Last week, Congress put forth a bill that would dangerously expand computer crime law to double or even triple the penalties prosecutors could use to threaten computer users -- people like digital rights activist Aaron Swartz. We've got to stop them and tell them this law needs real reform to protect visionary, talented, justice-driven individuals like Aaron. We're pulling out all the stops this week, and we need your help. We need the Internet to speak out with a voice so loud legislators have no choice but to listen.
Here's the game plan:
We have built a Twitter tool that helps you to tweet at legislators. Staffers count these messages, so please tweet lots.
Supporters of CISPA, the so-called "cybersecurity bill," have promoted it with craftily worded or just plain misleading claims. To stop this type of misinformation -- and to stop CISPA -- we urge you to tell your members of Congress to stand up for privacy. We've collected some of the most egregious myths put forward by CISPA supporters and explained why these claims are false.
It's been nearly two years since we first reported about Lodsys, the patent troll who targeted app developers. You might remember that Lodsys had actually filed lawsuits against some app developers in Texas; that case is slowly moving forward. Now it appears that Lodsys sued at least ten more app developers -- many smaller players along with larger ones such as Walt Disney.
Copyright laws that represent the one-sided concerns of Hollywood at the expense of the broader public interest do not belong in trade agreements. Yet just days after dozens of public interest groups around the world issued a statement on this issue, a senator with longstanding ties to the entertainment industry introduced a misguided bill that would create a new position for a "Chief Innovation and Intellectual Property Negotiator" -- in other words, an Ambassador from Hollywood, paid for by the general public.
The Departments of Justice (DOJ) of both the Bush and Obama administrations have embraced an expansive interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act that would literally make it a crime for many kids to read the news online. Specifically, the DOJ has taken the position that a violation of a website's Terms of Service can be treated as a criminal act. For a number of reasons, including the requirements of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, many news sites have terms of service that prohibit minors from using their interactive services and sometimes even visiting their websites.
Let's face it: most of us have no idea how companies are gathering and sharing our personal data. So what can we do about it? A new proposal in California -- supported by a diverse coalition including EFF and the ACLU of Northern California -- is fighting to bring transparency and access to the seedy underbelly of digital data exchanges. The Right to Know Act gives users access to the personal data a company has stored on them, as well as a list of all the other companies with whom that original company has shared the users' personal data.
The federal appeals court in New York has affirmed that Internet streaming service Aereo is not infringing copyright when it enables users to stream broadcast TV to Internet devices. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the trial court's decision not to shut down Aereo while the case is pending. This decision is a win for Aereo, its customers, and for future innovators with the audacity to improve the TV-watching experience without permission from copyright owners.
In July 2009, South Korea became the first country to introduce a graduated response or "three strikes" law. There is no judicial process, no court of appeal, and no opportunity to challenge the accusers. This entertainment industry experiment in Internet enforcement has been a failure. So now Korea's National Human Rights Commission has recommended that the three strikes law be re-examined, given its unclear benefits, and its potential violation of the human rights to receive and impart information and to participate in the cultural life of the community.
A federal judge in Los Angeles showed little restraint in expressing his frustration with the "attorney misconduct" he's identified by the prominent copyright trolls behind Prenda Law. When none of the attorneys at the hearing would offer testimony, Judge Otis D. Wright, II, adjourned the highly-anticipated hearing after only 12 minutes.
A major reason to reform laws like the CFAA and DMCA is that they criminalize lots of things most people don't think are "bad" or "illegal" -- including some things that tech reporters don't even mind writing in the newspaper about doing.
EFF Staff Attorney Julie P. Samuels writes in Wired about how the patent system is hindering innovation, and what we can do to fix it.
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EFF, Lawrence Lessig, representatives from Demand Progress, ACLU, and more will be taking questions on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act starting at 10am PDT. Come throughout the day to ask questions about how these groups and individuals are working together to reform the CFAA, and what you can do to help. April 9, 2013
California Attorney General Kamala Harris and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, Privacy and Technology Project present this event aimed at California app developers striving to innovate on privacy. EFF Activist Parker Higgins will speak on a panel titled "The State of Privacy & Technology: Implications for App Developers."
If you are a woman and thinking about submitting a talk, panel, or workshop to DEFCON, you are invited to join EFF staff members Marcia Hofmann, Eva Galperin, and Kellie Brownell in our new Eddy St. office to drink, snack, and brain storm DEFCON submission ideas. April 17, 2013
San Francisco, CA
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
EFF activists Adi Kamdar and Parker Higgins will be on panels at this year's Free Culture Conference in New York City. Parker will moderate a panel called "Getting Past Gridlock: What does Tangible Copyright Reform Look Like?" and Adi will moderate a panel on "The Future of Open Access Advocacy." April 20-21
New York, NY
Security BSides is a community-driven framework for building events for and by information security community members. This event, BSidesBOS, will promote information about security to an audience of both new and well-established professionals and techies. May 18, 2013
EFF Director of International Freedom of Expression Jillian York is speaking on a panel entitled "Internet Regulation: What are the Implications for Democracy and Press Freedom?" at the International Press Institute World Congress 2013, "Documenting Change/Empowering Media." May 19-21, 2013