EFF : News (40)

Amended Version of FOSTA Would Still Silence Legitimate Speech Online

The House Judiciary Committee is about to decide whether to approve a new version of the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act , a bill that would force online platforms to police their users' speech more closely. The new version of FOSTA improves a deeply problematic bill, ...

EFF to Court: Accessing Publicly Available Information on the Internet Is Not a Crime

EFF is fighting another attempt by a giant corporation to take advantage of our poorly drafted federal computer crime statute for commercial advantage—without any regard for the impact on the rest of us. This time the culprit is LinkedIn. The social networking giant wants violations of its ...

Video: How the Court System Is Abused to Chill Activist Speech

One of the most pernicious forms of censorship in modern America is the abuse of the court system by corporations and wealthy individuals to harass, intimidate, and silence their critics. We use the term Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation,' more commonly known as a SLAPP,' to describe ...

Tell the Copyright Office: Keep Safe Harbors Safe

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act safe harbors are a vital protection for websites and Internet services of all sizes. But thanks to a new Copyright Office rule, website owners could lose safe harbor protections if they don't register online by December 31. And that's not all: Hollywood lobbyists ...

Protect Your Right to Repair and Control the Devices in Your Life

Have you encountered difficulties repairing or tinkering with your devices because of technology that stops you from figuring out how it works? EFF wants your stories so that we can defend your right to get around those roadblocks. We want to hear about your experiences with anything that has a ...

Nominations Now Open for The Foilies 2018

For the fourth year, EFF is naming and shaming government officials and agencies around the country who stand in the way of transparency. We honor these information gatekeepers with The Foilies, our tongue-in-cheek awards' during Sunshine Week, which runs from March 11-17, 2018. Think of it like The ...

Adult Content Policies: A Textbook Case of Private Censorship

Of the many reasons why social media platforms should resist pressure to voluntarily' censor their users, one stands out: history shows that they will do it badly, taking down valuable and lawful content in the name of enforcing community standards. The result: practical speech discrimination.  ...

Selling' Patents to Sovereign Nations Shouldn't Mean Bad Patents Can't Be Challenged

On September 8, 2017, the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company Allergan announced that it sold' its patents relating to its eye drops drug Restasis' to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe. But this was not a usual sale.' The Tribe doesn't appear to have paid anything in exchange for becoming the ...

The FCC Still Doesn't Know How the Internet Works

Earlier this year nearly 200 Internet engineers and computer scientists sent a letter to the FCC that explained facts about the structure, history, and evolving nature of the Internet. The reasons we laid out in that letter for writing it then still apply to the draft now: Based on certain questions ...

Argentinian Government Bans Civil Society Organizations From Attending Upcoming WTO Ministerial Meeting

The World Trade Organization , the multilateral global trade body that has almost all countries as members, has been eyeing an expansion of its work on digital trade for some time. Its current inability to address such issues is becoming an existential problem for the organization, as its relevance ...

Government Documents Show FBI Cleared Filmmaker Laura Poitras After Six-Year Fishing Expedition

The government recently revealed for the first time that federal agents maintained an open investigation of our client, Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, for six years despite never finding any evidence that she committed a crime or was a threat to national security. ...

Internet Censorship Bills Wouldn't Help Catch Sex Traffickers

SESTA and FOSTA Could Hide Trafficking from Law Enforcement In the most illuminating part of last week's House subcommittee hearing on the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act , Tennessee Bureau of Investigation special agent Russ Winkler explained how he uses online ...

EFF Pushes For More Transparency in Patent Cases, Whether In Court or at Patent Office

In a promising step toward transparency, the Eastern District of Texas recently announced an amendment to its Local Rules that would require parties to file redacted versions of documents that contain confidential information. Previously, parties would file whole briefs under seal, without any ...

New Orleans Police Watchdog Warns of Dangers of Expanded Surveillance

In a stern warning to the New Orleans City Council, the city's top police watchdog has criticized a plan to expand surveillance without also expanding oversight. The Office of Independent Police Monitor warned that the city is on a path that may lead to abuse, racial discrimination, and fiscal ...

