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Paul Merrell

Announcing STARTTLS Everywhere: Securing Hop-to-Hop Email Delivery | Electronic Frontie... - 0 views

  • Today we’re announcing the launch of STARTTLS Everywhere, EFF’s initiative to improve the security of the email ecosystem. Thanks to previous EFF efforts like Let's Encrypt, and Certbot, as well as help from the major web browsers, we've seen significant wins in encrypting the web. Now we want to do for email what we’ve done for web browsing: make it simple and easy for everyone to help ensure their communications aren’t vulnerable to mass surveillance.
  • t’s important to note that STARTTLS Everywhere is designed to be run by mailserver admins, not regular users. No matter your role, you can join in the STARTTLS fun and find out how secure your current email provider is at: https://www.starttls-everywhere.org/ Enter your email domain (the part of your email address after the “@” symbol), and we’ll check if your email provider has configured their server to use STARTTLS, whether or not they use a valid certificate, and whether or not they’re on the STARTTLS Preload List—all different indications of how secure (or vulnerable) your email provider is to mass surveillance.
Paul Merrell

Open Access Can't Wait. Pass FASTR Now. | Electronic Frontier Foundation - 1 views

  • When you pay for federally funded research, you should be allowed to read it. That’s the idea behind the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (S.1701, H.R.3427), which was recently reintroduced in both houses of Congress. FASTR was first introduced in 2013, and while it has strong support in both parties, it has never gained enough momentum to pass. We need to change that. Let’s tell Congress that passing an open access law should be a top priority.
  • Tell Congress: It’s time to move FASTR The proposal is pretty simple: Under FASTR, every federal agency that spends more than $100 million on grants for research would be required to adopt an open access policy. The bill gives each agency flexibility to implement an open access policy suited to the work it funds, so long as research is available to the public after an “embargo period” of a year or less. One of the major points of contention around FASTR is how long that embargo period should be. Last year, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved FASTR unanimously, but only after extending that embargo period from six months to 12, putting FASTR in line with the 2013 White House open access memo. That’s the version that was recently reintroduced in the Senate.  The House bill, by contrast, sets the embargo period at six months. EFF supports a shorter period. Part of what’s important about open access is that it democratizes knowledge: when research is available to the public, you don’t need expensive journal subscriptions or paid access to academic databases in order to read it. A citizen scientist can use and build on the same body of knowledge as someone with institutional connections. But in the fast-moving world of scientific research, 12 months is an eternity. A shorter embargo is far from a radical proposition, especially in 2017. The landscape for academic publishing is very different from what it was when FASTR was first introduced, thanks in larger part to nongovernmental funders who already enforce open access mandates. Major foundations like Ford, Gates, and Hewlett have adopted strong open access policies requiring that research be not only available to the public, but also licensed to allow republishing and reuse by anyone.
  • Just last year, the Gates Foundation made headlines when it dropped the embargo period from its policy entirely, requiring that research be published openly immediately. After a brief standoff, major publishers began to accommodate Gates’ requirements. As a result, we finally have public confirmation of what we’ve always known: open access mandates don’t put publishers out of business; they push them to modernize their business models. Imagine how a strong open access mandate for government-funded research—with a requirement that that research be licensed openly—could transform publishing. FASTR may not be that law, but it’s a huge step in the right direction, and it’s the best option on the table today. Let’s urge Congress to pass a version of FASTR with an embargo period of six months or less, and then use it as a foundation for stronger open access in the future.
Paul Merrell

EFF to Court: Don't Undermine Legal Protections for Online Platforms that Enable Free S... - 0 views

