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EFFector - Volume 29, Issue 14 - Facing down the FBI's biometric mega-database


EFFector - Volume 29, Issue 14 - Facing down the FBI's biometric mega-database

EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation

In our 701st issue:

No Privacy Rollback for the FBI’s Biometric Mega-Database

The FBI has been assembling a massive database of biometric information on tens of millions of people for the last eight years—faces, fingerprints, iris scans, tattoos, and more.

Yet, the FBI has dragged its feet in complying with federal privacy laws, resulting in a scathing indictment by the Government Accountability Office for hiding important information about the scope of its face recognition program from the public. The FBI has further failed to address fundamental flaws with the facial recognition system’s accuracy, which may disproportionately impact communities of color.

Now, the FBI wants to sidestep crucial privacy protections. It’s rushing to exempt its Next Generation Identification database from parts of the Privacy Act. This proposal would deny you the right to know what information the database has on you and eliminate the FBI’s obligation to correct inaccurate data.

Tell the FBI we won’t give an inch when it comes to our rights.

New Report: FBI Can Access Hundreds of Millions of Face Recognition Photos

The federal Government Accountability Office just published its exhaustive report on the FBI’s face recognition capabilities. The takeaway: FBI has access to hundreds of millions more photos than we ever thought. And the Bureau has been hiding this fact from the public—in flagrant violation of federal law and agency policy—for years.

EFF Updates

Digital Dystopia: Egyptian Civil Society At Risk

Along with numerous other human rights organizations, EFF has been following a growing threat to free expression online in Egypt. We’re calling on the international community to demand an end to violations against digital and human rights defenders.

A Free and Open Internet Under Assault in Congress

If you can’t beat them, defund them. If you can’t defund them, stall them. Congress is trying every trick it can to keep the FCC from enforcing its Open Internet Order. Help us tell lawmakers to cut it out.

Chilean Proposal for Unwaivable Payments to Authors Creeps Onward to Colombia

There’s a dangerous proposal to expand copyright in Chile, and it might be spreading to other countries too.

Leader Nancy Pelosi, Stand Against the TPP

As House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi is perfectly positioned to stop the TPP. If she took a public stance against the agreement, that could kill the deal once and for all. Let’s call on her to defend our digital rights and take the lead in opposing this deal.

Federal Court: The Fourth Amendment Does Not Protect Your Home Computer

In a dangerously flawed decision, a federal district court in Virginia ruled that a criminal defendant has no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in his personal computer, located inside his home. According to the court, the federal government does not need a warrant to hack into an individual’s computer.

California Legislature Drops Proposal to Copyright All Government Works

Remember that scary bill in California that would have given the state a copyright over virtually everything it produces? Thanks to many of you in California speaking up to your Assembly members, the dangerous parts of the bill have been completely removed.

We Made the Message Loud and Clear: Stop the Rule 41 Updates

What happens when you try to push a dangerous policy through without the Internet noticing? The Internet fights back. When we warned of an impending rule change that would dramatically increase law enforcement’s authority to hack into computers, thousands of you spoke out to Congress.

Jewel v. NSA Moves Forward—Time for NSA to Answer Basic Questions about Mass Surveillance

It’s time to lift the cloak of secrecy that has shielded the NSA from judicial scrutiny. EFF served the agency with information requests late last week in Jewel v. NSA, our signature case challenging government surveillance. We are seeking answers to basic questions about the nuts and bolts of the government’s Internet and telephone mass surveillance programs.

Big Win for User-Generated Content Hosts in Vimeo Case

Safe harbor protections give small businesses the freedom to develop new services on the Internet. A recent Second Circuit opinion was a win for safe harbors and a win for the open Web.


This Song Belongs to You and Me (TechDirt)

EFF has argued before that “This Land Is Your Land” is in the public domain. Now, musicians are taking the claimed copyright holder to court.

I Made a Rap Video in Prison (The Marshall Project)

A former inmate who served 11 months in solitary confinement for an online rap video tells his story.

Open access: All human knowledge is there—so why can’t everybody access it? (Ars Techica)

Excellent report on the state of academic publishing—and why so much of it is still locked down.

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Editor: Elliot Harmon, Activist

EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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