How To Control Speech And Break Encryption, In Three Acts
In our 792nd issue:
Congress has resurrected the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA), a bill that would increase surveillance and restrict access to information in the name of protecting children online. Today’s version of KOSA would still require surveillance of anyone 16 and under. It would put the tools of censorship in the hands of state attorneys general, and would greatly endanger the rights, and safety, of young people online. And KOSA’s burdens will affect adults, too, who will likely face hurdles to accessing legal content online as a result of the bill.
A new U.S. Senate bill aims to remove child sexual abuse material (CSAM) from the internet. But the bill would also make it a crime to offer encryption, because it could "facilitate" the sharing of illegal child abuse material—even if there's no evidence that a platform or service intended to do so. The law would undermine digital security for all internet users, impacting private messaging and email app providers, social media platforms, cloud storage providers, and many other internet intermediaries and online services.
The EARN IT Act creates an unelected government commission, stacks it with law enforcement personnel, and then tasks it with creating “best practices” for running an internet website or app. If EARN IT passes, we’re likely to see state lawmakers step in and mandate scanning of messages and other files similar to the plan that Apple wisely walked away from last year. Digital rights supporters sent more than 200,000 messages to Congress to kill earlier versions of this bill. We’ve beaten it twice before, and we can do it again. We need your support to stop the EARN IT Act one more time.
We're piloting an audio version of EFFector's Newsletter. We hope you enjoy it!
EFF recently submitted comments with the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL) to the Oversight Board on the moderation of the Arabic word “shaheed.” EFF and ECNL’s comments address the over-moderation of the word and other Arabic-language content, particularly through the use of automated content moderation tools.
A.B. 793 seeks to protect people seeking abortion and gender-affirming care from dragnet-style digital surveillance. EFF is a proud co-sponsor of the bill, which has passed two key committees in the California Assembly. If you're a Californian who'd like to express your support for protecting the privacy of vulnerable people seeking healthcare—please speak up for this bill.
An internet that is safe for sex workers is an internet that is safer for everyone. Public interest technology lawyer Kendra Albert and sex worker, activist, and researcher Danielle Blunt join EFF’s Cindy Cohn and Jason Kelley to talk about the failures of FOSTA-SESTA, the need for encryption to create a safe internet, and how to create cross-movement relationships with other activists.
In a quiet but rapid expansion of law enforcement surveillance, U.S. cities are buying and promoting products from Georgia-based company Fusus in order to access on-demand, live video from public and private camera networks. Grocery store trips, walks down the street, and otherwise minding your own business when outside your home could soon come under the ever-present eye of the government.
In a refreshingly direct opinion, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that creating and selling virtualization software for security research is a fair use. Along the way, it provides a kind of master class in applying copyright’s fair use doctrine to functional works like computer programs.
Latin American and Spanish telecommunications companies have made important advances in their privacy policies and practices, but persistent gaps and worrying trends pose potential risks for internet and mobile phone users. We’ve released a report based on the analyses and assessment of industry practices by EFF partners over the last eight years to shed light on telecom and Internet service providers’ (ISPs) commitments to users’ privacy.
Snag our new, heavier-weight hoodie with raglan sleeves and gunmetal zipper from our shop or when you donate at the Titanium level or above.
EFF is once again excited to be back in Las Vegas for Black Hat USA August 5-10! If you are interested in submitting a talk to Black Hat, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org about any legal concerns regarding your talk or any sensitive InfoSec research you are conducting.
On May 20, No Ethics In Big Tech, a local organization in the Electronic Frontier Alliance, is hosting an online comedy night to discuss the ethical implications of technology, the latest developments in tech, and the importance of a free and independent press in the age of algorithmic news feeds.
EFF is looking for a full-time Public Interest Technology Director to lead our distributed 15-person Public Interest Technology team, including our Certbot engineers, Privacy Badger developers, and growing group of public-facing technology analysts, security researchers, and expert rabble-rousers. Applications accepted until May 19, 2023.
The UK’s Online Safety Bill aims to make the country ‘the safest place in the world to be online’, but is a threat to free expression and privacy online. EFF warns that the bill could become “a blueprint for repression around the world.”
Around the world, authorities at ports of entry are granted latitude to search and detain individuals. EFF’s Adam Schwartz discusses how law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the US seem more and more excited about this kind of end-run around the Constitution.
The Cooper Davis Act would force online services to monitor and report any mentions of illicit intoxicants. It may also give companies incentive to search private messages to find protected speech that is merely indicative of illegal behavior. EFF’s Mario Trujillo outlines the concerns.
While Americans enjoy significant freedom of speech because of the First Amendment, individuals do not have absolute free reign to use speech that internationally harasses or intimidates others. EFF’s Aaron Mackey breaks it down.
Law enforcement officials consider Rapid DNA technology as a big boost to investigative work. But there is a strong likelihood that people will be implicated for crimes that they didn’t commit based on a DNA sample. EFF’s Jennifer Lynch warns against technologies like Rapid DNA.
It’s about 1,500 miles from Austin to Sacramento, but Texas and California lawmakers are a million miles apart on how to treat private data and free speech related to reproductive health. EFF’s Jennifer Pinsof and Hayley Tsukayama explain the high stakes.