  • EFF filed a brief in federal court arguing that a lower court’s ruling jeopardizes the online platforms that make the Internet a robust platform for users’ free speech. The brief, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, argues that 47 U.S.C. § 230, enacted as part of the Communications Decency Act (known simply as “Section 230”) broadly protects online platforms, including review websites, when they aggregate or otherwise edit users’ posts. Generally, Section 230 provides legal immunity for online intermediaries that host or republish speech by protecting them against a range of laws that might otherwise be used to hold them legally responsible for what others say and do. Section 230’s immunity directly led to the development of the platforms everyone uses today, allowing people to upload videos to their favorite platforms such as YouTube, as well as leave reviews on Amazon or Yelp. It also incentivizes the creation of new platforms that can host users’ content, leading to more innovation that enables the robust free speech found online. The lower court’s decision in Consumer Cellular v. ConsumerAffairs.com, however, threatens to undermine the broad protections of Section 230, EFF’s brief argues.
  • In the case, Consumer Cellular alleged, among other things, that ConsumerAffairs.com should be held liable for aggregating negative reviews about its business into a star rating. It also alleged that ConsumerAffairs.com edited or otherwise deleted certain reviews of Consumer Cellular in bad faith. Courts and the text of Section 230, however, plainly allow platforms to edit or aggregate user-generated content into summaries or star ratings without incurring legal liability, EFF’s brief argues. It goes on: “And any function protected by Section 230 remains so regardless of the publisher’s intent.” By allowing Consumer Cellular’s claims against ConsumerAffairs.com to proceed, the lower court seriously undercut Section 230’s legal immunity for online platforms. If the decision is allowed to stand, EFF’s brief argues, then platforms may take steps to further censor or otherwise restrict user content out of fear of being held liable. That outcome, EFF warns, could seriously diminish the Internet’s ability to serve as a diverse forum for free speech. The Internet it is constructed of and depends upon intermediaries. The many varied online intermediary platforms, including Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, and Instagram, all give a single person, with minimal resources, almost anywhere in the world the ability to communicate with the rest of the world. Without intermediaries, that speaker would need technical skill and money that most people lack to disseminate their message. If our legal system fails to robustly protect intermediaries, it fails to protect free speech online.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Dice page | Electronic Frontier Foundation - 0 views

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    "Create strong passphrases with EFF's new random number generators! This page includes information about passwords, different wordlists, and EFF's suggested method for passphrase generation. Use the directions below with EFF's random number generator member gift or your own set of dice. And now, a message from internationally renowned security technologist, author, and EFF Board Member Bruce Schneier:"
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Five EFF Tools to Help You Protect Yourself Online | Electronic Frontier Foundation - 0 views

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    "Do you get creeped out when an ad eerily related to your recent Internet activity seems to follow you around the web? "
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

This lawsuit could be the beginning of the end for DRM | Defective by Design - 1 views

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    Submitted by Zak Rogoff on August 17, 2016 - 9:20am Our friends at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recently filed a lawsuit challenging Section 1201 of the US's Digital Millenium Copyright Act, which provides legal reinforcement to the technical shackles of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). Defective by Design applauds this lawsuit and agrees with the EFF that Section 1201 violates the right to freedom of speech. We hope that excising Section 1201 from US law can be the beginning of the end for DRM.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Thank you for donating! | Electronic Frontier Foundation - 0 views

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    "Thank you for donating to the Electronic Frontier Foundation during the Summer Security Reboot membership drive! Stand with EFF and protect yourself, your personal information, and your rights. We've been fighting back for 25 years because of members like you, and your support will help us advocate for users for many years to come. "
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

EFF in 2015 - Annual Report - 0 views

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    [The Electronic Frontier Foundation was founded in 1990 to protect the rights of technology users, a mission that expands dramatically as digital devices and networks transform modern life and culture. With over 25,000 dues-paying members around the world and a social media reach of well over 1 million followers across different social networks, EFF engages directly with digital users worldwide and provides leadership on cutting-edge issues of free expression, privacy, and human rights. Our annual report features reflections from several EFF staff members about some of our most significant efforts, as well as financial information for the fiscal year ending June 2015. To learn more, read our Year in Review series. ...]
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    [The Electronic Frontier Foundation was founded in 1990 to protect the rights of technology users, a mission that expands dramatically as digital devices and networks transform modern life and culture. With over 25,000 dues-paying members around the world and a social media reach of well over 1 million followers across different social networks, EFF engages directly with digital users worldwide and provides leadership on cutting-edge issues of free expression, privacy, and human rights. Our annual report features reflections from several EFF staff members about some of our most significant efforts, as well as financial information for the fiscal year ending June 2015. To learn more, read our Year in Review series. ...]
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

