EFF in the News
The plaintiffs are represented by Electronic Frontier Foundation in a class action that was filed in the Northern District of California.
A digital-rights watchdog, EFF has asserted that there is ample evidence of the mass collection of Americans' records through a program known as Domestic Internet Backbone Surveillance. The case has included evidence from whistleblower Mark Klein, a former AT&T technician who discovered that the telecommunications company was routing Internet traffic to a secret NSA room in San Francisco.
“CISPA is nearly identical to CISA. The bill approaches information sharing from the same framework,” Mark Jaycox, an analyst with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said. “The Senate bill [CISA] is just smarter with workarounds.”
In remarks, Mark Jaycox, legislative analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, called the bill “fundamentally flawed due to its broad immunity clauses, vague definitions, and aggressive spying authorities.”
“The passage of CISA reflects the misunderstanding many lawmakers have about technology and security. Computer security engineers were against it. Academics were against it. Technology companies, including some of Silicon Valley’s biggest like Twitter and Salesforce, were against it,” said Jaycox.
David Greene, an attorney for Respublika with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said in an interview that neither he nor his colleagues had heard of a case in which a foreign government used the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for this purpose.
...Greene called Kazakhstan's lawsuit "especially egregious" because sought an injunction against unknown individuals.
"It's being used to attack whistle-blower activity writ large," he said.
Gillula said drones have been around a long time, and showed pictures of a Hewitt-Sperry Automatic Airplane (1918); Ryan Firebee (1951); and Bell Quad quadrotors (1922-2010). Batteries are the area of greatest change. Drones used to be gas-powered, but now, the electronics and the software are rapidly becoming smaller and cheaper.
Drones' increasing versatility and reduced price means they're not only toys, but powerful tools for inspecting utility lines, or use in journalism, art shows, agriculture, animal protection (surveilling poachers) and law enforcement.
Gillula said law enforcement uses may lead to natural versions: drones disguised to resemble hummingbirds.
"How can we get them to perch on power lines and recharge themselves? I kid you not, researchers are looking into it."
Zhu, who works on a series of cryptographic initiatives and with the Electronic Frontier Foundation created a proof-of-concept site to showcase the exploit, since dubbed "Sniffly".
"With security breaches like T-Mobile, Target, and [the US government's Office of Personnel Management] becoming the norm, Congress knows it needs to do something about cybersecurity," Mark Jaycox of the Electronic Frontier Foundation said in a statement Tuesday. "It chose to do the wrong thing."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which argued strongly for these changes, gave qualified approval to the LoC's moves. "We're pleased that the Librarian of Congress granted our petition to give some legal clarity to players, museums, and archives who keep old games running," EFF Senior Staff attorney Mitch Stoltz told Ars Technica. "This exemption will help preserve classic games in a playable form for future generations."
"We're disappointed that the Librarian decided to limit the exemption to games that aren't playable at all without an authentication server," Stoltz continued, "because the heart of many games is online multiplayer mode, and preserving multiplayer play should not have to happen under a legal cloud. This exemption is helpful, but Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is a disastrous law that's badly in need of reform."
“Just because they’ve never objected before, there’s nothing that precludes them from raising that argument now,” Andrew Crocker, staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) told the Guardian.
“I think the biggest thing that’s changed is that a judge questioned if this was a good use of the law, and whether Apple should be compelled to have to do this. Apple’s brief, the way they explained it, is that they’ve never been a party to one of these cases. Even though they’ve complied before, they’ve never been directly involved where a judge said ‘Wait a minute. Maybe this isn’t the right use of the general-purpose All Writs Act to force them to unlock the phone.’ [Apple’s] argument is that it’s going to far to always compel a third party that has neither possession or control of this information to unlock the phone. I think that’s a really legitimate argument.”
“This ‘access control’ rule is supposed to protect against unlawful copying,” said EFF staff attorney Kit Walsh. “But as we’ve seen in the recent Volkswagen scandal – where VW was caught manipulating smog tests – it can be used instead to hide wrongdoing hidden in computer code. We are pleased that analysts will now be able to examine the software in the cars we drive without facing legal threats from car manufacturers.”
Walsh expressed disappointment the exemption would not come into force for another year. There may also be a limitation on what tinkerers can do, as the exemption does not allow for modification of “computer programs primarily designed for the control of telematics or entertainment systems for such vehicle”, though security researchers should still be allowed to poke holes in them.
“This is a significant step forward for security research and acknowledges the value research plays in protecting consumers from risk of harm. There is still more work to be done – for example the exemption is limited in its application, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act still presents many challenges – but this represents an important shift in the discussion around security research at the Government level,” added Jen Ellis, vice president of community and public affairs at Rapid7, and one of the campaigners for the exemption.
“We look forward to continuing to collaborate with both Congress and the administration to build even greater understanding of, and protections for, security research.”