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  1. #1
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    Electronic Frontier Foundation

    An organization dedicated to freedom on the internet.

    Something I believe we all share an interest in.

    I will be linking their newsletter here.


    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    EFF Issue 669


    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.

    ====================

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    MiniLinks do not necessarily represent the views of EFF.

    This newsletter is printed from 100% recycled electrons.
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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    EFF Issue #670



    Introducing the New Surveillance Self-Defense

    We're thrilled to announce the relaunch of Surveillance Self-Defense, our guide to defending yourself and your friends from digital surveillance by using encryption tools and developing appropriate privacy and security practices. These resources are intended to inspire better-informed conversations and decision-making about digital security and privacy. The site is available today in English, Arabic, and Spanish, with more languages coming soon.

    EFF and ACLU to Present Oral Argument in NSA Spying Case

    How can the US government possibly claim that its collection of the phone records of millions of innocent Americans is legal? It relies mainly on two arguments: first, that no one can have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their metadata and second, that the outcome is controlled by the so-called "third party doctrine," which says that no one has an expectation of privacy in information they convey to a third party, such as telephone numbers dialed. EFF will respond to both of these arguments in oral argument in the NSA spying case Klayman v. Obama on November 4.

    EFF Fights for Common Sense, Again, in DMCA Rulemaking

    EFF has filed six exemption requests with the U.S. Copyright Office today, part of the elaborate, every-three-year process to right the wrongs put in place by the Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. We're seeking to renew and expand previously granted exemptions on jailbreaking devices and ripping video for remixes, and pursuing new exemptions on repairing, modifying, and conducting security research on cars, as well as modifying video games to be playable after they've been abandoned by their publisher.

    EFF Updates

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

    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.

    Peekaboo, I See You: Government Authority Intended for Terrorism is Used for Other Purposes

    The Patriot Act continues to wreak its havoc on civil liberties. Law enforcement was adamant Section 213, defining a procedure known as a "sneak and peek" warrant, was needed to protect against terrorism. But the latest government report detailing the numbers of "sneak and peek" warrants reveals that out of a total of over 11,000 requests, only 51 were used for terrorism.

    The 90s and Now: FBI and its Inability to Cope with Encryption

    Recently, FBI Director James B. Comey, along with several government officials, have issued many public statements regarding their inability to catch criminals due to Apple and Google offering default encryption to their consumers. But we certainly felt a bit of deja vu when we saw current FBI Director Comey’s statements, since they sound eerily like the sentiments expressed by then FBI Director Louis J. Freeh in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in July 1997.

    Dear Rupert Murdoch: Want to Compete with Netflix? Ditch DRM!

    Rupert Murdoch, chair of 21st Century Fox, argued recently that major media companies should develop their own video streaming service that could compete with Netflix and Amazon. Given that other streaming services are having a tough time competing (Verizon's foray into video streaming, Redbox Instant, is shutting down), his worries are well-founded. Fortunately, there's one move media companies could could make that would set apart any new video streaming service they develop: they could ditch the DRM.

    October’s Very Bad, No Good, Totally Stupid Patent of the Month: Filming A Yoga Class

    EFF recently learned about a patent that covered a method of filming a yoga class. We reviewed the patent and discovered that it was just as ridiculous as it sounded. Despite our familiarity with absurd patents and our concerns about cursory review at the Patent and Trademark Office, we were still surprised that this one issued. But there's a silver lining to this story: the yoga community affected by this stupid patent wasn't willing to give in.

    New Documentary CITIZENFOUR Highlights Snowden's Motivation for Leaking NSA Documents

    Laura Poitras' riveting new documentary about mass surveillance gives an intimate look into the motivations that guided Edward Snowden, who sacrificed his career and risked his freedom to expose mass surveillance by the NSA. CITIZENFOUR has many scenes that explore the depths of government surveillance gone awry and the high-tension unfolding of Snowden's rendezvous with journalists in Hong Kong. But one of the most powerful scenes in the film comes when Snowden discusses his motivation for the disclosures and points to his fundamental belief in the power and promise of the Internet.

