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Thread: Electronic Frontier Foundation

  1. #61
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    Electronic Frontier Foundation.
    Issue #745.Jan, 2019.


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    Top Features
    Copyright Week 2019

    Each day this week, EFF and allied groups are hosting discussions about principles that should guide copyright policy. On Monday, we looked at how copyright can be a tool of censorship. Case in point: the makers of a much-criticized movie about a Nazi-era romance, Where Hands Touch, chose to react to video criticism by filing unjustified takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA.

    On Tuesday, we looked at how the DMCA is being used to undermine ownership of technological devices—preventing users from jailbreaking a phone, or re-programming a scooter. On Wednesday, we examined some good news: the growth of the public domain, which on January 1st expanded for the first time in 20 years.

    2018 In Review

    In 2018, digital privacy and free speech were front-and-center in the public conversation. We continued our tradition of writing year-end blog posts about the most important developments in this space. The past year saw advances for state-level net neutrality, with four states, including California, passing net neutrality laws. The Carpenter v. United States case was one of our big legal wins of the year, as the U.S. Supreme Court cited EFF’s amicus brief in deciding that cell phone location information is protected by the Fourth Amendment.

    Other posts cover the dawn of the GDPR (Europe’s new digital privacy law), how we’re grappling with monopoly power in the online world, and EFF’s new logo.

    EFF Updates

    The Internet is Facing a Catastrophe For Free Expression and Competition: You Could Tip The Balance

    The new EU Copyright Directive is progressing at an alarming rate. This week, the EU is asking its member-states to approve new negotiating positions for the final language. If you live in Europe, let your ministers know that you’re concerned that Articles 13 and 11 will lead to online censorship. So far, we’ve set up action pages for Sweden, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, Belgium, and the Czech Republic—and we'll keep adding more over the coming days.

    Bird Rides Inc. Demands Takedown of News Report on Lawful Re-use of Scooters

    Every now and then we have to remind someone that it's not illegal for people to report facts that they dislike. Electric scooter rental company Bird Rides, Inc. sent a "Notice of Claimed Infringement" over an article on Boing Boing about lawfully modifying scooters. Bird cites the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and implies that even writing about the issue could be illegal. It’s not.
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    (Don't) Return to Sender: How to Protect Yourself From Email Tracking

    Email senders can monitor who opens which emails, when, and what device they use to do it. There are a lot of different ways to track email, and different techniques range from marginally acceptable to atrocious. Here are some friendly suggestions to help make tracking less pervasive, less creepy, and less leaky.
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    Apple Says Patent Troll Case Should Be Dismissed Because [REDACTED] but the Public Should Know Why

    Uniloc is one of the most active patent trolls in the world, having filed more than 170 lawsuits last year alone. But its most recent court records are so heavily redacted, it’s impossible for members of the public to know what’s going on. This month, EFF filed a motion to intervene in Uniloc v. Apple, seeking to unseal a series of documents related to whether Uniloc should be allowed to bring the case at all.
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    You Should Have the Right to Sue Companies That Violate Your Privacy

    There’s a lot to like about the new California Consumer Privacy Act, but we need to work to amend its critical flaw—a lack of a private right of action. Consumer enforcement is part of EFF’s “bottom-up” approach to public policy.
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    Give Up the Ghost: A Backdoor by Another Name

    Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the UK’s counterpart to the National Security Agency (NSA), has proposed a method of eavesdropping in which a company would be required to convert a 1-on-1 conversation into a group chat—with the government as the third member of the chat. The so-called “ghost” proposal is just another word for an encryption backdoor.

