surveillance and censorship tools to the Chinese government for years. Tell them to stand up for threatened activists like blogger Du Daobin and stop helping China abuse human rights.
EFF is going to Burning Man! Join boardmembers John Gilmore, John Perry Barlow, and Brad Templeton, staff members Katitza Rodriguez and Peter Eckersley, and EFF fellow Cory Doctorow as they explore bleeding-edge digital rights issues.
Location: Black Rock City, NV
Date: August 31, 2011
Jillian York, EFF's Director for International Freedom of Expression, is participating in the seventh annual M100 conference. This year's conference will focus on the role of social networks in connection with the revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
Location: Potsdam, Germany
Date: September 8, 2011
Meet EFF Membership Coordinator Aaron Jue at the ninth annual Ohio LinuxFest to be held September 9-11, 2011 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in downtown Columbus. Hosting authoritative speakers and a large expo, the Ohio LinuxFest welcomes all Free and Open Source Software professionals, enthusiasts, and everyone interested in learning more about Free and Open Source Software.
Location: Columbus, OH
Date: September 9-11, 2011
EFF's Director of International Freedom of Expression, Jillian York, will be the keynote speaker at this year's OVC. Jillian will speak about the role of video in enabling activists around the world along with the inherent risks that it also creates.
Location: New York, NY
Date: September 10-12, 2011