In our 683rd issue:
EFF's Pioneer Awards are like the Oscars, except that we honor activists not actors, hoodies and jeans are red-carpet haute couture, and the presentations are just the right length. So, maybe it's not like the Oscars at all. Nevertheless, our always-inspiring annual event will recognize the security researchers at Citizen Lab, Internet access champions Anriette Esterhuysen and the Association for Progressive Communications, and digital community advocate Kathy Sierra. A fourth, posthumous award will honor visionary privacy advocate Caspar Bowden, who passed away in July. The ceremony will be held at Delancey Street's Town Hall in San Francisco on Sept. 24.
A federal judge has ruled that EFF will be able to pose questions to government officials under oath about a Drug Enforcement Administration program that collected billions of international calling records over two decades. EFF filed the case on behalf of Human Rights Watch in April, and, as far as we know, this is the first time a court has allowed discovery in a case challenging mass surveillance.
The FBI has no problem talking publicly at conferences and briefing Congress about their plans to use Rapid DNA technology—laser printer-sized, portable machines that allow anyone to process genetic material in as little as 50 minutes. However, when we filed a Freedom of Information Act request, the FBI responded that it didn't have a single relevant record. If that's the game the FBI wants to play, then we have no problem taking the Department of Justice to court.
Hollywood "Livid" that USTR May Reopen TPP's Copyright Rules
Under pressure from tech companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Trade Representative has reportedly agreed to reconsider a key copyright provision in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This is a huge opportunity for users, consumers, and remix artists to prevent terrible restrictions—so it's no surprise that the Motion Picture Association of America is throwing a tantrum.
California May Soon Require a Warrant for Your Data
More than a 1,000 EFF supporters have emailed the California Assembly urging them to pass S.B. 178, which would ensure police need a warrant before searching your data. But we still need more voices: if you live in the Golden State, tell your assemblymember to vote yes when the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act comes to the floor.
Megaupload User Still Fighting to Get His Files Back
Three years after the feds seized Megaupload's servers, users still can't access their data. EFF has filed yet another brief asking a court to let sports videographer Kyle Goodwin have his files back.
Surveillance Self-Defense: The Animated Series
EFF's Surveillance Self-Defense online guide is now even handier with the release of four animated shorts explaining the basics of online information security. The four cartoons cover encryption, using dice to create passwords, securing your device, and password management tools.
Law Enforcement Policies for Mobile Biometrics Tech Are Trickling In
MuckRock and hundreds of members of the public have filed public records requests around the country to shine light on how local law enforcement agencies use mobile biometric technologies, such as facial recognition and iris scanning. The records are now coming in, starting with mobile fingerprinting analysis policies from Denver and San Jose.
Why East Texas is America's Patent Troll Capital
So far in 2015, 44% of all patent cases were filed in the Eastern District of Texas. In this Deep Dive, EFF Staff Attorney and Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents Daniel Nazer explains why this is outrageous and needs to change.
Copyright Takedowns are the Wrong Response to the Ashley Madison Breach
The hack of the Ashley Madison romantic affair website may prove devastating for its users, but issuing takedown requests to sites, such as Twitter and reddit, to hide information about the breach is an abuse of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
ProPublica: Why the Close Collaboration Between the NSA and AT&T Matters
Documents revealing how AT&T assisted the NSA in electronic surveillance on a massive scale could significantly impact EFF's lawsuit, Jewel v. NSA.
Note to Self: When Your Conspiracy Theory Is True
WNYC's tech podcast tells the story of how Daniel Rigmaiden uncovered police "Stingrays" from a prison library.
San Jose Mercury-News: Proposal to Put ALPRs on Garbage Trucks
Claiming people don't have a right to privacy on a public street, San Jose officials want to attach automatic license plate readers to garbage trucks to find stolen cars.
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Editor: Rainey Reitman, Activism Director
EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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