Posts Tagged ‘EFF’

EFF Looks At How Blasphemy Laws Have Stifled Speech in 2012

December 26th, 2012 12:23 admin View Comments

Electronic Frontier Foundation

As part of their 2012 in review series, the EFF takes a look at how blasphemy laws have chilled online speech this year. A “dishonorable mention” goes to Youtube this year: “A dishonorable mention goes to YouTube, which blocked access to the controversial ‘Innocence of Muslims’ video in Egypt and Libya without government prompting. The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, a group based in Egypt, condemned YouTube’s decision.”

Source: EFF Looks At How Blasphemy Laws Have Stifled Speech in 2012

The Mark Cuban Chair To Eliminate Stupid Patents

December 19th, 2012 12:41 admin View Comments

Electronic Frontier Foundation

l2718 writes “The Electronic Frontier Foundation announced today a large donation by Mark Cuban and Markus ‘Notch’ Persson to the EFF Patent Project. Notably, part of Cuban’s donation is for the creation of the ‘Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents’ (the first holder is current staff attorney Julie Samuels). Time will tell if the new title will help her advocacy work. Cuban said, ‘The current state of patents and patent litigation in this country is shameful,” said Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks. “Silly patent lawsuits force prices to go up while competition and innovation suffer. That’s bad for consumers and bad for business. It’s time to fix our broken system, and EFF can help.’ Notch added, ‘New games and other technological tools come from improving on old things and making them better – an iterative process that the current patent environment could shut down entirely. ‘”

Source: The Mark Cuban Chair To Eliminate Stupid Patents

EFF Sues to Block New Internet Sex-Offender Law

November 7th, 2012 11:31 admin View Comments


Bobfrankly1 writes “The EFF sued to block portions of the approved Prop 35 today. Prop 35 requires sex offenders (including indecent exposure and non-internet offenses) to provide all of their online aliases to law enforcement. This would include e-mail addresses, screen and user names, and other identifiers used on the internet. The heart of the matter as the EFF sees it, would be not only the chilling effect it would have on free speech, but also the propensity of these kind of laws to be applied to other (non-sex offending) people as well.”

Source: EFF Sues to Block New Internet Sex-Offender Law

US Government: You Don’t Own Your Cloud Data So We Can Access It At Any Time

November 2nd, 2012 11:40 admin View Comments


New submitter jest3r writes “On Tuesday the EFF filed a brief proposing a process for the Court in the Megaupload case to hold the government accountable for the actions it took (and failed to take) when it shut down Megaupload’s service and denied third parties access to their property. Many businesses used Megaupload’s cloud service to store and share files not related to piracy. The government is calling for a long, drawn-out process that would require individuals or small companies to travel to courts far away and engage in multiple hearings just to get their own property back. Additionally, the government’s argument that you lose all your property rights by storing your data on the cloud could apply to Amazon’s S3 or Google Apps or Apple iCloud services as well (see page 4 of their filing).”

Source: US Government: You Don’t Own Your Cloud Data So We Can Access It At Any Time

EFF And Others Push For Open Wifi APs Everywhere

October 30th, 2012 10:25 admin View Comments

Electronic Frontier Foundation

netbuzz writes “Forging ahead with an initiative that proved controversial when introduced last year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and nine other groups today are advancing the Open Wireless Movement to encourage ubiquitous sharing of Internet access. ‘We envision a world where sharing one’s Internet connection is the norm,’ said EFF Activist Adi Kamdar, in a press release. ‘A world of open wireless would encourage privacy, promote innovation, and benefit the public good, giving us network access whenever we need it. And everyone — users, businesses, developers, and Internet service providers — can get involved to help make it happen.’”

Source: EFF And Others Push For Open Wifi APs Everywhere

EFF Wants Ubuntu To Disable Online Search By Default

October 30th, 2012 10:17 admin View Comments


sfcrazy writes “Ubuntu 12.10 met with some controversy before and after its launch about the inclusion of Amazon product listings alongside local search results. Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has raised concerns around data leaks and Amazon Ads. The EFF has asked Canonical to update Ubuntu so it disables ‘Include online search results’ by default. ‘Users should be able to install Ubuntu and immediately start using it without having to worry about leaking search queries or sending potentially private information to third party companies. Since many users might find this feature useful, consider displaying a dialog the first time a user logs in that asks if they would like to opt-in.’”

