EFF in the News
The system has indeed worked—for the two attorneys wiretapped in this case as part of the so-called "Terrorist Surveillance Program" that the government has admitted to. But, as EFF has alleged in its cases based on widespread news reports and whistleblower evidence, the full scope of the NSA's warrantless wiretapping—cryptically referred to as "Other Intelligence Activities" in the Inspectors General report on the broader President's Surveillance Program—implicates the privacy rights of millions of Americans, rights that EFF is still seeking to vindicate in its lawsuits on behalf of AT&T customers. Both the Jewel and Hepting cases are currently on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and awaiting the scheduling of oral argument; depending on whether the government appeals yesterday's decision, the Al-Haramain case may soon be joining them.
The first example of a site being suspended comes from a blog post by the EFF’s Marcia Hofmann. The story starts with a letter sent from SiteGround to an unnamed customer, which informs them that SoftLayer has flagged the domain for AUP/ToS violations. When pressed, SiteGround told the customer that SoftLayer flagged the domain because it was hosting a mirror for WikiLeaks content.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has also become involved, telling the appeals court in a filing this week that “Chilling Effects serves the purposes of the DMCA by facilitating research and education about online copyright policy, and by making possible an evaluation of the extent to which Congress’ goals for the DMCA are being met in practice.”
According to a post by Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Marcia Hofmann on Dec. 22, a WikiLeaks mirror was shut down by its host, SiteGround, as result of pressure from its upstream provider, SoftLayer. SoftLayer claimed the mirror Wikileaks site violated the company’s Acceptable Use Policy and ToS, wrote Hofmann.
A Google search turned up at least two users who claimed their WikiLeaks mirrors had been shut down by SiteGround. While the EFF post didn’t identify the mirror’s owner by name, the stories were identical.
But “as part of a long-running court battle with Google, adult publisher Perfect 10 claims that forwarding its infringement notices to the online resource is a copyright infringement, because Perfect 10 includes its copyrighted adult images on the notifications”, says the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation).
Now, in an amicus brief, it and other founders have urged an appeals court to reject Perfect 10’s attempts to block Google’s contributions to the copyright resource.
As the copyright infringement battle between Perfect 10 and Google drags on, various Google supporters filed an amicus brief this week in response to Perfect 10’s attempt to keep Google from sending take down notices to an online copyright resource.
The brief, filed at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, rejects Perfect 10’s claim that Google is infringing on its copyright by forwarding its DMCA notices to Chilling Effects Clearinghouse because Perfect 10’s protected images are included in the notices.
The Chilling Effects Clearinghouse is a joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and various leading universities.
“Chilling Effects Clearinghouse serves an important role in the DMCA scheme, enabling scholars and members of the public to view and analyze the ways in which the DMCA takedown process is used by maintaining a public archive of DMCA notices,” the brief said.
Here’s why I think you should consider giving a year-end donation to EFF: this tiny organization manages to rack up victory after victory, year after year, in the defense of your digital rights. Just this year, they succeeded in freeing your smart phone from restrictions against jailbreaking, fought back against copyright trolls shaking down individuals for alleged infringements, and helped you take better control of your privacy on Facebook. Just this month, they scored two additional major victories: they helped convince a federal court to rule that your email is protected by the 4th amendment, and they secured better protection for your cell phone location information. The EFF international team alone does the work of several organizations.
And because the laws are ambiguous, they "can chill legitimize activities exercised by minority groups, human rights organizations, dissidents, protesters. Those activities are essential to democracy," said Katitza Rodriguez of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The latest “set your own price” Humble Indie Bundle has made a ridiculous amount of money not only for the developers, but for the charities Child’s Play and Electronic Frontier Foundation. Cumulatively this year’s indie bundle has made well over a million dollars with over 185,000 purchases, so imagine everyone’s surprise when they realize that the bundle has been upgraded and now includes last year’s Humble Indie Bundle absolutely free!
Thanks to Wikileaks, we now have access to some of the cables sent from the US Embassy in Spain, and they show just how the US gets things done in other countries. Spanish daily El Pais reported on these cables at length and made them front-page news in Spain; for English-speaking readers, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has a helpful summary.