View as a web page

EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation

In our 598th issue:

We Have Every Right to Be Furious About ACTA

If there's one thing that encapsulates what's wrong with the way government functions today, ACTA is it. You wouldn't know it from the name, but the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is an agreement designed to broaden and extend existing intellectual property enforcement laws to the Internet. Both in substance and in process, ACTA embodies an outdated top-down, arbitrary approach to government that is out of step with modern notions of participatory democracy.

Post- SOPA and PIPA, What's Next? No Legislation, More Innovation

This month's historic protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) made clear just what the tech community and Internet users are capable of accomplishing when they act together. We keep hearing people ask: What's next? And where do we go from here? Our answers: We don't need legislation. And let's keep moving innovation forward.

What Does Twitter's Country-by-Country Takedown System Mean for Freedom of Expression?

Twitter announced in a blog post that it was launching a system that would allow the company to take down content on a country-by-country basis, as opposed to taking it down across the Twitter system. The Internet immediately exploded with allegations of censorship, conspiracy theories about Twitter's Saudi investors and automated content filtering, and calls for a January 28 protest. One thing is clear: there is widespread confusion over Twitter's new policy and what its implications are for freedom of expression all over the world.

Under Obama, the Freedom of Information Act is Still in Shackles

On his first full day in office, President Barack Obama issued his now infamous memo on transparency and open government, which was supposed to fulfill his campaign promise to lead the "most transparent administration in history." In his first three years in office, his administration has instead been just as secretive -- if not more so -- than his predecessors', and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has become the prime example of his administration's lack of progress.

EFF Updates

Supreme Court Gets It Wrong in Golan v. Holder, Public Domain Mourns

Ignoring the pleas of musicians, composers, libraries, archives and public interest groups, the Supreme Court declared that Congress did not violate the Constitution when it yanked millions of foreign works out of the public domain.

No More Back Room Deals -- Users Must Have a Voice in Governing the Internet

As we discuss the future of the Internet, all stakeholders -- including the people who use Internet services and consume, create, and share movies and music -- must have a seat at the table. The Internet is too important to be debated, dissected, and possibly disabled in a private meeting.

Dutch Courts Join Pirate Bay Blocking Bandwagon

At the urging of the Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, the Court of The Hague ordered two ISPs to block subscriber access to The Pirate Bay. The two ISPs -- Ziggo, the largest cable operator in the Netherlands, and XS4ALL, known for its vocal free-speech advocacy -- have until February 1 to block access to a list of URLs and IP addresses specified in the court order.

Fighting Data Retention Mandates Around the World

It has been six years since the highly controversial Data Retention Directive (DRD) was adopted in the European Union. Europeans have widely criticized the DRD, and year after year, it has inspired some of the largest-ever street protests against excessive surveillance.

Interview with Malte Spitz, German Politician and Privacy Advocate

We interviewed Malte Spitz, a German politician and privacy advocate. Malte is well-known for using German privacy law -- which, like the law of many European countries, gives individuals a right to see what private companies know about them -- to force his cell phone carrier to reveal what it knew about him.

Top Concerns of Activists and Data Protection Authorities

As part of International Privacy Day, EFF asked data protection authorities, politicians, and activists about privacy related issues and concerns for 2012. All of the responses focused on government surveillance or data protection laws.

The Right to Anonymity is a Matter of Privacy

Throughout history, there have been a number of reasons why individuals have taken to writing or producing art under a pseudonym. In light of International Privacy Day, we focus on the ways in which the right to anonymity -- or pseudonymity -- is truly a matter of privacy.

Department of Justice Misdirection on Cloud Computing and Privacy

Does using cloud computing services based in the United States create a risk of US law enforcement access to people's data? The US Department of Justice (DOJ) seems to be trying to placate international concern by saying one thing in international fora; but it says something quite different in the US courts.

DOJ Wants to Know Who's Rejecting Your Friend Requests

In the latest turn in our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit for records related to the government's use of social networking websites, the Department of Justice finally agreed to release almost 100 pages of new records. These include draft search warrants and affidavits for Facebook and MySpace, as well as several PowerPoint presentations and articles on how to use social networking sites for investigations.

Google+ and Pseudonyms: A Step in the Right Direction, Not the End of the Road

Nearly four months after first announcing it would support pseudonyms, Google rolled out changes to the account creation process for Google+. The changes will allow users the option of choosing a nickname/alternate name to display in his or her Google+ profile, or choosing a pseudonym which is not linked to a real name.


Internet Censorship From Around the Globe

This week's "On the Media" from NPR describes our Global Chokepoints project and harsh copyright enforcement regimes worldwide.

Uncensored: A Charitable Project to Support The Open Internet

In the new ebook "Uncensored", Internet innovators discuss free speech online after SOPA and PIPA. Proceeds from the ebook will be donated to EFF.

Musician Jonathan Coulton on MegaUpload

Musician Jonathan Coulton, who's made a living distributing music on the Internet, delivers some strong words about the FBI takedown of MegaUpload.


ISSN 1062-9424

EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
454 Shotwell Street
San Francisco, CA
USA +1 415 436 9333
+1 415 436 9993 (fax)

Editor: Parker Higgins, Activist

Membership & donation queries:

General EFF, legal, policy, or online resources queries:

Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged. Signed articles do not necessarily represent the views of EFF. To reproduce signed articles individually, please contact the authors for their express permission.

Press releases and EFF announcements & articles may be reproduced individually at will.

Back issues of EFFector

Change your email address

This newsletter is printed from 100% recycled electrons.

EFF appreciates your support and respects your privacy. Privacy Policy.

Unsubscribe or change your email preferences, or opt out of all EFF email

815 Eddy Street
San Francisco, CA 94109-7701
United States

Donate to EFF!


ACT NOW: Rip. Mix. Make.

Kirby Ferguson, the filmmaker behind the "Everything is a Remix" series, has written a letter supporting EFF's DMCA exemption request for video production. Tell the Copyright Office you stand with Kirby and EFF by signing on to his letter.

ACT NOW: Jailbreaking is Not a Crime

bunnie Huang, author of Hacking the Xbox, is standing with EFF to defend users' right to jailbreak. Will you sign on to bunnie's letter to show the Copyright Office that users everywhere are saying that jailbreaking is not a crime?

Anonymity on the Internet: A Necessary evil?

EFF's Jillian York, Director of International Freedom of Expression, joins Stavros Tsakyrakis, Associate Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Athens, in this discussion about how and whether the freedoms and rights we have in public spaces should also apply in cyberspace.
February 1, 2012
Athens, Greece

2012 Stanford Law Review Symposium - The Privacy Paradox: Privacy and its Conflicting Values

EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn joins a panel discussing "First Amendment, Tort, and Privacy." This event is free and open to the public, however registration is required.
February 3, 2012
Palo Alto, CA

100 Year Anniversary of San Diego Free Speech Fight

Rainey Reitman, EFF activism director, will be speaking at an event to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the San Diego Free Speech Fight. The event is hosted by the San Diego ACLU and the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council. There will be music, speakers, and spoken word performances.
February 8, 2012
San Diego, CA

EFF on
twitter facebook