EFF Warns Against Broad "Stay Down" Anti-Piracy Filters - TorrentFreak - 0 views

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    " Ernesto on January 22, 2016 C: 47 Breaking Copyright holders want websites to implement strict filters to guarantee that content stays down after a DMCA notice is received. The EFF warns against these demands, arguing that they will lead to a "filter everything" approach. According to the EFF this will result in more abuse and mistakes from often automated takedown bots. "
Paul Merrell

Panopticlick - 0 views

  • When you visit a website, online trackers and the site itself may be able to identify you – even if you’ve installed software to protect yourself. It’s possible to configure your browser to thwart tracking, but many people don’t know how. Panopticlick will analyze how well your browser and add-ons protect you against online tracking techniques. We’ll also see if your system is uniquely configured—and thus identifiable—even if you are using privacy-protective software.
  • Only anonymous data will be collected through this site. Panopticlick is a research project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Learn more
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Piracy Claims Are No Basis to Terminate Internet Accounts, Court Hears - TorrentFreak - 0 views

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    [ Ernesto on October 15, 2015 C: 6 Breaking The copyright infringement notices rightsholders send to Internet providers should not lead to account terminations, the EFF and Public Knowledge have told a federal court in Virginia. Both groups submitted their opinion in the case between Cox and two music groups, stating that the interests of millions of subscribers are at risk. ]
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    [ Ernesto on October 15, 2015 C: 6 Breaking The copyright infringement notices rightsholders send to Internet providers should not lead to account terminations, the EFF and Public Knowledge have told a federal court in Virginia. Both groups submitted their opinion in the case between Cox and two music groups, stating that the interests of millions of subscribers are at risk. ]
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

EFF Told to "Shut the Hell Up" About SOPA - TorrentFreak - 1 views

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    " Andy on August 7, 2015 C: 155 News Warnings from the EFF this week that Hollywood is making renewed efforts to obtain SOPA-like powers over Internet companies has touched a nerve, with filmmakers and anti-piracy activists attacking from all angles. The EFF should stop talking about the past, its critics say, and admit that the Internet won't get broken by Hollywood."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Stop CISA: Join EFF in a Week of Action Opposing Broad "Cybersecurity" Surveillance Leg... - 1 views

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    "How do you kill a zombie bill like CISA? Grassroots action. That's why EFF and over a dozen other groups are asking you to join us in a Week of Action to Stop CISA. The Senate is likely to vote on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) in the coming weeks, and only you can help us stop it."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Defamation suit against EFF dropped three days after it's served | Ars Technica - 0 views

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    "A patent lawyer who sued the Electronic Frontier Foundation for defamation for writing about his invention in a "Stupid Patent of the Month" blog post has dropped the lawsuit. "There was no settlement or agreement," EFF general counsel Kurt Opsahl told Ars in an e-mail. "It was a voluntary dismissal of a meritless lawsuit by Scott Horstemeyer.""
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

USA Freedom Act Passes: What We Celebrate, What We Mourn, and Where We Go Fro... - 0 views

  • The Senate passed the USA Freedom Act today by 67-32, marking the first time in over thirty years that both houses of Congress have approved a bill placing real restrictions and oversight on the National Security Agency’s surveillance powers. The weakening amendments to the legislation proposed by NSA defender Senate Majority Mitch McConnell were defeated, and we have every reason to believe that President Obama will sign USA Freedom into law. Technology users everywhere should celebrate, knowing that the NSA will be a little more hampered in its surveillance overreach, and both the NSA and the FISA court will be more transparent and accountable than it was before the USA Freedom Act. It’s no secret that we wanted more. In the wake of the damning evidence of surveillance abuses disclosed by Edward Snowden, Congress had an opportunity to champion comprehensive surveillance reform and undertake a thorough investigation, like it did with the Church Committee. Congress could have tried to completely end mass surveillance and taken numerous other steps to rein in the NSA and FBI. This bill was the result of compromise and strong leadership by Sens. Patrick Leahy and Mike Lee and Reps. Robert Goodlatte, Jim Sensenbrenner, and John Conyers. It’s not the bill EFF would have written, and in light of the Second Circuit's thoughtful opinion, we withdrew our support from the bill in an effort to spur Congress to strengthen some of its privacy protections and out of concern about language added to the bill at the behest of the intelligence community. Even so, we’re celebrating. We’re celebrating because, however small, this bill marks a day that some said could never happen—a day when the NSA saw its surveillance power reduced by Congress. And we’re hoping that this could be a turning point in the fight to rein in the NSA.
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    [The Senate passed the USA Freedom Act today by 67-32, marking the first time in over thirty years that both houses of Congress have approved a bill placing real restrictions and oversight on the National Security Agency's surveillance powers. The weakening amendments to the legislation proposed by NSA defender Senate Majority Mitch McConnell were defeated, and we have every reason to believe that President Obama will sign USA Freedom into law. Technology users everywhere should celebrate, knowing that the NSA will be a little more hampered in its surveillance overreach, and both the NSA and the FISA court will be more transparent and accountable than it was before the USA Freedom Act. ...]
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Special 404 Report | Electronic Frontier Foundation - 0 views

