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EFFector - Volume 27, Issue 10 - One year later: How the NSA leaks have changed the world


EFFector - Volume 27, Issue 10 - One year later: How the NSA leaks have changed the world

EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation

In our 662nd issue:

After One Year of NSA Leaks, What Do We Know and Why Does it Matter?

June 5th marked one year since the first Snowden leak. EFF has been fighting NSA surveillance for years, but the new insights sparked an unprecedented public debate. Since that first revelation, we’ve learned a lot about exactly how insidious, ubiquitous, and aggressive NSA surveillance really is—enough to debunk the favorite arguments of NSA apologists. While we are not been pleased with the recently weakened legislation that some in Congress are saying will end bulk surveillance, we have been excited to see litigation, legislative advocacy, and activism all join forces, domestically and globally, to fight surveillance.

In Harm's Way: Why We Need Net Neutrality

Since the FCC released its proposal for new net neutrality rules last month, there has been a lot of talk about the potential for an Internet fast lane, and rightfully so. But there are many ways that network discrimination can happen. Understanding all of them makes it clear that when ISPs have the ability to pick Internet "winners," we all lose. Fortunately, there's still time to comment on the FCC's proposal at

Join the Tor Challenge. Help keep Tor Strong.

Tor is a tool that helps you stay anonymous online by routing traffic through relays operated by individuals like you, all over the world. hese relays help people in repressive regimes access blocked sites. Additionally, they helps maintain anonymity for whistleblowers, domestic violence survivors and other vulnerable people. The bottomline is that Tor helps everyone maintain privacy while using the Internet. We’re running the Tor Challenge to strengthen the Tor network. The more people operate relays, the stronger and safer Tor is. Visit Tor Challenge to learn how you can participate today.

EFF Updates

NOTICE: EFF's Privacy Policy Has Been Updated Twice. We've Also Added and Updated a Technology Projects Privacy Policy

EFF has updated our Privacy Policy twice in the past month, to reflect some upgrades and changes to the website. We also added, and then slightly edited, a Technology Projects Privacy Policy to cover the increasing amount of software that EFF provides.

Most recently, on June 12, 2014 we updated it to reflect: 1) changes to reflect EFF’s new Action Center, including the consequences for logging in or clicking “remember me,” the identifying information we retain about logged in users and how to manage your account; 2) information used by EFF about purchasers in our Shop; 3) a specific section addressing EFF’s use of Third Party Services and API’s.

Previously, on May 1st we updated our policy to reflect: 1) introduction of EFF's separate Technology Projects Privacy Policy; 2) that we will try to give prior notice to users when someone seeks their data from us and that we have actually challenged requests for access to our user information; 3) clarifying that we will ensure that information we give to third parties is protected, even if that is not through a specific agreement (it may, for example, be because the third party does not engage in logging.)

And while we launched the Technology Projects Privacy Policy on May 1, 2014, we updated it on June 2, 2014 to reflect the possible collection of information for research datasets.

Appeals Court Decision Crushes Key Copyright Troll Tactic

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed with EFF in its decision in AF Holdings v. Does 1-1058, ruling that trolls shouldn't have the ability to sue large groups of John Doe defendants together with minimal evidence. Fun fact: to come to its conclusion, the court relied on EFF's analogy comparing BitTorrent users who download files to blackjack players who visit a table at different times.

Senator Leahy Kills Patent Reform (For Now)

Sen. Leahy announced that he would be taking patent legislation off the Judiciary Committee's agenda, effectively killing the House's strong patent reform bill, the Innovation Act.

17 Student Groups Pen Open Letters on the Toxicity of Mass Surveillance to Academic Freedom

Students from 17 groups published open letters about the harm surveillance is doing to speech, academics, and campus life at their universities.

EFF Argues Government Must Stop Destroying Evidence in Jewel v. NSA

After communications with government lawyers revealed that the government has continued to destroy evidence relating to EFF's case against the NSA, EFF filed an emergency motion asking the Court to block the destruction. The judge asked for further briefing on the issue.

