In our 611th issue:
Thanks to an EFF lawsuit, Americans now have access to a list of the public agencies that have received FAA approval to fly domestic drones. Yet barely any information is known about what law enforcement agencies plan to do with these unmanned flying vehicles. We want your help to gather this information into one place. Please call your local police department and ask them these simple questions.
In an important ruling for free speech, an appeals court affirmed that a parody of a popular online video called "What What (In the Butt)" was a clear case of fair use. EFF filed an amicus brief in support of South Park parent company Viacom, explaining that being able to dismiss a case early in litigation--before legal costs can really add up--is crucial to protect free speech and discourage frivolous litigation.
Worried about the Lieberman-Collins Cybersecurity Act? You should be. As we've explained before, it poses serious threats to online rights. We've prepared a one-page handout you can use share with friends, hand to Senate staffers, publish online, and use as talking points when explaining the issue to someone for the first time. Download it here and please spread it around!
Passwords: LinkedIn And Beyond
In light of the recent data breach at LinkedIn, in which 6.5 million unsalted SHA-1 hashes of account passwords were leaked publicly, we thought this would be a good opportunity to remind users about best practices for managing passwords online in order to stay safe. In particular, we want to emphasize that users should never re-use passwords across multiple accounts, and that using a password safe provides an easy way to manage lots of strong passwords across multiple online accounts.
The Defensive Patent License and Other Ways to Beat the Patent System
The patent system is broken. Inventors are shutting down their businesses, small developers are removing their products from the U.S. market to avoid bogus legal threats, and industry groups are warning members that obvious technological improvements might draw lawsuits. But it's not all bleak: we keep learning of more and more ways innovators can navigate the system and hack it to serve its original purpose.
EU and U.S. Consumer Groups Face State Agencies Over ACTA and Other International IP Policies
During the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue this month, U.S. and European consumer organizations meeting with intellectual property (IP) and trade agencies further exposed some underlying flaws in state policy approaches regulating global IP enforcement. It is clear that IP/trade agencies' biased understanding of what constitutes a "stakeholder" and a "key interest" in agreements like the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) -- as well as their unfounded high valuation of what they call "IP-intensive" industries -- are some of the problems that plague the U.S. global IP enforcement agenda.
A Downward Spiral for Freedom of Expression in Ethiopia
Internet shutdowns, content filtering, arrests of bloggers, and online surveillance in North Africa have been headline news for the past year and a half, while Internet issues in the rest of the African continent haven't received quite as much press coverage. But Internet censorship and content filtering are well-established in Ethiopia.
World's Largest Organization for Computer Professionals Comes Out Against CISPA
The US Public Policy Council of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) has come out against CISPA, the cybersecurity legislation recently passed by the US House. They are joining a diverse group of individuals and organizations opposing this bill, including a wide array of digital civil liberties organizations like EFF, computer scientists like Bruce Schneier and Tim Berners-Lee, and companies like the Mozilla Foundation.
Open Access Victory in Successful Access2Research Petition
An Access2Research petition supporting open access -- specifically free access over the Internet to academic articles arising from taxpayer-funded research -- crossed its target of 25,000 signatures two weeks ahead of schedule. The Obama administration has promised to respond to petitions that pass that threshold, so the issue of access to research should now be firmly on the White House agenda.
The Defensive Patent License
The Defensive Patent License (DPL) is a new legal mechanism to protect innovators by networking patents into powerful, mutually-beneficial legal shields.
TD 64 for breakfast
The so-called ITU "Internet takeover" attempt leaked to the Internet Governance Project in a "mysterious email."
Security warnings for suspected state-sponsored attacks
Google will now notify you if they think your account is the target of a state-sponsored attack.
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The D(EFF)CONtest Rages On
With weeks left to go on our fundraising contest, supporters have already raised over $4,000 in donations to help support EFF and the Coders' Rights Project! Our thanks to The Holy Handgrenades who are leading the pack, with last year's winners ISDPodcast and the dc404 crew following closely behind.
Pioneer Award Nominations Are Now Open
Nominations are now open for EFF's 21st Annual Pioneer Awards, to be presented this fall 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.
Speakeasy: London with the Open Rights Group & Tor Project
EFF is proud to host our next Speakeasy with the Open Rights Group (ORG) and the Tor Project in London! Join representatives from digital rights allies ORG, anonymity advocates from Tor, legendary writer and activist Cory Doctorow, and EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn.
June 14, 2012
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 email@example.com for details.
June 19, 2012
San Francisco, CA
American Library Association Annual Conference 2012
Could recent cybersecurity bills erode our civil liberties as well as our right to know what our government is doing? Why are these bills of concern for libraries and our patrons? Join Dr. Patrice McDermott, Director of Open the Government, and Rainey Reitman, Activism Director at EFF, in a morning session on CISPA and other cybersecurity bills.
June 23, 2012
HOPE Number 9
For three full days and nights, HOPE hosts hackerspace villages, film festivals, art installations, vintage computers, electronic workshops, the country's biggest supply of Club-Mate, and of course the provocative talks that it has become well-known for offering. This year, many EFF staffers will be attending and speaking.
New York, NY