    Open Access Week 2014 Wrap Up: Posts, Pictures, and Parties

    EFF proudly participated in the eighth annual Open Access Week, a celebration of making scholarly research immediately and freely available for people around the world to read, cite, and re-use. One theme that seemed to run across all blog posts was that open access doesn't exist in a vacuum: there are laws, policies, and happenings in the world that immensely affect our access to research.
    miniLinks

    UK "Free Our History" Copyright Reform Campaign

    Museums, libraries, and archives are showing empty display cases to protest copyright terms that lock up until 2039 unpublished works dating back centuries.

    Australia: Stop The Spies

    The Australian government has proposed a data retention law that could be devastating to personal privacy. Learn more about the proposal, how it could be abused, and what people can do to fight back.

    Hacker Lexicon: Homomorphic Encryption

    In Wired, Andy Greenberg explains what homomorphic encryption is, and how it could revolutionize the way cloud computing services are able to protect user privacy.
    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.
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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    EFF Issue #672


    Looking Forward, Looking Back: 2014 in Review

    It has been a momentous year in the fight for digital civil liberties. From major developments in our work to end illegal mass surveillance by the NSA, to critical moments that could define the future of net neutrality, to rumblings of new legal structures around copyright and patent law, and much more: 2014 was busy, and 2015 promises to be even busier.

    With such a big year behind us, it's important to take a look back at all that EFF and our members have accomplished--in the courtroom, through activism campaigns, and with cutting-edge security technology. Join us in reviewing the milestones from the past year below, and in looking forward to the critical moments ahead.

    • •Net Neutrality Takes a Wild Ride
      •8 Stellar Surveillance Scoops
      •Web Encryption Gets Stronger and More Widespread
      •Big Patent Reform Wins in Court, Defeat (For Now) in Congress
      •International Copyright Law
      •More Time in the Spotlight for NSLs
      •The State of Free Expression Online
      •What We Learned About NSA Spying in 2014--And What We're Fighting to Expose in 2015
      •"Fair Use Is Working!"
      •Email Encryption Grew Tremendously, but Still Needs Work
      •Spies Vs. Spied, Worldwide
      •The Fight in Congress to End the NSA's Mass Spying
      •Open Access Movement Broadens, Moves Forward
      •Stingrays Go Mainstream
      •Three Vulnerabilities That Rocked the Online Security World •Mobile Privacy and Security Takes Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
      •It Was a Pivotal Year in TPP Activism but the Biggest Fight Is Still to Come
      •The Government Spent a Lot of Time in Court Defending NSA Spying Last Year
      •Let's Encrypt (the Entire Web)


    EFF Updates

    In Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack, Let's Not Sacrifice Even More Rights

    EFF is stunned and deeply saddened by the attack on Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical newspaper. As free speech advocates, we mourn the use of violence against individuals who used creativity and free expression to engage in cultural and political criticism. Murder is the ultimate form of censorship.

    State Courts Strike Blows to Criminal DNA Collection Laws in 2014--What to Look for in 2015

    After years of bad DNA law, 2014 laid the groundwork for better, more privacy-protecting procedures. In the wake of Maryland v. King--the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court case upholding warrantless, suspicionless DNA collection from arrestees under Maryland state law--the constitutionality of DNA collection in the criminal context has continued to present challenging issues for courts.

    Ford Tries to Shut Down Independent Repair Tool with Copyright

    The Ford Motor Company has recently sued a manufacturer of third-party diagnostics for creating a tool that includes a list of Ford car parts and their specifications. Ford claims that it owns a copyright on this list of parts, the "FFData file," and thus can keep competitors from including it in their diagnostic tools. It also claims that the company violated the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by writing a program to defeat the "encryption technology and obfuscation" that Ford used to make the file difficult to read.

    It's Not Too Late for Uber to Avoid Stupid Patent of the Month

    As our devoted readers are aware, each month we highlight a Stupid Patent. This time, in the holiday spirit, we decided to highlight a Stupid Patent application. You see, we recently learned that Uber has filed for a patent on something so basic, so fundamental to our economic system, that it should be called out now before it becomes too late for both Uber and the public.

