Skip to main content
Podcast Episode: Chronicling Online Communities

EFFector - Volume 26, Issue 24 - The spy in your pocket


EFFector - Volume 26, Issue 24 - The spy in your pocket

EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation

In our 651st issue:

Meet CO-TRAVELER: The NSA's Cell Phone Location Tracking Program

An article in the Washington Post has disclosed the NSA's massive cell phone location program. The program, codenamed CO-TRAVELER, is designed to track who meets with whom and covers everyone who carries a cell phone, all around the world. With neither public debate nor court authorization, CO-TRAVELER collects nearly five billion records daily of cell phone user location information, mapping the relationships of cell phone users across global mobile network cables. This reveals data about who you are physically with, and how often your movements intersect with other cell phone users. The program even tracks when your phone is turned on or off.

Patent Reform Moves One Giant Step Forward

The House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved the Innovation Act, the best troll-killing bill we've seen yet. And earlier this week the White House put out a strong statement in support. All that's left is the Senate, which has promised to take up the issue before the end of this year. On another front, the Supreme Court has agreed to take on the validity of abstract software patents.

How NSA Mass Surveillance Hurts the U.S. Economy

Privacy may not be the only casualty of the National Security Agency's massive surveillance program. Major sectors of the U.S. economy are reporting financial damage as the recent revelations shake consumer confidence. Around the world, U.S. trade partners are distancing themselves from American companies that may have been compromised by the NSA or, worse, are secretly collaborating with the spy agency. Members of Congress, especially those who champion America’s competitiveness in the global marketplace, should take note and rein in the NSA now if they want to stem the damage.

EFF Updates

Busting Eight Common Excuses for NSA Mass Surveillance

We've heard from lots of folks who are passionately concerned about the NSA's mass spying, but are struggling to get their friends and family to understand the problem and join the over a half-million people who have demanded change through and elsewhere. Here's a cheat sheet to help you talk about the NSA spying when you're with family and friends.

Creative Commons Issues an Update to its Copyright License Suite

After more than two years of community discussions and many drafts, the nonprofit Creative Commons has released a new version of its popular copyright license suite. These licenses allow rightsholders to release some of the exclusive rights associated with copyright while retaining others, in a way that's easy for re-users, indexable by computers, and that stands up to legal review in many countries.

U.S. Citizen Charged Under UAE Cybercrime Decree

A U.S. citizen has become the first foreigner to be charged under the United Arab Emirates' "cybercrime" decree for a satirical video about young people in Dubai. Shezanne Casim, an Abu Dhabi resident, was arrested in April and charged with violating Article 28 of the cybercrimes law.

EFF's 2013 Holiday Wishlist

EFF welcomes the winter season with a new wishlist of some things we'd love to have happen for the holidays—for us and for all Internet users. These are some of the actions we'd most like to see from companies, governments, organizations, and individuals in the new year.

EFF Amicus Brief: Video Surveillance of a Home for a Month Without a Warrant Violates Fourth Amendment

EFF has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a federal criminal case in Washington state that involves the constitutionality of using a camera mounted outside a house to allow the police to watch the home for almost a month. The Senior District Court Judge invited EFF to submit the brief, in which we argue prolonged warrantless video surveillance violates the Fourth Amendment.

It's Time to Update Archaic Email Privacy Law

Privacy is due for an upgrade. EFF has joined a nationwide day of action calling for reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the 1986 law used by the government to access your online documents, messages, and emails stored in the cloud without a warrant. Please join us in demanding for long-overdue updates to our archaic electronic privacy laws.


Freedom of the Press Foundation's Encryption Tools Bundle

Encryption tools need development, and the Freedom of the Press Foundation is sponsoring some good ones. Support their efforts for journalists—and for the rest of us, too.

Video: Why Care About The NSA?

This short video makes the case for why ordinary citizens should be concerned about NSA spying. It features EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl and was co-produced by EFF Activism Director Rainey Reitman.

Eyes Wide Open: Unmasking the Five-Eyed monster

Eyes Wide Open is a new project by Privacy International that delves into the The Five Eyes, a 70 year old secret surveillance alliance between English-speaking nations: U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Here's Why Obama Trade Negotiators Push the Interests of Hollywood and Drug Companies

The Washington Post explores the cozy relationship between trade negotiators and corporate interests, noting that at least a dozen former officials now work for industry groups.

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.

Donate Today


Editor: April Glaser, Activist

EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Membership & donation queries:

General EFF, legal, policy, or online resources queries:

Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged. MiniLinks do not necessarily represent the views of EFF.

Back issues of EFFector

Change your email address

This newsletter is printed from 100% recycled electrons.

EFF appreciates your support and respects your privacy. Privacy Policy.

815 Eddy Street
San Francisco, CA 94109-7701
United States

Join EFF!
Members make it possible for EFF to fight for your rights. Become a member today.


Take Action: Demand an End to Mass Surveillance

In 2013, we learned digital surveillance by world governments knows no bounds. Join the global movement demanding the protection of human rights and an end to mass surveillance. Let the world know: privacy is a human right. Endorse the Necessary and Proportionate Principles.

Dream Job Alert: EFF Activist

We're looking for a full-time activist to fight for free speech, innovation, and privacy on the Internet and other technologies. If you are passionate about technology, dedicated to its role in building a better future, and want to work alongside leaders in the field, this dream job may be for you!

3rd Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest

Delegates from national and international governmental entities, the private sector, civil society, and academia will gather for five days of interconnected events in Cape Town, South Africa. EFF Global Policy Analyst Maira Sutton will speak on the potential impacts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement on heightening global norms of copyright and patent enforcement.
December 9-13, 2013
Capetown, South Africa

The Right of Publicity in the Digital Age

Right of publicity law is a mess: courts apply a variety of tests and apply these tests inconsistently to different forms of media. EFF Staff Attorney Daniel Nazer will help clear that up in this event with the San Francisco Bar Association.
December 11, 2013
San Francisco, CA

NSA Comedy Tour: A Night of Comedy, Ethics & Tech

EthicsInTech presents a fun night of Comedy, Ethics & Technology to help protect the Fourth Amendment and our constitutional rights and freedoms. EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn will sit on a panel that includes Will Durst, "America's Funniest Political Comedian," and Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive.
December 11, 2013
San Francisco, CA

Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy

The Department of Commerce's Internet Policy Task Force will hold a conference to hear stakeholder views and to initiate discussion on five policy issues critical to economic growth. EFF Director of Intellectual Property Corynne McSherry will speak.
December 12, 2013
Washington, D.C.

Ethics and Social Networks

At the California Public Defender's Association Juvenile Defense Seminar, EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury will present on the topic of "Ethics and Social Networks."
January 25, 2014
Monterey, CA

Big Surveillance Demands Big Privacy

EFF Activism Director Rainey Reitman joins Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Dr. Ann Cavoukian and esteemed guests as they address issues of privacy, surveillance, and freedom on International Privacy Day.
January 28, 2014
Toronto, Canada

Terms and Conditions May Apply

EFF Activism Director Rainey Reitman will lead a Q&A on privacy and surveillance in the Internet age following a screening of the new documentary Terms and Conditions May Apply.
January 30, 2014
Los Angeles, CA

EFF on
twitter facebook google plus identica

Back to top

JavaScript license information