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EFF again awards Apple perfect score on digital privacy

06/18, 2:00pm

Adobe, Wikimedia, WordPress, Yahoo among top-rated tech firms

For the second year running, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has given Apple and a handful of other tech firms a perfect "five out of five" star rating for efforts related to securing consumer data against both theft and government intrusion. The high score reflects a top initiative of Apple CEO Tim Cook, and the company generally, in believing that the business model that requires collecting and monetizing customer data is fundamentally flawed.


EFF, Mozilla and more start 'Let's Encrypt' SSL certificate initiative

11/18, 10:34pm

Let's Encrypt to offer free, easy to use certificates in 2015 through certificate authority

Secure sockets layer (SSL) and transport layer security (TLS) certificates will soon come easier and cheaper to website owners. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Mozilla, Cisco, IdenTrust, Akamai and University of Michigan researchers are teaming up to create a new certificate authority (CA) initiative to entice the transition of all websites to an HTTPS standard.


EFF files DMCA exemption requests, including 'abandoned video games'

11/04, 9:27pm

Filings look to rescue old games from anti-circumvention provisions, five other requests

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed six Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) exemption requests with the US Copyright on November 3 as a part of the three-year process to address revisions to the act. All six requests were filed in an attempt to give users basic access to software and devices, with one request looking to give consumers a way to play games abandoned by developers and publishers.


EFF: ComputerCop software endorsed by law enforcement is spyware

10/02, 8:36pm

Tests reveal keylogger information unencrypted when sent, 'software is unreliable'

A program that is touted as the first step in Internet security for children was examined by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), only to discover that the software isn't very safe itself. ComputerCop, which the EFF says is distributed by approximately 245 agencies involved in law enforcement in 35 states, is nothing more than branded spyware that is unreliable and sends unencrypted key logs, the foundation says.


Lotzi Digital, Personal Audio drop patent lawsuit over podcasts

08/19, 3:00pm

Terms under 'quiet period' until September 30, Adam Carolla crowdfunded defense fund

Big name podcasts may be in the clear for the time being, as Personal Audio and Adam Carolla's Lotzi Digital recently agreed to jointly dismiss a patent lawsuit without prejudice last Friday. The filing, obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), comes after a settlement was reached between the two parties, the details of which have yet to be announced. Both companies are under a "quiet period" until September 30.


EFF: Android phones could be 'leaking' location data

07/03, 5:35pm

Foundation discovers phones less than three years old broadcasting visited locations

Recently, the Internet advocacy and legal group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) discovered that a number of Android devices could be sharing location information when not connected to Wi-Fi. The Android phones in question periodically send out information on Wi-Fi networks it knows in order to speed up the process of connecting. However, in doing so it gives off previous location data based on stored wireless networks in "human language."


Twitter blocks 'blasphemous' content in Pakistan, attacked by EFF

05/23, 10:33am

Censorship requests from Pakistan Telecommunications Authority performed by Twitter

Twitter has come under fire for agreeing to requests by a bureaucrat in Pakistan to block certain content from the site. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has attacked Twitter for complying with the requests from the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, suggesting the agency does not have any legal authority to demand the removal of the content.


EFF raises Apple to perfect score over privacy protection initiatives

05/16, 12:41am

Facebook, Dropbox, Microsoft, Yahoo among others also meet high criteria

In its latest report on tech companies and their efforts to be transparent on user privacy and the US government, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has given Apple its highest rating, six out of six, for the first time. A total of nine tech companies achieved the top score, but Apple had previously been given just one star each year since 2011. The revised rating is a result of Apple's more public effort to protect user privacy.


EFF wins FOIA lawsuit against NSA, 'hundreds' of docs to be released

09/06, 10:00am

Activist group fights for transparency

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has reportedly won a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Justice Department, forcing the agency to make public "hundreds of pages" of documents. The activist group requested material relevant to the government's previously secret interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which covers collection of "tangible things" related to investigations.


