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A New Chapter in the Fight for Digital Rights

By Alec Finch - Courtesy of the EFF 7th May 2015

A New Chapter in the Fight for Digital Rights


This very special EFFector is a letter from our new executive director, Cindy Cohn.

In 1993, EFF founder John Gilmore approached me with an unusual proposition: he asked if I would serve as lead outside attorney working with a fairly new organization—the Electronic Frontier Foundation—on a case challenging the U.S. export restrictions against cryptography. Bernstein v. Department of Justice took over seven years to work its way through the courts, but eventually became the landmark case that first established that computer code is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment. It was a watershed moment for Internet law, and for my life.

As Bernstein was entering its final phase, EFF’s newly-appointed Executive Director Shari Steele offered me the job of legal director. It was the opportunity of a lifetime. As legal director for the last 15 years, I’ve worked on cases that ensured ongoing protection for civil liberties in our increasingly digital, networked world. As attacks materialized via copyright, patents, computer security hysteria, electronic voting machines, and more, we fought for digital freedom. This was all possible because of the leadership of my dear friend and our executive director of 15 years, Shari Steele.

Shari has accepted a role on EFF’s board of directors, and now I’m stepping up to fill her shoes as EFF’s new executive director. I want to share with you my vision for the future of EFF’s work, and how you can help us be even stronger.

EFF is committed to a world where you are free to make your voice heard, access information, participate in culture, have a private conversation, join with others to make political change, or develop cool technology—a world where you’re free to take advantage of the opportunities that digital tools make available to more people than ever before. Protecting privacy, free speech, association, and innovation is how we can build and maintain that world.

Right now, our top objective is to end mass surveillance of our digital communications by government agencies like the NSA and ensure that the basic privacy and associational rights—along with our security—are strengthened, even as governments gain access to powerful new tracking tools. We have ground-breaking lawsuits to fight this surveillance in the courts, but we’re also developing software to help you regain control over your privacy and make the Internet more secure. And because we have come to rely on platforms for much of what we do on the Internet, we’re pushing companies to make security features available and easy to use. We’re working with partners around the world to defend the privacy of people worldwide, including updating national laws for the digital age and helping to bring digital privacy issues before the United Nations. And we’re extending our focus to the surveillance that happens in the streets, addressing the threats represented by irresponsible implementations of facial recognition, biometrics, license plate readers, and more.

Reining in surveillance is only possible with real government transparency. That’s why EFF is kicking off a major campaign this year to fight against what is known as over-classification, hiding documents away from the public. This problem has plagued our democracy for years and prevented reform in other areas. And we’ll continue our transparency work in the courts, including using the Freedom of Information Act and challenging overbroad secrecy that too often accompanies government demands for information about users.

As our lives have become increasingly digital, the greatest free speech battles of our time have moved online. Over the last few years, we’ve seen attacks on free speech dressed up as fights over copyright policy, international trade agreements, anonymity, and network neutrality. EFF intends to stay on the cutting edge of the free speech fight, ensuring that our rights to publish and access content will be enhanced—not diminished—as our use of technology grows. And through initiatives like our DRM-eradicating Apollo 1201 Project, international copyright work, and patent busting, we’ll continue to protect our right to innovate and enjoy remarkable new technologies.

For 15 years, I’ve helped guide and grow EFF’s legal team, and I’m deeply honored to have a chance to step into the role of executive director. I may be at the helm, but the organization’s accomplishments are driven forward by the hard work of our staff—attorneys, activists, and technologists—who have dedicated their lives to defending civil liberties.

But we don't do this alone. The heroes of this movement are the more than 25,000 members joining us to fight for a better digital future. We’re grateful, and we’ve all been lucky. As threats to our digital rights have grown, the scope and profile of the digital rights movement has grown to meet those challenges. Given what we’re facing, I’d like to see our membership double to match the emerging, world-spanning hazards and ensure that we can continue to combat them effectively.

Please join us in fighting for digital rights. We’ve got major battles ahead, including a showdown in Congress over NSA reform, major legal struggles around software patents, surveillance, and copyright, and some extraordinary technical projects. There are many essential ways to participate and protect the future of privacy and free speech: educate people about the importance of their digital rights, speak out in our campaigns, and become a donating member to strengthen this vital, future-focused movement for users’ rights worldwide.

For a better digital future,

Cindy Cohn
EFF Executive Director


Electronic Frontier Foundation!

Let the Sun Shine on Government Records


"There can be no faith in government if our highest offices are excused from scrutiny - they should be setting the example of transparency." - Edward Snowden

It's Sunshine Week—an annual celebration of government transparency and access to public records. Government transparency is one of our core values, and EFF has been fighting in the courts for greater access to records about mass surveillance, drone flights in the United States, misconduct by intelligence agencies, government efforts to expand electronic surveillance, and much more.

To celebrate Sunshine Week this year, we're introducing The Foilies, our "awards" for the most outrageous responses to Freedom of Information Act requests. We solicited suggestions from our members and friends, and found some remarkable and absurd government excuses for keeping the public in the dark:

Round 1: Foiled by process
Round 2: Absurd responses from law enforcement agencies
Round 3: Ridiculous redactions and records errata
Round 4: Retaliations and consequences

EFF Updates

EFF Outlines Plan to Fix the Broken Patent System

EFF released a new whitepaper outlining the problems with the U.S. patent system and how Congress and the White House can mitigate the impact of vague patents and patent trolls. The "Defend Innovation" whitepaper is the culmination of two-and-a-half years worth of research, drawing from the stories, expertise, and ideas of more than 16,500 people who agree that the current patent system is broken. Read our report.

Are Your Devices Hardwired for Betrayal?

Kaspersky Lab recently released a report demonstrating for the first time that firmware-based attacks have been used in the wild by malware authors. This should serve as a wake-up call to security professionals and the hardware industry in general: firmware-based attacks are real and their numbers will only increase. If we don't address this issue now, we risk facing disastrous consequences.

Blurred Lines Copyright Verdict is Bad News for Music

A federal jury in Los Angeles found that the 2013 song "Blurred Lines" was an infringement of Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up" composition from 1977. Following the 7-million-dollar verdict, professional musicians are waking up to a fact that ordinary Internet users have long known: our overbearing copyright laws are a threat to creativity.

Will the U.S. Senate Allow Big Media to Hold Blind People for Ransom?

Congress should ratify the Marrakesh Treaty, which would help create global limitations to copyright that would improve accessibility for people who are blind or have other reading disabilities. But in an act of craven cynicism, the copyright lobby is trying to tie its passage to another agreement—the Beijing Treaty—which could fatten Hollywood profit margins by creating a new thicket of restrictions on audiovisual works.

Net Neutrality Order is a Win, with a Few Blemishes

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 in favor of net neutrality rules. As promised, the rules start by putting net neutrality on the right legal footing, which means they have a much stronger chance of surviving the inevitable legal challenge. There's much to appreciate, including bright line rules against blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization of Internet traffic. Nonetheless, we remain concerned about certain elements—including the "general conduct" rule.


A Blimp to Protest TPP

Senator Ron Wyden has been getting an unexpected guest showing up outside his recent town hall meetings: a friendly blimp, flown by our friends at Fight for the Future. The blimp is flying high to urge the senator to continue his record of defending Internet rights by opposing attempts to fast track the Trans Pacific Partnership.

CITIZENFOUR Wins Oscar for Best Documentary

CITIZENFOUR, Laura Poitras' riveting documentary following Edward Snowden's journey as he blew the whistle on mass surveillance by the NSA, won an Oscar for best documentary. The film is available on iTunes, HBO, and in some theaters.

ACLU and Wikimedia Sue Over NSA Internet Surveillance

A new ACLU lawsuit challenges dragnet NSA spying on behalf of Wikimedia and a broad coalition of educational, human rights, legal, and media organizations whose work depends on the privacy of their communications.

Supported by Members

Our members make it possible for EFF to bring legal and technological expertise into crucial battles about online rights. Whether defending free speech online or challenging unconstitutional surveillance, your participation makes a difference. Every donation gives technology users who value freedom online a stronger voice and more formidable advocate.

Please consider becoming an EFF member today.

