Victory! Court Rules That DMCA Does Not Override First Amendment’s Anonymous Speech Protections
June 21, 2022, 11:29 PM
Copyright law cannot be used as a shortcut around the First Amendment’s strong protections for anonymous internet users, a federal trial court ruled on Tuesday.
The decision by a judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California confirms that copyright holders issuing subpoenas under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act must still meet the Constitution’s test before identifying anonymous speakers.
The case is an effort to unmask an anonymous Twitter user (@Cal...
When “Jawboning” Creates Private Liability
June 21, 2022, 8:55 PM
A (Very) Narrow Path to Holding Social Media Companies Legally Liable for Collaborating with Government in Content Moderation
For the last several years we have seen numerous arguments that social media platforms are "state actors" that “must carry” all user speech. According to this argument, they are legally required to publish all user speech and treat it equally. Under U.S. law, this is almost always incorrect. The First Amendment generally requires only governments to honor free speech ...
Pass the "My Body, My Data" Act
June 21, 2022, 5:37 PM
EFF supports Rep. Sara Jacobs’ “My Body, My Data" Act, which will protect the privacy and safety of people seeking reproductive health care.
Privacy fears should never stand in the way of healthcare. That's why this common-sense bill will require businesses and non-governmental organizations to act responsibly with personal information concerning reproductive health care. Specifically, it restricts them from collecting, using, retaining, or disclosing reproductive health information that isn...
Daycare Apps Are Dangerously Insecure
June 21, 2022, 5:10 PM
Last year, several parents at EFF enrolled kids into daycare and were instantly told to download an application for managing their children’s care. Daycare and preschool applications frequently include notifications of feedings, diaper changes, pictures, activities, and which guardian picked-up/dropped-off the child—potentially useful features for overcoming separation anxiety of newly enrolled children and their anxious parents. Working at a privacy-oriented organization as we do, we asked ...
EFF Warns Another Court About the Dangers of Broad Site-Blocking Orders
June 17, 2022, 7:25 PM
A copyright holder can’t use a court order against the owner of an infringing website to conscript every intermediary service on the internet into helping make that website disappear, EFF and the Computer & Communications Industry Association argued in an amicus brief.
The brief, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, defends Cloudflare, a San Francisco-based global cloud services provider. United King Film Distribution - a movie, television, sports and ne...
Copyright "Small Claims" Quasi-Court Opens. Here's Why Many Defendants Will Opt Out.
June 17, 2022, 6:22 PM
A new quasi-court for copyright, with nationwide reach, began accepting cases this week. The “Copyright Claims Board” or “CCB,” housed within the Copyright Office in Washington DC, will rule on private copyright infringement lawsuits from around the country and award damages of up to $30,000 per case. Though it’s billed as an “efficient and user-friendly” alternative to federal litigation, the CCB is likely to disadvantage many people who are accused of copyright infringement, espe...
Our Digital Lives Rest on a Robust, Flexible, and Stable Fair Use Regime
June 17, 2022, 5:19 PM
Much of what we do online involves reproducing copyrightable material, changing it, and/or making new works. Technically, pretty much every original tweet is copyrightable. And the vast majority of memes are based on copyrighted works. Your funny edits, mashups, and photoshopped jokes manipulate copyrighted works into new ones. Effective communication has always included a shared reference pool to make points clearly understood. And now we do that online.
In other words, as the digital world has...
Facebook Says Apple is Too Powerful. They're Right.
June 16, 2022, 6:22 AM
In December, 2020, Apple did something insanely great. They changed how iOS, their mobile operating system, handled users’ privacy preferences, so that owners of iPhones and other iOS devices could indicate that they don’t want to be tracked by any of the apps on their devices. If they did, Apple would block those apps from harvesting users’ data.
This made Facebook really, really mad.
As far as Apple -and Facebook, and Google, and other large tech companies - are concerned, we’re entitl...
Stop This California Bill that Bans Affordable Broadband Rules
June 15, 2022, 11:49 PM
Update, June 16: In response to pressure from advocates, A.B. 2749's bans on affordability have been removed from the bill. The California Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee will soon be the first to consider new and terrible amendments to Assemblymember Quirk-Silva’s A.B. 2749—which is backed by AT&T and other telecommunications interests. The legislation would prohibit the state from implementing affordable broadband rules for broadband companies receiving state su...
Victory! New York’s Vaccine Privacy Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk
June 14, 2022, 10:20 PM
In a win for medical privacy in the Empire State, the New York Legislature has passed a pivotal bill that protects people’s private immunity information like COVID-19 vaccine status from being used to track their movements and be used against them in unauthorized ways. The Electronic Frontier Foundation advocated for the bill, now headed to New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s desk to be signed into law.
A. 7326/S. 6541 protects the confidentiality of medical immunity information by limiting what...
Senator Declares Amazon Ring's Audio Surveillance Capabilities "Threaten the Public" https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2022/06/senator-declares-concern-about-amazon-rings-audio-surveillance-capabilities
June 14, 2022, 10:16 PM
Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, a long-time critic of Amazon’s surveillance doorbell camera, Ring, has released a letter of concern and inquiry concerning the device’s audio capabilities. This is partially in response to a recent study conducted by Consumer Reports that found that once the device’s motion sensor has been triggered, it can record conversation-level audio from up to 25-feet away. This has disturbing implications for people who walk, bike, or even drive by dozens of these ...
EFF Urges Congress to Strengthen the American Data Privacy and Protection Act
June 14, 2022, 5:11 PM
EFF has long been in the business of searching for ways to guarantee digital privacy. That made essential that, ahead of a hearing titled “Protecting America's Consumers: Bipartisan Legislation to Strengthen Data Privacy and Security,” we send a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on the draft text of a bill called “The American Data Privacy and Protection Act.”
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