EFF report slams Apple, Verizon, MySpace for not protecting users

05/01, 12:14pm

Report scores tech companies on protecting user data from the government

An annual report by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has declared that Twitter and are the best tech companies for protecting its users from government snooping and requests from courts and law enforcement. Out of the 18 companies examined in the report, MySpace and Verizon were judged the worst, failing to score a single star in any category, while Apple, AT&T, and Yahoo managed to attain at least one star out of a possible six.


California ''Right to Know'' bill demands access for personal data

04/02, 9:05pm

Companies could be forced to hand over data

The California State Assembly is set to consider a new bill, the "Right to Know Act of 2013," that may force companies to disclose personal data. Supported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, the proposal (PDF) would require companies to provide copies of all data collected on its customers, including a list of third parties with which the personal data has been shared.


EFF: new Ubuntu Linux release suffers from 'data leak'

10/30, 5:59pm

Search results transmitted to Amazon, Facebook, others by default

Web search settings in the latest Ubuntu 12.10 are to blame for what the Electronic Frontier Foundation calls a "data leak" and a privacy violation. Unless settings are altered, every time a search is performed for a document, application, or other file using the Dash feature, the search includes results from Amazon. Search results can also return advertisements sent unencrypted in the results, allowing for Wi-Fi or network sniffers to intercept and read the text.


New cybersecurity proposal addresses privacy concerns

07/19, 11:59pm

Public outcry pushes legislators to rethink act

The US Senate is reportedly set to consider a new cybersecurity bill (PDF) that will replace the Lieberman-Collins Cybersecurity Act, which was blasted by privacy advocates. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a vocal critic of the original act, suggests legislators have responded to many of the "most glaring privacy concerns," though the advocacy group still maintains that such laws are unnecessary.


EFF open letter fights "broadly worded" CISPA bill

04/24, 2:05pm

EFF letter asks congress refuse cybersecurity bill

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published an open letter co-signed by a number of engineers, security professionals, and academics who are against proposed cybersecurity bills. Critics argue that security legislation under consideration, including CISPA, uses overly broad language that could potentially lead to privacy loss for Internet users.


EFF blasts 'Cyber Intelligence' bill over privacy concerns

04/17, 5:05pm

CISPA goes too far claim EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has launched a campaign to fight the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a cybersecurity bill designed to allow companies and the federal government to share information to prevent or defend from cyberattacks. The EFF, along with other civil liberties organizations, dispute the bill on the basis that is written too broadly and would be a loophole in existing privacy laws.


MPAA now says embedding videos is copyright infringement

04/11, 2:05pm

MPAA pushes to criminilize embedding videos

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has now included embedding copyrighted videos into the definition of copyright infringement. The legal distinction between actually hosting the pirated video and simply posting a copy of it by embedding it shouldn't exist, the Association argues. It believes doing either should be subjected to the same punishment and be labeled as direct copyright infringement.


Groups ask Congress to "step back" from IP law proceedings

02/06, 9:30pm

Lawmakers asked to take "fresh perspective"

A long list of companies and organizations, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Open Congress, have sent an open letter urging congressional lawmakers to take an entirely new approach to intellectual property law. The authors suggest concerns raised over SOPA and PIPA legislation are "too fundamental and too numerous" to be resolved through "hasty revisions" to the existing bills.


EFF vows to help Megaupload users access legitimate data

01/31, 11:05pm

Users asked to visit

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has vowed to help Megaupload users gain access to legitimate data, after the government shut down the file sharing service for its alleged role in copyright infringement. US prosecutors recently admitted that third-party hosting companies may begin deleting user data within days.


Concerns mount that jailbreaking may become illegal

01/25, 4:00pm

EFF seeking petition to keep jailbreaking legal

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is lobbying users to sign a petition in its quest to convince the US government that jailbreaking smartphones and tablets is legal. Back in mid-2010, the Library of Congress ruled that the act is legal, provided it doesn't violate copyright laws. That ruling will soon expire, some believe, and doesn't cover tablets; the EFF is concerned that both need to be address.


