The digital rights landscape shifted dramatically in 2016. From the very first week, when EFF confirmed that T-Mobile was throttling customers’ video streams, to our year-end call to the tech community to protect users in the face of the incoming Trump administration, 2016 saw no shortage of threats to Internet users’ fundamental rights to privacy, free speech, and the freedom to access information online around the world.
In 2017, we are likely to see new efforts to ratchet up surveillance using increasingly sophisticated tools, attempts to silence dissent and expression, and attacks on the rights of users and innovators. Defending digital civil liberties is as essential as it's ever been, and our movement has never been as strong as it is now.
Check out these articles from our year in review series:
In a full-page advertisement in Wired magazine, EFF published an open letter calling on technologists to secure computer networks against overreaches by the upcoming Trump administration and to protect a free, secure, and open Internet. The letter outlines four major ways the technology community can help: using encryption for every user transaction; practicing routine deletion of data logs; revealing publicly any government request to improperly monitor users or censor speech; and joining the fight for user rights in court, in Congress, and beyond.
Author Malcolm Gladwell recently name-checked EFF in an article published in The New Yorker explaining what he sees as the differences between whistle-blowers Edward Snowden and Daniel Ellsberg and concluding that Snowden doesn’t deserve the respect (or apparently the same legal protection) that Ellsberg does. As an organization that has extensive experience with trying to make change with whistleblower information, we sharply disagree with Mr. Gladwell’s conclusion, and even more so with how he gets there.
The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has just released another edition of its periodic Notorious Markets List, a spotlight on websites and physical markets that it claims facilitate copyright or trademark infringement. This year, the focus is on stream ripping sites that take the audio from a YouTube video and makes it available for you to download—which is, in many cases, a legitimate and lawful activity. Also in the firing line are several cyberlocker sites, intermediary domain registrars, and online libraries Bookfi and Library Genesis.
December’s Stupid Patent of the Month was especially relevant as people traveled home for the holidays: advertising trays for security screening, a patent so broad it covers almost any system of using trays and carts at a checkpoint. The owner of this patent, SecurityPoint Holdings, Inc., has sued the United States government for infringement and recently won a trial on validity. Together with Public Knowledge, we recently filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to consider the obviousness standard in patent law.
The New York Times Magazine looks at the rise of private contractors selling hacking tools to governments. The article is based on leaked documents from a surveillance software maker showing just how dangerous and profitable the industry is.
An op-ed in POLITICO argues that incoming President Trump should save the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, the five-member panel that is set to dwindle down to one member, leaving it without the ability to conduct its oversight of the U.S. intelligence community.
The Intercept looked into a recent government report about Russian hackers and their supposedly identifying IP address and found flaws in the report because it didn’t account for the use of Tor.
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EFF is seeking an experienced project or engineering manager to join our Technology Projects team. The team is responsible for many of EFF's externally visible technical products—including the HTTPS Everywhere and Privacy Badger browser extensions—working with a very large coalition of external organizational and open source collaborators, and provides computer science expertise and leadership to the rest of EFF. This role would manage and support 3-6 of our current team members and guide strategy in some of our current project areas.
Director for International Freedom of Expression Jillian C. York will speak at the European Parliament for an ALDE event entitled "Social Media − Industry censorship or consumer rights?"
January 10, 2017
Stop by the EFF booth to say hi and learn about the latest developments in defending digital freedom for all. You can even pick up a special gift as a token of our thanks when you take advantage of our membership specials or donate! On Saturday at noon, join EFF's General Counsel Kurt Opsahl and Staff Attorney Andrew Crocker for our Ask the EFF panel in the Bring It On track.
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