The Senate Judiciary Committee voted on the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act, aka the CASE Act. This was without any hearings for experts to explain the huge flaws in the bill as it’s currently written. And flaws there are.
The CASE Act creates a quasi-court focused exclusively on copyright with the power to pass judgment on parties in private disputes. It encourages copyright trolling by inviting filing as many copyright claims as one can against ordinary Internet users who can be coerced into paying thousands of dollars to escape the process, whether they infringed copyright or not. Copyright law fundamentally impacts freedom of expression. People shouldn’t be funneled to a system that hands out huge damage awards with less care than a traffic ticket gets.
Throughout this year, we have been demanding that a handful of companies fix some of their biggest privacy and security problems. For Facebook, we have taken aim at its tendency to use phone numbers for purposes contrary to what users understood or intended. Rather than face a lawsuit from FTC, Facebook agreed to stop the most egregious of these practices—agreeing not to use phone numbers provided for any security feature (like two-factor authentication, account recovery, and login alerts) for targeted advertising purposes.
But the FTC didn’t go far enough here, and Facebook continues to be able to abuse your phone number in two troubling ways. First, two-factor authentication numbers are still exposed to reverse-lookup searches. Second, the FTC’s settlement misses a whole additional category of phone numbers: “shadow” contact information, which refers to a phone number you never gave Facebook but which your friends uploaded with their contacts. While the FTC’s order may seem like a fix, it does not go far enough for us to consider it a complete victory.
A secure messenger should guarantee that no one but you and your intended recipients can read your messages or otherwise analyze their contents to infer what you are talking about. Any time a messaging app has to add “unless...” to that guarantee, whether in response to legislation or internal policy decisions, it’s a sign that messenger is delivering compromised security to its users. Keeping everyone’s communications safe means making sure we don’t hand over control of our devices to companies, governments, or other third parties.
The latest release of Privacy Badger gives it the power to detect and block a new class of evasive, pervasive third-party trackers, including Google Analytics, that have flown under its radar in the past. In the process of developing the new cookie-sharing heuristic, we learned more about how to evaluate and iterate on our detection metrics. As a result, Privacy Badger is stronger than ever. When the next generation of corporate surveillance technology hits the web, we’ll be ready.
There’s been quite a bit of media hype about the improvements 5G is set to supposedly bring to users, many of which are no more than telecom talking points. Yet, as it stands, 5G won’t be any sort of panacea—for increasing security, for improving wireless accessibility, or for solving the issues of broadband monopolies.
Just as the Trump administration has signaled its interest in a permanent “clean” reauthorization of the Patriot Act’s phone surveillance provision, the NSA proves once again that it is not to be trusted with these tools. New documents obtained by the ACLU and reported in the Wall Street Journal have revealed that last year the NSA once again collected phone records of Americans that it was not authorized to obtain. Section 215 is up for re-authorization in December and it's clear that it's time to let the NSA’s permission to sweep up phone records expire. If Section 215 is allowed to be reauthorized, accidents like this—in which an unthinkable amount of our personal data winds up in the hands of the government—will continue to happen.
EFF's Director of Cybersecurity, Eva Galperin, will present a briefing at this year's conference titled Hacking for the Greater Good: Empowering Technologists to Strengthen Digital Society.
As in past years, EFF staff attorneys will be present to help support the community. Be sure to stop by our information booth in the Business Hall to find out about the latest developments in protecting digital freedom. You can even sign up as an EFF member and pick up some great swag!
Registration is open now, so secure your pass and come see us! Use code 19eff4 to save $200 off Briefings: https://www.blackhat.com/us-19/registration.html
August 6, 2019 - 6:00pm to 6:55pm
Location: Underground Track
“Ask the EFF” will be a panel presentation and question-and-answer session with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, featuring Kurt Opsahl, Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel; Eva Galperin, Director of Cyber Security; Nathan ‘nash’ Sheard, Grassroots Advocacy Organizer; and India McKinney, Legislative Analyst. Half the session will be given over to question-and-answer, so it’s your chance to ask EFF questions about the law and technology issues that are important to you.
August 9, 2019 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Las Vegas, NV, USA
EFF's team of technology experts have crafted challenging trivia about the fascinating, obscure, and trivial aspects of digital security, online rights, and Internet culture. Competing teams will plumb the unfathomable depths of their knowledge, but only the champion hive mind will claim the First Place Tech Trivia Cup and EFF swag pack. The second and third place teams will also win great EFF gear.
Contest Location: Contest Stage (PH Mezzanine)
August 10, 2019 - 8:00pm to 10:00pm
Las Vegas, NV, USA
Join EFF staffers for a candid chat about how the law is racing to catch up with technological change. Then meet representatives from Electronic Frontier Alliance allied community and campus organizations from across the country. These technologists and advocates are working within their communities to educate and empower their neighbors in the fight for data privacy and digital rights. This discussion will include updates on current EFF issues such as the government's effort to undermine encryption (and add backdoors), the fight for network neutrality. We will also talk about our technology projects to spread encryption across the Web and emails, updates on cases and legislation affecting security research, and much more. Half the session will be given over to question-and-answer, so it's your chance to ask EFF questions about the law, surveillance and technology issues that are important to you.
Meetup Location: Fireside Lounge at Planet Hollywood
EFF seeks a Donor Relations Manager to build relationships and oversee routine communications with mid-level donors who have given $1,000 to $20,000 over their lifetimes. The Donor Relations Manager works under the supervision of the Associate Director of Donor Relations and with the Development Director to create and implement new strategies to delight supporters and expand EFF’s capacity to deepen relationships with donors. EFF’s Development Team of eleven raises over $12 million each year with the support of over 30,000 annual donors.
The starting salary for this position is $75,000 with an excellent benefits package including: housing cost assistance, student loan assistance, medical, dental, and vision insurance,a 403(b)(7) retirement savings program with matching, paid time off, holiday benefits, parental leave, a family and pet-friendly workplace, and more.
This is a full-time exempt position based in EFF’s offices in San Francisco.
EFF seeks a confident, experienced, and energetic manager to oversee our donation processing team of three. The group will work with over 100,000 transactions this fiscal year, representing over 30,000 annual donors. The Donor Operations Manager will join EFF's growing Development Team in their efforts to raise over $13 million each year.
This is a full-time exempt position based in EFF’s offices in San Francisco with an excellent benefits package including: housing cost assistance, student loan assistance, medical, dental, and vision insurance, a 403(b)(7) retirement savings program with matching, paid time off, holiday benefits, parental leave, a family and pet-friendly workplace, and more.
The Donor Operations Manager will manage a team whose job is to guarantee success in all steps of a supporter’s donation process: easy gift transaction, quick and friendly response to any questions, prompt acknowledgement, shipment of requested premiums, and meticulous record-keeping.
Slack stores everything you do on its platform by default. That data is not end-to-end encrypted, which means Slack can read it, law enforcement can request it, and hackers can break in and steal it. (New York Times Opinion)
A federal judge in Boston heard arguments challenging the U.S. government’s legal authority to search international travelers’ phones and laptops at the airport without a warrant or without probable cause to suspect wrongdoing. (MassLive)
Oakland’s City Council voted unanimously to ban the use of facial recognition technology by the city, including its police force. It’s the third ban of the tech by a U.S. city since May. (Gizmodo)
EFF filed a class action lawsuit against AT&T and two data brokers over their sale of AT&T customers' real-time location data. (Motherboard)