    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.


    Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged.
    This newsletter is printed from 100% recycled electrons.
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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    Space holder Issue #673
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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    Issue #674
    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:

    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.
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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    Issue #678

    Senate Attempts Last-Ditch Effort to Reauthorize Patriot Act Spying

    Senator Mitch McConnell is attempting to extend the NSA's mass phone records surveillance program. A few days ago, he introduced a bill to extend Section 215 of the Patriot Act for 60 days. McConnell's temporary reauthorization is designed to deflect public attention on this issue and give NSA apologists more time to water down reform efforts.

    With your help, we can stop him. If you're in the United States, please pick up the phone and call your Senators. If you're outside the United States, please share this urgent alert on Facebook and Twitter.

    Right now, we're in a powerful position to push for strong reforms to mass spying. On June 1, Section 215 is set to expire. Perhaps more importantly, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently ruled the whole program illegal. Let's send a strong message to Congress: not one more day of phone record surveillance. Let's rein in NSA mass spying under the Patriot Act, then use that energy to fuel our larger agenda of ending global mass surveillance once and for all.

    Fast Track Looms for Trans-Pacific Partnership

    For a few hours last week, it looked like the tide had turned against the massive and sprawling Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, as a group of Senate Democrats refused to let the Fast Track deal proceed to the floor for debate. We've targeted Fast Track because it's considered essential for TPP: without a deal to limit Congress to an up-or-down vote on the entire secretive agreement only after it's been finalized, the text and its anti-user, anti-consumer clauses would face scrutiny that they simply could not withstand.

    On Thursday, though, the Senate reached a compromise and will allow Fast Track to proceed to the debate and vote stage. TPP and its ilk remain a looming threat as we turn our attention to the Senate floor, and to the House of Representatives, in order to stop our elected lawmakers from greasing the skids for an agreement the public cannot read but knows spells trouble.

    If you are in the United States, it's more important than ever that you speak up now and tell your lawmakers to oppose Fast Track.

    EFF Updates

    New EFF '404' Report Shows How Draconian Copyright Policies Stifle Online Speech Worldwide

    Overly broad intellectual property laws in Russia, Colombia, and Pakistan—which U.S. trade regulators say aren’t tough enough—stifle access to innovation and threaten artists, students, and creators around the globe with prison, censorship, and state prosecution. EFF's newest report documents these and other problems with intellectual property laws worldwide, offering a first-of-its-kind analysis countering the U.S. Trade Representative's annual report.

    EFF and Gamers to Copyright Office: Multiplayer Matters (Of Course)

    The Entertainment Software Association responded to EFF's submission in the ongoing rulemaking on Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by saying it doesn't think online multiplayer play really matters. In a comment to the Copyright Office, the ESA has claimed that "it is inaccurate to suggest that multiplayer gameplay over the Internet is a ‘core’ functionality of [a] video game." We couldn't disagree more.

    California Wants to Create a Task Force to Review Computer Crime Policies--Guess Who's Not Invited to the Table


    Whenever lawmakers congregate to discuss computer crime, you can reliably predict that the debate will gravitate toward expanding police powers, leaving the realistic concerns of everyday Internet users by the wayside. The make-up of California's proposed High Technology Crimes Task Force, which would be assigned to reevaluate the laws governing prosecution of identity theft, credit card fraud, and unspecified "Internet crimes," suggests more of the same.

    What Every Librarian Needs to Know About HTTPS

    For librarians, simply protecting people's book check-out records is no longer enough. Library patrons frequently access catalogs and other services over the Internet. We have learned in the last two years that the NSA is unconstitutionally hoovering up and retaining massive amounts of Internet traffic. That means that before a patron even checks out a book, their search for that book in an online catalog may already have been recorded. And the NSA is not the only threat. Other patrons, using off-the-shelf tools, can intercept queries and login data merely by virtue of being on the same network as their target. Fortunately, HTTPS is a solution, and it's getting easier to deploy every day.