Donate Today


Editor: Rainey Reitman, Activism Director

EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Membership & donation queries: membership@eff.org

General EFF, legal, policy, or online resources queries: info@eff.org


MORE EFF updates


Verizon Injecting Perma-Cookies to Track Mobile Customers, Bypassing Privacy Controls

November 3, 2014 | By Jacob Hoffman-Andrews

Verizon users might want to start looking for another provider. In an effort to better serve advertisers, Verizon Wireless has been silently modifying its users' web traffic on its network to inject a cookie-like tracker. This tracker, included in an HTTP header called X-UIDH, is sent to every unencrypted website a Verizon customer visits from a mobile device. It allows third-party advertisers and websites to assemble a deep, permanent profile of visitors' web browsing habits without their consent.

Verizon apparently created this mechanism to expand their advertising programs, but it has privacy implications far beyond those programs. Indeed, while we're concerned about Verizon's own use of the header, we're even more worried about what it allows others to find out about Verizon users. The X-UIDH header effectively reinvents the cookie, but does so in a way that is shockingly insecure and dangerous to your privacy. Worse still, Verizon doesn't let users turn off this "feature." In fact, it functions even if you use a private browsing mode or clear your cookies. You can test whether the header is injected in your traffic by visiting lessonslearned.org/sniff or amibeingtracked.com over a cell data connection.




EFF latest news 17th October 2014

Even a Golden Key Can Be Stolen by Thieves

Law enforcement has been ablaze with indignation since Apple first announced three weeks ago that it was expanding the scope of what types of data would be encrypted on devices running iOS 8. When Google followed suit and announced that Android L would also come with encryption on by default, it only added fuel to the fire. But these decisions, first and foremost, are about protecting the security of users. These companies have made a sound engineering decision to make mobile security as strong as they know how, by bringing it in line with laptop and desktop security.

In Hotfile Docs, Warner Hid References to "Robots" And Its Deliberate Abuse of Takedowns

After months of delay, Warner has finally released documents detailing its notice-and-takedown practices. The information was filed under seal in the now-defunct Hotfile litigation until a federal court, prompted by a motion from EFF, ordered Warner to produce them for the public. These documents confirm the movie studio's abuse of the DMCA takedown process. They describe Warner "robots" sending thousands of infringement accusations to sites like the now-closed Hotfile without human review, based primarily on filenames and metadata rather than inspection of the files' contents. They also show that Warner knew its automated searches were too broad and that its system was taking down content in which Warner had no rights--likely a violation of the DMCA.

ComputerCOP: The Dubious 'Internet Safety Software' That Hundreds of Police Agencies Have Distributed to Families

For years, local law enforcement agencies around the country have told parents that installing ComputerCOP software is the "first step" in protecting their children online. But as official as it looks, ComputerCOP is actually just spyware, generally bought in bulk from a New York company that appears to do nothing but market this software to local government agencies. In the course of investigating and documenting the spread of that software through some 245 agencies in 35 states, EFF has conducted a security review of ComputerCOP and determined it is neither safe nor secure.

EFF Updates

They Fight Surveillance - And You Can Too

EFF has launched two projects to help you fight "privacy nihilism"--to show that despite the skepticism of your friends and colleagues, you can do something. In Counter-Surveillance Success Stories, we've collected examples of individuals and small groups who have chosen to battle unlawful spying in their own countries--and have won. And on our new I Fight Surveillance site, we're showcasing individuals from around the world who are taking a stand.

For Shame: Gannett Abuses DMCA to Take Down Political Speech

Like clockwork, another news organization is abusing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's hair-trigger take down process to stifle political commentary just when that commentary is most timely. A Kentucky newspaper's editorial board live-streamed an interview with a Democratic candidate for Senate, and captured 40 uncomfortable seconds of her trying desperately to avoid admitting she voted for President Obama. A critic posted the video clip online--and the newspaper's parent company Gannett promptly took it down.

Stop the Spies: Australians Rise Up Against Mandatory Data Retention

The latest shadow over the civil liberties of Australians is a yet-unnamed mandatory data retention bill that will be introduced into the federal parliament during the week of October 27. Under the flimsy pretext that this measure is urgently needed to fight terrorism, the bill would require Australian Internet providers to scoop up highly personal information about their customers as they use the Internet and store it for two years for law enforcement agencies to access. On October 6, a grassroots website called Stop the Spies was launched to expose this threat and to mobilize ordinary Internet users to stop it.

Adobe Spyware Reveals (Again) the Price of DRM: Your Privacy and Security

The publishing world may finally be facing its "rootkit scandal." Two independent reports claim that Adobe's e-book software, "Digital Editions," logs every document readers add to their local "library," tracks what happens with those files, and then sends those logs back to the mother-ship, over the Internet, in the clear. In other words, Adobe is not only tracking your reading habits, it’s making it really, really easy for others to do so as well.

EFF Intervenes in Canadian Court Case to Protect Free Speech Online

EFF has filed a brief with the British Columbia Court of Appeal in Canada weighing in on a ruling that Google must block certain entire websites from its search results around the world. Such a broad injunction sets a dangerous precedent, especially where the injunction is likely to conflict with the laws of other nations. In its brief, EFF explains how the trial court's decision would have likely violated the U.S. Constitution and constituted an improper "mandatory injunction" under case law in California, where Google is based. By blocking entire websites, Canadian courts potentially censor innocent content that U.S. Internet users have a constitutional right to receive.

DEFCON Router Hacking Contest Reveals 15 Major Vulnerabilities

A DEFCON contest to find vulnerabilities in consumer router software this summer was hugely successful: participants discovered 15 "zero-day" vulnerabilities, including seven that allow full takeover. Those bugs have all been disclosed to the manufacturers, but fixes have been slow to roll out.


Listen: Audio from [UNDER SEAL] v. Holder, EFF's National Security Letter case

EFF squared off last week against the Department of Justice in the Ninth Circuit on behalf of gagged recipients of national security letters. The court has published an audio recording of that hearing.

NSA Mind-Bender: We Won't Tell You What Info We Already Leaked to the Media

In Wired, Kim Zetter reports that the National Security Agency has refused to release information in response to a FOIA request about the agency's authorized leaks to the media.

NSA's Director of Civil Liberties and Privacy's new report on Executive Order 12333 [pdf]

Rebecca J. Richards, the director of NSA's Civil Liberties and Privacy Office, has issued an overview of the civil liberties protections built into the agency's signals intelligence programs.

Supported by Members

Our members make it possible for EFF to bring legal and technological expertise into crucial battles about online rights. Whether defending free speech online or challenging unconstitutional surveillance, your participation makes a difference. Every donation gives technology users who value freedom online a stronger voice and more formidable advocate.

Please consider becoming an EFF member today.

Donate Today


Editor: Parker Higgins, Activist

EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Membership & donation queries: membership@eff.org

General EFF, legal, policy, or online resources queries: info@eff.org

Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged. MiniLinks do not necessarily represent the views of EFF.

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Illegal Spying Below

EFF teamed up with Greenpeace and the Tenth Amendment Center to launch an airship over the NSA's sprawling Utah data center earlier this summer. Now acclaimed filmmaker Brian Knappenberger has documented our campaign in a short, powerful video. Check out the video and share it with your friends.

Eff and Greenpeace


The Senate USA FREEDOM Act: A First Step Towards Reforming Mass Surveillance

Senator Patrick Leahy introduced a revised version of his NSA reform bill, the USA FREEDOM Act of 2014, which focuses on telephone record collection and FISA Court reform. While this bill is not a comprehensive solution to overbroad and unconstitutional surveillance—and we've outlined some of our concerns—it is a strong first step. EFF urges Congress to support passage of the bill without any amendments that will weaken it.

UNSEALED: The US Sought Permission To Change The Historical Record Of A Public Court Proceeding

On June 6, the court in our flagship NSA spying case, Jewel v. NSA, held a long hearing in a crowded, open courtroom, widely covered by the press. We were even on the local TV news on two stations. At the end, the Judge ordered both sides to request a transcript since he ordered us to do additional briefing. But when it was over, the government sought permission to “remove” classified information from the transcript, and even indicated that it wanted to do so secretly, so the public could never even know that they had done so.

EFF Updates

Introducing EFF's Stupid Patent of the Month

In an effort to highlight the problem of stupid patents, we’re introducing a new blog series, Stupid Patent of the Month, featuring spectacularly dumb patents that have been recently issued or asserted. With this series, we hope to illustrate by example just how badly reform is needed—at the Patent Office, in court, and in Congress. In other stupid patent news, we've submitted comments to the Patent Office asking it to end the flood of grants to bad applications.