Court Recognizes First Amendment Right to Anonymity Even After Speakers Lose Lawsuits

Anonymous online speakers may be able to keep their identities secret even after they lose lawsuits brought against them, a federal appellate court ruled last week. The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Signature Management Team, LLC v. John Doe is a victory for online ...

EFF Staffers Jennifer Lynch and Dave Maass Receive Award for Groundbreaking Work In Providing Public Access to Police Surveillance Records

EFF Senior Staff Attorney Jennifer Lynch and Investigative Researcher Dave Maass last night received the First Amendment Coalition's 2017 Free Speech & Open Government Award in recognition for their work bringing transparency and accountability to law enforcement's collection and use of automated ...

Deep Dive: DHS and CBP Nominees' Unsatisfying Responses to Senators' Questions on Border Device Searches

Two of President Trump's top homeland security nominees faced tough questioning from Sens. Ron Wyden and Rand Paul about the civil liberties implications of border searches of digital devices during their confirmation processes. In this deep-dive legal analysis, we dissect the written responses of ...

EFF Supports the Adoption of Berkeley's Surveillance Technology Use and Community Safety Ordinance

Across the nation, much of the American public remains unaware of the risks to privacy and freedom of expression posed by steadily advancing surveillance technologies. Automated license plate readers, cell-site simulators, and face recognition equipment—once confined to the imagination of science ...

Net Neutrality Needs You as Much as You Need It

The battle for net neutrality is ramping into high gear, as we anticipate an FCC vote on December 14 to either confirm or reject Chairman Pai's draft order to undermine the 2015 Open Internet Order. With the future of the Internet, its capacity to continue fostering innovation, and freedom of ...

House Intelligence Committee Advances a Deeply Flawed NSA Surveillance Bill

A bill to extend one of the NSA's most powerful surveillance tools, and further peel back American civil liberties, was approved today by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in a strict party line vote , with Republican members voting in the majority. The committee and the public ...

House Intelligence Committee's NSA Surveillance Bill Includes New Threats and Old

Thrown last-minute into a torrent of competing legislation, a new bill meant to expand the NSA's broad surveillance powers is the most recent threat to American privacy. It increases who is subject to surveillance, allows warrantless search of American communications, expands how collected data can ...

When Tweets Are Governmental Business, Officials Don't Get to Pick and Choose Who Gets To Receive, Comment On, And Reply to Them. That Goes For the President, Too

We've taken a stand for the First Amendment rights of individuals to receive and comment on social media posts from governmental officials and agencies. We've received a lot of good questions about why we believe that public servants—mayors, sheriffs, senators, even President Donald ...

EFF Demands Information About Secretive Government Tattoo Recognition Technology

Government Program Is Aimed at Using Body Art to Identify Religions, Nationalities, and Political BeliefsWashington, D.C. - The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed suit against the Department of Justice, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Homeland Security today, demanding records ...

Tenta Browser Now Includes HTTPS Everywhere

Securely browsing the Internet—even when you know what you're doing—is tough. That's partly why, nearly seven years ago, EFF worked together with The Tor Project to develop a privacy tool called HTTPS Everywhere, which automatically provides users with secure, encrypted connections to websites ...

House Internet Censorship Bill Is Just Like the Senate Bill, Except Worse

SESTA and FOSTA Are Cut from the Same Cloth. Both Would Be Disastrous for Online Communities There are two bills racing through Congress that would undermine your right to free expression online and threaten the online communities that we all rely on. The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act and the ...

Community Groups Doubling Down on Defending Digital Rights

After the 2016 U.S. election, the prospects for digital rights under the incoming administration seemed particularly grim. A silver lining in this dark cloud has been the concerted efforts we've seen by groups working to defend digital rights at the local level. Over the past year, a growing network ...

As FCC Contemplates Repealing Net Neutrality Protections, Indian Telecom Regulator Reaffirms Support for Principles of Non-Discrimination

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers should treat all data that travels over their networks fairly, without improper discrimination in favor of particular apps, sites or services. Even as the Federal Communications Commission is pushing a plan to end net neutrality ...

