On the eve of the House Judiciary Committee's hearing on the Stop Internet Piracy Act, a broad group of tech companies, lawmakers, experts, professors, and rights groups came out against the bill. The statements, written by people from a variety of backgrounds and political persuasions, incorporate many of the same broad themes: SOPA will threaten perfectly legal websites, stifle innovation, kill jobs, and substantially disrupt the infrastructure of the Internet.
Proponents of the latest disastrous IP bill, SOPA, insist it only targets the "worst of the worst." But the broad definitions and vague language in the bill could place dangerous tools into the hands of IP rightsholders, with little opportunity for judicial oversight. One very possible outcome is many of the lawful sites you know and love will face new legal threats. Here's a look at three that are at great risk: Vimeo, Etsy, and Flickr.
EFF is introducing a new proposal called "Sovereign Keys," which is intended to systematically fix weaknesses in the way that encrypted Internet protocols perform authentication. The Sovereign Keys design would allow clients and servers to use cryptographic protocols without having to depend on any third parties.
EFF recognized the accomplishments of U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, encryption expert Ian Goldberg, and influential Tunisian blog Nawaat.org at the 20th annual Pioneer Awards Ceremony in San Francisco. EFF established the Pioneer Awards in 1992 to recognize leaders on the electronic frontier who are extending freedom and innovation in the realm of information technology.
The publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Stephens Media, filed papers conceding that posting a short excerpt of a news article in an online forum is not copyright infringement. The concession will result in the entry of a judgment of non-infringement in a long-running copyright troll case that sparked the dismissal of dozens of baseless lawsuits filed by Righthaven LLC.
One of the most under-reported, dangerous consequences of SOPA will be its effect on software developers. Do you write or distribute any kind of VPN, proxy, privacy or anonymization software? If SOPA passes, you might find yourself in a legal fight with the Attorney General.
The House Judiciary Committee hearing on SOPA could have been an opportunity for Americans to hear from a variety of stakeholders, but unfortunately, it devolved into a parade of pro-SOPA partisans. Five witnesses testified about their support of the bill while only one witness, a representative of Google, testified about the bill's many drawbacks. In case you are wondering who the Committee should have been hearing from, here is a small sampling of the stakeholders that deserve a seat at the negotiating table.
EFF recently submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in FCC v. Fox, which asks the Court to declare unconstitutional the FCC’s heavy-handed and outdated indecency policy for broadcast TV. This is not an issue that draws down political lines — both right and left can agree the First Amendment belongs to all mediums. In 2011, there is simply no reason for the court not to give broadcast television the full First Amendment protection provided to the Internet.
The Intelligence Oversight Board is a presidentially-appointed, independent, civilian oversight board charged with ensuring that intelligence investigations comply with the rule of law, yet until recently, its members were kept secret by the government. In September, EFF sued the Director of National Intelligence for failing to respond to to our Freedom of Information request for the list of members. Here's what we found out.
The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), as association of 6 online advertising groups, published a set of Self-Regulatory Principles for Multi-Site Data. These principles are designed to cover data collection above and beyond the standards the group adopted for behavioral advertising. While the new standards offer the potential to improve transparency and user choice in some instances, the language of the standards is loose enough to allow many of the concerning practices to continue unabated. And, as is often the case with self-regulatory models, the DAA’s new standards won’t be enforced.
When Hosni Mubarak was ousted from the Egyptian presidency in February, Egypt's revolutionaries saw a new beginning: an Egypt in which individual rights — including the right to free expression — would be respected. Just nine months later, with several prominent bloggers languishing in prison and countless other civilians tried by military courts for protesting, the future looks bleak.
This week EFF looks at SOPA's effects on the international community; Emirati blogger Ahmed Mansour, who is on a hunger strike in prison; and several news sites in Chile which have been hit with cyber attacks amid ongoing student protests.
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EFF mourns the passing of Ilya Zhitomirskiy, the 22-year-old co-founder of the Diaspora* project. His role at Diaspora*, a social network designed to preserve users' freedom, was just one of many expressions of his belief that a free and open Internet can improve people's lives. Ilya was a friend to the EFF community, and a consistent supporter of its goals; we will miss his passion, his dedication, and his enthusiasm.
This year marks the 25th LISA, an amazing meeting place for system, network, database, and other computer administrators and engineers from all over the globe. EFF's Development Associate, Kellie Brownell, will be in the Exhibition room December 7th and 8th. Date: December 6-8, 2011 Location: Boston, MA
Mark Rumold is speaking on FOIA Case Studies: Using the Freedom of Information Act to Push for Policy Change; Jennifer Lynch is speaking on Technology: Biometrics, Databases, and DNA Collection; Rainey Reitman is speaking on Getting Our Message Out...and Right: A Communications Skills Building Workshop. Date: December 1-2, 2011 Location: San Francisco, CA
EFF Staff Attorney Julie Samuels will discuss Patents and Standards in an Open Source World, covering patent provisions in open source licenses, protecting open source projects from patents, recent patent litigation and legislation. Date: December 7, 2011 Location: San Francisco, CA
Save the date! EFF is excited to participate in the 2012 CES, which boasts 200 conference sessions, 500 speakers, and over 2,700 exhibitors showcasing their most innovative and ingenious products and service. Date: January 10, 2012 Location: Las Vegas