Front Lines of the Open Access Fight: Colombian Student's Prosecution Highlights the Need for Fundamental Policy Reforms

Diego Gomez is a Colombian graduate student who faces four to eight years in prison for sharing another researcher's thesis online. His story is only one of countless many, but it highlights the problems facing students and academics who are simply trying to access works to further their studies.

Hate Your ISP? Maybe You Need Community Fiber

Between the net neutrality debate and the Comcast/TWC merger, high-speed Internet access is getting more attention than ever. A lot of that attention is negative, and rightly so: Internet access providers, especially certain very large ones, have done a pretty good job of divvying up the nation so that most Americans have only one or two choices for decent high-speed Internet access. But guess what: we don’t have to rely entirely on the FCC to fix the problems with high-speed internet access. Around the country, local communities are taking charge of their own destiny and supporting community fiber.

A National Consensus: Cell Phone Location Records Are Private

We've filed a new amicus brief in San Francisco federal court outlining how courts should determine what is and isn’t reasonable in our increasingly digital world. As we note, the fact that a growing number of states are extending location privacy protection to their citizens is a gauge of societal understandings that it is reasonable to expect this information to remain private. While the Fourth Amendment does not depend on state law or statutory guarantees, they are nonetheless compelling evidence of societal understandings of privacy.

Australia: You Wouldn't Steal a DVD, But You Would Block Websites and Suspend Internet Accounts

When the Australian government first began requiring Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block websites in 2012, Australians were assured that it would only be used to block the "worst of the worst" child pornography. Last week, a discussion paper was issued that proposes to extend this Web blocking regime, so that it would also block sites that facilitate copyright infringement. Funny how that always seems to happen.

One Way to Stand Against Spying: Meet With A Legislator

Elected officials rarely hear from the diverse communities of everyday people who live under the shadow of government surveillance—which includes every American. That’s why we’re encouraging people visit their Congressional offices and local representatives and demand meaningful NSA reform. After all, our political leaders are supposed to be working for us.


Ars Technica: Yahoo to begin offering PGP encryption support in Yahoo Mail service

Yahoo announced that starting in the fall of this year, the company will begin giving users the option of seamlessly wrapping their e-mails in PGP encryption.

Google: HTTPS as a ranking signal

Google has announced it will start to use HTTPS as a ranking signal—meaning it will take into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections in its search ranking algorithms.

Wikimedia Foundation: Transparency Report

The Wikimedia Foundation's first transparency report sheds light on the requests it receives—both for data about users, and to alter or remove content—and how it processes those requests.

Supported by Members

Our members make it possible for EFF to bring legal and technological expertise into crucial battles about online rights. Whether defending free speech online or challenging unconstitutional surveillance, your participation makes a difference. Every donation gives technology users who value freedom online a stronger voice and more formidable advocate.

Please consider becoming an EFF member today.

Donate Today


Editor: Parker Higgins, Activist

EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Membership & donation queries: membership@eff.org

General EFF, legal, policy, or online resources queries: info@eff.org

Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged. MiniLinks do not necessarily represent the views of EFF.

Back issues of EFFector

Change your email address

This newsletter is printed from 100% recycled electrons.

EFF appreciates your support and respects your privacy. Privacy Policy.

Dear Friend of Digital Freedom,


You might have heard: last week Senator Leahy introduced a bill that would put new limits on NSA surveillance. If the USA FREEDOM Act of 2014 (S. 2685) passes, it will be the first law to limit the NSA's spying power in almost thirty years.

The new Senate version of the USA FREEDOM Act would:

  • End the NSA's illegal collection of millions of Americans' telephone records by amending one of the worst provisions of the PATRIOT Act, Section 215
  • Create a panel of special advocates that can argue for privacy and civil liberties in front of the FISA Court, the secret court that approves the NSA's surveillance plans
  • Provide new reporting requirements so that the NSA is forced to tell us how many people are actually being surveilled under its programs, including the program that allows the NSA to see the contents of Americans’ communications without a warrant

At EFF, we're always skeptical when Congress tries to pass legislation that affects our online rights, and we're doubly cautious when it comes to bills that are aimed at secretive national security practices. This bill is no exception. We recognize that this bill is imperfect: it fails to address many of the problems of NSA surveillance (such as the NSA's practice of tapping the links between Google and Yahoo's data centers) while providing only partially fixes for other surveillance problems (like exempting the FBI from some the important reporting requirements). It also has several provisions that could be misused in ways that will be difficult to detect.

Real victory will be when the NSA ends all of its practices of mass surveillance, stops seeking secret legal interpretations about laws that affect all of us, respects the privacy rights of Internet users regardless of their nationality, ceases its campaign to undermine international encryption standards, and respects the Constitution. We'll keep pushing to that end in Congress and elsewhere around the world.

But in the meantime, the USA FREEDOM Act is a step down the path toward that victory. It addresses several of the NSA’s current bad practices and does several things—including changes to the FISA Court and increased reporting—we could not reasonably accomplish by litigation alone. If we can pass this bill, we can show Congress and the world that the anti-surveillance movement is able to organize in defense of our rights and we'll create space and political momentum for future reforms in Congress and elsewhere.

Please join us in demanding reform to mass surveillance:

  1. Visit Stand Against Spying and tweet at your members of Congress to demand reform.
  2. Send an email to your members of Congress.

Fighting for your digital rights,

Rainey Reitman
EFF Activism Director
Support our work.


Join the Tor Network Campaign

Courtesy of the EFF by Alec Finch 9th June 2014


Dear Friend of Digital Freedom,

Democratic activists, whistleblowers, and journalists all over the world rely on Tor to shield their identities when they use the Internet. It’s software that helps Internet users protect their anonymity and circumvent censorship. When you use Tor, your real IP address remains hidden from the sites you visit—and anybody else who might be eavesdropping.

Tor is strong code. It’s one of the few technologies reported to thwart the National Security Agency's passive surveillance practices. But Tor can only exist because of an international network of volunteers running relays.

Today the Electronic Frontier Foundation, The Tor Project, the Free Software Foundation, and the Freedom of the Press Foundation are launching a joint campaign to encourage Internet users all over the world to support the Tor network by operating relays.

We need volunteers. The more Tor relays we have running, the faster and more secure the Tor network becomes. Want to help out? Join us.

The Tor network is actively under attack. Documents released by Edward Snowden show that government agencies are spending lots of time and money trying to find ways to hack or get around Tor. From what we've seen, the NSA techniques revealed in those documents are unable to defeat the underlying structure of the network. Instead, the documents show that agencies have been forced to turn to other incidental vulnerabilities to entrap Tor users, for example by exploiting bugs in browsers and other software.

Tor remains a powerful tool against surveillance by the NSA and other government agencies. But it can only be that strong if there is a diverse, committed network of volunteers donating bandwidth to the network. Please join us in creating that future for Tor.

How to get involved: We’ve created a detailed legal FAQ about Tor and The Tor Project has a guide for setting up a Tor relay. Once you’re running a Tor relay, register your relay on our campaign page.

Already running a Tor relay? This is a great moment to increase the bandwidth of your relay. Existing relays can participate by adding at least 128 KB/s to your RelayBandwidthRate and RelayBandwidthBurst, and registering on our site.

Not ready to run a Tor relay? That’s OK. The Freedom of the Press Foundation has suggestions for other ways to help support Tor.  

Resetting the Net. Our campaign is part of a larger movement of digital rights activists across the world working to make surveillance more difficult. It’s called Reset the Net. Check out the website to learn more about the project.


Rainey Reitman
EFF Activism Director
Support our work



Latest News from the EFF!

When the Government Comes Knocking, Who Has Your Back?

When governments are after your personal data, which online services will stand up and defend it? In our fourth annual Who Has Your Back report, we look at companies' public policies and practices, so that privacy-conscious consumers can make an informed decision about who to trust with their most sensitive data. We were pleased to find out that, in a year rocked by high-profile disclosures of NSA spying reaching into our online accounts, many companies have responded by increasing their commitment to transparency, pushing back against mass surveillance, and fighting for their users. The full report goes into extensive detail about how each company performed, and what exactly our evaluation criteria were. Public policies and commitments aren't the last word when it comes to defending your privacy, but as we trust online services with more and more of our information, it's an increasingly important component. If you're concerned about your privacy from overreaching surveillance, you'll want to know: when the government comes knocking, who has your back?

