Note: An earlier published version of this EFFector incorrectly stated that EFF’s Fix It Already is calling for WhatsApp to stop “pre-installing spyware.” EFF’s spyware criticism involves Verizon, not WhatsApp. EFF is calling for WhatsApp to get consent before adding users to groups. The mistake has been corrected in this online edition of EFFector.
EFF has launched a new way to tell companies that we’re serious about the security and privacy fixes that are well-known, and eminently do-able. We’re calling it “Fix It Already,” and are asking nine different companies to bring their products in line with what consumers expect and deserve.
A few examples: Android should let users deny and revoke apps’ Internet permissions. Venmo should let users hide their friends lists. WhatsApp should get consent before users are added to a group. Facebook should leave your phone number where you put it.
We’ve also got suggestions for Apple, Slack, Twitter, Verizon, and Windows 10. Check out Fix It Already, and tell us—and these companies—what these issues mean to you.
When the FCC announced that it would repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order, a historic number of Americans spoke up, sending more than 1.6 million comments to the FCC. The fight for net neutrality has continued, in states, in the courts, and in Congress.
Earlier this month, the Save the Internet Act was introduced in both the House and the Senate. The bill would restore the protections of the 2015 Open Internet Order that we fought so hard for. Competing bills that focus solely on blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization miss the point—net neutrality is about basic fairness, not just banning three specific bad acts.
Now’s the time to tell your representatives to stand up for real net neutrality.
Article 13 is the European proposal that would make nearly every online service, community, and platform legally liable for material posted by users that infringes copyright—even if it’s up for just a few seconds.
If it passes, Article 13 will impose copyright filters that won’t stop dedicated infringers—but will have massive collateral damage. Far from protecting artists, “filters for everything” will be a bonanza for fraudsters and crooks who prey on artists.
If Article 13 passes, it’s bound to enrich large media companies, but not the artists whose works they sell. The full European Parliament will likely vote this month or next—this is our last chance to overturn this proposal.
We asked EFF supporters last month to help save Alice v. CLS Bank, the 2014 Supreme Court decision that has helped stem the tide of stupid software patents and abusive patent litigation. The Patent Office received hundreds of comments from EFF supporters telling it to do the right thing and apply the law, not narrow it. Thank you!
The Patent Office is applying new guidance that aims to undermine Alice. Last week, EFF filed its own comments opposing the new guidance. If examiners can’t apply Alice, more invalid patents will issue. The Patent Office shouldn’t be allowed to ignore case law it dislikes. With your help, we’ll keep fighting for a system that limits patent grants to actual inventions.
EFF has published The Foilies since 2015, a set of tongue-in-cheek “awards” in which we call out attempts to block transparency and retaliate against those seeking information. We also include simply ridiculous examples of government incompetence.
This year, on Sunshine Week, we have 17 award winners—courts, government agencies, police forces, and tech companies that have done what they can to obscure and hide information that should be public.
It’s time to demand that the companies making money off our personal information keep it private. Last year’s California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, was a big step in the right direction. But there’s still a lot to be done. The best way forward is “Privacy for All,” a bill introduced by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks. The Privacy for All proposal builds on the foundation of CCPA to give everyone the rights, knowledge, and power to reclaim their own privacy.
EFF stands with 30 other privacy and civil rights organizations behind Privacy for All, and its commitment to protecting our fundamental right to privacy. We'll be keeping you updated as this bill moves through the legislative process.
Portland Techno Activism 3rd Mondays, or TA3M, will host a presentation and discussion about facial recognition. This event, a combined meeting with Seattle TA3M, will start at 7:00pm at Portland's Northwest Academy.
The event is not hosted by EFF, but by Portland TA3M, a member of the Electronic Frontier Alliance.
On March 20 at Los Angeles' CRASH Space, join us for a talk about how digital rights management (DRM) has impacted the hacker and tinkerer community, and how the community can fight back.
Bring your devices to this meeting with Columbus, Ohio's FUSEFACTORY, a grassroots group in the Electronic Frontier Alliance. We'll help you improve your digital security with 1.5 hours of instruction and a half-hour hands-on lab to learn how to use password managers, 2-factor authentication, and encrypted messaging apps.
The course will take place on March 23 at 1:00pm, and has a $10 registration fee. This event is organized by FUSEFACTORY, a group that participates in the Electronic Frontier Alliance.
- Password managers
- 2 Factor Authentication (SMS, Authenticator App, and U2F Keys)
- Encrypted Messaging Apps
EFF Special Consultant Cory Doctorow is a Special Guest at the 2019 WonderCon, the Anaheim Comic-Con, which runs from March 29 to March 31. Cory will be on a multiple panels related to his work with EFF.
Join us for our third annual celebration of fascinating, obscure, and trivial minutiae of digital security, online rights, and Internet culture. It’s the ultimate technology quiz crafted by EFF experts and hosted by our very own CyberTiger Cooper Quintin.
Doors are at 6:00pm, and the quiz begins promptly at 7:00pm at San Francisco's Public Works. Space is limited, so register now!
Many thanks to Facebook and Gandi.net for being our first 2019 sponsors! There's still time to sponsor EFF’s Third Annual Tech Trivia Night. If you or your company want to learn more, please contact Nicole Puller.
EFF is looking for a litigator with an unshakeable sense of justice to join our legal team. For this position, we're looking for someone with strong interest in some combination of the following issues: privacy, free speech, freedom of information, and legal issues relevant to security research.
The ideal candidate for this position will have at least 3 years of litigation experience, though some qualified candidates may have more, or substantially more.
EFF is accepting applications for this position until March 25, 2019.
EFF seeks to hire a litigator who is excited about fostering digital creativity, justice, and innovation. Ideal candidates for this position will have substantial experience in copyright, patent, and/or trademark litigation. Experience with, or strong interest in, unfair competition, administrative law, privacy and/or First Amendment litigation is preferred but not required.
EFF is accepting applications for this position until March 25, 2019.
We're looking for a full-time Staff Technologist to work with our Browser Extensions team as a developer for Privacy Badger. This is one of our efforts to protect users’ privacy online and block tracking.
EFF is seeking a smart and motivated person with excellent organization and communication skills to provide administrative support for EFF’s Executive Team.
This role will provide executive administrative support to the Executive Director, Deputy Director, and Chief Program Officer, and will report to the Chief Program Officer.
The ideal applicant should have a minimum of two years of experience providing direct support for a senior executive or manager, excellent communication skills, and comfort with a variety of technology.
You have likely never heard of these companies, but they are hidden in the sites you visit, and are tracking your browsing behavior. (Fast Company)
US Customs and Border Protection is creating a "biometric entry-exit system" that threatens privacy on a mass scale. Much facial recognition data isn't reliable at all, and agencies haven't said how they'll protect this highly sensitive information. (BuzzFeed News)
Government's expanded snooping on our digital lives is a growing threat to freedom of expression and privacy. Disabled people shouldn't have to fear they will lose benefits because of old photos. (New York Times)
Local governments in places like Merced and Union City, California, are giving their residents' personal information to U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE), even when it violates privacy laws or sanctuary policies. (ACLU.org)