Please join EFF this Thursday, April 2, at 5pm Pacific time, for a live discussion about digital rights in the COVID-19 crisis
The pandemic has made obvious how important the Internet and digital tools are to our lives and how vital it is that we maintain an open and secure approach to them. Join EFF for a live-streamed video discussion about what we’ve seen that’s surprising us, and worrying us, about how governments, hospitals, tech companies, and individuals are fighting the spread of coronavirus, from open access science to cell phone tracking.
The U.S. is just a few months away from entering into an agreement that will allow police from the United Kingdom to get information from U.S. Internet companies—without a warrant or any other prior approval from a judge. This agreement between the U.S. and U.K. represents a serious threat to online privacy. Tell Congress to put a stop to it.
COVID-19 has trapped many of us in our homes, isolating us from family and friends and limiting our movements. But there are few people who feel the isolating impacts of COVID-19 more acutely than those who are actually incarcerated in jails and prisons across the country. It’s especially important to hear inmates in this moment, given the heightened risk COVID-19 poses to the incarcerated.
As the proposed sale of the .ORG domain registry to private equity firm Ethos Capital plays out, we see more and more why this sale was rushed through: the longer we have to look at it, the more questions we all have, and the fewer answers we get. For the second time, some of the people questioning the wisdom of this sale are members of the U.S. Congress.
It’s unthinkable that bad actors could take advantage of patent law and keep the public from getting access to COVID-19 tests and treatment, but they can and will—it already happened this month. Fortunately, an often-overlooked section of U.S. patent law allows the government to do something about it.
Verily, a healthcare data subsidiary of Google's parent company Alphabet, launched its COVID-19 screening website earlier this month. After a letter from Congress and multiple blog posts, press statements, and not one but two FAQs from Verily, users still do not have enough information about how using this service will affect their medical privacy. So, we have a few questions of our own.
Today, as we’re seeing many of our digital rights impacted by governments’ handling of COVID-19, the right to anonymity remains vital. In times of turmoil, authorities might scapegoat anonymous speakers, blaming them for societal challenges. Without anonymous speech, some lies powerful people tell would go unchecked.
Social distancing, work from home, shelter in place—these are all strategies employed in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. As parents depend on the Internet for homeschooling, as businesses depend on employees being able to work from home, and as everyone depends on the Internet for public safety information, we need to recognize that our current Internet ecosystem is failing many Americans.
Governments have not yet shown that extraordinary location surveillance powers would make a significant contribution to containing COVID-19. Unless they can, there’s no justification for their intrusions on privacy and free speech, or the disparate impact these intrusions would have on vulnerable groups. Indeed, governments have not even been transparent about their plans and rationales.
En todo el mundo, las autoridades de salud pública están trabajando para contener la propagación de COVID-19 (Enfermedad del Coronavirus 2019). En la búsqueda de esta urgente y necesaria tarea, muchas agencias gubernamentales están recogiendo y analizando información personal sobre un gran número de personas identificables, incluyendo su salud, sus viajes y sus relaciones personales.
Una gran parte del trabajo, organización y la atención del mundo se está trasladando a plataformas y herramientas digitales que faciliten la conexión y la productividad: videoconferencias, aplicaciones de mensajería, plataformas de salud y educación, y más. Es importante ser consciente de las formas en que estas herramientas pueden afectar a su privacidad y seguridad digital durante la crisis de COVID-19.
Tracking entire populations to combat the pandemic now could open the doors to more invasive forms of government snooping later.
A recent audit shows exactly what we expected to find: flaws in how the FBI applies for surveillance powers.