EFF's Pioneer Awards are like the Oscars, except that we honor activists not actors, hoodies and jeans are red-carpet haute couture, and the presentations are just the right length. So, maybe it's not like the Oscars at all. Nevertheless, our always-inspiring annual event will recognize the security researchers at Citizen Lab, Internet access champions Anriette Esterhuysen and the Association for Progressive Communications, and digital community advocate Kathy Sierra. A fourth, posthumous award will honor visionary privacy advocate Caspar Bowden, who passed away in July. The ceremony will be held at Delancey Street's Town Hall in San Francisco on Sept. 24.
A federal judge has ruled that EFF will be able to pose questions to government officials under oath about a Drug Enforcement Administration program that collected billions of international calling records over two decades. EFF filed the case on behalf of Human Rights Watch in April, and, as far as we know, this is the first time a court has allowed discovery in a case challenging mass surveillance.
The FBI has no problem talking publicly at conferences and briefing Congress about their plans to use Rapid DNA technology—laser printer-sized, portable machines that allow anyone to process genetic material in as little as 50 minutes. However, when we filed a Freedom of Information Act request, the FBI responded that it didn't have a single relevant record. If that's the game the FBI wants to play, then we have no problem taking the Department of Justice to court.
Under pressure from tech companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Trade Representative has reportedly agreed to reconsider a key copyright provision in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This is a huge opportunity for users, consumers, and remix artists to prevent terrible restrictions—so it's no surprise that the Motion Picture Association of America is throwing a tantrum.
More than a 1,000 EFF supporters have emailed the California Assembly urging them to pass S.B. 178, which would ensure police need a warrant before searching your data. But we still need more voices: if you live in the Golden State, tell your assemblymember to vote yes when the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act comes to the floor.
MuckRock and hundreds of members of the public have filed public records requests around the country to shine light on how local law enforcement agencies use mobile biometric technologies, such as facial recognition and iris scanning. The records are now coming in, starting with mobile fingerprinting analysis policies from Denver and San Jose.
So far in 2015, 44% of all patent cases were filed in the Eastern District of Texas. In this Deep Dive, EFF Staff Attorney and Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents Daniel Nazer explains why this is outrageous and needs to change.
The hack of the Ashley Madison romantic affair website may prove devastating for its users, but issuing takedown requests to sites, such as Twitter and reddit, to hide information about the breach is an abuse of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Claiming people don't have a right to privacy on a public street, San Jose officials want to attach automatic license plate readers to garbage trucks to find stolen cars.
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EFF will participate in two days of working groups and workshops on issues including copyright, net neutrality, free expression, freedom of information, and privacy. October 30-31, 2015