Items tagged with EFF

If you believe that your privacy is important - so important that the government can't even breach it - you're not going to like president Obama's latest comments. During a meeting at the White House with UK prime minister Dave Cameron, it was established that both leaders share the same stance on user privacy: you're fine to have it, as long as the government can peer in. With the latest release of Apple's iOS and Google's Android, both companies have proven that they believe that consumers have the right to their privacy. Both of the latest OSes have introduced encryption that they claim they... Read more...
Just how secure is your favorite chat app? The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) found out and is sharing the results of its research as part of its battle against NSA surveillance. As you’d probably expect, it has some complaints about the security of certain mainstream chat programs, but there are a few surprises on the EFF’s Secure Messaging Scorecard.  A portion of the Electronic Frontier Foundation Secure Messaging Scorecard. Image Credit: EFF For one thing, Skype received poor marks, garnering only two positives (out of a possible seven). The video chat service encrypts... Read more...
Woe is the gamer who suddenly can't play a particular title because a developer or publisher pulled the plug on an authentication server without releasing a patch to remove the requirement of checking in with the defunct mothership. About the only thing you can do at that point is pound sand or brave the shady side of the web for an illegal crack and hope it doesn't barf malware all over your system. Luckily, the good folks at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have your back and have filed a petition with the Library of Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office to make modifying abandoned games... Read more...
Ever since 9/11 and the passage of the Patriot Act, the federal government has pursued an aggressive set of data collection policies and surveillance practices. Edward Snowden's leaks last year may have raised public awareness of many of these events, but simply being aware of practices doesn't do a thing to stop them. Recent court decisions, however, could be a sign that the wall of secrecy the NSA has constructed to veil its actions is cracking -- with profound long-term implications. First, earlier this week, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in United States v. Davis that cell phone users... Read more...
From Apple to Yahoo, tech companies have a great deal of our data in their hands, and thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden, we know that the government wants as much of it as possible--and has been too successful in that regard. In some cases, there’s just nothing much a company can do when the NSA comes knocking with a warrant, but there is a spectrum of cooperation, protection, and advocacy that various companies employ. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has created a list of many tech companies and charted out a star rating system with six categories: -Requires a warrant for content... Read more...
Earlier this week, Apple released an updated set of legal guidelines spelling out exactly what it can and cannot access on your iDevice, what material it will turn over to the police, and under which circumstances it will surrender it. What's particularly interesting is the split response we've seen from different corners of the Internet. Everything Apple does tends to generate attention, but this particular set of announcements is getting a great deal of press -- and two very different narratives have emerged over what it means. Some readers and authors have reacted rather poorly to news that... Read more...
It’s an interesting proposition, to be sure: What if, instead of locking down your wireless network with the strongest encryption available, you simply left it open and unsecured so that any Dick or Jane with a WiFi-enabled device nearby can use it? For most people, especially those who have been haranguing friends and family to protect their WiFi networks for years, this sounds completely insane. But for the members of the Open Wireless Movement--which includes the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Open Technology Institute, NYC Wireless, Openspectrum.eu, the Internet Archive, and more--this... Read more...
Taxpayers in the United States could soon be stuck footing the bill for some very costly copyright infringement enforcement. For those that don't know, the PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 or Senate Bill S.968) is a piece of controversial legislation introduced on May 12, 2011 intended to force private ISPs, search engines and other parties to censor websites accused of facilitating copyright infringement. The bill is supported by a large number of infamous IP-protective agencies, including the MPAA, Viacom, SAG,... Read more...
Avid Steam users and otherwise enthusiastic indie game players are well-acquainted with the Humble Indie Bundle, a semi-annual drive offering collections of independently released computer games for direct download, free of digital rights management (DRM). Two of these bundle drives have been completed thus far, raising over $1.25 million and $1.8 million in sales, respectively. The third bundle drive is currently underway. and has already broken the $1 million mark. This is quite an impressive accomplishment, considering that customers are allowed to pay what they want for the entire package.... Read more...
The National Sheriffs' Association has announced it supports mandatory logging provisions incorporated into a proposed federal law that would require ISPs to store all customer data for 18 months. The bill (HR 1981) is intended to amend title 18 of the USC and is known as the "Protecting Children From Internet Pornagraphers Act of 2011," At a Congressional hearing today, Michael Brown, a sheriff in Bedford County, VA and board member of the NSA stated: ""The limited data retention time and lack of uniformity among retention from company to company significantly hinders law enforcement's ability... Read more...
The privacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation calls the Apple patent application for a method to monitor and perhaps disable jailbroken and unlocked iDevices "traitorware." They would call it spyware, they stated, but because of certain aspects of the technology involved, they preferred "traitorware." As we noted earlier, the Apple patent application mentions jailbroken devices, which sort of belies any notion that it's all about security. As the EFF says, "it's not just spyware, it's 'traitorware,' since it is designed to allow Apple to retaliate against you if you do something Apple doesn't... Read more...
Every three years, the U.S. Copyright Office convenes to consider exemptions to the DMCA's ban on circumvention of "technical protection measures." On Monday, the EFF, which had submitted three such exemptions for this go-round of the triennial process, announced that all three exemptions had been granted, meaning for one thing, that jailbreaking iPhones is now officially legal. Apple had said a long time ago that it considered jailbreaking iPhones illegal, but there was no legal basis in either direction. This exemption now means Apple can't take any legal action against jailbreakers, and it also... Read more...
Remember the big bruhaha when Facebook tried to change its Terms of Service (TOS)? Well, the Electronic Frontier (DFF) Foundation has developed a service, TOSBack, to help you track the TOS of sites you use, to make sure you're not surprised in the future. In the case of Facebook, users became so incensed that FB eventually backed down on the ToS changes, then moved to democratize them. EFF Activism and Technology Manager Tim Jones said: "Terms of service form the foundation of your relationship with social networking sites, online businesses, and other Internet communities, but most people become... Read more...
We wrote earlier that Apple has called jailbreaking "illegal." At the same time, however, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed comments with the Copyright Office asking for an exemption to the DMCA so that cell phone owners can unlock their phones (their "Free Your Phone" campaign), as well as be able to legally "jailbreak" their iPhones. On Friday, the Copyright Office held the first of its hearings in the triennial exemption process. Scheduled to appear was Apple Vice President of iPod and iPhone Product Marketing Greg Joswiak. Why is Apple's interest so heightened this time? While... Read more...
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