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Our new report shows how some Arab world counterterrorism laws are really just rubber stamps for online censorship.
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Matt Hudson's profile photoJason Scheffler's profile photo
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+Matt Hudson Indeed, only I"d remove the word some and and replace it with most.
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Even when you win against a patent troll, you still lose. Factual beat a troll, but paid almost $1 million in legal costs.
Repealing a Major Tax on Innovation
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Waldemar Igor Molina Kirsch's profile photoWilko Lunenburg's profile photo
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Make the party that brings the case to court pay for all costs when they lose.
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Just days left! Buy your ticket to the eleventh biennial HOPE conference now and 10% goes to EFF.
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The hacker edition of +Humble Bundle is live! Get some amazing ebooks published by No Starch Press & support EFF.
Pay what you want and support the Electronic Frontier Foundation!
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... and Let's Encrypt has now issued 2 million certificates! https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/04/lets-encrypt-reaches-2000000-certificates
Earlier today, the Let's Encrypt certificate authority issued its two millionth certificate, less than two months after the millionth certificate. As we noted when the millionth certificate was issued, each certificate can cover several web sites, so the certificates Let's Encrypt has issued are already protecting millions and millions of sites.
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Matthew Curry's profile photoMatt Burns's profile photoChessika Z's profile photoTK Reed's profile photo
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+Electronic Frontier Foundation​​​

The NSA won't tell Congress how many Americans it's spying on because our democracy is broken
:(

By Russell Brandom on April 22, 2016 05:40 pm
https://www.theverge.com/2016/4/22/11490278/nsa-congress-prism-702-spying-democracy-broken



(Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)

Congress is trying to learn more about the NSA's surveillance programs, and it's not going well. In a letter delivered today to director of National Intelligence James Clapper, a group of 14 legislators (eight Democrats and six Republicans) asked for a ballpark figure on how many Americans are having their data collected under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Section 702 is the legal justification for many of the NSA's most invasive programs, including PRISM. But we still don't have an exact idea of how broad its reach is. So Congress asked! They passed FISA, after all, so it's only right that they should know how it's being used. They don't need an exact number of Americans caught up in PRISM, just a ballpark. Is it a thousand? A hundred thousand? 318 million? Take an educated guess.

"It's not going well"

They've wanted that guess for a while now. Even before Snowden, members of Congress were asking for details on how 702 was being used, but it's gone on for five years now and the NSA has not responded in any way. So today, they asked some more!

You would think there would be some more tangible action Congress could take, given its constitutional mandate to provide oversight of the executive branch, but you would be wrong. In theory, they might repeal FISA, but it's pretty clear that's not going to happen. We've been doing this dance for three congressional terms now and this is basically all that ever occurs.

It's especially weird since the NSA's charter is for foreign intelligence, so the answer to "how many Americans are you spying on?" should really be zero. But we all know that's not true, thanks to documents leaked by a whistleblower who is unable to enter the country on pain of immediate lifetime imprisonment.

It's also worth remembering that the last time Congress tried to hold an intelligence agency accountable for its actions, the CIA literally broke into the congressional offices of the people investigating it, a gross violation of democratic norms for which the agency has still faced no repercussions.

It's enough to make you wonder if the organs of government are fundamentally no longer able to hold these agencies accountable, leaving them to operate as miniature authoritarian claques embedded in a nominally democratic state, slowly leaching power and legitimacy from the elected officials they claim to serve.

Or maybe they just hate Congress and like keeping things secret? Hard to say! Maybe this will be the letter that finally cracks their resolve.

Letter to Director Clapper
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Ruling unsealed: National Security Letters upheld as constitutional. But EFF's clients will fight on.
San Francisco - A federal judge has unsealed her ruling that National Security Letter (NSL) provisions in federal law—as amended by the USA FREEDOM Act—don’t violate the Constitution. The ruling allows the FBI to continue to issue the letters with accompanying gag orders that silence anyone from disclosing they have received an NSL, often for years.
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Chessika Z's profile photoNicolas Zart's profile photoHon Chong Chang's profile photoGary McGath's profile photo
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Due process of law ... except when it's inconvenient for the government.
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U.S. Special 301 Report complains about media boxes and social networking sites because they can be used for piracy.
Every year at around this time the United States Trade Representative (USTR) issues a Special 301 Report in which it chastises other countries for not submitting to its unilateral demands (often lacking any legal basis) as to how they should be enforcing copyrights, patents, trademarks and trade secrets in their countries.
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Keith Warner's profile photojack kies's profile photoSøren Mogensen's profile photo
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Had not heard of Ecuador's draft reimagining of IP law before. Looks interesting. EU politicians should take note.
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EFF is proud to present The Crime of Speech, a study of laws restricting online speech in the Arab world.
New EFF Report Maps Legal Threats to Free Expression in the Arab World
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Patent trolls don't just demand money. They can even block products from entering the U.S.
Trade Protection Not Troll Protection Act Would Prevent Patent Trolls from Blocking Imports Patent trolls don’t just demand money from innovators; they can actually interfere with international trade and block imports from entering the country. There’s a new bill in Congress designed to take this powerful tactic away from the trolls’ arsenal. We hope to see it pass, but more importantly, we hope it builds momentum in Congress for more comprehensi...
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We're excited to be Community Sponsors at LinuxFest Northwest this weekend!  Stop by the EFF table to chat about our work and don't miss our talks. ‪#‎lfnw‬
EFF is proud to join the Open Source community at LinuxFest Northwest this year in Bellingham, WA. Senior Staff Technologist Seth Schoen and Membership Coordinator Maggie Kazmierczak will be attending for both days of the event. Stop by our table in the expo hall to learn more about what EFF is up to, or even sign up to become a member. We'll see you there! See the slew of sessions to attend here.
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+Electronic Frontier Foundation

