In our 663rd issue:
EFF, Greenpeace, and the Tenth Amendment Center flew an airship over the NSA's Utah data center on Friday. Heralded as "the first-ever anti-surveillance air force," the 135-foot-long thermal airship carried activists from EFF and Greenpeace with the message: "NSA Illegal Spying Below."
"We woke up before dawn and watched the Utah sunrise while drifting 1,000 feet above the NSA data center. The center is massive, sprawling, and symbolizes everything that's wrong with the NSA's collect-it-all approach to surveillance," said Parker Higgins, the EFF activist who rode in the airship.
The flight marked the public unveiling of Stand Against Spying, an online scorecard that grades every member of Congress from A to F on the degree to which they are supporting--or blocking--meaningful surveillance reform. The website also has an open letter to President Obama, urging him to use his authority to end mass surveillance now, without waiting for Congress to act.
Make sure Congress and the president know that we’re paying attention. We're asking you to visit StandAgainstSpying.org now, look up your elected representatives' grades, and tweet directly to members of Congress so we can pressure them to enact real reform—not cosmetic fixes.
The FCC and Net Neutrality: A Way Forward
EFF has long been concerned about regulatory overreach by the FCC when it comes to the Internet. But in an environment where big companies have quasi-monopoly power over Internet infrastructure, Congress is caught in partisan gridlock, and antitrust law provides insufficient remedies, the FCC is in the best position to get rules that protect net neutrality in place sooner rather than later.
In Two Big Decisions, Supreme Court Sets Powerful Limits for Cell Searches, Fails to Protect Internet Streaming
The Supreme Court issued two decisions on cases where EFF submitted amicus briefs. In one, the court ruled that the police must get a warrant to search a cell phone of an arrested person, an important step forward for privacy. In the other, we were disappointed to see the court rule that Aereo, a company that has created an innovative way to watch streaming television, needed copyright holders' permission to stream free over-the-air broadcast TV shows.
2014 Pioneer Award Nominations Are Now Open
Nominations are open until July 2nd for EFF's 23rd Annual Pioneer Awards. The award goes to individuals who have contributed substantially to the health, growth, accessibility, or freedom of computer-based communications.
Students and Researchers: Take a Stand Against Patent Trolls
Over 100 universities have opposed a fix for our broken patent system—particularly concerning since university research is funded by public tax dollars. It's clear that abusive patent trolls and excessive litigation stand in the way of the innovation and creative thinking that universities are supposed to foster.
Twitter Reverses Decision to Censor Content in Pakistan
Twitter has reversed its decision to censor accounts in Pakistan, but it still needs to do more to be a defender of free expression on the Internet.
Tor Is For Everyone: Why You Should Use Tor
EFF's Tor Challenge has already helped expand the Tor network, but the more people use it, the stronger it is. We explain how Tor works and why everyone can and should use it.
Tesla Motors Opens Up Entire Patent Portfolio
Tesla Motors has committed to "not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use [Tesla's] technology." The details are to be determined, but this is an exciting step towards the kind of innovation-fostering approach we hope becomes the norm.
How To Enable Amharic In Google Docs, And Why It Matters to Ethiopian Bloggers
The Ethiopian government targets bloggers for political repression by covertly installing malware that can log keystrokes on their computers. This can be avoided using Google Docs—especially now that Google Docs supports Amharic.
Neutrality Begins At Home: What U.S. Mayors Can Do Right Now to Support a Neutral Internet
At the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting, city leaders are calling on the FCC to preserve an open Internet—but they don't have to wait for the FCC. Cities can help promote an open Internet now by using idle fiber optic lines and pushing for more competition among ISPs.
This Tool Boosts Your Privacy by Opening Your Wi-Fi to Strangers
EFF is working on software that would allow anyone to open up a limited portion of their wireless network for public use, as part of the OpenWireless.org campaign.
How Secret Partners Expand NSA's Surveillance Dragnet
Through the NSA's RAMPART-A program, foreign partners "provide access to cables and host U.S. equipment," greatly expanding the NSA's direct access to data.
Terrorists on Twitter: Attempts to silence ISIS online could backfire.
EFF Director for International Freedom of Expression Jillian York explains how the efforts to censor the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) by government and social media companies could actually backfire, silencing voices that could help halt ISIS.
Supported by Members
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.
Please consider becoming an EFF member today.
Nadia Kayyali, Activist
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EFF at the American Library Association Annual Conference
Visit EFF booth #2226 in the expo hall and discover our latest work defending your freedom online. You can support the growing movement for digital civil liberties and pick up some great EFF gear when you join or renew your membership at special rates on site!
The American Library Association, the oldest and largest library association in the world, holds its annual Conference & Exhibition each summer. We applaud the librarian community for working to ensure access to information.
June 26-July 1 2014
Las Vegas, NV
EFF at Bitcoin 2014
Join EFF Activism Director Rainey Reitman at Bitcoin Finance, a conference which brings together the brightest minds in payments, finance, business, banking, and Bitcoin. Over two days in Dublin, the participants will "tackle the big questions and host fearless debates on the opportunities and risks involved with decentralized currencies." Reitman will discuss financial censorship, free speech, and the power of decentralization. See schedule for details.
July 3-4, 2014
EFF at GaymerX2
Join EFF at GaymerX2, the second annual gaming and geek lifestyle convention with a focus on LGBTQ culture! Be sure to stop by the EFF booth where you can learn about our latest work protecting privacy and free expression online. You can find some cool EFF digital freedom swag, donate to support the cause, and even become an official member!
July 11-13, 2014
San Francisco, CA
EFF will be at Netroots Nation this year. Activist Nadia Kayyali will join Amie Stepanovich, Senior Policy Counsel for ACCESS, Marcy Wheeler, national security and civil liberties writer, and Mike Darner of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, for "NSA Surveillance Reform: Pitfalls and Opportunities." This panel covers the political environment around surveillance reform, including grassroots engagement and the potential for leadership on the issues. The panel will take place on Saturday, July 19, at 1:30 pm.
July 17-July 20, 2014
Several EFFers will speak at HOPE X (Hackers on Planet Earth) in New York City. In its tenth year, HOPE is one of the foremost hacker events, chock full of projects, talks, workshops, and more fun events.
July 18-20, 2014
New York, NY
Castan Centre Human Rights Conference
EFF's Director for International Freedom of Expression, Jillian York, will speak about surveillance at this year's Castan Centre Human Rights Conference at Monash University in Melbourne.
July 25, 2014