    EFF Asks Patent Office to Focus On Protecting Public from Bad Patents

    EFF has joined Public Knowledge and Engine in submitting written comments to the Patent Office regarding its Patent Quality Initiative. We urge the Patent Office to ensure that this program actually reduces the number of invalid patents being issued. Its quality efforts should serve the public interest, not the special interests of patent applicants.
    miniLinks

    Organization of American States on NSA's Metadata Programs

    The top human rights watchdog for the Americas, the Organization of American States, has issued a strong call for reform of the NSA mass surveillance metadata programs to bring them into line with international human rights law.

    John Deere: You "Own" Your Tractor, But We Can Still Rip You Off

    Our request for copyright law exemptions to cover car security research and repair has kicked off a major debate about what manufacturers think "ownership" really is. Here, Cory Doctorow takes on John Deere's latest entry: a letter to dealers about what they're actually selling.

    Canadian Prime Minister Letter Confirms Industry Lobbying Tied to Copyright Extension

    Michael Geist has obtained a revealing letter from Candian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Music Canada, an industry lobbying group.

    More of this newsletter here.
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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    This Article courtesy of Electronic Frontier Foundation
    Finally some good news for (California) citizens concerned for rights to privacy.



    Success in Sacramento: Four New Laws, One Veto—All Victories for Privacy and Transparency
    By Dave Maass
    October 2015

    There’s an adage that goes: “As goes California, so goes the nation.” In all fairness, that’s said about a lot of states, but we believe it is especially true for California, since not only is the Golden State bigger in population and GDP than most sovereign nations, but because so many technological companies are headquartered here. A new law in California can have nation-wide, and potentially global, ramifications.

    This year, EFF beefed up its in advocacy in Sacramento with the aim of moving the needle forward on digital freedom in the California legislature. We assembled a team of internal activists and lawyers and hired an excellent lobbying duo—Samantha Corbin and Danielle Kando-Kaiser of Corbin and Kaiser. Now that we’re at the end of the legislative session, we can say with zero uncertainty that our mission was a success.

    Last week, the governor signed three bills reining in heretofore unchecked electronic surveillance and another bill requiring new transparency measures on the local level. He also vetoed a bill that would’ve started embedding tracking chips in driver licenses.

    Here’s a round-up of our legislative victories:
    S.B. 178 (Leno) – The California Electronic Communications Privacy Act

    California now has what Wired has called the “nation’s best digital privacy law.”

    The California Electronic Communications Privacy (CalECPA) ensures that when state law enforcement wants to search or obtain your digital records, such as email, or track your location through your device, they need to get a warrant first. Not only does the bill protect data on devices and in the cloud, it also means that California police will need to get a warrant before they can use an IMSI catcher (i.e. a “Stingray” or “Dirtbox”) to emulate a cell phone tower. Evidence obtained illegally under this law is inadmissible in court.

    EFF, the ACLU, and the California Newspaper Publisher Association were original sponsors of the bill, which was championed by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Sen. Joel Anderson (R-Alpine). We were joined by a long list of tech companies—such as Google, LinkedIn, Apple, and Twitter—as well as law professors, child advocates, community justice organizations, and a slew of newspaper editorial boards. The state’s major law enforcement associations withdrew their opposition to the bill, issuing positive statements about the balance between public safety and privacy, while the San Diego Police Officers Association endorsed it without reservation. Thousands of Californians sent emails to the governor demanding his signature on the bill, and tens of thousands more signed petitions, which the ACLU and EFF delivered to the governor’s office in the form of dot matrix print-outs.

    Wired is right: California now leads the nation in digital privacy, which we hope will carry over to federal reforms.
    S.B. 34 (Hill) Automated license plate recognition systems

    S.B. 34 introduces a whole slew of accountability measures for public agencies and private companies that operate automated license plate recognition (ALPR) systems.