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    "Executive Summary: Missing Stories From the 301 Blacklist"
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    "Executive Summary: Missing Stories From the 301 Blacklist"
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Surveillance Self-Defense | Tips, Tools and How-tos for Safer Online Communications - 0 views

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    "Tips, Tools and How-tos for Safer Online Communications"
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    "Tips, Tools and How-tos for Safer Online Communications"
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

EFF's Game Plan for Ending Global Mass Surveillance | Electronic Frontier Foundation - 0 views

  • We have a problem when it comes to stopping mass surveillance.  The entity that’s conducting the most extreme and far-reaching surveillance against most of the world’s communications—the National Security Agency—is bound by United States law.  That’s good news for Americans. U.S. law and the Constitution protect American citizens and legal residents from warrantless surveillance. That means we have a very strong legal case to challenge mass surveillance conducted domestically or that sweeps in Americans’ communications.  Similarly, the United States Congress is elected by American voters. That means Congressional representatives are beholden to the American people for their jobs, so public pressure from constituents can help influence future laws that might check some of the NSA’s most egregious practices. But what about everyone else? What about the 96% of the world’s population who are citizens of other countries, living outside U.S. borders. They don't get a vote in Congress. And current American legal protections generally only protect citizens, legal residents, or those physically located within the United States. So what can EFF do to protect the billions of people outside the United States who are victims of the NSA’s spying?
  • For years, we’ve been working on a strategy to end mass surveillance of digital communications of innocent people worldwide. Today we’re laying out the plan, so you can understand how all the pieces fit together—that is, how U.S. advocacy and policy efforts connect to the international fight and vice versa. Decide for yourself where you can get involved to make the biggest difference. This plan isn’t for the next two weeks or three months. It’s a multi-year battle that may need to be revised many times as we better understand the tools and authorities of entities engaged in mass surveillance and as more disclosures by whistleblowers help shine light on surveillance abuses.
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    "We have a problem when it comes to stopping mass surveillance. The entity that's conducting the most extreme and far-reaching surveillance against most of the world's communications-the National Security Agency-is bound by United States law. "
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    "We have a problem when it comes to stopping mass surveillance. The entity that's conducting the most extreme and far-reaching surveillance against most of the world's communications-the National Security Agency-is bound by United States law. "
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Apple's Insistence On DRM And Other Restrictions Means EFF's New App Is Android-Only | ... - 1 views

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    "from the eff-your-walled-garden dept The EFF has produced a new mobile app that allows users to access its alert center and instantly take action on issues pertaining to digital rights and other areas the group focuses on. And, it's Android-only, because the EFF took a long look at Apple's walled garden and said, "Include us out.""
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    "from the eff-your-walled-garden dept The EFF has produced a new mobile app that allows users to access its alert center and instantly take action on issues pertaining to digital rights and other areas the group focuses on. And, it's Android-only, because the EFF took a long look at Apple's walled garden and said, "Include us out.""
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Introducing EFF's Stupid Patent of the Month | Electronic Frontier Foundation - 0 views

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    "Here at EFF, we see a lot of stupid patents. There was the patent on "scan to email." And the patent on "bilateral and multilateral decision making." There are so many stupid patents that Mark Cuban endowed a chair at EFF dedicated to eliminating them. We wish we could catalog them all, but with tens of thousands of low-quality software patents issuing every year, we don't have the time or resources to undertake that task."
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