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EFFector - Volume 29, Issue 7 - A bill to disarm patent trolls

EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation

In our 695th issue:

Tell the Senate: Pass the VENUE Act

For years, patent trolls have exploited a rule that lets them file disputes in any court in the United States. One district with particularly plaintiff-friendly practices hears nearly half of all patent cases in the country.

Cases should be litigated in courts that have a meaningful connection to the dispute, not where one party thinks it can get an advantage. The VENUE Act would make the process of determining venue more fair for both sides.

The VENUE Act is not the comprehensive reform we need, but we can’t keep waiting while unfair procedural rules put innovators and small businesses at an unfair disadvantage. Let’s tell Congress to pass the VENUE Act now.

EFF Updates

The Apple Fight Is About All of Us

The fight between the FBI and Apple isn’t just about one phone or one company. It is the fight of every person who believes in a future where technology does not come at the cost of privacy or individual security. Join EFF, the ACLU, and Access Now in urging President Obama to stand up for security.

Tweet at Obama now.

Good News for Now: Court Postpones Hearing in Apple v. FBI

At the FBI’s request, a magistrate in Riverside, CA, canceled this week’s hearing in the case over the FBI’s order to compromise iPhone security. We’re grateful to everyone who stood up for security and showed the FBI that the world was watching. But the fight is far from over.

Want to learn more about the case? Learn how the FBI’s order implicates your freedom of speech.

Where Is Bassel? Four Years On, We Still Need to Know

Bassel Khartabil, open source developer, Wikipedian, and free culture advocate, was taken from his friends and family four years ago. EFF joins Human Rights Watch and 30 other organizations in demanding that the Syrian authorities reveal the whereabouts of Bassel and release him immediately.

Pushing Back Against DRM at W3C

As the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) meets in Boston this week, EFF is there to send the message that supporting DRM (digital rights management) is bad for the Web, bad for interoperability, and bad for W3C itself.

Fixing FOIA: Senate-Passed Bill Is a Good Start, but More Is Needed

The Freedom of Information Act, the 50-year-old government transparency law, is badly in need of an update. The Senate recently passed a bill that would improve FOIA in a few important ways, but a much stronger reform is still needed.

The Foilies: Recognizing the Worst Government Responses to Public Records Requests

Every year, we find the worst excuses that government officials give for rejecting requests for public information. This year, there are plenty to choose from. Meet the 2016 Foilie winners.

miniLinks

TIME: Code Is Free Speech

EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn explains why the FBI’s demand on Apple is an attack on free speech.

Motherboard: 'Chilling Effect' of Mass Surveillance Is Silencing Dissent Online, Study Says

NSA spying doesn’t just compromise people’s privacy; it can also cause them to censor their own speech.

Texas Examiner: Law Enforcement, Private Companies Using Plate Readers to Build Enormous Database

The Examiner digs into the disturbing trend of local law enforcement collecting massive amounts of data on drivers.

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If you aren't already, please consider becoming an EFF member today.

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Administrivia

Editor: Elliot Harmon, 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

RightsCon Silicon Valley

Meet several EFF staffers at the annual Internet and human rights conference.
March 30–April 1
San Francisco, CA

Never Underestimate Domain Names Policies (RightsCon Panel)

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is at a crossroads. Governments, law enforcement, and business interests have been pressuring ICANN to go beyond its limited mission, and some of those proposals have disturbing implications for everyone who uses the Internet.
March 31, 2016
San Francisco, CA

Encryption Apps for your Phone

Join EFF’s Lisa Wright and William Theaker for an informative workshop on encryption apps for Android and iOS. Please bring your mobile phone so you can install the apps, and bring a friend so you can try them out!
April 7, 2016
San Francisco, CA

Society of Professional Journalists Region 9 Conference

EFF Investigative Researcher Dave Maass will speak about digital security for journalists and police accountability.
April 15, 2016
Albuquerque, NM

LinuxFest Northwest

Senior Staff Technologist Seth Schoen and Membership Coordinator Maggie Kazmierczak will be representing EFF at LinuxFest Northwest. Stop by our table in the expo hall to learn what EFF is up to and how you can get involved.
April 24, 2016
Belllingham, WA

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