Congress Shouldn't Turn the Copyright Office Into A Copyright Court

While most people are focused on net neutrality, surveillance, and tax reform, a few legislators are quietly mulling over a different problem: copyright reform.  Five years ago, Representative Bob Goodlatte, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, launched a series of hearings and studies that he ...

NAFTA's Digital Trade Chapter Could Be Finalized Next Month

The fifth round of negotiations over a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement wound up last week in Mexico. Following conclusion of the round, Mexican Trade Minister Ildefonso Guajardo told reporters that he hoped that the next round, to be held in Washington, DC in the week of 11 December, ...

Proposed Right to Know Act' Would Empower Users of Digital Devices to Decline NYPD Searches

New York City is considering a range of legislative measures to increase civilian control over the New York Police Department . Earlier this year, EFF endorsed the proposed Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology Act to increase transparency into the NYPD's acquisition of surveillance ...

To Protect our Democracy, We Need to Protect Anonymous Low-Cost Online Political Speech

As Congress and the Federal Elections Commission explore ways to counter foreign influence in U.S. elections through greater campaign finance disclosures, EFF has filed comments reminding policy makers of the danger of going too far. While the FEC's goals are understandable, it must take care not ...

How to Debug Your Content Blocker for Privacy Protection

Millions of users are trying to protect their privacy from commercial tracking online, be it through their choice of browser, installation of ad and tracker blocking extensions, or use of a Virtual Private Network . This guide focuses on how to correctly configure the blocking extension in your ...

Panopticlick 3.0

Today we're launching a new version of Panopticlick, an EFF site which audits your browser privacy protection. Conceived to raise awareness about the threat of device fingerprinting, Panopticlick was extended in December 2015 to check for protection against tracking by ads and invisible beacons. ...

A Lump of Coal in the Internet's Stocking: FCC Poised to Gut Net Neutrality Rules

In a new proposal issued last week, the Federal Communications Commission set out a plan to eliminate net neutrality protections, ignoring the voices of millions of Internet users who weighed in to support those protections. The new rule would reclassify high-speed broadband as an information ...

CBP Reveals How Agents Implement New Policy Not to Access Cloud Content

President Trump's nominee to be Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection , Kevin McAleenan, revealed during his confirmation process how the agency implements its new policy not to access cloud content during border searches of digital devices. In response to written questions for the ...

DRM's Dead Canary: How We Just Lost the Web, What We Learned from It, and What We Need to Do Next

EFF has been fighting against DRM and the laws behind it for a decade and a half, intervening in the US Broadcast Flag, the UN Broadcasting Treaty, the European DVB CPCM standard, the W3C EME standard and many other skirmishes, battles and even wars over the years. With that long history behind us, ...

EFF at Cyberspace Events in Delhi: Protecting the Public Core of the Internet

Last week EFF attended the Global Conference on Cyberspace in New Delhi, India, as one of a small handful of nonprofit organizations invited to participate. This was the fifth in a series of conferences sometimes called the London Process, after the first event that was held in London in 2011. ...

European Law Claims to Protect Consumers… By Blocking the Web

Last week the European Parliament passed a new Consumer Protection Regulation that allows national consumer authorities to order ISPs, web hosts and domain registries to block or delete websites... all without a court order. The websites targeted are those that allegedly infringe European consumer ...

NSA Internet Surveillance Under Section 702 Violates the First Amendment

The First Amendment is too often overlooked in discussions of the National Security Agency's vast surveillance authorities. But as Congress considers whether to reauthorize Section 702 of FISA this winter, we must remember that it's not just our Fourth Amendment rights to privacy that are in the ...

The Safest Conversation You'll Have This Holiday

Do your friends and family rope you into providing tech support when you're home for the holidays? Use this opportunity to be a digital security hero and rescue your family from tracking cookies, unencrypted disks, insecure chats, and recycled passwords. Check out EFF's Security Education Companion ...