SOPA, PIPA proponents drop DNS blocking provision

01/13, 9:40pm

SOPA to no longer censor outside sites

Key Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) promoter Representative Lamar Smith stated Friday that he wanted to remove the domain name blocking provision from the proposed bill. He wanted the Congressional Judiciary Committee to "further examine the issues" surrounding the measure, according to CNET. A corresponding move was already underway with the Senate equivalent of the bill, Protect IP (PIPA), from Senator Patrick Leahy.


Appeals court OKs other EFF suit over warrantless wiretaps

12/29, 7:20pm

EFF greenlit to sue NSA over wiretaps

The Electronic Frontier Foundation confirmed a partial win in trying to combat warrantless wiretapping. While it had lost one appeal for carrier immunity, its representative Caroline Jewel and others were cleared by a Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals to sue the NSA, former President George W. Bush, much of the top Bush administration, and President Obama for allegedly violating the US Constitution's rights to association and reasonable search and seizure. The court had decided that there was enough specific detail about the program to go ahead with a complaint directly against the government.


EFF encourages phone owners to scan Carrier IQ profiles

12/22, 12:50pm

EFF urging public to send in Carrier IQ profiles

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has released a call to action this week that prompts users to check which Carrier IQ profile is preloaded onto their smartphones. It wants to collect all the different profiles of Carrier IQ in the field and is asking users who find it on their phones to send them a copy. Other than the copy, they need to know which phone and network it was from and where on the phone's file system it resided.


Carrier IQ backs off, apologizes over cease and desist order

11/23, 9:10pm

Company apologizes to security researcher

Software maker Carrier IQ has reversed its stance regarding a security researcher, Trevor Eckhart, who criticized the company's mobile tracking utilities. The company issued a press release formally withdrawing its cease-and-desist demands and apologizing to Eckhart and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which vowed to defend him in court if the conflict intensified.


BART caught illegally blocking cell service to quash protest

08/12, 8:00pm

BART takes illegal cell phone blocking action

The Bay Area Rapid Transit have been caught illegally blocking the areas cell phone service as it tried to disrupt protestors organizing a rally in the wake of the shooting death of Charles Hill at Civic Center Station. The Electronic Frontier Foundation described the BART shutdown in a tweet as being a “…chilling strike against free speech.” BART’s action is said to have violated Federal Law, in particular Section 333 of The Communications Act of 1934.


Australian ISPs Optus, Telstra to opt to censor 500 websites

06/25, 7:50pm

Optus and Telstra opt for voluntary censorship

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has published a commentary critical of new voluntary censorship measures adopted by two of Australia’s largest ISPs, Optus and Telstra. Optus and Telstra have taken the decision to block a list of websites that depict child abuse provided by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). While most people would support the blocking of child porn websites, critics have argued that there is no transparency in the selection of URLs to be blocked and no accountability required of the regulatory bodies that develop the lists.


e-G8 summit triggers backlash against French tech regulation

05/24, 4:55pm

e-G8 summit works against French president

The e-G8 summit in Paris brought pressure on French president Nicolas Sarkozy for his comments on technology. Having argued for "minimum rules" that would have prevented sites like WikiLeaks from getting hosting and previously backed France's infamous three-strikes law, he was followed by a panel that rejected his calls for tighter regulation. Google executive president recapped a previous stance and said he was looking for a "technological solution" to make both sides happy before turning to laws, noting it was virtually impossible for government to understand change as quickly.


EFF calls on Apple to defend devs from patent troll

05/20, 5:20pm

Patent holder suing over in-app purchase system

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has called on Apple to defend iOS developers against several "patent troll" lawsuits aimed at technology used for in-app purchases. The group accuses the patent holder, Lodsys, of threatening developers for using an in-app purchase system that is mandated by the iOS terms, rather than pursuing a case directly against Apple.