It's Time to Defend Net Neutrality: Tell the FCC What you Think of its Proposed Regulations

Today the FCC met to discuss new rules that could determine the future of network neutrality. There’s been a lot of news circulating about what the FCC's plan will contain. And while we haven't seen the text of the plan yet, we know the agency is still considering a set of rules that will allow Internet providers to differentiate how we access websites. But the FCC is clearly hearing the public outcry to protect the future of the Internet. The agency announced that they are seeking comment on wider set of initiatives that would stop ISPs from setting up pay-to-play Internet fast lanes. The FCC is opening a four-month comment window to hear from people across country about how their proposed rules will effect the future of our Internet. So we must take this opportunity to speak up — early, and often. EFF has created a tool to help. Visit DearFCC.org to raise your voice and make sure the FCC is clear on this point: We don't want regulations that will turn ISPs into gatekeepers to their subscribers.

EFF Updates

Victory! Chevron Withdraws Subpoenas to Anonymous Email Users Represented by EFF and EarthRights International

EFF and EarthRights International represented Ecuadorian environmental activists, attorneys, and journalists fighting against the environmental damage caused by Chevron in Ecuador. After several court battles, Chevron agreed to withdraw subpoenas to Yahoo! and Google requesting extensive and troubling information about webmail users.

The Morality Police in Your Checking Account: Chase Bank Shuts Down Accounts of Adult Entertainers

Chase Bank sent letters to hundreds of adult entertainers informing them that their bank accounts would be shut down without giving a reason. Some are speculating that the Department of Justice's misguided "Operation Chokepoint" program may be behind the move.

International Day Against DRM: It's Time to Fix U.S. Copyright Law

Digital rights management (DRM) is technology that purportedly exists to protect against copyright infringement, but in practice limits how people use and share technology they have paid for.

We’ve Got TPP Right Where We Want It: Going Nowhere

The secrecy surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, and the massive opposition TPP has faced from all sides, appears to be stalling the negotiation process.

The White House Big Data Report: The Good, The Bad, and The Missing

We did an in-depth analysis of a big data report commissioned by President Obama. While the report addresses issues like the dangers of discrimination based on big data, it ignores others, and even has some concerning suggestions, such as likening whistleblowers to violent criminals.

EFF Calls for Release of Ethiopian Dissident Bloggers

Bloggers in Ethiopia who are critical of the government face censorship, intimidation, and pervasive surveillance. Recently, six dissident bloggers were arrested--the government of Ethiopia must release them now.

Government Plays Fast and Loose with Technology in Supreme Court Cell Phone Cases

The government's arguments in two Supreme Court cases regarding cell phone searches by law enforcement included extreme mischaracterizations both of how cell phone technology works and how people use it.

Pols to Ad Networks: Pretend We Passed SOPA, and Never Mind About Violating Antitrust Law

Members of Congress are pressuring ad networks to blacklist sites based on easy to abuse commercial definitions of "pirate sites." This mimics the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) even though public pressure ensured that SOPA did not become law, and it may very well violate federal antitrust law.

EFF Releases Alpha Version of Privacy Badger, a New Tool to Help Block Trackers and Spy Ads

EFF has released our first version of Privacy Badger, a new open source browser add-on for Firefox and Chrome that stops advertisers and other third-party trackers from secretly tracking where you go and what pages you look at on the web.


The battle against pervasive surveillance can be won – really!

Between legislative action like USA FREEDOM, direct action like Reset the Net, and legal action like EFF's NSA cases, we will see real change to the NSA.

Why I Licensed Under Creative Commons: I’m Building the World I Want to Live In

Novelist SL Huang explains how using Creative Commons licenses helps creativity thrive.

Cops Must Swear Silence to Access Vehicle Tracking System

Cops who use a private vehicle tracking database can't cooperate with the media, according to its user agreement.

Supported by Members

Our members make it possible for EFF to bring legal and technological expertise into crucial battles about online rights. Whether defending free speech online or challenging unconstitutional surveillance, your participation makes a difference. Every donation gives technology users who value freedom online a stronger voice and more formidable advocate.

Please consider becoming an EFF member today!


EFF at the Los Angeles Chapter Information Systems Security Association Summit

EFF Staff Attorney Nate Cardozo will join a panel of experts for a discussion entitled Privacy and Security in the Age of NSA and Snowden exploring corporate data collection and government spying.
Don't forget to stop by the EFF table!
DISCOUNT FOR EFF SUPPORTERS: Receive a 25% discount on registration when you use the promo code EFF_Summit_25.
May 16, 2014
Los Angeles, CA

EFF at Bitcoin 2014

EFF Activism Director Rainey Reitman and EFF Special Counsel Marcia Hofmann will give a talk on "Bitcoin as a Liberty-Enhancing Technology: Case Studies in Financial Censorship and the SOPA Saga" on Saturday May 17th. After their presentation, they will participate in a panel discussion about Bitcoin and government relations.
May 17, 2014
Amsterdam, Netherlands

EFF at Bay Area Maker Faire

Join EFF at Maker Faire Bay Area! We are proud to support the rights of modern innovators and promote the spirit of DIY creativity and freedom. Stop by the EFF Maker Faire booth to learn more and become an official EFF member.
May 18-19, 2014
San Francisco, CA

Techno-Activism Third Mondays (TA3)

Techno-Activism Third Mondays (TA3M) are informal meetups that occur on the same date in many cities worldwide. It is designed to connect techno-activists and hacktivists who work on or with circumvention tools, and/or are interested in anti-censorship and anti-surveillance technology. TA3M are held in New York, Washington, DC, Amsterdam, Portland, Tokyo, and more.
May 19, 2014
EFF Offices
815 Eddy Street, San Francisco

Personal Democracy Forum (PDF)

EFF's Rainey Reitman and Jillian York will speak at the Personal Democracy Forum. PDF brings together a thousand top opinion makers, political practitioners, technologists, and journalists from across the ideological spectrum for two days to network, exchange ideas, and explore how technology and wired citizens are changing politics, governance, and civil society.
June 5-6, 2014
New York, NY

How NSA Spying Can Affect Your Legal Case and What Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Client

EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury will give a one hour CLE presentation for the Bar Association of San Francisco, discussing how NSA and other intelligence communities gather and tip information to law enforcement agencies in routine criminal cases. He will also explain steps criminal defense attorneys can take to figure out if NSA derived evidence is being used against their clients.
June 19, 2014
Bar Association of San Francisco
301 Battery St, San Francisco, CA


Patent Trolls vs Innovation - Whos side are you on?

By Ali Kamdar - EFF 1st May 02:16

Enough delay. Congress is back in session. Let's finally put a stop to patent trolls.

The battle has moved from the House to the Senate, and your lawmakers need to hear your voice. Call your senators today using the Fix Patents tool (or dial 888-657-0866) and tell them to support much needed patent reform.

patent trolls

Instead of making anything themselves, patent trolls use overly broad patents to sue and threaten productive companies. In an attempt to dodge proposed reforms, a handful of trolls filed 184 lawsuits last Wednesday alone. Clearly, suggested bill language floating around the Senate has these bad actors shaking in their boots.

We need reform that:

  • Makes sure trolls cover legal fees when they bring frivolous cases
  • Brings transparency to patent ownership and to financial interest in trolls
  • Forces bad actors to be upfront about the basis and scope of a patent suit
  • Curbs abusive demand letters that threaten and silence small businesses
  • Stops patent trolls from abusing the expensive discovery process in litigation
  • Protects end users from patent litigation, like cafes that run Wi-Fi or offices that have networked scanners
  • Allows us to cheaply challenge low-quality patents

Ten years ago, EFF started the Patent Busting Project to stop broad patents that limit innovation. Today, we're continuing the fight by working to bust a bad patent that's being used to go after podcasters. But fighting in courts isn't enough; Congress needs to fix the law. And to make that happen, we're asking you to pick up the phone.

The Senate needs to hear from you in order to pass strong reform, and we've made it easy for you to speak up. Call your senators today at fixpatents.org, or dial 888-657-0866.


Adi Kamdar


EFF updates and events

By Alec Finch 29th April 2014 00:14 - Courtesy of the EFF


Court Win: Appeals Court Overturns Andrew "weev" Auernheimer Conviction

A federal appeals court overturned the conviction of computer researcher Andrew "weev" Auernheimer, making it clear that even in the Internet age, the location of a criminal defendant remains an important constitutional limitation. Aurnheimer was charged with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for exposing a massive flaw in AT&T's online infrastructure. Auernheimer's appeal team—made up of EFF, Professor Orin Kerr, Marcia Hofmann, and Tor Ekeland—argued that accessing a publicly available website does not constitute unauthorized access to a computer. They also argued that Auernheimer should not have been charged in New Jersey, a jurisdiction with no connection to the defendants or the allegations. He has been released from prison following the court's decision.

