In our 687th issue:
The U.S. Department of Education is on the verge of passing a new rule requiring all content it funds to be available under open licensing, but we need your urgent support to ensure it goes through.
We can't stress enough how huge this is. This new rule would be the first of its kind within the federal government and lead the way to unlocking potentially billions of dollars worth of educational resources that the public rarely has a chance to see or use. By embracing an open license, it would also allow educators to reuse, modify, and redistribute these taxpayer-funded materials free of charge.
The deadline for submitting comment is Dec. 16. Sign our petition today to ensure better education through open licensing tomorrow.
EFF teamed up with Visualizing Impact to launch Onlinecensorship.org to document the who, what, and why of censorship on social media sites. Users themselves can report on content takedowns from Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and YouTube. By cataloging and analyzing aggregated cases of social media censorship, Onlinecensorship.org seeks to unveil trends in content removals, provide insight into the types of content being taken down, and learn how these takedowns impact different communities of users.
TPP Protesters March on Washington
Bearing signs with crowd-sourced slogans, a giant Monopoly-guy puppet, and toilet-paper-shaped lanterns trailing the words "Flush the TPP," hundreds of protesters marched in Washington, D.C. to fight the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 6,000-page trade agreement that was negotiated behind closed doors. As we've written before, TPP empowers multinational corporations and private interest groups at the expense of the public interest, particularly on intellectual property issues. Join us in telling Congress to reject this deal.
CISA's Silver Lining
It's hard to find anything positive to say about the U.S. Senate's vote to pass the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, a bill that would grant companies more power to hand over our personal communications to the government. But we did fine one thing: the final version did not include Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse's amendment that would expand the already extremely problematic Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Anti-Encryption, Pro-Mass Surveillance Officials Exploit Tragedies Again
Before the smoke had even cleared—much less before a serious investigation was completed—officials were already using the Paris tragedy to justify expanding government intrusion into the private lives of people worldwide. EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn fired back, explaining that mass surveillance and encryption backdoors won't make anyone safer.
Misuse Rampant, Oversight Lacking with California's Police Databases
An EFF investigation found that the government body charged with overseeing California's sprawling network of law enforcement databases has looked the other way while police abuse of the system has doubled since 2010.
Facebook's Copyright Bot Raises Privacy Concerns
Facebook has recently introduced a new system for automatically recognizing copyright infringement in videos. While the move may be well-intentioned, we're concerned because the new copyright bot actually requires users to share their private videos with a third party.
EFF to Court: DNA Testing of Arrestees Violates California Constitution
A California law allows police to collect DNA from arrestees who have not been charged with a crime. In an amicus brief filed with the California Supreme Court in People v. Buza, EFF argues that this law violates privacy and search and seizure protections guaranteed by the state constitution.
Who Has Your Back? Peru Edition
Peruvians now have a handy guide for understanding how phone companies and Internet service providers protect their data from government requests. In November, EFF and the Hiperderecho, a Peruvian digital rights organization, have launched ¿Quien Defiende Tus Datos? (Who Defends Your Data?), the third such Latin American investigation this year based on EFF's popular "Who Has Your Back?" annual report.
FCC Gets It Right on "Do Not Track"
The FCC decided it would not require Internet “edge providers” like Google, Facebook, or Amazon to honor Do Not Track browser requests. While we believe these companies should voluntarily respect DNT, we agree the FCC should not be in the business of regulating websites.
4 Takeaways From Copyright Reform Committee's Silicon Valley Listening Tour
Members of the House Judiciary Committee visited Silicon Valley this month to discuss copyright reform, including hearing testimony from EFF Staff Attorney Kit Walsh. In this round-up, we explain what these members of Congress learned about statutory damages, DRM, fair use, and end-user license agreements.
Consumer Review Freedom Act Moves Forward
The Senate Commerce Committee has approved an amended version of the Consumer Review Freedom Act, which would prohibit businesses from using contracts to prevent their customers from sharing negative reviews of their products and services online or using bogus copyright claims to censor reviews they don't like.
Hundreds of Potentially Illegal Wiretaps Identified in Riverside
In a blockbuster report for USA Today, reporter Brad Heath found that hundreds of wiretaps approved by the Riverside County District Attorney in California on behalf of the DEA were likely against the law.
Israel Finally Allows 3G in Palestine
Palestinian companies have to license their wireless spectrum from the Israeli government and route their traffic through Israel. 4G is widely available in Israel, and now the Israeli government is finally extending 3G service to Palestine.
How Butters from South Park Shaped Copyright Law
The Hollywood Reporter reflected on five years of lawsuits and determined that an appellate court ruling on South Park's "What, What (In the Butt)" parody was the most influential opinion affecting entertainment law.
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Editor: Dave Maass, Investigative Researcher
EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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