EFF calls for embracing open Wi-Fi

05/02, 3:10pm

EFF to form Open Wireless Movement with others

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has recently issued an open letter calling for the need to embrace open Wi-Fi networks. Such networks are harder to find as people fear privacy, performance and broadband allowance theft and are locking down their networks, the EFF argued, which leads to a loss of convenience, privacy and efficient use of the wireless spectrum. The Foundation called for an Open Wireless Movement, both political and technological, to slow and regress the decision to close down Wi-Fi networks by private users.


George Hotz donates $10K to Electronic Frontier Foundation

04/18, 3:55pm

Hotz gives $10K from saved legal fees to EFF

With the Sony lawsuit behind him, George Hotz has taken some of the money donated to him for a legal help and donated it to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The EFF is a nonprofit digital rights advocacy and legal organization that relies on donations to keep operating. Hotz was sued by Sony for cracking and distributing his code to crack the PS3's software and allow it to run non copy-protected games and movies.


Judge in PS3 case lets Sony track visitors to Geohot website

03/04, 7:05pm

Judge lets Sony spy on Geohot visitors in PS3 suit

George Hotz faced another setback in his defense against Sony's anti-jailbreaking lawsuit late Thursday after a judge granted Sony a potentially controversial amount of information access. It now has permission to get the IP addresses, accounts and other details of anyone who has visited either his main Geohot site or his PS3 jailbreak Blogger site between January 2009 and the modern day. Sony made clear that the access wouldn't be limited to those who downloaded the jailbreak code.


Sony sues PS3 jailbreak team over alleged DMCA violations

01/12, 4:15pm

Sony sues Geohot and fail0verflow over PS3 cracks

Sony on Tuesday quietly accompanied its restraining order attempting to silence the discoveries of permanent PS3 jailbreaks by filing a lawsuit against its discoverers. Both the Fail0verflow team and George Hotz, better known as original iPhone unlocker Geohot, were accused of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's rules against bypassing locks. It further accused the two of contributing to copyright infringement and breaking both the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as well as California's Computer Crime Law.


Court rules e-mail protected by Fourth Amendment

12/14, 4:30pm

Court says e-mail privacy guarded by 4th Amendment

A US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that e-mail was legally protected by the Fourth Amendment. It determined in a 3-0 vote that e-mail was similar to traditional communication and thus that the government still needed a search warrant to intercept and read e-mail. Users still had a reasonable expectation of privacy online, the court said.


Gizmodo ponders lawsuit over iPhone raid misconduct claims

04/28, 7:25pm

Lawyers suggest pursuing sheriff's office

Following claims of misconduct surrounding a task force raid of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home, a lawyer representing the blog suggests the publisher could file a lawsuit against the San Mateo County sheriff's office. The attorney claims California's Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) violated shield laws protecting journalists from such actions, an opinion shared with other groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation.


Misconduct accusations stall iPhone prototype investigation

04/26, 10:55pm

DA interrupts search to reconsider laws

Shortly after the Electronic Frontier Foundation voiced concerns over the legality surrounding a police raid of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's residence, the DA has decided to halt its investigation of the leaked iPhone prototype. TechCrunch contacted Stephen Wagstaffe, Chief Deputy at San Mateo County District Attorney's Office, who acknowledged that the case has been paused for further review.


MPAA, RIAA want AV software with anti-piracy scanning

04/15, 3:45pm

MPAA and RIAA hope users turn in themselves

The MPAA and RIAA have sent a response to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator that would call for software to spy on users for potential piracy. Answering a request for comments, the music and movie studios would like antivirus software to include tools for "managing copyright infringement" and block or report copyrighted material it finds.


Google to face FTC complaint over Buzz

02/17, 1:25pm

FTC complaint filed over Google Buzz

The recently launched Google Buzz social networking service is facing even more controversy today as the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has filed a complaint with the FTC. The public interest research group says it's not satisfied with the changes Google made to help alleviate some of the initial security and privacy concerns. EPIC is urging the service to be made available at a user's request, rather than be enabled by default.



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