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    Our Cellphones Aren’t Safe


    Cellular communication infrastructure is woefully insecure, and we are doing nothing to fix it. EFF Senior Staff Technologist Cooper Quintin explains some of the resultant dangers in an op-ed. (New York Times)

    100 Days for Alaa

    Alaa Abd El Fattah has been imprisoned for five years—for organizing a protest. When he’s released in March, he will face an additional five-year “parole” that will require him to spend each night in a police station. Organizations are re-focusing attention on Alaa and his case as his release date approaches. (100 Days for Alaa)
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    January 1, 2019 is (finally) Public Domain Day

    Works from 1923 are open to all! Newly joining the public domain are films such as The Ten Commandments, and comedies featuring Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd. It’s the first time the public domain has grown in 20 years. (Center for the Study of the Public Domain)

    San Bernardino County Sheriff's electronic surveillance use continues to surge

    San Bernardino County’s already high electronic surveillance rate continues to surge. EFF has filed a lawsuit demanding records over this department’s extraordinary use of surveillance. (Palm Springs Desert Sun)

    In 2019, your tattoo could get you arrested

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology has completed testing on a tattoo-matching system that could be used to finger criminal suspects, and found that its algorithm is only 67.9 percent accurate—and that’s before factoring in the possibility of “false positives.” (Washington Examiner)





    About EFF

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading organization protecting civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, we defend free speech online, fight illegal surveillance, promote the rights of digital innovators, and work to ensure that the rights and freedoms we enjoy are enhanced, rather than eroded, as our use of technology grows. EFF is a member-supported organization. Find out more at https://eff.org.

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    MiniLinks may not represent the views of EFF.
    This newsletter is printed from 100% recycled electrons.

    View this Issue 745 in it's entirety.

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    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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  2. #62
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    Electronic Frontier Foundation.
    Issue #746.February 1, 2019.


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    Victory! Illinois Supreme Court Protects Biometric Privacy

    The collection and use of biometric data gets more widespread and invasive each year. That’s why it’s more important than ever to advocate for—and defend—robust privacy laws in this space.

    The Illinois Biometric Privacy Act, or BIPA, is the strongest biometric privacy law in the United States. Last week, in Rosenbach v. Six Flags, the Illinois Supreme Court rejected an amusement park’s argument that violation of a privacy statute is a mere “technical violation.” The plaintiff in that case, a 14-year-old who says his thumbprint was collected without his informed consent, will be allowed to move forward with a lawsuit.

    EFF, along with ACLU, CDT, and other allied groups, filed an amicus brief asking for a strong interpretation of BIPA. We’ve been resisting big business efforts to gut BIPA for years now, and we’re glad the Illinois Supreme Court agreed with us in this case.

    It could have major ramifications for a separate case against Facebook, involving biometric face surveillance, that's currently on appeal in California. Like the defendant in the Illinois case, Facebook is arguing that losing one’s privacy rights isn’t enough to support a lawsuit, and that a plaintiff must show additional harm in order to sue. Hopefully, the strong result in Rosenbach shuts down that flawed argument once and for all.

    Washington Post Tries to Take Down Parody Site

    If you were in Washington D.C. earlier this month, you might have passed by folks on the street passing out a parody newspaper spoofing The Washington Post. The comedic newspaper, created by the group the Yes Men, has a joke lead story about Donald Trump fleeing the White House in an “Unpresidented” move.

    The parody paper, which was dated May 1, 2019, also featured unlikely articles such as a media apology for Donald Trump’s rise to power, and a fictional timeline of Trump’s rise and fall.

    But The Washington Post’s lawyers didn’t get the joke. They called the parody an act of trademark infringement, and raised copyright threats. EFF wrote back on behalf of the Yes Men, explaining that political speech has strong protections from trademark claims, which aren’t supposed to be used to policing other peoples’ language. The parody paper is still online, where it belongs.

    EFF Updates
    A Surveillance Wall Is Not a Good Alternative to a Concrete Wall

    If there’s one political dynamic that’s become perfectly clear in 2019, it’s this: President Trump is calling for a physical wall to be built along the U.S. southern border. Trump's political opponents, and many other groups, oppose that wall.