Source: EFF Wants Ubuntu To Disable Online Search By Default

EFF To Ask Judge To Rule That Universal Abused the DMCA

October 12th, 2012 10:51 admin View Comments

The Courts

xSander writes “The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will urge a federal judge in San Jose, CA to rule that Universal abused the DMCA to take down a video of a toddler dancing to a Prince song. The case in question, whose oral argument will be Tuesday, October 16, is Stephanie Lenz vs. Universal, a case that began back in 2007. Lenz shared a video on YouTube of her son dancing to ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ on a stereo in the background. After Universal took the video down, Lenz filed a suit with help of the EFF to hold Universal accountable for taking down her fair use. The court had already decided that content owners must consider fair use before sending copyright takedown notices.”

Source: EFF To Ask Judge To Rule That Universal Abused the DMCA

Government Lawyer Says Patent Trolls Are a ‘Concern’

September 5th, 2012 09:29 admin View Comments


New submitter gale the simple writes “While it is fairly common for the jaded and cynical to ride on the lawyers these days (often including Henry VI’s famous line about them), every now and then we can see that they are not always the plague and scourge of the earth. EFF again shows that even lawyers can do good in this world. (PDF) All jokes aside, something seems to have moved. Maybe all that blood letting between the major corporations (Apple vs Samsung) made the leaders recognize that MAD world of patents might not be very stable.” From the EFF: “The Congressional Research Service (CRS), the research division of Congress known for its objective studies, recently released a report on the effects of patent trolls on innovation and the economy. … According to the CRS report, ‘The vast majority of defendants settle because patent litigation is risky, disruptive, and expensive, regardless of the merits; and many [patent trolls] set royalty demands strategically well below litigation costs to make the business decision to settle an obvious one.’ Businesses lose both time and money, and innovation suffers.”

Source: Government Lawyer Says Patent Trolls Are a ‘Concern’

2012 EFF Pioneer Award Winners Revealed

August 29th, 2012 08:05 admin View Comments

Electronic Frontier Foundation

An anonymous reader writes “In 2012, EFF Pioneer Award winners are Hardware Hacker Andrew (bunnie) Huang , Anti-ACTA Activist and La Quadrature du Net cofounder Jérémie Zimmermann, and Groundbreaking Anonymity Group Tor. ‘”Every year, our Pioneer Awards celebrate those who have made a difference for digital freedom. We are extraordinarily proud of this year’s winners and their unflagging dedication to protecting the rights of technology users around the world,” said EFF Executive Director Shari Steele. “Whether it’s your right to reverse engineer a game console, or to avoid the interference of overbroad IP enforcement, or to block websites or governments from tracking your every online move, these winners are working hard to protect our online freedom.”‘ The 21st edition of the annual EFF Pioneer Awards ceremony will take place September 20 in San Francisco.”

Source: 2012 EFF Pioneer Award Winners Revealed

EFF: Americans May Not Know It, But Many Are In a Face Recognition Database Now

July 19th, 2012 07:08 admin View Comments


colinneagle writes “People are not going to, nor should they have to, start walking around outside with a bag over their head to avoid security cameras capturing images of them. Yet ‘face recognition allows for covert, remote and mass capture and identification of images — and the photos that may end up in a database include not just a person’s face but also how she is dressed and possibly whom she is with. This creates threats to free association and free expression not evident in other biometrics,’ testified EFF Staff Attorney Jennifer Lynch. There are 32 states that use some form of facial recognition for DMV photos. Every day, Facebook happily slurps up and automatically scans with facial recognition software about 300 million photos that users upload to the social networking giant. ‘Face recognition is here to stay, and, though many Americans may not realize it, they are already in a face recognition database,’ Lynch said. In fact, when you stop to consider Facebook “at least 54% of the United States population already has a face print.” Now it purchased which had 31 billion face images profiled.”

Source: EFF: Americans May Not Know It, But Many Are In a Face Recognition Database Now