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EFFector - Volume 26, Issue 6 - Demand Access to Tax-Funded Research

EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation

In our 633rd issue:

Demand Access to Tax-Funded Research

Government agencies like the National Science Foundation invest millions of taxpayer dollars into scientific research every year. But taxpayers can't access any of the results of this research unless they pay thousands of dollars to buy academic journals. The Fair Access to Science & Technology Research (FASTR) Act would fix this, making tax-funded research available to the public. Tell Congress to support open access to knowledge by sending a note to your elected representative now.

Students: Get Your University Press to Support FASTR

Many schools have associated nonprofit publishing bodies known as university presses. This gives students and universities a unique, powerful role to play in pushing for open access reform like the FASTR Act. Here's what you can do to get your university to support access to knowledge.

How To Opt Out of Receiving Facebook Ads Based on Your Real-Life Shopping Activity

Facebook has announced that it's teaming up with four of the world's largest corporate data brokers to "enhance" the ad experience for users. In practical terms, this means that limiting how much information you put on Facebook is not enough to limit how ads are targeted to you on Facebook. Your interests, age, shopping history (including offline), web browsing, location, and much more could be stored by these data brokers and utilized to market to you – even if you've been careful not to share this type of information with Facebook. Check out EFF's guide to opting out.

White House Supports Unlocking Phones -- But the Real Problem Runs Deeper

The White House has come out in support of legalizing the unlocking of cell phones for use on different carriers, saying it makes "common sense." The White House is correct: the failure to protect phone unlockers from legal threats was misguided. But the more important problem is that the DMCA puts an unelected official in charge of regulating personal devices in the first place. What really rubs against the grain of common sense is the premise, set forth in DMCA's section 1201, that the Librarian of Congress should have to temporarily whitelist certain uses every three years.

EFF Updates

Google Transparency Report Highlights Just How Much We Don't Know About National Security Letters

In an unprecedented win for transparency, Google began publishing generalized information about the number of National Security Letters that the company received in the past year as well as the total number of user accounts affected by those requests.

Senate Demands Answers About Aaron Swartz, But More Must Be Done

In a recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Senator Cornyn asked Attorney General Holder about the prosecution of late digital rights activist Aaron Swartz. Unsurprisingly, the Attorney General denied any prosecutorial misconduct but, at the behest of Senator Leahy, did promise to look into the aggressive use of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)—one of the laws used to prosecute Aaron.

The CISPA Government Access Loophole

We've long criticized the vague language of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act(CISPA). One particularly dangerous provision, designed to enable corporations to obtain and share information, is drafted broadly enough to go beyond just companies, creating a government access loophole.

Secretive Copyright Negotiations Continue at the 16th Round of TPP Talks

The 16th round of negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) began in Singapore, where trade delegates and private stakeholders from 11 participating countries gather to discuss this the contours of Pacific trade. EFF and many others are deeply concerned about TPP, because it may contain an intellectual property chapter that would ratchet up enforcement at the expense of digital rights.

Oral Argument on DNA Searches Provides Scary Glimpse Into the Future of Privacy

The Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in Maryland v. King, a case considering the constitutionality of warrantless DNA collection from arrestees. One idea that surfaced in these oral arguments—that technological advances making DNA analysis faster means warrantless collection may be OK—should leave you worried about the fate of privacy going forward in the digital age.

States Seek Ban to Employers' Social Media Snooping

Some 28 states are weighing legislation addressing the issue of employers demanding user names and passwords for social media accounts as a contingency for employment. But the proposed laws vary greatly in whether they would effectively safeguard the privacy of employees.

China's Internet Censors for Sale

A group of investigators from Chinese magazine Caixin recently uncovered the activities of Beijing's "dark PR" agencies, which take money from private companies to bribe Internet censors to delete unfavorable commentary on Chinese forums and microblogging sites, using the infrastructure that the Chinese authorities have built for political censorship.

miniLinks

Humble Bundle with Android 5

The new Humble Bundle with Android 5 lets you pay what you want for six great cross-platform, DRM-free games -- while also supporting charities like EFF.

Namecheap fights CISPA

Namecheap is running a campaign to raise awareness about the privacy-invasive CISPA while also supporting EFF: they are donating $1 to EFF for every tweet using the hashtag #CISPAAlert.

Fix the DMCA

Join a grassroots campaign to fix the anti-circumvention provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (section 1201).

Supported by Members

Our members make it possible for EFF to bring legal and technological expertise into crucial battles about online rights. Whether defending free speech online or challenging unconstitutional surveillance, your participation makes a difference. Every donation gives technology users who value freedom online a stronger voice and more formidable advocate.

If you aren't already, please consider becoming an EFF member today.

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Administrivia

Editor: Parker Higgins, Activist
editor@eff.org

EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged. MiniLinks do not necessarily represent the views of EFF.

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Announcements

SXSW

A number of EFF staff are in Austin for SXSW this year. Come by our panels or stop by our booth and say hello.
March 8-13, 2013
Austin, Texas

Why and How to Encrypt the Web

Technology Projects Director Peter Eckersley will give an overview of several of EFF's tech projects to encrypt the web - including HTTPS Everywhere, the SSL Observatory, Sovereign Keys, and efforts to persuade major sites to deploy HTTPS. This event is hosted by Stanford University and is open to the public.
March 11, 2013
Stanford, CA

15 Year Retrospective of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Hosted by Santa Clara Law's High Tech Law Institute, this conference will look at the past, present, and future of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry and Senior Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann will speak.
March 15, 2013
Santa Clara, CA

CryptoParty SF II: Enciphered Boogaloo

CryptoParty is a worldwide series of events aimed at spreading information and know-how about privacy, security, and encryption tools. It exists to empower beginners and more advanced cypherpunks alike.
March 23, 2013
San Francisco, CA

National Conference for Media Reform

Free Press's 2013 will include panels by EFF activists Rainey Reitman, Trevor Timm, and Adi Kamdar. This conference brings together journalists, activists, artists, and media reformers of all walks together to celebrate the future of media.
Get a 10% discount on registration using the code: EFF_NCMR
April 5-8, 2012
Denver, CO

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