In our 661st issue:
When governments are after your personal data, which online services will stand up and defend it? In our fourth annual Who Has Your Back report, we look at companies' public policies and practices, so that privacy-conscious consumers can make an informed decision about who to trust with their most sensitive data.
We were pleased to find out that, in a year rocked by high-profile disclosures of NSA spying reaching into our online accounts, many companies have responded by increasing their commitment to transparency, pushing back against mass surveillance, and fighting for their users. The full report goes into extensive detail about how each company performed, and what exactly our evaluation criteria were.
Public policies and commitments aren't the last word when it comes to defending your privacy, but as we trust online services with more and more of our information, it's an increasingly important component. If you're concerned about your privacy from overreaching surveillance, you'll want to know: when the government comes knocking, who has your back?
Today the FCC met to discuss new rules that could determine the future of network neutrality. There’s been a lot of news circulating about what the FCC's plan will contain. And while we haven't seen the text of the plan yet, we know the agency is still considering a set of rules that will allow Internet providers to differentiate how we access websites. But the FCC is clearly hearing the public outcry to protect the future of the Internet. The agency announced that they are seeking comment on wider set of initiatives that would stop ISPs from setting up pay-to-play Internet fast lanes. The FCC is opening a four-month comment
window to hear from people across country about how their proposed rules will effect the future of our Internet. So we must take this opportunity to speak up — early, and often. EFF has created a tool to help. Visit DearFCC.org to raise your voice and make sure the FCC is clear on this point: We don't want regulations that will turn ISPs into gatekeepers to their subscribers.
Victory! Chevron Withdraws Subpoenas to Anonymous Email Users Represented by EFF and EarthRights International
EFF and EarthRights International represented Ecuadorian environmental activists, attorneys, and journalists fighting against the environmental damage caused by Chevron in Ecuador. After several court battles, Chevron agreed to withdraw subpoenas to Yahoo! and Google requesting extensive and troubling information about webmail users.
The Morality Police in Your Checking Account: Chase Bank Shuts Down Accounts of Adult Entertainers
Chase Bank sent letters to hundreds of adult entertainers informing them that their bank accounts would be shut down without giving a reason. Some are speculating that the Department of Justice's misguided "Operation Chokepoint" program may be behind the move.
International Day Against DRM: It's Time to Fix U.S. Copyright Law
Digital rights management (DRM) is technology that purportedly exists to protect against copyright infringement, but in practice limits how people use and share technology they have paid for.
We’ve Got TPP Right Where We Want It: Going Nowhere
The secrecy surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, and the massive opposition TPP has faced from all sides, appears to be stalling the negotiation process.
The White House Big Data Report: The Good, The Bad, and The Missing
We did an in-depth analysis of a big data report commissioned by President Obama. While the report addresses issues like the dangers of discrimination based on big data, it ignores others, and even has some concerning suggestions, such as likening whistleblowers to violent criminals.
EFF Calls for Release of Ethiopian Dissident Bloggers
Bloggers in Ethiopia who are critical of the government face censorship, intimidation, and pervasive surveillance. Recently, six dissident bloggers were arrested--the government of Ethiopia must release them now.
Government Plays Fast and Loose with Technology in Supreme Court Cell Phone Cases
The government's arguments in two Supreme Court cases regarding cell phone searches by law enforcement included extreme mischaracterizations both of how cell phone technology works and how people use it.
Pols to Ad Networks: Pretend We Passed SOPA, and Never Mind About Violating Antitrust Law
Members of Congress are pressuring ad networks to blacklist sites based on easy to abuse commercial definitions of "pirate sites." This mimics the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) even though public pressure ensured that SOPA did not become law, and it may very well violate federal antitrust law.
EFF Releases Alpha Version of Privacy Badger, a New Tool to Help Block Trackers and Spy Ads
EFF has released our first version of Privacy Badger, a new open source browser add-on for Firefox and Chrome that stops advertisers and other third-party trackers from secretly tracking where you go and what pages you look at on the web.
The battle against pervasive surveillance can be won – really!
Between legislative action like USA FREEDOM, direct action like Reset the Net, and legal action like EFF's NSA cases, we will see real change to the NSA.
Why I Licensed Under Creative Commons: I’m Building the World I Want to Live In
Novelist SL Huang explains how using Creative Commons licenses helps creativity thrive.
Cops Must Swear Silence to Access Vehicle Tracking System
Cops who use a private vehicle tracking database can't cooperate with the media, according to its user agreement.
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Nadia Kayyali, Activist
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EFF at the Los Angeles Chapter Information Systems Security Association Summit
EFF Staff Attorney Nate Cardozo will join a panel of experts for a discussion entitled Privacy and Security in the Age of NSA and Snowden exploring corporate data collection and government spying.
Don't forget to stop by the EFF table!
DISCOUNT FOR EFF SUPPORTERS: Receive a 25% discount on registration when you use the promo code EFF_Summit_25.
May 16, 2014
Los Angeles, CA
EFF at Bitcoin 2014
EFF Activism Director Rainey Reitman and EFF Special Counsel Marcia Hofmann will give a talk on "Bitcoin as a Liberty-Enhancing Technology: Case Studies in Financial Censorship and the SOPA Saga" on Saturday May 17th. After their presentation, they will participate in a panel discussion about Bitcoin and government relations.
May 17, 2014
EFF at Bay Area Maker Faire
Join EFF at Maker Faire Bay Area! We are proud to support the rights of modern innovators and promote the spirit of DIY creativity and freedom. Stop by the EFF Maker Faire booth to learn more and become an official EFF member.
May 18-19, 2014
San Francisco, CA
Techno-Activism Third Mondays (TA3)
Techno-Activism Third Mondays (TA3M) are informal meetups that occur on the same date in many cities worldwide. It is designed to connect techno-activists and hacktivists who work on or with circumvention tools, and/or are interested in anti-censorship and anti-surveillance technology. TA3M are held in New York, Washington, DC, Amsterdam, Portland, Tokyo, and more.
May 19, 2014
815 Eddy Street, San Francisco
Personal Democracy Forum (PDF)
EFF's Rainey Reitman and Jillian York will speak at the Personal Democracy Forum.
PDF brings together a thousand top opinion makers, political practitioners, technologists, and journalists from across the ideological spectrum for two days to network, exchange ideas, and explore how technology and wired citizens are changing politics, governance, and civil society.
June 5-6, 2014
New York, NY
How NSA Spying Can Affect Your Legal Case and What Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Client
EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury will give a one hour CLE presentation for the Bar Association of San Francisco, discussing how NSA and other intelligence communities gather and tip information to law enforcement agencies in routine criminal cases. He will also explain steps criminal defense attorneys can take to figure out if NSA derived evidence is being used against their clients.
June 19, 2014
Bar Association of San Francisco
301 Battery St, San Francisco, CA