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EFFector - Volume 24, Issue 5 - Newly Released Documents Detail FBI's Plan to Expand Federal Surveillance Laws


EFFector - Volume 24, Issue 5 - Newly Released Documents Detail FBI's Plan to Expand Federal Surveillance Laws

EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation

In our 563rd issue:

Newly Released Documents Detail FBI's Plan to Expand Federal Surveillance Laws

Documents received in response to EFF's FOIA requests detail the FBI's fully-formed and well-coordinated plan to expand existing surveillance laws and develop new ones. Since 2006, the FBI program has been lobbying the White House and Congress for additional funding and legal authority. The recently-received documents provide rare insight into the agency’s multi-year strategy to increase its power to surveil our communications.

EFF Argues for Privacy in Hearing Over Twitter Records

The EFF joined the ACLU and others last week in trying to block government attempts to obtain Twitter account records about three individuals in connection to its Wikileaks investigation. We also asked the judge to reveal whether any other companies had received similar orders from the government. The judge did not issue an order from the bench Tuesday, but will release a written order soon.

Debate Over Internet Backdoors Heats Up in Congress and in Court

Two hearings - one in court and one in Congress - highlight the brewing debate over whether Congress should expand federal surveillance laws to force Internet communications service providers like Facebook, Google and Skype to build technical backdoors into their systems to enable government wiretapping. Law enforcement representatives appeared before the House Judiciary Committee to argue for expanded Internet wiretapping capabilities, while in California EFF Staff Attorney Jennifer Lynch argued in court for an end to the government’s stalling on the release of documents about the government's Internet surveillance plan.

EFF Updates

What's Better than an "Internet Kill Switch"? Regular Security Updates
The government is deliberating about how to approach the "cyber" security problem -- but the government needs common-sense security practices, not sweeping authority over the Internet.

Trial of Independent Media Pioneer Chiranuch Premchaiporn Begins in Thailand
Free expression is under attack in Thailand, where Chiranuch "Jiew" Premchaiporn faces prosecution for overseeing a news site where pseudonymous visitors submitted comments and posts that the Thai government considered inappropriate.

Secretary Clinton Unveils New Funding for Activism Technology, Rhetorical Refresh in Internet Freedom Speech
Even as the U.S. government entertains policies that will attack fundamental freedoms on the Internet, Secretary Clinton argued for online free speech and announced plans to award $25 million in grants to support Internet freedom.

Will the Rise of Wikileaks Competitors Make Whistleblowing Resistant to Censorship?
A new generation of Wikileaks-inspired websites is populating the Internet -- decentralizing the concept of whistleblowing and making it harder to shut down speech merely by cutting off services to one site.

Privacy in the Wake of Olympic Security: Wikileaks Sheds Light on How the U.S. Pressured Brazil
Wikileaks has released cables that detailed how the United States lobbied Brazil about security and information-sharing strategies after the latter was chosen to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

Don't Mess With Texas: Thousands of Defendants Severed
A federal judge in Texas stood up for due process, severing thousands of Doe defendents from mass copyright lawsuits and forcing the plaintiff to re-file against each defendent individually.

ICE Seizures Raising New Speech Concerns
According to reports, DHS agents temporarily shut down 84,000 websites, possibly by accident, in the name of shutting down just ten websites that allegedly contained child pornography.

DMCA Copyright Policies: Staying in the Safe Harbors While Protecting Your Users
The DMCA requires that sevice providers implement policies to cut off repeat copyright infringers. But while terminating the accounts of repeat DMCA offenders can help punish (or at least impede) large-scale infringers, improper termination can have drastic consequences for legitimate users.

EFF Appoints Jonathan Zittrain to the Board of Directors
EFF is extremely pleased to announce a new addition to our Board of Directors: Harvard Law and Computer Science Professor Jonathan Zittrain.


PATRIOT Act Extended for 3 Months
Congress passed a three month extension on PATRIOT Act, meaning liberty-loving citizens have ninety days to speak out against this bill's unchecked powers.

Decentralizing the Internet So Big Brother Can't Find You
The "Freedom Box Foundation" designs compact computers that respect freedom, privacy, and user rights.

Justice Department Assertion: FBI Can Get Phone Records Without Oversight
The Justice Department asserts that the FBI can obtain telephone records of international calls made from the U.S. without any formal legal process or court oversight.


ISSN 1062-9424

EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Editor: Rainey Reitman, Activist

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Digital Music Forum: EAST

EFF Senior Staff Attorney Julie Samuels will talk about the current status of music piracy and the latest in legal and policy developments at "LAWYERS, GUNS & MONEY: Finding the Right Balance between Enforcement & Innovation."
Location: New York, NY
Date: February 24, 2011

Southern California Linux Expo

Stop by EFF's Booth at the Southern California Linux Expo. You can attend talks by developers, see what is new for beginners, and say hello to EFF Membership Director, Aaron Jue.
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Date: February 25-27, 2011

47 U.S.C. Section 230: a 15-Year Retrospective

Co-sponsored by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, this symposium will unite some of the key figures in the history of 47 U.S.C. Section 230, widely regarded as the most important Internet specific law.
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Date: March 4, 2011

From Mad Men to Mad Bots: Advertising in the Digital Age

EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien will participate on a panel discussion regarding Online Advertising Privacy at Yale Law School's Information Society Project's Spring Symposium.
Location: New Haven, CT
Date: March 25-26, 2011

SOURCE Boston and SOURCE Seattle

EFF is a proud partner of two SOURCE Security Conferences! In addition to advanced technical talks, SOURCE offers workshops on entrepreneurship, management strategies, job interviewing, presentation skills, and proficiencies and strategies designed for the security industry.
Location: Boston, MA
Date: April 20, 2011
Location: Seattle, WA
Date: June 15-16, 2011

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