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EFFector - Volume 25, Issue 25 - EFF sues for answers about illegal surveillance

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EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation

In our 620th issue:

EFF Sues for Answers About Illegal Government Email and Phone Call Surveillance

EFF sued the Department of Justice, demanding answers about illegal email and telephone call surveillance at the National Security Agency.

A government official publicly disclosed that the National Security Agency's surveillance program had gone further than what the law permits, with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court issuing at least one ruling calling the NSA's actions unconstitutional. The government further disclosed that the court had determined the government's surveillance violated the spirit of the law on at least one occasion.

EFF's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeks disclosure of any written opinions or orders from FISC discussing illegal government surveillance, as well as any briefings to Congress about those violations.

Congressmen Demand USTR Tell American People What's Going on With TPP

U.S. Representatives Ron Wyden and Darrell Issa insist that the American people have a right to know what the U.S. is seeking in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) with respect to intellectual property rights.

Copyright's Robot Wars Heat Up as Algorithms Block Live-Streams First and Ask Questions Later

Copyright's robot wars have burst onto the scene of streaming video sites, silencing live feeds with bogus infringement accusations and no human oversight. Two examples from just the past week show the danger that lies ahead if copyright enforcement is left to bots alone.

EFF Updates

Rojadirecta: The Government Reverses Course and Returns Domains Without Explanation. Again.

The government has decided to return two domain names it improperly seized and held in its possession for well over a year, without so much as an explanation. This time, it was Rojadirecta.com and Rojadirecta.org, Puerto 80's popular sports streaming sites, which the government seized back in February 2011.

Members of Congress Demand Answers for Homeland Security's Unjust Domain Name Seizures

A bipartisan group of Representatives, led by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, sent a pointed letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano protesting the recent spat of domain name seizures -- executed on dubious copyright grounds -- that have been censoring websites with no due process.

Copyright Trolls' Bogus "Negligence" Theory Thrown Out Of Court Again

Judges on both coasts of the U.S. have now rejected one of the copyright trolls' favorite tactics -- suing an Internet subscriber for "negligence" when someone else allegedly downloaded a movie illegally over their wireless connection.

Is Congress Getting Ready to Take on Patent Trolls?

The Congressional Research Service recently released a report on the effects of patent trolls on innovation and the economy. The study presents a pretty thorough analysis of the patent troll problem, but what's striking is its existence at all. Could it be that Congress is really starting to pay attention when it comes to fixing the broken patent system?

EFF Asks Appeals Court to Rehear Cell Site Tracking Case

EFF and a number of other civil liberties organizations joined together in an amicus brief to ask the Sixth Circuit to reconsider its decision that law enforcement did not need a search warrant to track a cell phone in real time.

Service Agreements Kill Privacy, But Can They Create It Too?

A recent case decided by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals highlights the increasing way constitutional rights are adjudicated when it comes to data stored by other companies: through the service agreement a user enters into with a company.

Research Sheds Light On Scary New Surveillance Apps for Smartphones

Following on the heels of last month's first-ever public analysis of the elusive spyware FinSpy, security researchers at Citizen Lab have released an analysis of samples that appear to be FinSpy Mobile, the smartphone component in the FinFisher toolkit.

EFF Continues Support of OWS Protester & Twitter As Case Is Appealed

Does the government need a search warrant to get information about your Twitter activity -- information like deleted tweets, other users you communicate with, and the list of IP addresses you used to connect to the service? Today we joined a coalition of civil liberties groups in telling a New York appeals court that the answer to that question is yes.

Congressional Report on US and TPP

The Congressional Research Service has published a 55-page analysis of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). While the CRS does not clarify if it had access to the complete current TPP text, they examine TPP within the broader context of multilateral and bilateral trade relations and international market access.

Don't Wait for the UK Snoopers' Charter to Pass: Encrypt Wikipedia Now

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has spoken out against the UK Snoopers' Bill, a data retention bill that, as Techdirt explained, "would require ISPs to record key information about every email sent and Web site visited by UK citizens, and mobile phone companies to log all their calls." Wales testified that, if the bill passed, he would move to encrypt all of Wikipedia's connections with Britain.

Privacy News Roundup: Face Recognition, Data Retention, and Patchy CCTV

Germany squares off against Facebook on privacy; "Constant Surveillance" is back on the agenda in Australia; and UK police admit surveillance cameras are patchy and sometimes ineffective.

