2021 Year in Review: EFF Graphics
December 31, 2021, 1:33 PM
EFF's small design team sometimes struggles to keep up with the frenetic pace of our activist, legal and development colleagues. Whenever EFF launches a new legal case, activism campaign, tech project, or development campaign, we try to create unique and inspiring graphics to promote it. At EFF, we find that the ability to visualize the issues at hand encourages supporters to engage more fully with our work, to learn more and share more about what we do, and to donate to our cause.
In 2021, the Police Took a Page Out of the NSA’s Playbook: 2021 in Review
December 31, 2021, 11:57 AM
With increasing frequency, law enforcement has been using unconstitutional, suspicionless digital dragnet searches in an attempt to identify unknown suspects in criminal cases. Whether these searches are for everyone who was near a building where a crime occurred or who searched for a keyword like “bomb” or who shares genetic data with a crime scene DNA sample, 2021 saw more and more of these searches—and more attempts to push back and rein in unconstitutional law enforcement behavior.
Every State Has a Chance to Deliver a “Fiber for All” Broadband Future: 2021 in Review
December 30, 2021, 6:23 PM
This year’s passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)—also known as the bipartisan infrastructure package—delivered on a goal EFF has sought for years. It finally creates a way for people to remedy a serious problem: a severe lack of fiber-to-the-home connectivity. Fiber optics lie at the core of all future broadband access options because it is the superior medium for moving data, with no close comparisons. As a result, global demand for fiber infrastructure is extremel...
Shining a Light on Black Box Technology Used to Send People to Jail: 2021 Year in Review
December 30, 2021, 12:32 PM
If you're accused of a crime based on an algorithm's analysis of the evidence, you should have a right to refute the assumptions, methods, and programming of that algorithm. Building on previous wins, EFF and its allies turned the tide this year on the use of these secret programs in criminal prosecutions.
One of the most common forms of forensic programs is probabilistic genotyping software. It is used by the prosecution to examine DNA mixtures, where an analyst doesn't know how many people con...
2021 Year In Review: Sex Online
December 29, 2021, 4:26 PM
We don’t entrust Internet companies to be arbiters of morality. We shouldn't hand them the responsibility of making broad cultural decisions about the forms sexuality is allowed to take online. And yet, this last year has been a steady and consistent drum of Internet companies doing just that. Rather than seeking consensus among users, Apple, Mastercard, Amazon, Ebay and others chose to impose their own values on the world, negatively affecting a broad range of people.
The ability to express...
Students Are Learning To Resist Surveillance: Year in Review 2021
December 29, 2021, 9:17 AM
It’s been a tough year for students - but a good one for resistance.
As schools have shuffled students from in-person education to at-home learning and testing, then back again, the lines between “school” and “home” have been blurred. This has made it increasingly difficult for students to protect their privacy and to freely express themselves, as online proctoring and other sinister forms of surveillance and disciplinary technology have spread. But students have fought back, and oft...
Where Net Neutrality Is Today and What Comes Next: 2021 in Review
December 28, 2021, 11:12 AM
When all is said and done—and there are some major steps to take in 2022—the United States will mark 2021 as the last year without federal net neutrality protections. Next year is when we will undo the 2017 repeal and once again put the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) back to work doing its job: protecting consumers from bad actors, working towards universal and net-neutral internet access, and accurately assessing the playing field in telecommunications.
With President Biden’s app...
In 2021, We Told Apple: Don't Scan Our Phones https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/12/2021-we-told-apple-dont-scan-our-phones
December 28, 2021, 10:53 AM
Strong encryption provides privacy and security for everyone online. We can’t have private conversations, or safe transactions, without it. Encryption is critical to democratic politics and reliable economic transactions around the world. When a company rolls back its existing commitments to encryption, that’s a bad sign.
In August, Apple made a startling announcement: the company would be installing scanning software on all of its devices, which would inspect users’ private photos in iC...
We Encrypted the Web: 2021 Year in Review
December 27, 2021, 12:40 PM
In 2010, EFF launched its campaign to encrypt the entire web—that is, move all websites from non-secure HTTP to the more secure HTTPS protocol. Over 10 years later, 2021 has brought us even closer to achieving that goal. With various measurement sources reporting over 90% of web traffic encrypted, 2021 saw major browsers deploy key features to put HTTPS first. Thanks to Let’s Encrypt and EFF’s own Certbot, HTTPS deployment has become ubiquitous on the web.
Default HTTPS in All Browsers
The Battle for Communications Privacy in Latin America: 2021 in Review
December 27, 2021, 11:49 AM
Uncovering government surveillance and fighting for robust and effective legal safeguards and oversight is a continuous battle in Latin American countries. Surveillance capabilities and technologies are becoming more intrusive and prevalent, surrounded by a culture of secrecy and entrenched views that pit security against privacy. There are several challenges to face. Alongside growing resistance against government biometric surveillance, the long-standing problem of unfettered communications su...
Vaccine Passports: 2021 in Review
December 26, 2021, 10:04 AM
2021 has been the year of vaccines, in light of the continuing worldwide pandemic. It has also been the year of vaccine passports. To fully tell this story, let’s go back to 2020, because the term vaccine passport as many people use it has changed since then. Early in the pandemic, there were discussions of “immunity passports” that would declare that someone had recovered from COVID-19, and which we thought were a bad idea. We, along with other civil liberties organizations, are against ...
2021 Was the Year Lawmakers Tried to Regulate Online Speech https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/12/2021-was-year-lawmakers-tried-regulate-online-speech
December 26, 2021, 9:23 AM
On the biggest internet platforms, content moderation is bad and getting worse. It’s difficult to get it right, and at the scale of millions or billions of users, it may be impossible. It’s hard enough for humans to sift between spam, illegal content, and offensive but legal speech. Bots and AI have also failed to rise to the job.
So, it’s inevitable that services make mistakes—removing users’ speech that does not violate their policies, or terminating users’ accounts with no expla...
Stalkerware: 2021 in Review
Click here to read the complete article