Tell Congress to Put an End to the NSA's Mass Spying

We keep learning more disturbing details about the true extent of NSA's mission to spy on millions of innocent people, but Congress hasn't done anything about it—yet. Contact your members of Congress and tell them that you want to see an end to the NSA's mass surveillance now.

EFF Updates

In Aereo, Supreme Court Rightly Skeptical About Becoming Technology Regulators

The Supreme Court expressed a healthy skepticism about its role in regulating new technologies in this week's oral argument in ABC v. Aereo, a case in which broadcasters are suing a company that has provided an innovative new way to watch TV.

EFF FOIA Litigation Reveals: FBI Plans to Have 52 Million Photos in its NGI Face Recognition Database by Next Year

The FBI's massive "Next Generation Initiative" database, which contains biometric data such as fingerprints and iris scans, will include 4.3 million images taken for non-criminal purposes among its 52 million photos.

Making Sure NSA Reform Survives the Gears of the DC Machine

After months of revelations about the NSA's rampant privacy and human rights abuses, there are still some hurdles for real change: legislation masquerading as reform that entrenches some of the NSA's worst practices, Obama's failure to produce actual legislative proposals, and powerful House Judiciary chair Rep. Bob Goodlatte. But these aren’t insurmountable for the USA FREEDOM Act, a bill which has the broadest support of any proposal to reform the surveillance state.

Australian Attorney General Picks Surveillance Over Fair Use on U.S. Visit

Despite recommendations from the Australian Law Reform Commission and hard evidence from copyright scholars that emphasized the benefits of meaningful fair use policies, Australia's Attorney General George Brandis used his recent trip to the United States to instead meet with enemies of fair use and NSA defenders.

EFF Asks Court To Allow Human Rights Case Against Cisco to Proceed

Cisco is being sued for its alleged role in creating highly tailored tools that allow the Chinese government to target and politically repress religious minority group Falun Gong. EFF filed a brief in the case, Doe v. Cisco Systems, in which we argued that the allegations that Cisco intentionally customized its tools to repress Falun Gong should be enough to allow the case to go forward.

LGBTQ Communities in the Arab World Face Unique Digital Threats

Members of the LGBTQ community in the Arab World use the Internet to connect with each other—often as their only choice—but they regularly face filtering, censoring, and covert online operations designed to entrap them. Fortunately, there are tools available to help them be safer online.

Answers and Questions About Military, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Agency Chatbots

We used a Freedom of Information Act request to get information about the Army's creepy recruitment chatbot, Sgt. Star. What we learned about how the government uses artificial intelligence may prove to be a chilling preview of the future of intelligence gathering.


Internet freedom in Myanmar: A curse or an opportunity?

Myanmar has shifted from a heavily restricted Internet to free access, but this shift has also led to a burst of hate speech about the Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic group.

NSA Said to Exploit Heartbleed Bug for Intelligence for Years

Two anonymous individuals told Bloomberg that the NSA knew about the Heartbleed flaw and exploited it for years, although the Office of the Director of National Intelligence flatly denied such a claim was true.

The mentality of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI undergirds today's surveillance state

The FBI deserves far more scrutiny than it receives, not only because it makes NSA surveillance possible, but also because what the domestic intelligence agency does has a far greater impact on most Americans than the NSA.

Supported by Members

Our members make it possible for EFF to bring legal and technological expertise into crucial battles about online rights. Whether defending free speech online or challenging unconstitutional surveillance, your participation makes a difference. Every donation gives technology users who value freedom online a stronger voice and more formidable advocate.

If you aren't already, please consider becoming an EFF member today.

Donate Today



Towards a Free Media in Vietnam

Global Policy Analyst Eva Galperin will speak at this EFF co-sponsored event alongside bloggers from Vietnam as part of a series of events to mark 2014 World Press Freedom Day.
May 1, 2014
Washington, DC

International Journalism Festival

EFF's Jillian York will speak on several panels at this year's International Journalism Festival. Entry to the festival is free of charge.
April 30-May 4, 2014
Perugia, Italy

re:publica 2014

EFF's Parker Higgins and Jillian York will both speak at this year's re:publica festival in Berlin.
May 6-9, 2014
Berlin, Germany

Scraping Content: the CFAA, DMCA, and Terms of Use

EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury will speak on a panel at the Media Law Resource Center's 2014 Legal Frontiers in Digital Media conference, talking about the use of the CFAA to go after data scrapers.
May 15, 2014
Mountain View, CA

Techno-Activism Third Mondays (TA3M)

Techno-Activism Third Mondays (TA3M) are informal meetups that occur on the same date in many cities worldwide. It is designed to connect techno-activists and hacktivists who work on or with circumvention tools, and/or are interested in anti-censorship and anti-surveillance technology. Currently, TA3M are held in New York, Washington, DC, Amsterdam, Portland, Tokyo, and more.
May 19, 2014
San Francisco, CA



Electronic Frontier Foundation News and Updates

By Editor 12th April 2014

Heartbleed: Yes It's Really That Bad

Security researchers this week disclosed details about a major weakness in the basic architecture of the Web. Heartbleed exploits a critical flaw in OpenSSL, which is used to secure hundreds of thousands of websites including major sites like Instagram, Yahoo, and Google. This security exploit allows an attacker to obtain sensitive information like logins and passwords, as well as session cookies and possibly SSL keys that encrypt all traffic on a site. EFF has been tracking this issue closely, and we’ve put together guides for how systems administrators and website operators can take immediate action to secure their systems. We've also analyzed logs that seem to indicate intelligence agencies have exploited the vulnerability. We’ll have more on Heartbleed in the coming days; watch the EFF Twitter account for updates.

Students & Community Activists: Start Organizing for Digital Rights Locally

EFF has unveiled new tools to help student and community activists engage in campaigns to defend digital rights. Our exciting new resources include a mailing list, media tips, graphics, handy one page issue sheets, and more, so it's easy for you to take part, no matter how much organizing experience you have. EFF is also traveling across the country to help engage organizers, with a special focus on campus activism. Together, we're going to make history.

Why Fusion Centers Matter: FAQ

Fusion centers are state and local intelligence hubs that feed unconstitutionally collected intelligence information from local law enforcement to federal agencies like the FBI and DOJ. These centers also send intelligence information collected by federal agencies down to local law enforcement--including, potentially, unminimized NSA data. Fusion centers are known to promote racial profiling and political oppression, while wasting taxpayer money and churning out useless "intelligence." But change might be on the horizon: one locality has already passed regulations limiting fusion centers.

EFF Updates

The Patent Reform We Need to See from the Senate

Senate debates on patent reform seem to be missing the core issues that need to be addressed. Patent reform must address patent quality, protect end-users of technology from being targeted, increase transparency of patent ownership, and crack down on misleading demand letters that allege patent infringement. We also want to see reform of patent lawsuits, including heightened pleading standards for patent lawsuits, an end to discovery abuse, and fee shifting that discourages patent trolls from frivolous lawsuits. We need to tell the Senate that the time for reform is now.

Reforming Terms of Service: Microsoft Changes Its Policy on Access to User Data

In mid-March, we wrote about Microsoft conducting a warrantless search of a blogger's Hotmail account as part of an internal investigation into the alleged theft of Microsoft trade secrets. After our post, we were pleased to hear that Microsoft would be reforming its terms of service so that they will now seek a warrant in such cases. Microsoft has also proposed a project that will bring together EFF, Center for Democracy, technology companies, and other privacy advocates to address this problem industry-wide.

The Trials and Tribulations of Secure Free Software for the European Parliament

In the light of revelations about NSA and GCHQ spying that has targeted European leaders, the European Parliament has discussed shifting to DebianParl, a version of Linux intended for parliaments that would offer increased security. This would be a positive step but would require some significant shifts with the participation of the Parliament's IT department.

An NSA "Reform Bill" of the Intelligence Community, Written by the Intelligence Community, and for the Intelligence Community

Representatives Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger, two of the NSA's biggest defenders, have introduced an NSA "reform" bill that, in some ways, really just makes mass collection easier. The only genuine positive change in this bill is that it ends the government collection of all Americans' calling records using Section 215 of the Patriot Act. However, the bill also creates an new, ill-defined process that potentially enables even more collection. The problems with this bill come as no surprise, and it is clear that bills such as the USA FREEDOM Act are far superior.

