In our 665th issue:
EFF teamed up with Greenpeace and the Tenth Amendment Center to launch an airship over the NSA's sprawling Utah data center earlier this summer. Now acclaimed filmmaker Brian Knappenberger has documented our campaign in a short, powerful video. Check out the video and share it with your friends.
Senator Patrick Leahy introduced a revised version of his NSA reform bill, the USA FREEDOM Act of 2014, which focuses on telephone record collection and FISA Court reform. While this bill is not a comprehensive solution to overbroad and unconstitutional surveillance—and we've outlined some of our concerns—it is a strong first step. EFF urges Congress to support passage of the bill without any amendments that will weaken it.
On June 6, the court in our flagship NSA spying case, Jewel v. NSA, held a long hearing in a crowded, open courtroom, widely covered by the press. We were even on the local TV news on two stations. At the end, the Judge ordered both sides to request a transcript since he ordered us to do additional briefing. But when it was over, the government sought permission to “remove” classified information from the transcript, and even indicated that it wanted to do so secretly, so the public could never even know that they had done so.
Introducing EFF's Stupid Patent of the Month
In an effort to highlight the problem of stupid patents, we’re introducing a new blog series, Stupid Patent of the Month, featuring spectacularly dumb patents that have been recently issued or asserted. With this series, we hope to illustrate by example just how badly reform is needed—at the Patent Office, in court, and in Congress. In other stupid patent news, we've submitted comments to the Patent Office asking it to end the flood of grants to bad applications.
Front Lines of the Open Access Fight: Colombian Student's Prosecution Highlights the Need for Fundamental Policy Reforms
Diego Gomez is a Colombian graduate student who faces four to eight years in prison for sharing another researcher's thesis online. His story is only one of countless many, but it highlights the problems facing students and academics who are simply trying to access works to further their studies.
Hate Your ISP? Maybe You Need Community Fiber
Between the net neutrality debate and the Comcast/TWC merger, high-speed Internet access is getting more attention than ever. A lot of that attention is negative, and rightly so: Internet access providers, especially certain very large ones, have done a pretty good job of divvying up the nation so that most Americans have only one or two choices for decent high-speed Internet access. But guess what: we don’t have to rely entirely on the FCC to fix the problems with high-speed internet access. Around the country, local communities are taking charge of their own destiny and supporting community fiber.
A National Consensus: Cell Phone Location Records Are Private
We've filed a new amicus brief in San Francisco federal court outlining how courts should determine what is and isn’t reasonable in our increasingly digital world. As we note, the fact that a growing number of states are extending location privacy protection to their citizens is a gauge of societal understandings that it is reasonable to expect this information to remain private. While the Fourth Amendment does not depend on state law or statutory guarantees, they are nonetheless compelling evidence of societal understandings of privacy.
Australia: You Wouldn't Steal a DVD, But You Would Block Websites and Suspend Internet Accounts
When the Australian government first began requiring Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block websites in 2012, Australians were assured that it would only be used to block the "worst of the worst" child pornography. Last week, a discussion paper was issued that proposes to extend this Web blocking regime, so that it would also block sites that facilitate copyright infringement. Funny how that always seems to happen.
One Way to Stand Against Spying: Meet With A Legislator
Elected officials rarely hear from the diverse communities of everyday people who live under the shadow of government surveillance—which includes every American. That’s why we’re encouraging people visit their Congressional offices and local representatives and demand meaningful NSA reform. After all, our political leaders are supposed to be working for us.
Ars Technica: Yahoo to begin offering PGP encryption support in Yahoo Mail service
Yahoo announced that starting in the fall of this year, the company will begin giving users the option of seamlessly wrapping their e-mails in PGP encryption.
Google: HTTPS as a ranking signal
Google has announced it will start to use HTTPS as a ranking signal—meaning it will take into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections in its search ranking algorithms.
Wikimedia Foundation: Transparency Report
The Wikimedia Foundation's first transparency report sheds light on the requests it receives—both for data about users, and to alter or remove content—and how it processes those requests.
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Editor: Parker Higgins, Activist
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