https://motherboard.vice.com/read/court-cops-need-a-warrant-to-open-your-phone-even-just-to-look-at-the-screen?

Motherboard

 
Court: Cops Need a Warrant to Open Your Phone, Even Just to Look at the Screen

Written by 

JOSHUA KOPSTEIN

April 24, 2016 // 01:12 PM EST

In a major decision back in 2014, the Supreme Court finally ruled that police need a warrant to search someone’s cellphone when making an arrest.

That case, Riley v. California, was a major privacy victory. Now, it's being interpreted by a federal court in Illinois to mean that even opening a phone to look at the screen qualifies as a “search” and requires a warrant.

The Illinois case involves a sting operation that ensnared Demontae Bell, an alleged drug dealer accused of illegal possession of an AK-47 assault rifle. An officer testified that while interrogating Bell he pulled out a confiscated flip phone and opened it, revealing a picture of the rifle, which Bell had set as his home screen's wallpaper. That was then used as grounds for a warrant to search Bell's phone for metadata about when and where the photo was taken. The officer claimed he opened the phone in order to turn it off.

But on Wednesday, the judge ruled police have no right to open a suspect's phone and look at the screen without first getting a warrant, even if it's just to turn it off, since the Riley case clearly established doing so is a “search” under the Fourth Amendment.

“Officer Sinks' opening of Bell's cell phone exceeded a 'cursory inspection' because he exposed to view concealed portions of the object—i.e., the screen,” wrote Judge James E. Shahid. “[B]ecause Officer Sinks had to manipulate the phone to view the picture on the screen, that picture was by definition not in 'plain view'.”

That suggests that even if your device isn't locked with a passcode, a cop wouldn't be allowed to turn on the screen and look for incriminating notifications or messages without a search warrant.

The Supreme Court did say there are “exigent circumstances” for allowing warrantless searches, however, including imminent threats to officer safety (checking if there's a razor blade concealed in the phone's case, for example) and preventing destruction of evidence (preventing the phone from receiving a remote wiping command).

“Yet neither the government's response, nor the warrant affidavit, asserted that the officer in this case opened Bell's cell phone out of concern for officer safety or preservation of evidence,” Judge Shahid wrote. Thus, “The search of Bell's cell phone violated the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

Nevertheless, the judge denied Bell's motion to suppress evidence from the illegal search, reasoning that based on other testimony given about Bell's illegal rifle, “the photo would have ultimately been discovered.”


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New Brazilian surveillance bills would be a big step back for privacy and freedom of expression.
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The TPP isn't the only closed-door agreement to compromise users' rights. Meet the RCEP.
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Chona Fant's profile photoPaulo Silva's profile photoDon Kyhotay's profile photo
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The governments have realized they can get away with garbage like this, so they do it. 
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Defending your civil liberties in the digital world.
Introduction

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. We work to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows.

Even in the fledgling days of the Internet, EFF understood that protecting access to developing technology was central to advancing freedom for all. In the years that followed, EFF used our fiercely independent voice to clear the way for open source software, encryption, security research, file sharing tools, and a world of emerging technologies.

Today, EFF uses the unique expertise of leading technologists, activists, and attorneys in our efforts to defend free speech online, fight illegal surveillance, advocate for users and innovators, and support freedom-enhancing technologies.

Together, we forged a vast network of concerned members and partner organizations spanning the globe. EFF advises policymakers and educates the press and the public through comprehensive analysis, educational guides, activist workshops, and more. EFF empowers hundreds of thousands of individuals through our Action Center and has become a leading voice in online rights debates.

EFF is a donor-funded US 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that depends on your support to continue fighting for users.