Defamation Suits Used to Bludgeon Southeast Asian Bloggers and Independent Press

Southeast Asia has a high level of social media and Internet use. Unfortunately, bloggers in several Southeast Asian countries are under attack for expressing political opinions, facing defamation suits that threaten to inhibit free expression and discourse.

Cambodia's Draft Law Turns Free Speech into Cybercrime

A leaked draft of a new Cambodian cybercrime law contains provisions that would seriously threaten freedom of speech and expression—in a place where the Internet is often the best source of uncensored information for citizens.

Twitter Steps Down From the Free Speech Party

Twitter has made the decision to voluntarily comply with court orders requesting censorship in Russia and Pakistan. This is particularly concerning because Twitter cannot be compelled to comply with these orders—it does not have significant assets or employees in either country—and thus the decision appears to signal an end to Twitter’s policy to support free speech whenever possible.


Stop Creepy Online Tracking with Privacy Badger

Check out our handy one-page explanation on how Privacy Badger helps protect you online.

Cory Doctorow novel pulled from school reading list

EFF Fellow Cory Doctorow’s book "Little Brother" was yanked from a Florida high school "because of concerns that some parents might object to. . .the idea of questioning authority."

Data Pirates of the Caribbean: The NSA Is Recording Every Cell Phone Call in the Bahamas

Leaked NSA documents show that the NSA exploited DEA authority to record audio of nearly every cell phone call in the Bahamas.

Internet Giants Erect Barriers to Spy Agencies

Among other changes made by Internet companies, Google has introduced a new email encryption tool.

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.

Please consider becoming an EFF member today.

Donate Today


Editor: Nadia Kayyali, Activist

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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How NSA Spying Can Affect Your Legal Case and What Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Client

EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury will give a one hour CLE presentation for the Bar Association of San Francisco, discussing how the NSA and other intelligence communities gather and tip information to law enforcement agencies in routine criminal cases. He will also explain steps criminal defense attorneys can take to figure out if NSA derived evidence is being used against their clients.
June 19, 2014
Bar Association of San Francisco
301 Battery St, San Francisco, CA

Allied Media Conference

EFF will be at Allied Media Conference (AMC) this year talking about organizing to fight mass surveillance at two different sessions as part of "Watch This! Surveillance, Security, and Organizing." We'll also have a table set up in the exhibit hall, so be sure to swing by and say hello! The AMC is a collaborative laboratory of media-based organizing strategies for transforming our world, held every summer in Detroit.
June 19-22, 2014
Detroit, MI

EFF at the American Library Association Annual Conference

Visit EFF booth #2226 in the expo hall and discover our latest work defending your freedom online. You can support the growing movement for digital civil liberties and pick up some great EFF gear when you join or renew your membership at special rates on site! The American Library Association, the oldest and largest library association in the world, holds its annual Conference & Exhibition each summer. We applaud the librarian community for working to ensure access to information.
June 26-July 1 2014
Las Vegas, NV

Bitcoin Finance 2014

Join EFF Activism Director Rainey Reitman at Bitcoin Finance, a conference which brings together the brightest minds in payments, finance, business, banking, and Bitcoin. Over two days in Dublin, the participants will "tackle the big questions and host fearless debates on the opportunities and risks involved with decentralized currencies." Reitman will discuss financial censorship, free speech, and the power of decentralization. See schedule for details.
July 3-4, 2014
Dublin, Ireland

EFF at GaymerX2

Join EFF at GaymerX2, the second annual gaming and geek lifestyle convention with a focus on LGBTQ culture! Be sure to stop by the EFF booth where you can learn about our latest work protecting privacy and free expression online. You can find some cool EFF digital freedom swag, donate to support the cause, and even become an official member!
July 11-13, 2014
San Francisco, CA


Several EFFers will speak at HOPE X (Hackers on Planet Earth) in New York City. In its tenth year, HOPE is one of the foremost hacker events, chock full of projects, talks, workshops, and more fun events.
July 18-20, 2014
New York, NY

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