    ALPR systems are networks of cameras that collect license plates of any car that passes. EFF has long been concerned about these mass surveillance systems because this information, in aggregate, can reveal sensitive information about drivers, including where they worship, what doctors they see, and where they sleep at night.

    Here are some of the key provisions of the new law, which adds ALPR to the list of the types of information covered by the state’s data breach laws:

    ALPR operators are required to “maintain reasonable security procedures and practices, including operational, administrative, technical, and physical safeguards, to protect ALPR information from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure.”
    ALPR operators will need to create usage and privacy policy that is “consistent with respect for individuals’ privacy and civil liberties.” This policy must be available to the public in writing—including online, if the operator has a website.
    The policies at a minimum must describe the purpose of the system, the retention policies for the data, and, how data will be shared or sold. The policy must also explain who can access the system and the training requirements for accessing the system. The policies must further include how data will be protected and how the data will be ensured and errors will be corrected.
    You can sue an ALPR operator if a data breach or unauthorized access harms you.

    Public agencies that use ALPR have further restrictions. For one, agencies must provide an opportunity for public comment before implement an ALPR program. They also can’t sell or share ALPR data, except with other public agencies.
    S.B. 741 (Hill) Mobile communications privacy

    S.B. 741 applies similar principles as S.B. 34, but to “cellular communications interception technology,” such as IMSI catchers (a.k.a. "Stingrays" and "Dirtboxes"), including public disclosures about the use of this surveillance equipment. The new law says:

    A public agency that uses a cell site simulator must maintain adequate security measures to protect collected data from “unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure.”
    A public agency must adopt a usage and privacy policy that is “consistent with respect for an individual’s privacy and civil liberties.”
    Local agencies must disclose the existence of agreements with other agencies regarding the IMSI catchers and help limit the use of non-disclosure agreements to hide how law enforcement uses this equipment.
    Local agencies, with the exception of sheriff departments, will not be able to obtain this equipment without approval of the legislative body and a public process. Sheriffs will need to at the very least provide public notice online of the acquisition of these devices.
    An individual harmed by violations of this law can sue the agency.

    Read our letter to Gov. Brown about this bill.
    S.B. 249 (Hueso) Enhanced Driver Licenses

    Under S.B. 249, the Department of Motor Vehicles would have begun issuing “Enhanced Driver Licenses” (EDLs), identity cards with an embedded RFID chip. The bill’s authors believed this would relieve congestion at the Mexican border, because it would allow the checkpoints to begin verifying your identity while you’re still queuing up in your vehicle. The RFID chip make it possible for your identification number to be read up to 30 feet away.

    EFF opposed this bill because RFID is an insecure technology that could reveal your identity and location to anyone with an RFID reader. As a meager security measure, the law would have required the DMV to hand out little protective envelopes, although research has shown these envelopes to be ineffective. At one point, the bill ensured that these EDLs were optional. However, at the last minute, legislators stripped out measures that would have protected civil liberties and privacy. The version that arrived on the governor’s desk would have allowed an employer to discriminate against employees who did not apply for EDLs.

    Hundreds of members of the public sent emails to the legislature and governor opposing S.B. 249. Ultimately, Brown vetoed the bill with the message that EDLs are unnecessary, since there are already other options out there to ease border-crossing wait times.
    S.B. 272 (Hertzberg) – Disclosure of Enterprise Systems

    Transparency measures had a hard time this legislative session. EFF supported S.B. 573, which would have created the state-level position of Chief Data Officer, who would have been charged with creating an open data hub and open data roadmap. Unfortunately, the bill died in committee.

