More than five years ago, EFF filed the first lawsuit aimed at stopping the government's illegal mass surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans' private communications. Whistleblower evidence combined with news reports and Congressional admissions revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) was tapped into AT&T’s domestic network and databases, sweeping up Americans’ emails, phone calls and communications records in bulk and without court approval. On August 31, 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear a warrantless wiretapping double-feature to decide whether EFF's two cases can proceed. At stake will be whether the courts can consider the legality and constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s mass interception of Americans’ Internet traffic, phone calls, and communications records.
This spring, agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) executed a search warrant at the home of Nolan King and seized six computer hard drives in connection with a criminal investigation. The warrant was issued on the basis of an Internet Protocol (IP) address that traced back to an account connected to Mr. King's home, where he was operating a Tor exit relay. While we think it's important to let the public know about this unfortunate event, it doesn't change our belief that running a Tor exit relay is legal. And it's worth highlighting the fact that these unnecessary incidents are avoidable. Law enforcement needs to understand that an IP address doesn't automatically identify a criminal suspect.
As part of an emerging international trend to try to "civilize the Internet," one of the world’s worst Internet law treaties -- the highly controversial Council of Europe (CoE) Convention on Cybercrime -- is back on the agenda.
What responsibility do corporations have to consider human rights when making business deals? Are companies that build and market equipment for the purpose of surveilling and censoring pro-democracy activists in authoritarian regimes culpable when those activists are imprisoned or tortured? Two cases are attempting to create legal precedent around these issues.
When more than one customer individually uploads the same file to an online file storage service, the service often removes the extra unnecessary copies -- saving space without affecting the user experience. A court recently rules that this de-duplicating process "is precisely the type of system routinely protected by the DMCA safe harbor(s)." That's good news for music fans and for companies coming up with new and better ways to give those fans access to music they already own.
The "first sale" principle is what allows the purchaser of a copy of a book or CD or other copyrighted work to later resell that copy to someone else without infringing the copyright owner’s distribution right. An unfortunate court ruling concluded that the first sale doctrine applies only to copies of works that are manufactured domestically, and not to copies manufactured abroad.
Every year, the South by Southwest (SXSW) media festival invites the Internet at large to contribute to the SXSW schedule by voting on thousands of submitted panels. Check out some choice panel proposals that address timely, interesting technology and freedom issues, and that feature EFF panelists and friends of EFF.
Current EFF members and donors are invited to join Senior Staff Attorneys Marcia Hofmann and Kurt Opsahl for drinks at a secret Seattle location on Wednesday, August 31st, to discuss that day's hearings on EFF's warrantless wiretapping cases before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The use of Nokia Siemens technology for interrogation in Bahrain illustrates how Western-produced surveillance technology sold to one authoritarian government became an investigative tool of choice to gather information about political dissidents -- and silence them.
In 2008, public outcry defeated a cybercrime bill in Brazil that would have limited freedom of expression and threatened privacy online. Now the Brazilian Cybercrime bill is back -- and we need your help to fight it.
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Friends: please donate airline miles so that we can send Jillian York, EFF's Director for International Freedom of Expression, to Tunisia to meet with officials at the Tunisian Internet Agency, activists, bloggers, and other stakeholders.
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. 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