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EFFector - Volume 27, Issue 13 - EFF's first aerial activism campaign

 
 
EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation
 
 

In our 665th issue:

Illegal Spying Below

EFF teamed up with Greenpeace and the Tenth Amendment Center to launch an airship over the NSA's sprawling Utah data center earlier this summer. Now acclaimed filmmaker Brian Knappenberger has documented our campaign in a short, powerful video. Check out the video and share it with your friends.

 

The Senate USA FREEDOM Act: A First Step Towards Reforming Mass Surveillance

Senator Patrick Leahy introduced a revised version of his NSA reform bill, the USA FREEDOM Act of 2014, which focuses on telephone record collection and FISA Court reform. While this bill is not a comprehensive solution to overbroad and unconstitutional surveillance—and we've outlined some of our concerns—it is a strong first step. EFF urges Congress to support passage of the bill without any amendments that will weaken it.

UNSEALED: The US Sought Permission To Change The Historical Record Of A Public Court Proceeding

On June 6, the court in our flagship NSA spying case, Jewel v. NSA, held a long hearing in a crowded, open courtroom, widely covered by the press. We were even on the local TV news on two stations. At the end, the Judge ordered both sides to request a transcript since he ordered us to do additional briefing. But when it was over, the government sought permission to “remove” classified information from the transcript, and even indicated that it wanted to do so secretly, so the public could never even know that they had done so.

EFF Updates

Introducing EFF's Stupid Patent of the Month

In an effort to highlight the problem of stupid patents, we’re introducing a new blog series, Stupid Patent of the Month, featuring spectacularly dumb patents that have been recently issued or asserted. With this series, we hope to illustrate by example just how badly reform is needed—at the Patent Office, in court, and in Congress. In other stupid patent news, we've submitted comments to the Patent Office asking it to end the flood of grants to bad applications.

Front Lines of the Open Access Fight: Colombian Student's Prosecution Highlights the Need for Fundamental Policy Reforms

Diego Gomez is a Colombian graduate student who faces four to eight years in prison for sharing another researcher's thesis online. His story is only one of countless many, but it highlights the problems facing students and academics who are simply trying to access works to further their studies.

Hate Your ISP? Maybe You Need Community Fiber

Between the net neutrality debate and the Comcast/TWC merger, high-speed Internet access is getting more attention than ever. A lot of that attention is negative, and rightly so: Internet access providers, especially certain very large ones, have done a pretty good job of divvying up the nation so that most Americans have only one or two choices for decent high-speed Internet access. But guess what: we don’t have to rely entirely on the FCC to fix the problems with high-speed internet access. Around the country, local communities are taking charge of their own destiny and supporting community fiber.

A National Consensus: Cell Phone Location Records Are Private

We've filed a new amicus brief in San Francisco federal court outlining how courts should determine what is and isn’t reasonable in our increasingly digital world. As we note, the fact that a growing number of states are extending location privacy protection to their citizens is a gauge of societal understandings that it is reasonable to expect this information to remain private. While the Fourth Amendment does not depend on state law or statutory guarantees, they are nonetheless compelling evidence of societal understandings of privacy.

Australia: You Wouldn't Steal a DVD, But You Would Block Websites and Suspend Internet Accounts

When the Australian government first began requiring Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block websites in 2012, Australians were assured that it would only be used to block the "worst of the worst" child pornography. Last week, a discussion paper was issued that proposes to extend this Web blocking regime, so that it would also block sites that facilitate copyright infringement. Funny how that always seems to happen.

One Way to Stand Against Spying: Meet With A Legislator

Elected officials rarely hear from the diverse communities of everyday people who live under the shadow of government surveillance—which includes every American. That’s why we’re encouraging people visit their Congressional offices and local representatives and demand meaningful NSA reform. After all, our political leaders are supposed to be working for us.

miniLinks

Ars Technica: Yahoo to begin offering PGP encryption support in Yahoo Mail service

Yahoo announced that starting in the fall of this year, the company will begin giving users the option of seamlessly wrapping their e-mails in PGP encryption.

Google: HTTPS as a ranking signal

Google has announced it will start to use HTTPS as a ranking signal—meaning it will take into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections in its search ranking algorithms.

Wikimedia Foundation: Transparency Report

The Wikimedia Foundation's first transparency report sheds light on the requests it receives—both for data about users, and to alter or remove content—and how it processes those requests.

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.

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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

General EFF, legal, policy, or online resources queries: info@eff.org

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

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Announcements

New Whitepaper: "Collateral Damages: Why Congress Needs To Fix Copyright Law's Civil Penalties"

A new whitepaper by EFF attorney Mitch Stoltz looks at U.S. copyright law’s civil penalty regime. It describes the regime's excessive penalties and unpredictability, discusses the harms that flow from this broken law, and finally suggests some measured changes Congress can make to fix these problems.

EFF at DEFCON 22

EFF is in Las Vegas, Nevada, at DEFCON—the world's largest annual hacker convention. Catch EFF attorneys, activists, and technologists at various talks and in the vendor and contest areas. We'll also be presenting workshops, games, and talks at the Crypto & Privacy Village at the Rio's Conga Room.
August 7-10
Las Vegas, NV

CriptoRally Mexico

EFF's Katitza Rodriguez will be participating in the nearly monthlong series of crypto, free software, and privacy events during CriptoRally.
throughout August
Mexico D.F., Mexico

Vigilancia y Derechos Humanos

Katitza Rodriguez and EFF senior staff technologist Seth Schoen will present at this Spanish-language event on surveillance and human rights.
August 9, 2014
Mexico D.F., Mexico

EFF at the USENIX Security Symposium

Find EFF at the USENIX Security Symposium, which brings together researchers, practitioners, system administrators, system programmers, and others interested in the latest advances in the security of computer systems and networks.
August 20, 2014
San Diego, CA

Understanding New Surveillance Tools: Stingrays, Hemisphere, and Cell Tracking

EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury will discuss the government's new surveillance tools at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer's 7th Annual Defending the Modern Drug Case Seminar.
September 13, 2014
Las Vegas, NV

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