In our 646th issue:
In a major victory in one of EFF's Freedom of Information Act lawsuits, the Justice Department conceded that it will release hundreds of pages of documents, including FISA court opinions, related to the government's secret interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act. The NSA has relied upon this law for years to mass collect the phone records of millions of innocent Americans.
EFF filed a brief on behalf of Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), the author of the original USA PATRIOT Act, in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union against the NSA. In the brief, Sensenbrenner argues that Congress never intended this law to permit the NSA's collection of the records of every telephone call made to, from and within the United States.
An Illustration of How the NSA Misleads the Public Without Technically Lying
The Wall Street Journal published an important investigation last week, reporting that the NSA has direct access to many key telecommunications switches around the country and "has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic." The Director of National Intelligence and the NSA released a statement about the story later that evening. If you read the statement quickly, it seems like the NSA is disputing the WSJ story. But on careful reading, they actually do not deny any of it.
One Key to Rule Them All: Threats Against Service Provider Private Encryption Keys
EFF has worked hard to convince large and small websites to support HTTPS by default, and we're happy to see steady progress from major service providers on this front. While increased deployment of HTTPS is a huge step forward in securing the web and protecting user communications, it is not a silver bullet. There are many types of attacks on HTTPS that we need to be vigilant about, but here we focus on one in particular -- how safe are the private encryption keys of service providers?
EFF Amicus Asks Supreme Court to Review Warrantless Smartphone Searches
Are police allowed to rummage through the contents of a cell phone when a person is arrested? The U.S. Supreme Court is currently deciding whether to grant review in two cases involving the thorny issue. We've filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court asking it to grant review in Riley v. California, a case involving the warrantless search of a smartphone incident to arrest.
An Open Letter to John Kerry: Tell Ethiopia to Release Eskinder Nega and Stop Imprisoning Bloggers
Approaching the second anniversary of Eskinder Nega's imprisonment, EFF calls upon Secretary of State John Kerry to stand up for free speech and urge Ethiopia to release the journalist.
The Cost of Censorship in Libraries: 10 Years Under the Children’s Internet Protection Act
This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the enforcement of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which is supposed to encourage public libraries and schools to filter child pornography and obscene or "harmful to minors" images from the library's Internet connection in exchange for continued federal funding. Unfortunately, aggressive interpretations of this law have resulted in extensive and unnecessary censorship in libraries.
Pushing for Perfect Forward Secrecy, an Important Web Privacy Protection
Sites that use perfect forward secrecy can provide better security to users in cases where the encrypted data is being monitored and recorded by a third party. More sites should enable it, and more users should demand it of the sites they trust with their private data.
Guardian: How to remain secure against NSA surveillance
Security expert (and EFF Board Member) Bruce Schneier explains how to stay secure in your online communications after the latest NSA revelations.
OTI: Patent Assertion and Startup Innovation
In this report, Professor Colleen Chien examines exactly how venture capitalists and startups feel about patents and patent trolls.
YouTube: "Calling NSA"
A man calls the NSA in an attempt to retrieve a lost email. Hilarity ensues.
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Editor: Adi Kamdar, Activist
EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Help Send EFF to SXSW
The annual South by Southwest conference has launched its Panel Picker. We would love to go advocate for digital liberties in Austin next year, so we're asking our friends and fans to please take a few moments to vote for panels featuring EFF staff members.
Freedom Not Fear Berlin
The annual "Freiheit Statt Angst" demonstration carries a special significance this year, coming just months after the revelations of expansive NSA spying programs. EFF Activist Parker Higgins will speak at the protest, to be held in Alexanderplatz.
September 7, 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
EFF Pioneer Awards
EFF is proud to announce the winners of the 2013 Pioneer Awards: Aaron Swartz, James Love, and Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras. Come celebrate these leaders on the electronic frontier who extend freedom and innovation in the realm of information technology.
September 19, 2013
San Francisco, CA
World Maker Faire New York
Celebrate innovation with EFF at the World Maker Faire New York! We are pleased to participate in the world's most diverse showcase of creativity and innovation in technology, craft, science, fashion, art, food and more.
September 21-22, 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
In light of our recent Save Podcasting campaign against a bad patent troll, Staff Attorney Daniel Nazer will speak at the LA Podcasting Festival.
October 5, 2013
Los Angeles, 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
Activist Adi Kamdar will speak to students about activism and digital rights at the Festival Universitario in Brasilia.
October 24-26, 2013