|Copyright Week 2019|
Each day this week, EFF and allied groups are hosting discussions about principles that should guide copyright policy. On Monday, we looked at how copyright can be a tool of censorship. Case in point: the makers of a much-criticized movie about a Nazi-era romance, Where Hands Touch, chose to react to video criticism by filing unjustified takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA.
On Tuesday, we looked at how the DMCA is being used to undermine ownership of technological devices—preventing users from jailbreaking a phone, or re-programming a scooter. On Wednesday, we examined some good news: the growth of the public domain, which on January 1st expanded for the first time in 20 years.
2018 In Review
In 2018, digital privacy and free speech were front-and-center in the public conversation. We continued our tradition of writing year-end blog posts about the most important developments in this space. The past year saw advances for state-level net neutrality, with four states, including California, passing net neutrality laws. The Carpenter v. United States case was one of our big legal wins of the year, as the U.S. Supreme Court cited EFF’s amicus brief in deciding that cell phone location information is protected by the Fourth Amendment.
Other posts cover the dawn of the GDPR (Europe’s new digital privacy law), how we’re grappling with monopoly power in the online world, and EFF’s new logo.
Read all of our 2018 retrospective blog posts.
The Internet is Facing a Catastrophe For Free Expression and Competition: You Could Tip The Balance
The new EU Copyright Directive is progressing at an alarming rate. This week, the EU is asking its member-states to approve new negotiating positions for the final language. If you live in Europe, let your ministers know that you’re concerned that Articles 13 and 11 will lead to online censorship. So far, we’ve set up action pages for Sweden, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, Belgium, and the Czech Republic—and we’ll keep adding more over the coming days.
Bird Rides Inc. Demands Takedown of News Report on Lawful Re-use of Scooters
Every now and then we have to remind someone that it’s not illegal for people to report facts that they dislike. Electric scooter rental company Bird Rides, Inc. sent a “Notice of Claimed Infringement” over an article on Boing Boing about lawfully modifying scooters. Bird cites the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and implies that even writing about the issue could be illegal. It’s not.
(Don’t) Return to Sender: How to Protect Yourself From Email Tracking
Email senders can monitor who opens which emails, when, and what device they use to do it. There are a lot of different ways to track email, and different techniques range from marginally acceptable to atrocious. Here are some friendly suggestions to help make tracking less pervasive, less creepy, and less leaky.
Apple Says Patent Troll Case Should Be Dismissed Because [REDACTED] but the Public Should Know Why
Uniloc is one of the most active patent trolls in the world, having filed more than 170 lawsuits last year alone. But its most recent court records are so heavily redacted, it’s impossible for members of the public to know what’s going on. This month, EFF filed a motion to intervene in Uniloc v. Apple, seeking to unseal a series of documents related to whether Uniloc should be allowed to bring the case at all.
You Should Have the Right to Sue Companies That Violate Your Privacy
There’s a lot to like about the new California Consumer Privacy Act, but we need to work to amend its critical flaw—a lack of a private right of action. Consumer enforcement is part of EFF’s “bottom-up” approach to public policy.
Give Up the Ghost: A Backdoor by Another Name
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the UK’s counterpart to the National Security Agency (NSA), has proposed a method of eavesdropping in which a company would be required to convert a 1-on-1 conversation into a group chat—with the government as the third member of the chat. The so-called “ghost” proposal is just another word for an encryption backdoor.
EFF will be participating in ShmooCon 2018, which takes place January 18-20 in Washington D.C. Stop by the EFF booth to pick up a special gift. On Sunday Jan. 20 at noon, Jeremy Giliula of EFF’s Tech Projects Team will give a talk entitled Encrypting the Web Isn’t Enough: How EFF Plans to Encrypt the Entire Internet.
Grand Reopening of the Public Domain
On January 25, EFF Special Consultant Cory Doctorow will give the closing keynote to “A Grand Reopening of the Public Domain,” at the Internet Archive in San Francisco. The event, which is co-hosted by the Internet Archive and Creative Commons, celebrates the first time in decades that new works will enter the public domain. Also featured: a keynote address by Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig.
Security Education 101 at BSides Long Island
Join EFF Grassroots Advocacy Organizer nash at this inaugural training session for the first-ever BSides Long Island Conference, on January 26 in Glen Head, New York. Learn how to use EFF’s Security Education Companion to help your neighbors improve their digital privacy.
Tech Intersections: The Distributed Web
EFF Staff Technologist Alexis Hancock will speak at Tech Intersections 2019: Womxn of Color in Computing. Alexis will explain how distributed technologies—like Napster, BitTorrent, and Bitcoin, to name a few—can create a more balanced and accessible web. This event takes place on January 26, at Mills College in Oakland.
EFF at Enigma 2019
EFF is excited to be part of the fourth Enigma, a security conference by USENIX geared towards those working in both industry and research. We’ll be in the expo hall over the three-day conference, which takes place from January 28-30 in Burlingame, California.
CPDP2019 Computers, Privacy and Data Protection conference
From January 30 to February 1 in Brussels, EFF International Rights Director Katitza Rodriguez joins EDRi on a panel called “Avoiding a race to the bottom: bridging the gap between national legislation and human rights law.” CPDP theme for 2019 is Data Protection and Democracy.
EFF is seeking an experienced litigation secretary with excellent organization and communication skills to join the team supporting EFF’s 20+ staff attorneys.
Our Cellphones Aren’t Safe
Cellular communication infrastructure is woefully insecure, and we are doing nothing to fix it. EFF Senior Staff Technologist Cooper Quintin explains some of the resultant dangers in an op-ed. (New York Times)
100 Days for Alaa
Alaa Abd El Fattah has been imprisoned for five years—for organizing a protest. When he’s released in March, he will face an additional five-year “parole” that will require him to spend each night in a police station. Organizations are re-focusing attention on Alaa and his case as his release date approaches. (100 Days for Alaa)
January 1, 2019 is (finally) Public Domain Day
Works from 1923 are open to all! Newly joining the public domain are films such as The Ten Commandments, and comedies featuring Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd. It’s the first time the public domain has grown in 20 years. (Center for the Study of the Public Domain)
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s electronic surveillance use continues to surge
San Bernardino County’s already high electronic surveillance rate continues to surge. EFF has filed a lawsuit demanding records over this department’s extraordinary use of surveillance. (Palm Springs Desert Sun)
In 2019, your tattoo could get you arrested
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has completed testing on a tattoo-matching system that could be used to finger criminal suspects, and found that its algorithm is only 67.9 percent accurate—and that’s before factoring in the possibility of “false positives.” (Washington Examiner)
Supported by Donors
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.
If you aren’t already, please consider becoming an EFF member today.
|Supported by DonorsOur 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.If you aren’t already, please consider becoming an EFF member today.|