In our 668th issue:
Colombian graduate student Diego Gomez currently faces up to eight years in prison for doing something thousands of researchers do every day: posting research results online for those who would not otherwise have a way to access them. We're asking people to sign a statement supporting open access as the default for scholarly communication, which would make cases like Diego's obsolete. Sign today and to stand alongside EFF, Creative Commons, Fundación Karisma, the
Internet Archive, Public Knowledge, Open Access Button, and the Right to Research Coalition, and many more.
Good news for whistleblowers, journalists, and everyone who likes to browse the Internet with an added cloak of privacy: the Tor network got a little stronger. Tor--software that lets you mask your IP address--relies on an international network of committed volunteers to run relays to help mask traffic. And that network is even more robust now, thanks to the 1,000+ volunteers who participated in our second-ever Tor Challenge.
Apple has announced that it is providing basic encryption on mobile devices that the company cannot bypass, even in response to a request from law enforcement. Google has promised to take similar steps in the near future. Predictably, law enforcement has responded with howls of alarm. When the FBI was seriously hinting in 2010 that it was going to try to mandate that all communications systems have "back doors," we marshaled eight "epic failures" of regulating crypto. In honor of the current debate, we've revisited that post, and added a ninth.
Celebrating Free Expression and the Open Flow of Information for Banned Books Week
People around the world marked Banned Books Week last week by drawing attention to book bans or challenges in libraries and schools. Here at EFF, we celebrated by revisiting our favorite banned and challenged works and checking out some of the texts at issue in important First Amendment cases. It's directly in line with our work fighting for your rights to free expression and open access to information.
EFF Wins Release of Warner Bros. Documents On Robo-Takedown System
A federal judge in Florida has ruled that Warner Brothers Entertainment must release key information about its automated scheme to send copyright infringement notices to websites. The documents will give the public a better look into robo-takedowns and their potential for abuse as Congress considers changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Court Lets Cisco Systems Off the Hook for Helping China Detain, Torture Religious Minorities
Chinese citizens who suffered forced detention, torture, and brutal human rights abuses at the hands of the Chinese government have been engaged in a high profile court case against Silicon Valley mainstay Cisco Systems for many years. Those Chinese citizens have now suffered yet another indignity in a California court: a district judge dismissed the case against Cisco without even giving them the chance to gather evidence on the key point where the court found them wanting.
New Company Transparency Reports Help Quantify DMCA Abuse
It's a sign of the times that online companies' transparency reports are starting to include a new section: the Hall of Shame. Automattic, the company behind WordPress, is the latest to do so, highlighting examples of copyright and trademark overreach. But these cases of egregious abuse tell only part of the story, and transparency reports also help call attention to a more subtle issue: services routinely receive large numbers of bogus takedown demands.
Australian Government Scrambles to Authorize Mass Surveillance
Australia is poised to enter a new era of mass surveillance, authorized by legislative proposals that would regulate speech and data retention. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has used terrorist threats as the backdrop of a dire warning to Australians that "for some time to come, the delicate balance between freedom and security may have to shift. There may be more restrictions on some, so that there can be more protection for others."
Back to School: Get Your Digital Rights Student Group Started Right Away
This year student protest and resistance to mass surveillance will be bursting at the seams. The Internet, which students across the world have grown up with, is under threat. And now more than ever, student leaders are contacting EFF, wanting to know how to get involved to protect our rights online.
Which Celebrity Is Taking a Taxi Where?
The Interdisciplinary Internet Institute demonstrates the risks of "anonymized" data sets with deanonymization efforts aimed at recently released New York City taxi data.
It’s Time for a Real Debate on Reader Privacy
Writing for the Freedom of the Press Foundation, Josh Stearns calls on newsrooms to lead the fight for reader privacy--instead of facilitating surveillance.
Cloudflare Launches Free SSL For its Customers
Content delivery network CloudFlare announced today that it will begin offering automatic Secure Socket Layer encryption for any site in its free or paid tiers, without the need to pay for or configure an encryption certificate.
Why we need Tor now more than ever
EFF's Jillian York notes that Edward Snowden's leaked documents have shifted the focus of the global conversation around Internet freedom from censorship to surveillance, but that the two forces are inextricably linked.
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Editor: Parker Higgins, Activist
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