    However, another bill we supported, S.B. 272, made it to the governor’s desk and was signed. The new law would require local agencies to create catalogs of “enterprise systems” that store information and post this information to their websites. For each data system, the agencies must disclose the purpose of the system, what kind of data is stored in it, how often it is stored and updated, and the vendors offering the product. By doing so, we believe local agencies will allow for greater accountability and transparency regarding the types of information collected on members of the public.
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
    Attachment 1008

  9. #9
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    Electronic Frontier Foundation
    Issue 691st


    House Holds Closed Hearing on Section 702 Surveillance, Rejecting Calls for Transparency

    Our elected representatives are once again cutting out the public from an important debate over mass surveillance. The House Judiciary Committee held a "members only" meeting today to discuss Section 702 of the FISA Amendment Acts, the law on which the NSA relies to operate its notorious PRISM surveillance program and to tap into the backbone of the Internet. Last week, EFF joined two dozen civil liberties, human rights, and transparency organizations, demanding in writing that leaders of the House Judiciary Committee open the hearing, at least in part, to the public. Instead, the committee heard today only from a panel of intelligence officials drawn from the NSA, FBI, DOJ, and ODNI who released a 12-page unclassified statement.

    EFF Updates

    Data Privacy Day: Take Charge of Your Family’s Privacy

    Data Privacy Day, dedicated to promoting and raising awareness of privacy and data protection around the globe, was Thursday, January 28. Commemorating the 35th anniversary of the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection, it offered a great excuse to take charge of not only your own privacy, but also the privacy of any school children in your life.

    Hacking the Patent System: Improved, Expanded Guide to Patent Licensing Alternatives

    We're pleased to announce the 2016 edition of Hacking the Patent System, a guide to alternative patent licensing produced by the Juelsgaard Intellectual Property & Innovation Clinic at Stanford Law School in partnership with EFF and Engine. First published in 2014, the guide provides an overview of several tools that inventors and innovators could use to avert unnecessary and costly patent litigation while we continue to push for reforms to make the patent system into the engine of innovation that it should be.

    "No Cost" License Plate Readers Are Turning Texas Police into Mobile Debt Collectors and Data Miners

    Vigilant Solutions, one of the country's largest brokers of vehicle surveillance technology, is offering a hell of a deal to law enforcement agencies in Texas: a whole suite of automated license plate reader (ALPR) equipment and access to the company's databases and analytical tools—and it won't cost the agency a dime. Instead of paying for ALPR gear themselves, Texas police fund it by gouging people who have outstanding court fines and handing Vigilant all of the data they gather on drivers for nearly unlimited commercial use.

    The Commerce Department Has Good Recommendations For Fixing Copyright Law—But More is Needed

    The U.S. Commerce Department released its long-awaited White Paper on fixes to copyright law last week and it's a mixed bag. It includes some good recommendations on how Congress should change the law, but punts on some crucial enduring problems. While the department's recommendations include welcome ideas on how to protect artists and innovators in digital media from unnecessary risks, they don’t go far enough.


    miniLinks

    White House denies clearance to tech researcher with links to Snowden

    The White House denied a security clearance to a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and recent FTC staffer who previously helped report on the Snowden revelations. While the reasons have not been disclosed, Ashkan Soltani's departure raises important questions about the U.S. government’s ability to partner with the broader tech community.

    Some presidential candidates want the encryption debate resolved behind closed doors

    Some 2016 presidential candidates are really not in the mood to speak publicly about technology that affects virtually every American's privacy. Candidates in both parties, aware that there is no clear-cut encryption solution in which they will emerge as terrorist-fighting heroes, would prefer to keep their plans on this vital issue secret.

    Ban internet anonymity – says US Homeland Security official

    Internet anonymity should be banned and everyone required to carry the equivalent of a license plate when driving around online. That's according to Erik Barnett, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's attache to the European Union. Writing in French policy magazine FIC Observatoire, Barnett somewhat predictably relies on the existence of child abuse images to explain why everyone in the world should be easily monitored.

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    Electronic Frontier Foundation
    Issue 702

    DMCA 1201: The Law That Locks Down Tech

    Some day, your life may depend on the work of a security researcher. Whether it’s a simple malfunction in a piece of computerized medical equipment or a malicious compromise of your networked car, it’s critically important that people working in security can find and fix the problem before the worst happens.

    And yet, Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) casts a dark legal cloud over the work of those researchers. It gives companies a blunt instrument with which to threaten that research, keeping potentially embarrassing or costly errors from seeing the light of day. EFF believes that 1201 is unconstitutional, and today, we’re taking our case to court.

