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EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation

In our 644th issue:

Obama Promises Reform of NSA Spying, But the Devil Will Be in the Details

President Obama held a press conference to address the growing public concern over the National Security Agency's surveillance practices. While we're glad Obama responded to the public's concerns with commitments to transparency and reform, as well as a whitepaper on the administration's legal interpretation of the relevant PATRIOT Act provisions, we take Obama's promises with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Trolling Effects: Taking on Patent Trolls with Your Help

We have a new contribution to the fight against patent trolls: Trolling Effects, a resource to empower would-be victims of patent trolls through a crowdsourced database of patent demand letters and a clearinghouse for information on the troll epidemic. The site allows demand letter recipients to post the documents online, find letters received by others, and research who is really behind such threats. The site also features comprehensive guides to the patent system and a blueprint for patent reform.

Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction to Protect Free Speech after EFF Challenge

A New Jersey federal district court judge has granted motions for a preliminary injunction, blocking the enforcement of a dangerous state law that would put online service providers at risk by -- among other things -- creating liability based on "indirect" publication of content by speech platforms.

EFF Updates

A Guide to the Deceptions, Misinformation, and Word Games Officials Use to Mislead the Public About NSA Surveillance

It's very hard to have a real debate about mass surveillance when the Obama Administration constantly and intentionally misleads Americans about the NSA's capabilities and supposed legal powers. At this point, it seems nothing the government says about the NSA can be taken at face value.

Obama Administration Releases Previously Secret Legal Opinion on NSA's Associational Tracking Program

The Obama Administration released a whitepaper that summarized its claimed legal basis for the bulk collection of telephony metadata, also known as the Associational Tracking Program under section 215 of the Patriot Act. The paper makes one central point clear: There is no direct authorization for the Associational Tracking Program in section Patriot Act section 215.

Stop Congress From Taking the Fast Track to One-Sided Copyright Laws

Fast Track, also called Trade Promotion Authority, is a process that hands away Congress' constitutional power to set the terms of U.S. trade policy, and gives the executive branch concentrated authority to negotiate and finalize trade agreements. This gives more power to corporate interests while cutting the public out.

Global Coalition States Principles to Protect Human Rights from Surveillance

For some time now there has been a need to update understandings of existing human rights law to reflect modern surveillance technologies and techniques. To move toward that goal, we're pleased to announce the launch of the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance.

MIT in Aaron Swartz Case: Not Neutral, Not Leading, Not Standing Up for Technologists

MIT's independent report on the prosecution of Aaron Swartz was recently released, and we are deeply disappointed. Instead of looking critically at what MIT did and criticizing it where warranted, the report simply recites the same old excuses some members of the MIT community have been giving for the university's failure to act.

The Bradley Manning Verdict and the Dangerous "Hacker Madness" Prosecution Strategy

The Bradley Manning decision continues a trend of government prosecutions that use familiarity with digital tools and knowledge of computers as a scare tactic and a basis for obtaining grossly disproportionate and unfair punishments.

Tor Browser Attacked, Users Should Update Software Immediately

An attack against Tor Browser users on Windows machines was recently discovered, and there is speculation that the malware was used by a law enforcement agency to harvest the IP addresses of users of several hidden services using Freedom Hosting.

DEA and NSA Team Up to Share Intelligence, Leading to Secret Use of Surveillance in Ordinary Investigations

A startling new Reuters story shows one of the biggest dangers of the surveillance state: the unquenchable thirst for access to the NSA's trove of information by other agencies, including the DEA and IRS.

Google Fiber Continues Awful ISP Tradition of Banning "Servers"

Having spent many years fighting to stop Internet Service Providers from discriminating between different types of Internet traffic, Google is now perpetuating a long-standing form of that discrimination with Google Fiber, its own ISP, by adopting a terrible Terms of Service clause that bans the use of "servers."


Email Host Lavabit Shuts Down

"I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit."

Techdirt: Jennifer Hoelzer's Insider's View Of The Administration's Response To NSA Surveillance Leaks

Former deputy chief of staff for Sen. Ron Wyden gives her very insightful perspective on the Obama administration's response to mass surveillance leaks and reform.

New York Times: N.S.A. Said to Search Content of Messages to and From U.S.

The New York Times breaks an important story about the NSA's searching through the content of Americans' emails and text communications.

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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.

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Editor: Adi Kamdar, Activist

EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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Creative Commons Global Summit 2013

The Creative Commons global community is gathering in Buenos Aires for its biannual Global Summit. EFF Global Policy Analyst Maira Sutton will attend.
August 21-24, 2013
Buenos Aires, Argentina

DataGotham 2013

Activist Adi Kamdar will discuss issues of control, privacy, and best practices around big data projects and new startups at DataGotham.
September 12-13, 2013
New York, NY

Could It Happen Here? Little Brother in San Francisco 2013

Cory Doctorow's One City One Book 2013 selection Little Brother may already be five years old, but its "day after tomorrow" setting seems closer than ever to reality. EFF participates on a panel discussing how close real-world San Francisco is to Doctorow's version.
September 24, 2013
San Francisco, CA

Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference

EFF activists Trevor Timm and Parker Higgins will present a primer on using transparency laws to release information about domestic drone programs, as well as a follow-up to their 2012 "Pwn The Drones" presentation on drone hacks.
October 11-13, 2013
New York, NY

Festival Universitario

Activist Adi Kamdar will speak to students about activism and digital rights at the Festival Universitario in Brasilia.
October 24-26, 2013
Brasilia, Brazil

EFF Pioneer Awards

EFF established the Pioneer Awards in 1992 to recognize leaders on the electronic frontier who are extending freedom and innovation in the realm of information technology. Come celebrate our newest winners, to be announced soon.
September 19, 2013
San Francisco, CA

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