The Battle for Privacy Intensifies in Australia

Australians are fending off threats to their right to privacy from all directions. First, there was Australian Attorney General Nicola Roxon's push to expand government online surveillance powers. Then the Australian Senate approved the Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011, granting authorities the power to require phone and Internet providers to store up to 180 days worth of personal communications data.

Despite Privacy Concerns, Mexico Continues Scanning Youth Irises for ID Cards

For more than a year and a half, the Mexican government has been collecting an unprecedented amount of biometric data from minors ages 4 to 17 as part of a youth ID card program.

miniLinks

Germany's Plan to Create Its Own Spyware Raises Constitutional Concerns

The Bundeskriminalamt, Germany's version of the FBI, is currently recruiting for a number of IT specialists to help develop "technical surveillance methods" that can be used to secretly and remotely access computers during crime investigations.

Europe to Open Skies to drones by 2016

In an obscure working document, the European Commission has announced it is working on plans to open European civil airspace to unmanned drones by 2016.

Rap News 15: Big Brother is WWWatching You

Juice Rap News brings us their rhyming take on privacy, surveillance, and digital freedom.

Administrivia

ISSN 1062-9424

EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Editor: Adi Kamdar, Activist
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Announcements

TPP: Take Action

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) endangers the Internet and digital freedoms on par with ACTA, SOPA, and PIPA. EFF and a number of civil society groups oppose TPP and the way it has been drafted without transparency. Find out the many ways you can take action.

Freedom Not Fear

For the second year in a row, activist movement Freedom Not Fear is organizing a weekend of protests, workshops, and networking in Brussels to defend fundamental rights in an era of increased surveillance measures. Our International Privacy Team is working with our European partners to spread the word about the Freedom Not Fear week of action.
September 14-17
Brussels, Belgium

CiviCon London

Micah Lee, one of EFF's web developers, will be at CiviCon London speaking about how we handle our CiviCRM donation pages. EFF Technology Generalist Leez Wright will be at the conference too.
September 19, 2012
Central London, England

EFF's 21st Annual Pioneer Awards

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. This year's winners are hardware hacker Andrew (bunnie) Huang, activist Jérémie Zimmermann, and the Tor Project. The event will be held at the Project One Gallery in San Francisco at 7 p.m.
September 20, 2012
San Francisco, CA

World Maker Faire New York

Celebrate innovation with EFF at the World Maker Faire New York! We are pleased to participate in the world's most diverse showcase of creativity and innovation in technology, craft, science, fashion, art, food and more. Stop by our booth to say hello.
September 29, 2012
New York, NY

Uncensored Voices: Celebrating Literary Freedom

EFF International Freedom of Expression Coordinator Eva Galperin will speak at the ACLU of Nevada's Banned Books Week panel on literary freedom. The event will take place at the Clark County Library in Las Vegas.
October 6, 2012
Las Vegas, NV

World Forum for Democracy

EFF Director for International Freedom of Expression, Jillian York, will speak at the World Forum for Democracy about democratic responses to the economic, social, and political challenges that affect our societies today.
October 8-9, 2012
Strasbourg, France

OpenED 2012

Carol Rossini, EFF Director of International Intellectual Property, will be the keynote speaker at the OpenEd conference in Vancouver talking about Open Education -- specifically, copyright exemptions and limitations for education.
October 16-18, 2012
Vancouver, BC, Canada

.SE Internet Days Forum

Internet Days Forum is one of Sweden's largest conferences on Internet policy and technology. EFF Director of International Freedom of Expression, Jillian York, will give a keynote talk.
October 22-23, 2012
Stockholm, Sweden

GPS as the New Constable

Join EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury at the Bar Association of San Francisco's 2012 Barristers Annual Meeting for an in-depth legal discussion of the Supreme Court's landmark decision in United States v. Jones, requiring law enforcement to obtain a search warrant before installing a GPS device onto a car.
October 26, 2012
San Francisco, CA

EFF Seeks Membership Assistant

EFF is seeking an energetic and enthusiastic Membership Assistant to help support our 19,000+ donors. We are looking for someone with data entry experience and a love for digital rights. This is a full-time position working in our San Francisco office.

From the Community

User Peter Gamache commented on our Google+ page, "Thanks, EFF. I'm proud to donate to you; few other organizations do as much to defend our rapidly eroding privacy rights." Thanks for your support, Peter!

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