Bringing Transparency and Democracy to the US Trade Representative

Leaks are no substitute for integral transparency, something sorely lacking for the United States Trade Representative. The negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the more recent Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP, or TAFTA) have made this issue crystal clear. The USTR is attempting to create public policy without the public. There appear to be substantive problems with TPP and TTIP, and there has been a strong push for transparency.

Philippines: Inching Toward Censorship

Philippines' Cybercrime Prevention Act criminalizes a broad swath of behavior on the internet, including anonymous online criticism. Activists have protested this draconian law, and the Philippine Supreme Court ruled that parts of the act are unconstitutional. Unfortunately, much of the law was left untouched, and it appears to be part of a move in the Phillipines towards internet censorship.

Court Orders Government Not to Destroy Evidence in EFF Cases Against the NSA

In an emergency hearing last month, the government tried to argue that it should not be required to preserve evidence of dragnet collection of all call records. While we believe the case can go forward without evidence of each individual being surveilled, we also can’t allow the government to simultaneously insist the evidence is necessary and destroy that evidence. On March 21st, the court ruled in our favor.

There Are Lots of Legit Reasons to Look at Pornography: New Restrictions on NIH Grants Are Unscientific And Possibly Illegal

A new mandate forces researchers who rely on National Institute of Health funding to place anti-pornography filters on their computer networks. It's clear that essential scientific research is hindered by this restriction.

EFF to Receive 10% of HOPE X Ticket Proceeds

Throughout April, the Electronic Frontier Foundation will receive 10% of ticket proceeds for HOPE X, the tenth biennial Hackers On Planet Earth conference founded by 2600 Magazine.


Edward Snowden: US government spied on human rights workers

In live testimony via video, Edward Snowden told the Council of Europe that the NSA deliberately spied on groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Bay of Tweets: USAID's boneheaded idea to secretly make a “Cuban Twitter”

USAID's "ZunZuneo",a social media project aimed at creating social change in Cuba, has justified the cries of authoritarian governments that their online critics are "foreign agents."

Reuters: NSA infiltrated RSA security more deeply than thought -- study:

Academic researchers have discovered a new tool the NSA may have used to undermine RSA encryption.



Electronic Frontier Foundation and The day we fight back!

Editor Fluxradio 17:53


We are not going to put the javascript on fluxradio, but just look at the countdown!

On https://thedaywefightback.org/?r=eff


11 February 2014

Look who supports the case against the NSA.

The fight

Fluxradio is proud to support the EFF and https://thedaywefightback.org and they have full permission to use our logo as well.

Bang on people! we love you!

Fluxradio will do an update once the campaign gets fully underway.


Electronic Frontier Foundation - latest news

By Alec Finch 23rd January 2014 @ 23:28

I am pleased to pass on the lastest information from the EFF... thanks to all the staff at EFF and Editor!


In our 654th issue:

Rating Obama's NSA Reform Plan: the EFF Scorecard


President Obama announced Friday how his administration plans to respond to the damage caused by overbroad and illegal U.S. government mass surveillance. Unfortunately, Obama's proposed reforms are only a drop in the bucket of what must be done if he is at all serious about safeguarding the basic privacy rights of non-suspicious people being spied on by the NSA worldwide. In the scorecard we created to assess the president's announcement, we offered 1 point for each common-sense fix that would meaningfully address the abuses of NSA mass spying. Obama scored a disappointing 3.5 out of 12 possible points.


Supreme Court to Tackle Big Questions in Patent and Copyright Law

This year got off to an exciting start when the Supreme Court decided to consider three copyright and patent cases in which EFF plans to file amicus briefs. One case, ABC, Inc. v. Aereo, deals with the future of innovation in television technology and broadcasting. In the Limelight Networks v. Akamai Technologies case, the court could decide to create a new, undeserving category of potential third-party defendants. And finally, in Nautilus v. Biosig Instruments EFF is urging the court to affirm the need for patent claims to be drafted in the clearest, most precise language possible and rule against the practice of vaguely worded patents.


Vietnamese Malware Gets Very Personal


EFF has been tracking and analyzing state-sponsored malware for years. Having just finished a two-years-in-the-making report on malware used by pro-Syrian government hackers against opposition forces, we were shocked to hear that two of our activists were targeted by a Vietnamese malware attack that also appears to be state-sponsored. We took the opportunity to lay out the anatomy of a malware attack.

EFF Updates

Copyright Week: We're From the Internet, and We're Here to Help


In remembrance of the two-year anniversary of the SOPA blackout protests, EFF took a hard look at some of the key principles that should guide copyright reform, and we invited friends from across the Internet to join us. The result: more inspiring, deep conversations on the complexities of copyright policy than we ever imagined. Visit the Copyright Week webpage to endorse the principles and read the dozens of fascinating contributions from organizations like Public Knowledge, Creative Commons, and the American Library Association.

Transparency Is Fundamental to Good Copyright Policy

The issue of transparency in copyright policy has moved to the front of conversations around the world due to the controversy surrounding the super-secret international negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Secret political negotiations are toxic for democracy, and the TPP threatens to export horrible, out-of-touch intellectual property policies across the globe, without any public debate.

The Law Belongs In the Public Domain

More often than we might imagine, the laws that govern us are not available for the public, journalists, or researchers to access for free. Laws that are not in the public domain are antithetical to any good faith effort to establish political accountability. That's why EFF is representing Public.Resource.Org, an organization that publishes legal and government documents for all to access.

Newly Passed Appropriations Bill Makes Even More Publicly Funded Research Available Online

Hidden within the 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill passed by Congress last week was a huge win in the fight for open access to publicly funded research. Specifically, the bill requires a large handful of federal agencies, including the Department of Education, to make access to articles that stem from federally funded research accessible to the public and online within 12 months of publication. It's a good start, but we're pushing for reform that would go even farther by granting the public full access to taxpayer-funded research.

You Bought It, You Own It! Time to Reclaim the Right to Use/Tinker/Repair/Make/Sell/Lend Your Stuff

Users don't just need to "access" the devices and media we purchase. We need to own them. And by own, we mean that we need the ability to tinker, repair, learn from, and share our digital goods. When users are dependent on corporations to properly understand and utilize the technology they purchase, planned obsolesce leads to wasted money and electronic waste pile-up. Meanwhile, fair use is stifled, and innovation is discouraged by the threat of ending up in court.

Celebrating Fair Use for Copyright Week

Fair use has long been defended as a cornerstone of freedom of speech. But despite the fact that the public interest value of fair use has been repeatedly affirmed in the courts, established media and technology companies are using filters that detect and block non-infringing copies online, closing the door on fair use claims before there's an opportunity to resist.

Getting Copyright Right for the 21st Century

It's time assert ourselves and demand meaningful copyright reform, grounded in fairness, rationality, and strong democratic principles that enables and encourages creativity. Together, we'll fix copyright and defend our freedom online. Join us.


NSA collects millions of text messages daily in 'untargeted' global sweep

According to newly available, leaked documents, the NSA collaborates with GCHQ to collect somewhere around 200 million text messages a day. The program is codenamed DISHFIRE, and is another case of governments trying to make the hollow distinction between rights violated by the bulk collection of user data and rights violated when that data is queried. Both are ruinous for privacy

A 'FEMA-level fail': The law professor who coined 'net neutrality' lashes out at the FCC's legal strategy

Tim Wu offers his perspective on the recent decision that struck down the FCC's authority to regulate Internet Service Providers to follow network neutrality principles as ISPs are currently classified. With this ruling, companies like Verizon now have the power to slow down or throttle data from any website that travels to Verizon customers, a power that threatens the future of an open Internet.

What Happened to Transparency?

The New York Times editorial board joined us in lamenting the federal court's awful decision to allow the Department of Justice to continue to keep the interpretation of surveillance law by the Office of Legal Counsel a secret. It was a bad day for democracy, but we've taken the opportunity to renew our vow to keep fighting to disclose vitally important legal opinions to the public.

How To Opt Out of Gmail's Google Plus Integration

Google added a new feature that sends an email in your Gmail inbox if someone sends a message to your Google Plus account, even if they don't know your email address. Many users would prefer it not to be easier for strangers to send messages to their email inbox. Read EFF's guide on how to opt-out of this potentially privacy invasive feature.

