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Don’t Let Congress Hand Patent Abusers Their Ultimate Wishlist

November 2, 2019 In Design News,Digital Freedom
Don’t Let Congress Hand Patent Abusers Their Ultimate Wishlist
Congress is considering a bill that would throw out the best defenses against bad patents. The Senate IP Subcommittee recently had a hearing about the Stronger Patents Act, a batch of recurring terrible ideas that has been introduced by Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) for the third time in three years.
The Stronger Patents Act would tear apart inter partes review (IPR), an critical tool for challenging bad patents. People who are charged with patent violations shouldn’t have to have millions of dollars in the bank to defend themselves. IPR provides a more cost-effective way of evaluating patents than expensive federal court litigation.
The Stronger Patents Act will wreak havoc on a system that’s already balanced in favor of patent holders. Tell Congress to reject this proposal.
Victory! Individuals Can Force Government to Purge Records of Their First Amendment Activity
The FBI must delete its memo documenting a journalist’s First Amendment activities, a federal appellate court ruled this week in a decision that vindicates the right to be free from government surveillance. In Garris v. FBI, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered the FBI to expunge a 2004 memo it created that documented the political expression of news website www.antiwar.com and two journalists who founded and ran it. The Ninth Circuit required the FBI to destroy the record because it violated the Privacy Act of 1974, a federal law that includes a provision prohibiting federal agencies from maintaining records on individuals that document their First Amendment activity.
EFF filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case that called on the court to robustly enforce the Privacy Act’s protections. The decision is a big win in the fight against ever-expanding federal law enforcement surveillance because it provides a meaningful mechanism for individuals to force the deletion of records that document their protected First Amendment activities.
EFF Updates
EFF’s 2019 Pioneer Awards Winner Remarks and Speeches
EFF’s annual Pioneer Awards ceremony celebrates individuals and groups who have made outstanding contributions to freedom and innovation on the electronic frontier. On Sept. 12, EFF welcomed keynote speaker Adam Savage, who spoke on the importance of storytelling, scientific exploration, and personal discovery. And each of our honorees had important messages to share with us: legendary science fiction author William Gibson reminded us how early science fiction shaped the world we live in now; the inspiring anti-surveillance group Oakland Privacy showed how we can stand together to make lasting differences in how technology is used in our communities today; and trailblazing tech scholar danah boyd challenged everyone in the tech world to shape a better future. 
With the Intimidation of Tech Expert, Ola Bini Case Hits A New Low
In the early hours of Sept. 5 in Ecuador, members of the Judicial Police, assisted by the Prosecutor’s Office, broke down the door of Fabián Hurtado’s apartment in Quito. Hurtado is a cybersecurity expert at the International University (UISEK) in Ecuador and a digital forensics expert currently employed by Ola Bini’s defense. The police refused to let Hurtado read or have a copy of their warrant, and by immediately seizing his mobile phone and other digital equipment, prevented him from contacting an attorney. Along with a growing number of civil liberties and international human rights groups, we urge the Ecuadorian authorities to step back and let the facts determine the course of the trial, with fairness and due process, and without intimidation or misuse of prosecutorial powers.
That Time EFF Got a Copyright Takedown Demand
Earlier this week, EFF received an email claiming that our body-camera police officer illustration violated the sender’s copyright in a graphic they used to illustrate a tweet. The email demanded we remove the image or provide a link to their e-commerce website, which sells police body cameras. The funny thing was, the police officer illustration is an original EFF work.
Encrypted DNS Could Help Close the Biggest Privacy Gap on the Internet. Why Are Some Groups Fighting Against It?
Thanks to the success of projects like Let’s Encrypt and recent UX changes in the browsers, most page-loads are now encrypted with TLS. But DNS, the system that looks up a site’s IP address when you type the site’s name into your browser, remains unprotected by encryption.
Announcements
EFF at NetHui 2019
October 2, 2019 – 9:00am to October 4, 2019 – 6:00pm
Wellington, New Zealand
EFF Director for International Freedom of Expression Jillian York will keynote NetHui for the second time.
Job Openings
Community Manager
EFF seeks a full-time Community Manager to work with our Organizing team. This team supports the Electronic Frontier Alliance (EFA), a grassroots network of community and campus organizations across the United States working to educate their neighbors about the importance of digital rights and security.
Staff Attorney – Civil and/or Criminal Litigation
EFF is looking for a litigator to help us further its mission of protecting and promoting privacy, civil liberties, and free expression, and ensuring that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows. We’re looking for an excellent writer who thinks big and creatively about how impact litigation can advance human rights in the digital world and who can identify important issues early. 
Development Director
EFF seeks a Development Director to lead the organization’s fundraising programs and join EFF’s senior leadership. The Development Director will take charge of EFF’s eleven-person Development Team in their efforts to raise over $13 million each year. This person will lead, support and build the capacity of our growing development team, manage all aspects of our development strategy, and have a strong focus on building our individual major donor and grant fundraising capacity. The right candidate will possess rich experience, joy and skill in fundraising, talent for creating authentic relationships, resistance to fundraising cliches and passion for the roles of online privacy, free expression and innovation in a successful democracy.  
Web Developer
EFF seeks a full-time Web Developer to work with our Engineering and Design team.  This team supports EFF.org and other internal and external web applications. 
MiniLinks
CEOs beg for America-wide privacy law… to protect their businesses from state privacy laws 
Fifty-one CEOs of major data-using companies urged US lawmakers to pass a national data privacy law, insisting that they’re committed to protecting consumer privacy. (The Register)
Orwellabama? Crimson Tide Track Locations to Keep Students at Games 
The University of Alabama is taking an extraordinary, Orwellian step to reward students who attend football games and stay through the fourth quarter: using location-tracking technology from students’ phones to see who skips out and who stays. (New York Times)
Court Rules That ‘Scraping’ Public Website Data Isn’t Hacking
Scraping public data from a website doesn’t constitute “hacking,” according to a new court ruling that could dramatically limit abuse of the United States’ primary hacking law. (VICE)
Facebook has launched its new dating service in the US. Sounds safe, right? 
Many are skeptical a company mired by numerous privacy scandals should be entrusted with helping users with the private journey of finding love. (The Guardian)
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.