    In response, some congressional Democrats have suggested building up a kind of virtual wall, built on surveillance technology. They’d like to expand social media screening, deploy drones, scan license plates (and not just from cars crossing the border), and even collect DNA from immigrants. All of these methods raise serious privacy concerns.

    At EFF, we’re staying focused on making sure any new border measure protects the essential liberties of both U.S. residents and foreign visitors. The border shouldn't be treated like a Constitution-free zone.

    Article 13 and 11 Update: Even The Compromises are Compromised In This Copyright Trainwreck

    Some European negotiators are still hoping to pass Article 13 and 11, which would impose online copyright filters, as well as licensing requirements for quoting snippets of news. More than four million Europeans have publicly opposed the directive, along with copyright and technical experts and journalists. Even big movie studios and sports leagues have backed away.

    We're not out of the woods yet. Our sources tell us that it's just barely possible that if an agreement is reached before February 14, legislation could be vetted, translated, and presented for a vote before EU elections this spring. Keep up the pressure!


    EFF Client Responds to Ludicrous 'Collusion' Trademark Threat


    Sometimes trademark owners seem to think that they own ordinary words. In this case, U.K. clothing giant Asos sent a cease and desist letter [PDF] to an EFF client for registering a domain with the word “collusion” in it. Our client’s domain, collusion.so, has nothing to do with clothes—it’s about contemporary U.S. political debates. It’s about as far from trademark infringement as possible.

    The case has its origins in typographical errors made on Twitter by Rudy Giuliani, former New York mayor and current attorney to President Donald Trump. Giuliani's typos inadvertently created new URLs, and Twitter users creatively re-directed those newly famous web links to locations of their choosing.

    EFF sent a response letter, explaining that there’s no real trademark claim here. Asos quickly apologized, saying that the letter, signed by its outside law firm, should “never have been sent” and assuring us it would take no further action against our client. We’re glad for the apology and hope the whole episode serves as a notice to others who might make overbroad trademark threats.

    Victory: Federal Court in Seattle Will Begin Disclosing Surveillance Records

    Federal investigators in Seattle will begin tracking and docketing their warrantless surveillance requests, under an agreement reached after EFF client The Stranger brought a petition to unseal those records. They’ll also issue reports every six months detailing the surveillance requests.

    The reports will include case numbers and the main crime being investigated each time the government uses warrantless surveillance. Until now, there’s been no public docket at all on these cases. Now, the public will learn basic details about the requests, and can also request to unseal specific cases.


    EFF responds to Mark Zuckerberg’s WSJ editorial


    A misleading Wall Street Journal op-ed by Mark Zuckerberg hits some familiar points in justifying Facebook’s business model. Users don’t need to submit to massive data harvesting to see “relevant ads,” for one thing. And while Zuckerberg calls for government regulation that codifies “transparency, choice, and control,” Facebook is fighting to weaken the most important state privacy laws, like Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act, and California’s Consumer Privacy Act.

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    Police license plate readers are still exposed on the Internet

    Cameras that can read license plates are scattered throughout the U.S., used mostly by police departments. What’s worse, some of those cameras are connected to the Internet, easily identifiable, and leaking sensitive data about vehicles and their drivers. (TechCrunch)


    It’s Time for Action on Privacy, Says Apple’s CEO Tim Cook

    Even the CEO of a global tech icon agrees: “We all deserve control over our digital lives. That’s why we must rein in the data brokers.” (Time)




    About EFF

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading organization protecting civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, we defend free speech online, fight illegal surveillance, promote the rights of digital innovators, and work to ensure that the rights and freedoms we enjoy are enhanced, rather than eroded, as our use of technology grows. EFF is a member-supported organization. Find out more at https://eff.org.

    .EFF is Supported By Donors.
    Donate Today

    Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged.
    MiniLinks may not represent the views of EFF.
    This newsletter is printed from 100% recycled electrons.

    View this Issue 746 in it's entirety.

    Back issues of EFFector
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
    Attachment 1008

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