The Occupy Wall Street movement has already spawned sizeable protests in several major U.S. cities, and some activists have faced opposition from their local police departments, including mass arrests. Protesters of all political persuasions are increasingly documenting their protests -- and encounters with the police -- using electronic devices like cameras and cell phones. Whether at Occupy Wall Street or elsewhere, all Americans can and should exercise their First Amendment right to free speech and assembly, while intelligently managing the risks to their property and privacy. That's why EFF has put together a guide for protecting cell phones and other electronic devices.
On Oct. 18, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) will jointly call for updating U.S. privacy law to keep pace with 21st Century technology. The press conference, which is co-sponsored by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, comes the same week as the 25th anniversary of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the main federal law setting standards for government surveillance of digital technologies. ECPA -- signed at a time when mobile phones were the size of bricks and the World Wide Web didn't even exist -- is woefully outdated, and the conference will highlight how this law has failed to keep pace with technological advances.
The saga of the lost iPhone prototype -- the 2010 incident where Gizmodo obtained the unreleased iPhone from an individual who found it in a bar -- has finally concluded, yet the prosecution is still trying to score points in the media. Last year, law enforcement agents executed an illegal search warrant and raided the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen. While the prosecutors eventually conceded that neither Chen nor Gizmodo did anything wrong, the district attorney in charge took it upon himself to deride the quality of the improperly-seized correspondence between the Gizmodo editors, describing it as "juvenile." Illegally breaking into the home of a journalist and seizing his property is profoundly troubling and the prosecutor owes Chen and Gizmodo an apology, not snide commentary.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron, in conjunction with the Christian organization Mothers' Union, is working on a plan with four of Britain's major ISPs to block access to pornography, gambling, self-harm, and other blacklisted websites for minors. This plan lacks transparency and raises serious privacy concerns for Internet users throughout the UK.
Despite overwhelming support from the California state legislature, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have required police officers to get a warrant before searching through an arrested suspect’s cell phone. The bill, SB 914, upheld basic constitutional principles, maintaining Fourth Amendment protection for content such as call logs, text messages, emails, photo albums, Internet browsing history and GPS location information.
Eight countries signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and the remaining three issued a joint statement affirming their intentions to sign it “as soon as practicable.” EFF has significant concerns over provisions in ACTA that negatively affect citizens’ privacy, freedom of expression, and fair use rights.
On October 11, Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad reached the 50th day of his hunger strike. Arrested in March, Sanad was later sentenced by a military court to three years in prison for accusing the military of having conducted virginity tests on female protesters -- a charge later found to be true -- and stating that "the army and the people are not one." EFF reiterates our call for the immediate release Maikel Nabil Sanad.
Supporters of Canada’s fishy “lawful access” legislation were foiled on September 20th when they were pressured to withdraw proposed warrantless digital surveillance measures from an omnibus crime bill, but Canadian Justice officials say they are “committed to reintroducing” the legislation. The legislative proposals would allow Canadian authorities to force Internet service providers to disclose private customer data without a warrant. We must halt this assault on civil liberties in Canada.
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Current members and donors of EFF are invited to a sneak peak at our future home on Mission Street! Enjoy complimentary refreshments and help us kick a keg before touring this colorful three-story former video production studio of questionable repute.
Date: October 18, 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Join Google, CDT, ACLU, EFF, CEI, TechFreedom, CCIA, and Americans for Tax Reform at the capital's most awesome party and help us update ECPA for the digital age.
Date: October 20, 2011
Location: Washington, DC
EFF's web developer, Micah Lee, will present a case study about Drupal and CRM integrations for non-profits at the Bay Area Drupal Camp Non-Profit Summit, as well as lead a discussion group about privacy issues for non-profits.
Date: October 21, 2011
Location: The Marsh, Berkeley
Join EFF at the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference, examining and exploring how the high-tech industry can better plan for and manage the human rights implications of their technologies.
Date: October 25-26, 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA