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EFFector - Volume 28, Issue 14 - It's open. It's access. It's awesome.


EFFector - Volume 28, Issue 14 - It's open. It's access. It's awesome.

EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation

In our 685th issue:

Celebrating Open Access

Open access is the practice of making research and other materials freely available online, ideally under licenses that permit widespread dissemination. Open access publishing plays a huge role in the spread of knowledge, culture, and ideas. To celebrate Open Access Week, we wrote a series of blog posts exploring about how open access is a powerful tool for researchers and the general public.

When You Work in the Open, Everyone Can Be a Collaborator
Open access opens the door to a type of collaboration that wouldn’t exist otherwise.

FASTR Ensures that Publicly Funded Research Belongs to the Public
When taxpayers pay for research, everyone should have access to it.

How Trade Agreements Harm Open Access and Open Source
We should hardly be surprised that trade agreements are bad news for open access and open source. But neither should we accept it.

Open Access Is a Human Rights Issue
It’s sometimes easy to forget what’s really at stake. At its heart, open access isn’t an abstract, academic debate.

Save Crypto

Some legislators want to force major tech companies to include special backdoors in their products, so that the government can access our communications. We've launched a campaign to pressure President Obama to reject these proposals and affirm his support for strong encryption, and he's promised to respond to any petition through the We the People tool that gets at least 100,000 signatures. More than 90,000 people have already signed. Can you help us close the gap?


EFF Updates

Apple's EULA Gives It License to Invade Your Privacy, Government Claims

When you buy a book, the government can’t demand the publisher or bookstore turn over the notes you’ve written in the margins. But in a case in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the government is currently arguing that the way Apple licenses its software to users means that people don’t actually own their copy of code that powers their iPhones, and thus the company can be ordered to bypass the lock screen in order to get at data on those users’ devices.

Success in Sacramento: Four New Laws, One Veto—All Victories for Privacy and Transparency

EFF beefed up its advocacy in Sacramento this year with the aim of moving the needle forward on digital freedom in the California legislature. We assembled a team of internal activists and lawyers and hired an excellent lobbying duo. Now that we’re at the end of the legislative session, we can say with certainty that our mission was a success.

Suing Newspapers for Rightfully Seeking Records Isn’t Cool, K.J.

The mayor of Sacramento, former basketball star Kevin Johnson, is currently suing the city’s alt weekly to stop reporters from obtaining emails that may, or may not, reveal improprieties in his office. The case represents an intersection of two key issues for EFF: transparency and freedom of the press.

Let's Encrypt Enters Private Beta

Our campaign to encrypt the Web took a major step forward this week. The Let's Encrypt Certificate Authority—which we've been building in collaboration with teams at Mozilla, ISRG, and others—received a cross-signature from IdenTrust. As a result, Let's Encrypt certificates are now valid and trusted by all modern Web browsers. You can see our very first cert in action at

Voluntary Practices and Rights Protection Mechanisms: Whitewashing Censorship at ICANN

Ever since the formation of ICANN, public interest advocates have been engaged in a struggle to assert their influence against an onslaught of intellectual property lobbyists intent on stacking every committee. Now the stakes are higher than ever. Will the ICANN of the future be a place that represents Internet users or just special interests?

How to Protect Yourself from NSA Attacks on 1024-bit DH

Security researchers recently presented compelling research suggesting that the NSA has developed the capability to decrypt a large number of HTTPS, SSH, and VPN connections using an attack on common implementations of the Diffie-Hellman key exchange algorithm with 1024-bit primes. Read our practical tips for protecting yourself.

Warrantless Searches of California’s Controlled Substance Prescription Database Threaten Patient Privacy

EFF urged the California Supreme Court in a recent amicus brief to rule that law enforcement agents need a warrant to search records revealing which Californians were prescribed controlled substances to treat conditions such as anxiety, pain, attention disorders, and insomnia.


UN Report: Protect Public Disclosures of Wrongdoing

Human Rights Watch reports on how David Kaye, the UN’s specialist on freedom of expression and access to information, is calling upon governments to encourage public exposure of wrongdoing.

A Jailed Activist’s 3-D Models Could Save Syria’s History From ISIS

Wired reports on how Bassel Khartabil is currently missing in military jail, even as his open data projects are saving Syria's history from ISIS.

Privatizing censorship in fight against extremism is risk to press freedom

The Committee to Protect Journalists reports on how allowing ill-defined "extremist" content to be removed from websites without judicial oversight or due process can too easily become a tool for states interested in limiting independent reporting and staving off public policy debates.

Supported by Donors

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: Rainey Reitman, Activism Director

EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Membership & donation queries:

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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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Privacy Badger Talk at SeaGL

EFF Staff Technologist Noah Swartz will discuss our new browser add-on, Privacy Badger, during his talk, "Take Control Of Your Web Browsing! Stop Online Tracking!"
October 24, 2015
Seattle, WA

Mass Surveillance: A Report Back From the Legal Front Line

The First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles will host a discussion featuring Cindy Cohn, EFF's Executive Director. Join us to learn more about mass surveillance, the struggle to defend your rights, and how you can help build the movement wherever you live.
October 28, 2015
Los Angeles, CA

EFF at the Free Culture Forum

The Forum is an open space for drawing up proposals to present the position of civil society on the privatization of culture and access to knowledge. EFF will be participating in both days of the Forum.
October 30-31, 2015
Barcelona, Spain

Policing Technologies: GPS, Mobile Phones and License Plate Readers

EFF Senior Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury will join a panel discussion on location tracking technologies in the criminal justice system at the State Bar of California Public Law Section's Emerging Technology and Privacy Conference.
October 30, 2015
Irvine, California


Join EFF at the 29th annual Large Installation System Administration Conference (LISA) in Washington, D.C. Learn about the latest developments in the movement to protect digital freedom at our booth. You can even donate to get some great swag or become an official member at special reduced levels while you're there.
November 8-13, 2015
Washington, D.C.

Information Society Project - Law & Technology Speaker Series

Cindy Cohn, EFF's Executive Director, will speak about the Fourth Amendment and the NSA's access to the Internet Backbone.
November 10, 2015
New Haven, CT

IGF 2015

EFF's participation in this year's Internet Governance Forum includes workshops on the Manila Principles on Intermediary Liability, net neutrality, surveillance and more. We will also co-host a civil society pre-event on November 8, and participate in the parallel Ungovernance Forum.
November 10-13, 2015
João Pessoa, Brazil

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