In our 666th issue:
Planning on slapping on a Guy Fawkes mask and heading to a local protest? Think twice before you bring your cell phone. EFF's newly updated guide to cell phones for US protesters discusses data security—including using encrypted communication channels and passwords as well as how meta-data may still be exposed. We also discuss what you should and shouldn't do if you get arrested, and the process for getting your phone back after an arrest.
As Senate Finance Committee Chair, Senator Ron Wyden is under pressure to fast track trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which includes worrisome copyright provisions that could hamper online expression. But Senator Wyden has another option: to finally bring these deals out into the open. EFF is calling on him to stand up to big private interests and help ensure that our digital rights are protected. We need you to add your signature to our petition so we can demonstrate the powerful community opposing this agreement.
EFF and the ACLU filed an amicus brief in Klayman v. Obama, a high-profile lawsuit that challenges mass surveillance, arguing that Americans' telephone metadata deserves the highest protection of the Fourth Amendment. Using research and new case law, we argued that metadata—such as who individuals called, when they called, and how long they spoke—can be even more revealing than conversations when collected en masse.
Coding with EFF
Coders everywhere: EFF could use your help in creating and maintaining technologies that protect freedom in the digital world. Visit our Coding with EFF page, find a project you like, join the mailing list, and dive right in.
Adam Carolla Settles with a Patent Troll
For over a year, Adam Carolla fought back against patent troll Personal Audio, demonstrating that the podcasting community would not be shaken down. He just settled the case out of court—with ramifications both good and bad.
Supreme Court Tackles Online Threats
When does online venting cross the line from frustrated rant to criminal threat? EFF joined an amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court arguing that when it comes to online speech, the government must prove a person actually meant to make a threat before he or she can be prosecuted.
Egyptian Blogger on Hunger Strike
On August 18, imprisoned Egyptian blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah's family announced that he had begun a hunger strike, to continue until he achieves his freedom. In the statement, Abd El Fattah was quoted as saying: "I will no longer play the role they’ve written for me." EFF has teamed up with other NGOs to petition the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention about his wrongful imprisonment.
Comcast Data Breach Leaks Thousands of Unlisted Phone Numbers, Threatening Customers' Privacy
Hundreds of thousands of customers pay Comcast every month to keep their personal information out of public databases. But it seems those payments did little good: Over 74,000 customers found their names, addresses, and telephone numbers in phone directories both online and off.
Appeals Court Saves Batman From Crazy Trademark Attack
Software company Fortres Grand sued Warner Brothers over a fictional piece of software in the movie The Dark Knight Rises. Fortunately, trademark law does not favor silly claims based on fictional products.
What You Need to Know About the FISA Court—and How it Needs to Change
Should interpretation of the laws and Constitution of the United States take place in one-sided secretive courts, away from the public eye? For years, it has. Here's a run-down of the problems with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
EFF to Ethiopia: Illegal Wiretapping Is Illegal, Even for Governments
EFF told the US District Court for the District of Columbia that Ethiopia must be held accountable for its illegal wiretapping of an American citizen. Foreign governments simply don't have a get-out-of-court-free card when they commit serious felonies in America against Americans.
EFF is on Flickr
Check out EFF graphics and images, all free to use and licensed under Creative Commons so they can be shared widely.
The Intercept: How the NSA Built Its Own Google
According to The Intercept, the NSA is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen US government agencies with a "Google-like" search engine built to share more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations, and Internet chats.
Free Online Course on Surveillance Law
This fall, learn about surveillance law through a free online course taught by Stanford computer scientist and a lawyer Jonathan Mayer.
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.
Editor: Rainey Reitman, Activist
EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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EFF Announces 2014 Pioneer Award Winners
EFF is pleased to announce the distinguished winners of the 2014 Pioneer Awards: United Nations Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue, US Rep. Zoe Lofgren, and groundbreaking counter-surveillance artist Trevor Paglen. The award ceremony, which will be keynoted by the Yes Men, will be held on October 2 in San Francisco. Buy tickets today.
EFF Goes to Dragon Con
EFF will be at Dragon Con, the 28-year-old science fiction and fantasy convention in downtown Atlanta, Georgia over Labor Day Weekend. We are also teaming up with io9 and fan groups for Project Secret Identity, an activism campaign for the cosplay community to champion digital privacy.
August 29-September 1, 2014
EFF at the Internet Governance Forum
EFF International Rights Director Katitza Rodriguez and Senior Global Policy Analyst Jeremy Malcolm will participate in workshops at this year's annual Internet Governance Forum.
September 2-5, 2014
Internet Ungovernance Forum
EFF International Rights Director Katitza Rodriguez will speak at the Internet Ungovernance Forum.
September 4, 2014
Computer Science Colloquium
EFF Staff Technologist Cooper Quintin will be speaking on "Security is a UI Problem" to Sonoma State computer science students.
September 4, 2014
Rohnert Park, CA
EFF at the National Lawyers Guild Conference
EFF Activist Nadia Kayyali, EFF Technology Operations Director Mark Burdett, and Council on American-Islamic Relations Staff Attorney Rabya Khan will be hosting a workshop on surveillance self-defense and data security.
September 5-7, 2014
Public Domain FTW
Creative Commons, EFF, and General Assembly are excited to announce a salon to celebrate the public domain, with discussion on the cool things people are doing with it, why it’s under attack, and what we can do to fight for it. There will be a number of speakers, including EFF Activist Parker Higgins.
September 9, 2014
San Francisco CA
Is the NSA Reading Your Email?
EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn will be discussing the NSA, surveillance, and the law at an event organized by the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy and ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties.
September 10, 2014
San Diego, CA
Understanding New Surveillance Tools: Stingrays, Hemisphere, and Cell Tracking
EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury will be talking about the government's new surveillance tools at the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Annual Seminar on Defending Violent Crimes.
September 12-13, 2014
Salt Lake City, UT
EFF Cyberlaw Pub Trivia Night: Cambridge Edition
In collaboration with the Berkman Center, EFF Deputy General Counsel Kurt Opsahl will host a cyberlaw pub trivia at the Harvard Law School Pub.
September 15, 2014 - 7:00pm
Colloquium: 60 Years of CERN - 60 Years of Science for Peace
EFF International Freedom of Expression Director Jillian York will speak at CERN's 60th anniversary program on "The World Wide Web and Human Rights."
September 17, 2014
Clio Cloud Conference
EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn will discuss surveillance law and the NSA at a conference for law and cloud technology.
September 22-23, 2014
World Congress on Information Technology
EFF Deputy General Counsel Kurt Opsahl will participate in a panel session at WCIT (World Congress on Information Technology) entitled "Internet Governance: Rights, Responsibilities, Roles, Trust and Integrity."
October 1, 2014
EFF Director for International Freedom of Expression Jillian York will speak at CFI's 4M Forum on "Freedom of publishing online content in the Arab world." She will also conduct a digital security training.
October 17, 2014
EFF is Hiring
EFF is seeking applicants for the position of staff technologist or senior staff technologist. Join our team of hackers and computer scientists working to defend Internet freedom and make the network better for its users.