Supported by Members

Our members make it possible for EFF to bring legal and technological expertise into crucial battles about online rights. Whether defending free speech online or challenging unconstitutional surveillance, your participation makes a difference. Every donation gives technology users who value freedom online a stronger voice and more formidable advocate.

If you aren't already, please consider becoming an EFF member today.

Donate Today


Editor: April Glaser, Activist

EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Membership & donation queries: membership@eff.org

General EFF, legal, policy, or online resources queries: info@eff.org


EFF Events

By Alec Finch 18th December 2013 - Courtsey of the EFF

EFF at 30C3

December 27, 2013 - 11:00am to December 30, 2013 - 7:30pm
Hamburg, Germany

EFF is headed to Hamburg for the 30th annual Chaos Communication Congress, the four-day conference on technology, society and utopia. Three members of the EFF staff will give official presentations:

  • Disclosure DOs, Disclosure DON'Ts, 12/28, 23:00

    Staff Attorney Nate Cardozo will give a talk focusing on responsible disclosure best and worst practices from both legal and practical perspectives. He'll provide usable advice, both positive and negative, and answer any questions the audience has on best practices.

  • The Internet Doesn't Need Another Security Guide/The Internet Needs Another Security Guide, 12/29, 20:30

    Global Policy Analyst Eva Galperin will present tips on creating Internet privacy and security resources that "don't suck," and survey the current Internet privacy guide landscape and discuss the perils and pitfalls of creating this type of resource, using the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Surveillance Self Defense project as a case study.

  • Through a PRISM, Darkly, 12/30, 14:00

    Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl will present, in one hour, everything we know about NSA spying so far. He will describe how the NSA spying program works, the underlying technologies, the targeting procedures (how they decide who to focus on), the minimization procedures (how they decide which information to discard), and help you makes sense of the many code names and acronyms in the news.




Good News, America. We're One Giant Step Closer to Patent Reform!

5th December - Julie Samuels EFF

Good news! Today, the House of Representatives voted 325-91 in favor of the Innovation Act, the best troll-killing bill we've seen yet. And earlier this week the White House put out a strong statement in support of the legislation. All that's left is the Senate, which has promised to take up the issue before the end of this year.

The Innovation Act isn't perfect. It doesn't go nearly far enough to reform the demand letter problem. Its provisions protecting consumers and end-users, while present, aren't as robust as we would hope. And it dropped expanded covered business method review, a provision that would have helped ensure that the Patent Office issues fewer patents for "inventions" that aren't particularly inventive.

For more information please read



Stop the NSA "Fake Fix" Bill - Other News and EFF Events November 2013

By Alec Finch 11th November 2013 - Courtsey of the EFF

Stop the NSA "Fake Fix" Bill

Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has introduced a bill designed to bolster some of the worst NSA surveillance programs and grant new authority to the NSA to engage in surveillance. Senator Feinstein is touting this proposal as a way to address the problems with uncontrolled NSA spying, but don’t be fooled: it’s a fake fix. The Fake Fix is already out of committee and the Senate could begin voting on it soon. Please act quickly to help us defeat this terrible bill.

If you're outside the US, you can take action by telling companies to demand accountability and transparency.

Rally Against Mass Surveillance: Inspiring Pics from the Historic Demonstration


Last month thousands converged in Washington D.C. in a demonstration against the National Security Agency's mass surveillance.


We delivered hundreds of thousands of signatures from concerned individuals to Congress.

EFF Updates

How Can the New York Times Endorse an Agreement the Public Can't Read?

The New York Times' editorial board has written what amounts to an endorsement of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), even as the actual text of the agreement remains secret. That raises two distressing possibilities: either in an act of extraordinary subservience, the Times has endorsed an agreement that neither the public nor its editors have the ability to read. Or, in an act of extraordinary cowardice, it has obtained a copy of the secret text and hasn't yet fulfilled its duty to the public interest to publish it.

Apple Issues First Transparency Report, Includes "Warrant Canary"

Yet another one of the nine companies originally implicated in the PRISM program has released its first transparency report. Apple joins the ranks of Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and others that have issued reports that detail the number of requests the companies receive from governments for user data.

Three Leaks, Three Weeks, and What We've Learned About the US Government's Other Spying Authority: Executive Order 12333

A Washington Post article has revealed that the National Security Agency has been siphoning off data from the links between Yahoo and Google data centers, which include the fiber optic connections between company servers at various points around the world. This is not part of the PRISM collection or the business records program under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, but a separate program under what appears to be Executive Order 12333.

A Closer Look at Patent Troll Demand Letters: A Dangerous Problem that Must Be Fixed

Patent litigation is notoriously complicated and expensive, making it the perfect tool for patent trolls. Trolls use the costs of litigation as a threat to demand quick settlements. Even worse, they know how to ask for the right amount of money at the right time, and those demands are not part of the public record. That's why we led a large coalition this summer to launch Trolling Effects, a database of demand letters, open to the public.

A Trademark Troll Rises--and Falls: EFF Asks Court to Shut Down Ridiculous Trademark Claims

Another day, another silly trademark claim—but even silly claims can have real consequences for folks who don’t have the resources to fend them off. That’s why EFF today filed an amicus brief in the case of Fortres Grand v. Warner Brothers. This case involves a dispute over a fictional product—a software program called ‘Clean Slate’—that appeared in a Batman movie.


Digital Citizen

Digital Citizen is a monthly Arabic/English bilingual review of news, policy, and research on human rights and technology in the Arab World.

Guardian's NSA Filed Decoded

The Guardian, one of the papers behind many of the NSA reporting in recent months, has produced this interactive feature synthesizing what the revelations mean for you.

Al Gore: NSA spying is "outrageous" and "unacceptable"

Speaking at an event in Canada, former Vice President Al Gore slammed the NSA programs revealed by Edward Snowden's leaks as "completely unacceptable."

Supported by Members

Our members make it possible for EFF to bring legal and technological expertise into crucial battles about online rights. Whether defending free speech online or challenging unconstitutional surveillance, your participation makes a difference. Every donation gives technology users who value freedom online a stronger voice and more formidable advocate.

If you aren't already, please consider becoming an EFF member today.

Donate Today

Events November 2013

McGill University - The Participatory Condition

EFF's Jillian York will participate in the "The Participatory Condition," an international colloquium hosted by McGill University.

November 15-16
Montreal, Canada

Techno-Activism Third Mondays

Techno-Activism Third Mondays (TA3M) are informal meetups that occur on the same date in many cities worldwide. It is designed to connect techno-activists and hacktivists who work on or with circumvention tools, and/or are interested in anti-censorship and anti-surveillance technology.

November 18, 2013
San Francisco, CA

Hacks and Hackers SF

At monthly Hacks and Hackers meetups, journalists and computer programmers get together to talk about how they can help each other out. This month, EFF Activist Parker Higgins will be speaking about the importance of encryption for working journalists and what tools are available.

November 21, 2013
San Francisco, CA


TPP, Copyright, and Users' Rights: Google Hangout with EFF, KEI, and Public Citizen - Tuesday 1st October 2pm

Alec Finch 27th September 2013 - Courtsey of the EFF - Important Dates

EFF invites you to join us for a live Google Hangout on Tuesday October 1st at 2 PM Pacific / 5 PM Eastern to learn more about the Trans-Pacific Partnership's copyright provisions and their impact on users, their effect on U.S. copyright law, and how we can work together to protect our access to knowledge, digital rights, and internet freedom. There will also be time for Q & A.

Even though we successfully killed SOPA and ACTA, special interests groups continue to pour millions of lobbying dollars to push policies that would further restrict our rights to knowledge. Unable to pass such measures through our legislative process, they’re using secretive, non-democratic tactics to fold harsher copyright restrictions and enforcement measures into a larger trade agreement. The latest and biggest threat on this front is the TPP, a multinational trade agreement being negotiated between the United States and 11 other Asia-Pacific countries.

For a list of speakers and further information; please visit https://www.eff.org/event/tpp-copyright-and-users-rights-live-webinar-public-citizen-kei-and-eff


Time to Speak Up Against the NSA’s Mass Spying

Join EFF & The Stopwatching.us Coalition in DC on October 26th


This summer, some of our worst fears and suspicions about the NSA have been confirmed. We now have evidence that the NSA is actively undermining the basic security of the Internet. It is collecting millions and millions of phone records of individuals not suspected of any crime. It is surveilling journalists.

