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EFFector - Volume 25, Issue 13 - EFF, The Yes Men, and Protesters Fight Secret Negotiations to Regulate the Internet

EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation

In our 608th issue:

EFF, The Yes Men, and Protesters Fight Secret Negotiations to Regulate the Internet

EFF's International IP Director Gwen Hinze traveled to Dallas this week to demand transparency in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, a secret international trade negotiation that includes provisions to regulate intellectual property and the Internet. She was joined by hundreds of protesters rallying outside the Dallas hotel as well as culture-jamming activist group The Yes Men, who presented U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk with the fictitious "2012 Corporate Power Tool Award." Over 18,000 Internet users have used the EFF action center to speak out against the TPP; please help us get to 20,000 by contacting Congress today.

DHS Considers Collecting DNA From Kids

Documents just released by US Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) in response to one of EFF’s Freedom of Information Act requests show that DHS is considering collecting DNA from kids ages 14 and up -- and is exploring expanding its regulations to allow collection from kids younger than that. The proposal appears to be working its way through DHS in the wake of regulations that require all federal agencies to collect DNA from individuals arrested for federal crimes as well as "from non-United States persons who are detained under the authority of the United States," whether or not they have been involved in criminal activity.

Unsealed Court Records Confirm that RIAA Delays Were Behind Year-Long Seizure of Hip Hop Music Blog

After a year-long seizure and six more months of secrecy, the court records were finally released concerning the mysterious government takedown of Dajaz1.com -- a popular blog dedicated to hip hop music and culture. The records confirm that one of the key reasons the blog remained censored for so long is that the government obtained three secret extensions of time by claiming that it was waiting for "rights holders" and later, the Recording Industry Association of America. In other words, having goaded the government into an outrageous and very public seizure of the blog, the RIAA members refused to follow up and answer the government’s questions.

EFF Updates

NY Twitter Decision Fails to Recognize Content and Location Data Require a Warrant

The New York City District Attorney is facing new obstacles in its attempts to subpoena information from Twitter regarding the account of Malcolm Harris, one of the 700 people arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge in an October 2011 Occupy Wall Street protest. Faced with a written order to comply with the subpoena, Twitter filed a motion to quash the subpoena, arguing that complying would violate the law.

EFF to Testify at Hearings on Expanding DMCA Exemptions for Jailbreaking and Video Remixing

Experts from EFF will testify at public hearings held by the U.S. Copyright Office this month, urging officials to renew and expand the critical exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that the Copyright Office granted in 2009 in response to EFF's requests to protect the rights of American consumers who modify electronic gadgets and make remix videos.

Oracle v. Google and the Dangerous Implications of Treating APIs as Copyrightable

At stake in the case of Oracle v. Google is whether APIs can be considered copyrightable, which would have a profound negative impact on interoperability, and, therefore, innovation. Allowing a party to assert control over APIs means that a party can determine who can make compatible and interoperable software, an idea that is anathema to those who create the software we rely on everyday.

Drones, Secret Surveillance, and Classifying the Wizard of Oz

EFF follows up on the FAA report showing the names of government agencies which have received authorization to fly drones in the US. Meanwhile, the annual Department of Justice report to Congress shows DOJ applications to conduct electronic surveillance increased in 2011.

Hollywood's Trolls

Our movie industry has created some memorable monsters on screen. But Hollywood and the major music labels also helped create a very real kind of monster: copyright trolls who coerce settlements from Internet subscribers using intimidation and our out-of-whack copyright laws.

DOJ Official: Any Privacy Protection is Too Much Privacy Protection for Cell Phone Tracking

Jason Weinstein, a deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice's criminal division, told a panel at the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee's "State of the Mobile Net" conference that requiring a search warrant to obtain location tracking information from cell phones would "cripple" prosecutors and law enforcement officials. We couldn't disagree more.

Special 301 Report 2012: The USTR's Bogus List of Countries That "Don't Enforce" Copyrights

The Office of the United States Trade Representative released its annual Special 301 report, a review of other countries’ intellectual property laws and enforcement standards. What’s particularly obnoxious about these reports is that countries are judged on whether they adopt very particular implementations of international legal standards and interpretations of controversial parts of U.S. law that only reflect the interests of intellectual property (IP) rightsholder industries -- not everyday Internet users.

miniLinks

Party Ends Badly for U.S. Trade Reps, Federal Agents

Watch video footage from The Yes Men's organized action against the TPP negotiations, including dozens of "delegates" disrupting the gala event and a whimsical mass toilet paper replacement.

Pay What You Want for Indie Music -- and Benefit EFF!

The Indie Allstars Bundle lets you pay what you want for music from up to 15 indie bands while benefiting EFF.

UK Border Agency ID Card System Crashes

The UK Border Agency turned hundreds of people away from a key office after the major foreign national ID card computer system shut down.

Administrivia

ISSN 1062-9424

EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Editor: Parker Higgins, Activist
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Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged. Signed articles do not necessarily represent the views of EFF. To reproduce signed articles individually, please contact the authors for their express permission.

Press releases and EFF announcements & articles may be reproduced individually at will.

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Announcements

Privacy Identity Innovation 2012: Seattle

EFF Activist Parker Higgins will be participating as a speaker in a panel titled "Protecting Civil Liberties in the Digital Age" on May 16.
May 14-16, 2012
Seattle, Washington

DMCA Anti-Circumvention Hearings - Open to Public

Senior Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann will testify about why it's important to clarify the legality of jailbreaking smart phones, tablets, and videogame consoles. At the same hearing in Los Angeles, EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry will testify to why artists and critics deserve legal protection for creating and using short excerpts of video content to make new works of commentary and criticism.
May 17, 2012
Los Angeles, CA

MLRC/Stanford Legal Frontiers in Digital Media

EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl and Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry will be presenting at the fifth annual conference on emerging legal issues surrounding digital publishing and content distribution, a joint conference of the Media Law Resource Center and Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society.
May 21-22, 2012
Stanford, CA

Geek Reading: The Broken E-Voting System with Barbara Simons

An expert on electronic voting, Simons co-authored Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count? She’ll discuss the recently published book at EFF’s next Geek Reading at Parisoma Innovation Loft.
May 30, 2012
San Francisco, CA

OpenITP Summer 2012 Circumvention Tech Summit

EFF Staff Technologist Dan Auerbach will be presenting "Encrypt the Web" at the OpenITP Summer 2012 Circumvention Tech Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The Summit is occurring simultaneously and in partnership with RightsCon Rio.
June 1-2, 2012
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

DMCA Anti-Circumvention Hearings - Open to Public

EFF Senior Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann and EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry will testify to respond to opponents of EFF's DMCA exemption requests regarding the right to jailbreak devices and remix videos.
June 4-5, 2012
Washington, DC

EFF's 5th Cyberlaw Pub Trivia Night

Tech attorneys from throughout the Bay Area will gather to drink beer, eat chicken and waffles, and prove their prowess in summoning obscure tech law minutiae from the very depths of their oversized brains. If you are an attorney and would like to attend, please email Kellie Brownell at kellie@eff.org for details.
June 19, 2012
San Francisco, CA

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