In requests filed last week, EFF asked the Copyright Office to protect the "jailbreaking" of smartphones, electronic tablets, and video game consoles – liberating them to run operating systems and applications from any source, not just those approved by the manufacturer. We take a look back at all the benefits jailbreaking has brought both manufacturers and users of smartphones, and why the right to jailbreak should be expanded to cover tablets and video game consoles like the PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, and Xbox 360.
Mobile software company Carrier IQ withdrew a bogus legal threat to a security researcher, Trevor Eckhart, who published an analysis of the company's software and training materials on which he based his research. Attempting to suppress his research, Carrier IQ fired off a baseless cease-and-desist demand claiming that Eckhart infringed the company's copyrights and made "false allegations" about their software. As EFF explained in a letter to Carrier IQ, Eckhart's research and commentary is protected by fair use and the First Amendment right to free expression.
One year ago, WikiLeaks started publishing a trove of over 250,000 leaked U.S. State Department cables, which have since formed the basis of reporting for newspapers around the globe. The publication has given the public a window into the inner workings of government at an unprecedented scale, and in the process, has transformed journalism in the digital age. We take a look at Cablegate's impact on journalism surrounding six countries central to U.S. foreign policy, and why it is vital for the media to stand up for WikiLeaks' First Amendment right to publish classified information.
EFF and over a dozen civil society organizations worldwide launched Global Chokepoints, a website to document how copyright enforcement is being used to censor online free expression in countries around the world. This online resource was created to monitor proposals to turn Internet intermediaries into copyright police. These proposals harm Internet users' rights of privacy, due process and freedom of expression, as well as endanger the future of the free and open Internet.
Citizens nationwide have spoken out against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP, its counterpart in the Senate – and they're not alone. A large and growing bi-partisan group of legislators have told their colleagues in the Capitol that Internet censorship is a very bad idea.
The PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) is the evil step-sister of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the much-criticized Internet blacklist bill introduced in the House last month. In one way, though, PIPA is much worse: while SOPA is still in the House committee stage and has been the target of extraordinary public opposition, PIPA is already out of committee and poised for consideration of the full Senate. Click through to find your Senators' numbers and tell them to reject this bill.
The Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with Facebook over allegations that the social network operator deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly expanding that which is shared and made public. We are heartened to see that many of the provisions of the settlement are in alignment with the Bill of Privacy Rights for Social Network Users that EFF proposed in May 2010.
Google has activated a web privacy feature called "forward secrecy", becoming one of the web's first major players to put this important component in place. Forward secrecy means your web requests and the resulting pages are now secure from decryption even if Google's private key is later compromised. We hope other sites follow Google's example.
EFF joined the Rights Working Group and 65 advocacy organizations in sending letters opposing the Secure Communities Program in preparation for the Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement November 30 hearing on the issue. The program sets a dangerous precedent for overcollection and misuse of sensitive personally identifiable information, with ramifications for the privacy and due process rights of all Americans.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has sent a notice to Pakistani cell phone carriers, demanding that they block 1,600 terms and phrases it deemed "obscene" from being transmitted via text message. It's still not clear how the PTA intends to enforce this order onto telecom companies, nor what it expects them to do to ensure that users do not continue to use supposedly "obscene" language in their texts.
Freedom of expression continues to come under attack in Mexico. In response to a complaint signed by over 23,000 Mexicans demanding that the International Criminal Court investigate alleged human rights violations by the army and the police as part of the state's war against the drug cartels, Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced that his government is exploring "all options to proceed legally against those who have denounced the government in international forums and in the courts."
The New York Times has published a letter to the editor from Christopher Wolf, who leads the Internet Task Force of the Anti-Defamation League, in which he suggested, "It is time to consider Facebook's real-name policy as an Internet norm because online identification demonstrably leads to accountability and promotes civility." We respond, citing the importance of anonymity in enabling free expression.
EFF is proud to announce the newest member of our growing staff, Ellie Young. Ellie comes to EFF in the role of Special Assistant to Executive Director Shari Steele, and she will work on financial planning as well as on development and operational activities at EFF.
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Right now CREDO Mobile customers and activists are voting on how to distribute an expanding pool of donations among 40 nonprofit organizations including EFF. When you sign our petition to fight invasive border searches on the CREDO website, you also become eligible to give EFF a slice of a multimillion-dollar donation pie.
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. Date: December 6-8, 2011 Location: Boston, MA
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, NV