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EFFector - Volume 26, Issue 7 - Fight CISPA, stand up for privacy, and protect your online rights

EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation

In our 634th issue:

Stop CISPA: A Week of Action to Oppose Overbroad Cybersecurity Legislation

EFF joins a week of action to combat CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. CISPA is one of the greatest threats to Internet users since SOPA. We are most deeply concerned that CISPA would:

  • eviscerate existing privacy laws by giving overly broad legal immunity to companies who share users' private information, including the content of communications, with the government,
  • authorize companies to disclose users' data directly to the NSA, a military agency that operates secretly and without public accountability, and
  • employ broad definitions that allow users' sensitive personal information to be used for a range of purposes, including for "national security," not just computer and network security.
Congress needs to know that the people won't stand for this kind of privacy invasion. Please take action today.

National Security Letters Are Unconstitutional, Federal Judge Rules

EFF has won a major victory: A federal district court judge in San Francisco ruled that National Security Letter (NSL) provisions in federal law violate the Constitution. The decision came in a lawsuit in which EFF is challenging a NSL on behalf of an unnamed telecommunications company.

Hey, USTR: Leave Copyright and Patent Provisions Out of TAFTA

Last month, President Barack Obama announced the launch of a new trade deal between the United States and the European Union -- a transatlantic free trade agreement (TAFTA). EFF joins 44 U.S. and EU organizations in calling for legitimate transparency in upcoming TAFTA negotiations, and also that the treaty exclude any provisions related to patents, copyright, trademarks, data protection, or other forms of so-called "intellectual property." Government leaders should put an end to secretive trade deals that bind our nations to international legal obligations that run counter to economic, cultural, and digital freedoms.

EFF Updates

EFF Joins Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer Case on Appeal

Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer has been sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for revealing to media outlets that AT&T had configured its servers to allow the harvesting of iPad owners' unsecured email addresses. EFF is joining Auernheimer's legal team to litigate his appeal, arguing that fundamental problems with computer crime law result in unfair prison sentences like the one in this case.

The Matthew Keys Case, the CFAA, and Why Maximum Sentences Matter

The Department of Justice has announced the indictment of journalist Matthew Keys for violating the CFAA. For allegedly aiding an act of vandalism, Keys was charged with three felony crimes. And as seems to be standard DOJ protocol these days, the press release played up the possibility of an extremely long jail sentence for a crime that caused little harm, noting that Keys faced a maximum punishment of 10 years for two of the counts and five years for the third—totaling twenty-five years.

EFF's Fight for Open 3D Printing Continues at Ask Patents

EFF has been working for some time -- with your help -- to ensure that improvidently granted patents don't threaten exciting and growing 3D printing technology. Now we've decided to partner with Ask Patents, a project of Stack Exchange, to help find the best prior art to attack what we think are some pretty questionable patent applications. We're excited about this because we think you, the people who use and build 3D printers or any other technology that might be threatened by bad patents, are in the best position to make this process work.

Big Win for Safe Harbors in UMG v. Veoh

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an important copyright judgement in Universal Music Group v. Veoh, finding once again that video-sharing site Veoh fell squarely within the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It's a good ruling, and it puts yet more weight behind the idea that a robust safe harbor is not just beneficial but necessary for user-generated content sites to thrive on the Internet.

Google Takes the Dark Path, Censors AdBlock Plus on Android

In a shocking move, Google has recently deleted AdBlock Plus from the Android Play Store. This is hugely disappointing because it demonstrates that Google is willing to censor software and abandon its support for open platforms as soon as there's an ad-related business reason for doing so.

Finally, Some Limit to Electronic Searches at the Border

In an important new decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals created the first explicit limits on the government's ability to search electronic devices at the border. The court's decision in United States v. Cotterman establishes that government agents must have "reasonable suspicion" before conducting a forensic examination of a computer.

Patent Trolls on the Hot Seat

At a recent hearing before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, Congress heard overwhelming evidence about how patent trolls -- companies that assert patents as a business model instead of creating products -- are abusing the system to stifle innovation. Witness after witness testified about patent trolls who use the threat of ruinous defense costs to pressure companies into paying settlements on vague and overbroad patents.

miniLinks

Ars Technica: "Supreme Court upholds first-sale doctrine in textbook resale case"

In an important copyright case, the Supreme Court has decided that Thai student Supap Kirtsaeng's book-importing business was not a copyright crime.

New York Times: "Hacker Case Leads to Calls for Better Law"

The above-mentioned indictment of Matthew Keys, 26, in relation to a 2010 incident of online vandalism has led to an outcry over sentencing in computer crimes.

#freebassel, One Year Later

This week marks is the one year anniversary of the illegal jailing in Syria of Bassel Khartibil, well known free internet pioneer, software engineer, teacher, husband, family-man and friend.

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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Membership & donation queries: membership@eff.org

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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

Online Privacy: Consenting to Your Future

Rainey Reitman, Activism Director of EFF, will speak about civil liberties and privacy on social networking sites. Other speakers include the Electronic Privacy Information Center's Executive Director Marc Rotenberg and Dr. Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission.
March 20-21, 2013
Malta

Heinrich Boll Foundation Mobilize! Conference

EFF's Director for International Freedom of Expression Jillian C. York will speak about censorship and digital activism.
March 22, 2013
Berlin, Germany

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: Transformation After Tragedy

The Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal, in partnership with the Hastings Science and Technology Law Journal, will present a symposium on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and efforts to reform computer trespass law. This symposium brings together legal scholars, lawyers, technologists, and activists for a series of moderated panel discussions.
March 22, 2013
San Francisco, CA

National Conference for Media Reform

Free Press's 2013 event 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

re:publica conference, 13

EFF's Director for International Freedom of Expression Jillian C. York joins a panel called "Responding Effectively to Digital Emergencies & Human Rights Violations Online."
May 6-8, 2013
Berlin, Germany

Bitcoin 2013: the Future of Payments

The Bitcoin Foundation presents Bitcoin 2013: The Future of Payments. On May 18, EFF Activism Director Rainey Reitman will speak on censorship by financial intermediaries.
May 17-19, 2013
San Jose, CA

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