    Copyright law shouldn’t cast a legal shadow over activities as basic as popping the hood of your own car, offering commentary on a shared piece of culture, or testing security infrastructure. It’s time for the courts to revisit Section 1201 and fix Congress’ constitutional mistake.
    EFF Updates

    Security Experts: Tell the W3C To Protect Researchers Who Investigate Browsers

    The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has taken the extraordinary, controversial step of standardizing digital rights management (DRM) technology in the official HTML5 specifications. Because of laws protecting DRM, that means that security researchers who reveal flaws in HTML5-compliant browsers could face serious legal repercussions. We’re calling on security researchers to help us urge the W3C to protect their important work.

    Ninth Circuit Panel Backs Away From Dangerous Password Sharing Decision—But Creates Even More Confusion About the CFAA

    Three judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals have taken a step back from criminalizing password sharing, limiting the dangerous rationale of a recent decision issued by the same court. That’s good news, but the new decision creates even more confusion about how to interpret the notoriously vague Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

    New EEOC Rules Allow Employers to Pay for Employees’ Health Information

    The Affordable Care Act provisions for employee wellness programs give employers the power to reward or penalize their employees based on whether they complete health screenings and participate in fitness programs. Wellness programs put employees in a bind: give your employer access to extensive, private health data, or give up potentially thousands of dollars a year.

    California Grounds Two Bad Drone Bills

    Two bills were introduced in the California legislature this session to regulate the use of drones. Both were overly restrictive of private drone use, even potentially criminalizing fun and educational drone sports events. Now, we’re happy to announce that both of these drone bills have been grounded.

    EFF Joins Stars to Rock Against the TPP and Finally Defeat It

    EFF is proud to support Rock Against the TPP, a series of music festivals and rallies around the country to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Fight for the Future is organizing the rallies featuring Tom Morello, Talib Kweli, and many other big names. Together, we can send the message to Congress to refuse to ratify the TPP.

    Tell Your Senators: Don’t Give FBI More Power to Spy on Browser History


    Despite strong opposition in Congress and from the grassroots, the FBI is still pushing to expand its National Security Letter (NSL) authority. The proposed amendments would allow the FBI to serve companies with NSLs and obtain a wide range of Internet records including browsing history. Take a moment to tell your Senators to vote against expanding NSL powers.

    Patents: The Next Open Access Fight


    Signs are looking good that Congress will finally pass a bill requiring that publicly funded research be made available to the public. Even if we pass an open access law this year, though, there’s still a major obstacle in the way of publicly funded research fully benefiting the public: patent trolls.

    New Court Ruling Underscores the Need to Stop the Changes to Rule 41

    A federal court recently held that individuals have no reasonable expectation of privacy in a personal computer located inside their home. In this court’s view, the FBI is free to hack into networked devices without a warrant. This stunning decision makes it clear that we need to stop the changes to Rule 41, amendments that will make it easier for the government to get a warrant to remotely search computers.

    With Canada’s Entry, Treaty for the Blind Will Come Into Force

    A groundbreaking international agreement to address the “book famine” for blind and print-disabled people is now set to go into force after passing a key milestone. The agreement requires countries to allow the reproduction and distribution of accessible ebooks by limiting the scope of copyright restrictions.

    Stupid Patent of the Month: Storage Cabinets on a Computer

    This month’s stupid patent claims the idea of using “virtual cabinets” to graphically represent data storage and organization. The patent’s owner has been using it to sue just about anyone who runs a website.

    miniLinks

    Bulgaria Passes Law Requiring Government Software to Be Open Source (ZDNet)

    Bulgaria’s new open source law is a win for transparency and security.

    The Fight for the Right to Repair (Smithsonian)

    Laws that keep technology locked down make everyone less safe.

    Startups Should Be Watching as the Supreme Court Decides Samsung v. Apple (Recode)

    A dispute over design patents could have major ramifications for the future of innovation.
    Supported by Donors

    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.

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