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EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation

In our 727th issue:

A Lump of Coal in the Internet’s Stocking: FCC Poised to Gut Net Neutrality Rules

Before the Thanksgiving weekend, the Federal Communications Commission released a plan to gut net neutrality protections. The plan will eliminate the rules that prevent major ISPs from blocking and throttling Internet traffic and setting up pay-to-play structures. In place of those protections, the FCC proposed a mere transparency requirement, allowing ISPs to impose non-neutral practices, as long as they are open about it.

These changes will upend the Internet as we have come to learn, use, and inhabit it. For years, the Internet operated as an equal playing field for major companies, small business owners, hobbyists and anyone else who simply wanted to start or use a website. By removing these rules, the FCC will allow ISPs to enact "fast lanes" on the Internet, where certain websites can be favored over others. One way companies could access those fast lanes is simple: pay more.

Under the new rules, companies that have the most money could pay their way into having their content delivered more quickly. Startups, and smaller websites or apps, will be at a disadvantage.

The best way to help protect the open web is to call and contact your representatives. If you want, you can also take part in various, country-wide events planned for December 7. Help today: speak up.

EFF Updates

Power-Up Campaign

For a limited time, all donations made to EFF as part of its Power-Up Your Donation campaign will be matched! That means, simply, when you donate $1, EFF receives $2. Donate $2? That becomes $4. And donate $100? Well, okay, you get the idea.

But this double-donation duration only lasts until EFF receives $203,137. We have until December 5 to meet that goal. Every donation helps our organization build privacy-enhancing tools, stop illegal government surveillance, fight censorship, protect the open web, and more.

Who Has Your Back in Colombia? Karisma's Report Shows Progress

Working in cooperation with EFF, Fundación Karisma released its third annual ¿Dónde Estan Mis Datos? Report, the Columbian parallel to EFF's Who Has Your Back? The report, which shows some progress in companies that are standing up for their users, is more thorough in its evaluation than years prior. Fundación Karisma reviewed mobile and fixed ISPs on their data practices, as well as corporate policies for gender equality and accessibility, public data breach responses, and HTTPS use.

Why We’re Helping The Stranger Unseal Electronic Surveillance Records

EFF is representing the Pulitzer-prize winning newspaper The Stranger to better understand what the government requests from technology companies when seeking user data, and under what legal authorities those requests allegedly apply. The Seattle-based newspaper has petitioned a local, federal court to unseal government requests for electronic surveillance made to some of the region's largest companies, like Amazon and Microsoft.

EFF’s Street-Level Surveillance Project Dissects Police Technology

EFF is proud to announce the latest update to its Street-Level Surveillance project. The latest update includes information and documentation about invasive forms of police surveillance, including automated license plate readers, body-worn cameras, cell-site simulators, drones, and face recognition. These pieces of technology can be found almost everywhere today—on street lamps, on highway overpasses, in cop cars, and in the sky. Learn about who is collecting your data, what they're using it for, and how EFF is fighting it.

Panopticlick 3.0

EFF released a new version of Panopticlick, a website we developed to help users understand what their Internet browsers know about them. The update includes a test for "Acceptable Ads," an initiative led by Adblock Plus and Adblock to better define non-invasive advertisements. This update led to a retooled privacy policy for Panopticlick. For more information about the updated policy, visit

Announcing the Security Education Companion

EFF launched its Security Education Companion-a set of tools, training manuals and instructions for people who want to teach their communities about digital privacy and security. These resources can empower people to better teach and train some of the trickier, more nuanced topics in cybersecurity, including password creation and management, end-to-end encrypted communications, social media protection, and private Internet browsing.

Court Rules That EFF’s Stupid Patent of the Month Award Is Protected Speech

A federal judge decided that EFF did not need to follow an Australian injunction that ordered us to take down a "Stupid Patent of the Month" blog post. The injunction also barred EFF from speaking about the patent owner's intellectual property ever again. The patent owner, Global Equity Management (SA) Pty Ltd, alleged that EFF published "false and malicious slander." EFF countersued in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, arguing that the post is protected speech. The court agreed. The post remains.

NSA Internet Surveillance Under Section 702 Violates the First Amendment

Often, constitutional arguments against Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act focus on the Fourth Amendment-the right to freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. But the First Amendment plays an equally important role. In its broadness, NSA surveillance chills speech, assembly, and association.


The NSA Caught a Navy Officer Illegally Attempting to Search an American’s Phone

The potential security lapse begs the question: How many other times have NSA agents and contractors misused powerful government spying tools for personal reasons? (Buzzfeed)

Most Recent Mac OS Has Enormous Security Flaw

Users found a glaring security problem in MacOS High Sierra, allowing anyone to log into a High Sierra device without needing a password. Apple has since fixed the problem. (CNET)

New Orleans Installs 24/7 Surveillance Center

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu revealed a high-tech office designed to collect information from surveillance cameras and automated license plate readers located throughout the city. (The New Orleans Advocate)

Brooklyn Judge Rules that Police Need Warrants to Track Suspects’ Cellphones

Protecting and serving should include identifying and patching vulnerabilities in our infrastructure. Not exploiting them. (The New York Times)


Editor: David Ruiz, Writer

EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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SecureDrop Hackathon at EFF

EFF, together with the Freedom of the Press Foundation, will host a SecureDrop hackathon at EFF's San Francisco office on December 7.

EFF in San Francisco

EFF's Rainey Reitman and Danny O'Brien will discuss the importance of the Supreme Court decision in Reno v. ACLU and how it applies to sex trafficking online, election interference, and other difficult issues, at the St. Regis Hotel on December 8.

Net Neutrality Protest in Washington, D.C.

The Defend Net Neutrality coalition is organizing a protest at the FCC headquarters in Washington, D.C. on December 13.

Net Neutrality Wake Up Call in Washington, D.C.

The Voices of Internet Freedom coalition is organizing a rally at the FCC headquarters in Washington, D.C. on December 14.

Job Opening: Latin America Policy Analyst

EFF is looking for a full-time contractor for Latin American digital rights policy analysis. This is a remote position based in Latin America, and will report directly to the International Rights Director who is based in our San Francisco office.

Job Opening: Operations Engineer

EFF is seeking an operations engineer to join our Technical Operations team, which is responsible for designing and maintaining EFF's systems and networks while also providing hardware and software technical support for staff. The ideal candidate must work well with a very busy staff with varying levels of technical expertise.

Job Opening: Staff Technologist

EFF is seeking a staff technologist or senior staff technologist to join our Technology Projects team. The role's primary responsibility will be working on one of EFF's technical projects, which may require a basic familiarity with web cryptography and other web technologies. All projects are open source and have active community contributors.

Job Opening: Web Developer

EFF is seeking a web developer to join our Engineering & Design team. The ideal candidate has strong programming skills with one of our server-side languages (Python, PHP, JavaScript, or Ruby), familiarity with HTML, CSS, and client-side JavaScript, and a love of free and open-source software.

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