The NSA’s overreaching surveillance is creating a climate of fear and chilling free speech. Its addiction to secrecy makes real accountability impossible

But there’s a movement forming to change all of this. And we're about to take the next step.

On the weekend of October 26 — the 12th anniversary of the signing of the USA PATRIOT Act — thousands of people from across the political spectrum will unite in Washington, D.C. to take a stand against unconstitutional surveillance. Please join EFF in D.C. for a day of grassroots training and citizen lobbying on October 25th and a historic rally and petition delivery on October 26th.

Stopwatching.Us is a politically diverse coalition including more than 100 public advocacy organizations and companies, including EFF, ACLU, FreedomWorks, Free Press, Mozilla, National Libertarian Party, reddit, Restore the Fourth and Thoughtworks.

We want you to join us in D.C. for this event. There will be speakers, privacy experts, live music, and an opportunity to be part of the official delivery of the Stop Watching Us petition to Congress – a petition in which over a half million people have called for an end to mass, suspicionless surveillance.

Join us in Washington.  

-- RSVP on the event page (privacy policy here): https://rally.stopwatching.us
-- RSVP for the lobby day here: https://rally.stopwatching.us/lobbyday.html

Note: you do not need to RSVP to attend the rally, but it helps us gauge numbers. RSVPing to the event means that you may be contacted about other Stopwatching events and updates. If you would prefer not to have that type of contact, please RSVP to EFF here.

We’re planning a two-day event. Here are the details:

 Friday, October 25th: Training and lobby day

If you are coming from out of town, you should plan to arrive in D.C. on Thursday night so you can join us for trainings on Friday morning. EFF is working with our friends Public Knowledge and other members of the Stopwatching.us coalition to host a lobby day in D.C. on NSA surveillance. On Friday morning, we’ll give you an overview of NSA surveillance, including talking points and handouts, and prepare you to meet with staffers. Then you will meet with key Hill staffers and elected officials to explain your concerns about NSA surveillance. Don't worry - we schedule the meetings for you. We’ll be done by midafternoon.

In person meetings are the most effective way for an individual to influence Congress on an issue (except maybe giving them a lot of money).  Even if you've never considered lobbying on an issue, this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to change America’s stance on surveillance. 

Saturday, October 26th: Rally against mass surveillance

The Stopwatching.us coalition is hosting a historic rally in Washington D.C on Saturday October 26th – the 12th anniversary of the signing of the Patriot Act.  We’ll be joined by YACHT, the indie pop duo that’s sweeping the nation with its new song, “Party at the NSA.”  With your help, we’re going to create an amazing rally for privacy. Will you be there?

Hundreds of thousands of people have spoken out since the major NSA leaks began this June. Dozens of members of Congress have introduced bills aimed at reining in the NSA, and hundreds of organizations and companies are uniting to end the NSA's unconstitutional surveillance.

But we will only succeed if we take the next step and raise our voices. RSVP now.




Hundreds of Pages of NSA Spying Documents to be Realeased in Response to EFF Lawsuit

B.Feurich - 6th September 2013

In a major victory in one of EFF's Freedom of Information Act lawsuits, the Justice Department conceded that it will release hundreds of pages of documents, including FISA court opinions, related to the government's secret interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act. The NSA has relied upon this law for years to mass collect the phone records of millions of innocent Americans.

EFF Files Brief on Behalf of Rep. Sensenbrenner in NSA Spying Case
EFF filed a brief on behalf of Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), the author of the original USA PATRIOT Act, in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union against the NSA. In the brief, Sensenbrenner argues that Congress never intended this law to permit the NSA's collection of the records of every telephone call made to, from and within the United States.
EFF Updates

An Illustration of How the NSA Misleads the Public Without Technically Lying
The Wall Street Journal published an important investigation last week, reporting that the NSA has direct access to many key telecommunications switches around the country and "has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic." The Director of National Intelligence and the NSA released a statement about the story later that evening. If you read the statement quickly, it seems like the NSA is disputing the WSJ story. But on careful reading, they actually do not deny any of it.
One Key to Rule Them All: Threats Against Service Provider Private Encryption Keys

EFF has worked hard to convince large and small websites to support HTTPS by default, and we're happy to see steady progress from major service providers on this front. While increased deployment of HTTPS is a huge step forward in securing the web and protecting user communications, it is not a silver bullet. There are many types of attacks on HTTPS that we need to be vigilant about, but here we focus on one in particular -- how safe are the private encryption keys of service providers?
EFF Amicus Asks Supreme Court to Review Warrantless Smartphone Searches

Are police allowed to rummage through the contents of a cell phone when a person is arrested? The U.S. Supreme Court is currently deciding whether to grant review in two cases involving the thorny issue. We've filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court asking it to grant review in Riley v. California, a case involving the warrantless search of a smartphone incident to arrest.
An Open Letter to John Kerry: Tell Ethiopia to Release Eskinder Nega and Stop Imprisoning Bloggers

Approaching the second anniversary of Eskinder Nega's imprisonment, EFF calls upon Secretary of State John Kerry to stand up for free speech and urge Ethiopia to release the journalist.
The Cost of Censorship in Libraries: 10 Years Under the Children’s Internet Protection Act

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the enforcement of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which is supposed to encourage public libraries and schools to filter child pornography and obscene or "harmful to minors" images from the library's Internet connection in exchange for continued federal funding. Unfortunately, aggressive interpretations of this law have resulted in extensive and unnecessary censorship in libraries.

Pushing for Perfect Forward Secrecy, an Important Web Privacy Protection
Sites that use perfect forward secrecy can provide better security to users in cases where the encrypted data is being monitored and recorded by a third party. More sites should enable it, and more users should demand it of the sites they trust with their private data.

Guardian: How to remain secure against NSA surveillance
Security expert (and EFF Board Member) Bruce Schneier explains how to stay secure in your online communications after the latest NSA revelations.

OTI: Patent Assertion and Startup Innovation
In this report, Professor Colleen Chien examines exactly how venture capitalists and startups feel about patents and patent trolls.
YouTube: "Calling NSA"

A man calls the NSA in an attempt to retrieve a lost email. Hilarity ensues.
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If you aren't already, please consider becoming an EFF member today.

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Welcome Electronic Frontier Foundation!

Below is the latest news from them, but please, if you want to help then consider buying something off them from the link below.


Or if you want to become a member and make a donation visit the link below.


The EFF will have an enduring link fluxradio as the work they do is quite important world-wide.

Here is their latest scoop;

Have you seen? Over 215,000 people have signed onto the https://optin.stopwatching.us/?r=eff campaign we launched one week ago. And we’ve made huge waves in the media with a coalition of companies and organization that the Atlantic called “perhaps the most diverse collection of groups in the modern history of American politics.”

Atalantic link http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/06/aclu-lawsuit-nsa-analysis/66139/

But we’re not done yet. Today, we’re launching a campaign to call members of Congress.

Can you help out?

We need you to make a quick call to ask your elected officials to investigate surveillance practices of the NSA and stop the illegal spying. 

A call will take you from 2 to 4 minutes—and it can send a huge message to Congress.

We’re teaming up with our friends from Fight for the Future to make it easy for you to demand reform.

Here are two ways you can speak out (note, if you are outside of the United States you should go to this link


A; Dial 1-STOP-323-NSA (1-786-732-3672). The automated system will connect you to your legislators. Urge them to provide public transparency about NSA spying and stop warrantless wiretapping on the communications of millions of ordinary Americans. Visit Callday.org http://callday.org/ for more info.

B; Visit the EFF action centre


We will look up the phone number of your elected officials. Call them and tell them you oppose NSA’s spying programs.

Phone calls can make a huge difference in Washington: we saw scores of lawmakers change positions in response to the call-in campaigns we organized during the SOPA fight. Let’s repeat that victory by driving tons of phone calls to Congress today to stop NSA spying.

Thanks for helping us fight back against NSA spying. If you’d like to support our efforts to beat back invasive government surveillance, Please become a member of EFF.


We wouldn’t exist without members like you. Defending your rights in the digital world.

Rainey Reitman
Activism Team
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Important notes about your privacy: we’ve required that the automated tools above promise to protect your privacy by insisting that your phone number be used for this campaign and nothing else unless you request additional contact. If you don’t want your information processed by the automatic calling tools, use the EFF page to get a phone number and call directly. Learn more by visiting the privacy policies of Fight for the Future and Twilio.

























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