Author: EFFSource

The InfoStride News

Today is the start of my last week as an employee of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  I will be leaving after nearly 15 years as EFF’s President and Executive Director, having started as a Staff Attorney back in 1992.  As I wrap up things here, I’ve been thinking a lot about where we’ve been and where we are now, and I thought it would be fun to share some of my reflections in a final blog post. EFF was founded in July of 1990 in response to a series of raids on small bulletin board systems (BBSs) that were believed…

Read More
The InfoStride News

We have known for some time that the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement community looks to find and exploit vulnerabilities in commercial software for surveillance purposes. As part of its reluctant, fitful transparency efforts after the Snowden leaks, the government has even officially acknowledged that it sometimes uses so-called zero-days. These statements are intended to reassure the public that the government nearly always discloses vulnerabilities to software vendors, and that any decision to instead exploit the vulnerability for intelligence purposes is a thoroughly considered one. But now, through documents EFF has obtained from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit,…

Read More
The InfoStride News

Today, EFF filed a second round of comments to the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) on its proposed regulatory rules for digital currencies like Bitcoin. EFF, the Internet Archive, and reddit filed initial joint comments to NYDFS back in October 2014, opposing the first draft of the “BitLicense” proposal. Thousands of concerned EFF members and friends also used our website to send in comments. In response to the deluge of public comments received on the initial regulations, the Department issued revised regulations on February 25, 2015. But while the second draft of the BitLicense proposal is better,…

Read More
oa logo

Promising public access legislation FASTR (Fair Access to Science & Technology Research Act) has been re-introduced by a bipartisan coalition in Congress. Lawmakers now have an important opportunity to strengthen and expand rules that allow taxpayers to freely read articles resulting from research their tax dollars support. EFF continues to encourage legislators to pass this bill as an important step forward—though there are still some measures to improve. Take action to support FASTR right now. Shortly after FASTR was initially introduced in 2013, the White House released a directive requiring the results of research funded by major federal government entities…

Read More
nsa action

A letter sent from major tech companies and civil society groups demanded Congress end the mass collection of calling records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act before an upcoming June 1 expiration date. The letter was signed by the Reform Government Surveillance coalition; which represents major tech companies like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo; and, privacy groups like ACLU and EFF. Specifically, the letter urges a clear, strong, and effective end to bulk collection practices under the USA PATRIOT Act, including under the Section 215 records authority and the Section 214 authority regarding pen registers and trap & trace devices. …

Read More
The InfoStride News

This week, on the edges of RightsCon Southeast Asia in Manila, Philippines, digital rights groups from around the world came together for two days of intensive work to finalize a new, ambitious standard to safeguard freedom of expression and innovation online. The approach the document takes to further these objectives is by focusing on the liability of Internet intermediaries—such as search engines, web hosts, social networks, domain hosts and ISPs—for online content of their users. Hence the document, officially launched today to applause from delegates of every continent, is named the Manila Principles on Intermediary Liability. The six simple principles…

Read More
The InfoStride News

New ‘Best Practice’ Roadmap to Protect Rights and Promote Innovation Manila – An international coalition launched the “Manila Principles on Internet Liability” today—a roadmap for the global community to protect online freedom of expression and innovation around the world. “All communication across the Internet is facilitated by intermediaries: service providers, social networks, search engines, and more.  These services are all routinely asked to take down content, and their policies for responding are often muddled, heavy-handed, or inconsistent.  That results in censorship and the limiting of people’s rights,” said Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Senior Global Policy Analyst Jeremy Malcolm, who helped…

Read More
id

Facebook recently updated its community standards. As the company noted in the announcement accompanying the change, their “policies and standards themselves are not changing,” but that they wanted to provide more clarity to a set of existing rules that have often been misunderstood by users. While some of the changes provide significantly more detail as to the reasoning behind certain content restrictions, others fall short. And unfortunately, the updated standards do very little to solve the continuing problem of account suspensions for “real names” violations. “Real Names” Even in the last week and a half Facebook has continued to suspend…

Read More
The InfoStride News

When does an online fantasy cross the line into criminal conspiracy? That’s the issue the Second Circuit Court of Appeals is currently weighing in United States v. Gilberto Valle, the so-called “cannibal cop” case. EFF filed an amicus brief in support of Valle today, arguing that finding him guilty of conspiracy based on his online statements would put us in the scary realm of “thoughtcrime.” Valle was a New York City police officer charged with and convicted of both conspiracy to kidnap and violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”). Earlier this month, we filed a separate amicus brief in…

Read More
backbone  color

Last week, the ACLU filed a welcome additional challenge to the NSA’s warrantless Internet backbone surveillance (aka “Upstream” surveillance) on behalf of Wikimedia and a number of other media and human rights organizations. We applaud all of those involved in bringing the case. It adds another avenue of attack on one of the NSA’s most audacious programs—tapping into the very backbone of the Internet and thereby putting all of our online activities under scrutiny. Wikimedia, the non-profit that operates Wikipedia, succinctly explained in a blog post why the NSA’s “collect it all” mentality is dangerous: it forces Wikipedia users to…

Read More