EFF Urges FTC to Investigate Stalkerware App Network Subject of TechCrunch Report
February 26, 2022, 12:34 AM
Private messages, voicemails, internet browsing, passwords and location data—this is the type of private phone data that is being monitored in real time, unbeknownst to hundreds of thousands of people around the world being tracked by consumer-grade spyware.
There is a massive network of stalkerware apps that is harvesting the private data of at least 400,000 people through consumer-grade spyware apps that share a major security flaw, according to TechCrunch security editor Zack Whittaker’s ...
Copyright is Not a Shortcut Around the Constitution’s Anonymous Speech Protections, EFF Tells Court
February 18, 2022, 11:54 PM
Anonymous speech is an important protection for those concerned about political or economic retribution, harassment, or even threats to their lives. The shield that protects those speakers’ anonymity in U.S. court is the First Amendment, and applying the appropriate constitutional test during litigation allows a court to appropriately balance the necessity of unmasking a litigant with the harm of exposing them. Unfortunately, courts do not always apply the correct tests to protect anonymous s...
Twitter and Facebook Must Speak Out Against Ghana's Repulsive Anti-LGBTQI+ Bill https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2022/02/twitter-and-facebook-must-speak-out-against-ghanas-repulsive-anti-lgbtqi-bill
February 17, 2022, 11:39 PM
As the Ghanaian Parliament considers a bill that would criminalize being LGBTQI+ or an ally of LGBTQI+ people, and ban all speech on and offline that even remotely supports LGBTQI+ rights, Twitter and Facebook's parent company Meta must publicly speak out against the proposal and state what action they will take to protect users should the legislation pass. Both Twitter and Facebook have invested heavily in Ghana, which holds itself out to be a constitutional democracy with a strong commitment ...
EFF to Court: Security Research Is a Fair Use https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2022/02/eff-court-security-research-fair-use
February 17, 2022, 7:03 PM
We live in a world increasingly governed by technology. Too often, that technology includes security vulnerabilities that could allow malicious actors access to our most important and private information. That’s why it’s so important that security researchers be allowed to do their work without fear that they might infringe copyright in the software they are testing. Thanks to the doctrine of fair use, which creates a “safety valve” for research, commentary and so on, they usually don’...
Privacy Experts to Federal and State Agencies: End Use of Facial Verification Services
February 17, 2022, 12:21 AM
In a victory for privacy and security, the Internal Revenue Service reversed course from its recent announcement that it was partnering with ID.me, a third-party identity verification service, to use facial recognition for verification of users managing many aspects of their taxes online. Importantly, this change only happened after a maelstrom of criticism from lawmakers and privacy advocates. Congress Demands Agencies Rethink Use of Facial Recognition
Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden...
Not Just San Francisco: Police Across the Country are Retaining and Searching DNA of Victims and Innocent People
February 16, 2022, 9:46 PM
This week we learned that San Francisco Police used a woman’s own DNA—collected years earlier as part of an investigation into her sexual assault—to charge her for an unrelated property crime. What’s worse—it appears the S.F. police routinely search victims’ DNA in criminal investigations.
This practice is possible because San Francisco has been storing DNA gathered from rape survivors in the same local database where it stores DNA from rape assailants and other suspects. The San Fra...
The Worst Timeline: A Printer Company Is Putting DRM in Paper Now
February 15, 2022, 11:18 PM
Update 2/16/22: This article first appeared with a typo as well as a computation error that listed the manufacturing cost of printer ink at $250/oz; the correct figure is $170/gal. We regret the error and thank the eagle-eyed readers who spotted it and pointed it out on Twitter. Your service is appreciated and we salute you.
Are you well organized? Do you have a garage full of well-labeled bins or a pantry full of neatly labeled jars? Do you ship a lot of stuff and print labels? If so, you prob...
Maryland Bill Offers Strong Privacy Protections Against Biometric Data Collection
February 15, 2022, 10:49 PM
It is critically important that lawmakers stand up to protect their constituents from the abuse of biometric information, through strong laws with strong enforcement. That’s why we were proud to testify in support last week of Maryland’s SB 335, which would give Marylanders much-needed protections against unwanted biometric data collection. Most importantly, this bill requires corporations to get a person’s opt-in consent before collecting their biometrics, and it empowers people to sue th...
UN Committee To Begin Negotiating New Cybercrime Treaty Amid Disagreement Among States Over Its Scope
February 15, 2022, 8:05 PM
As a UN-convened committee of government experts from around the world gets ready to begin negotiations to draft a Cybercrime Treaty, there's a pronounced lack of consensus among UN member states about what constitutes a "cybercrime" and how expansive the treaty will be. After years of discussion, the UN General Assembly voted to begin negotiating a Cybercrime Treaty that has potential to reshape policing on a global scale, with serious implications for human rights. UN Resolution 74/247 creat...
Victory! More Lawsuits Proceed Against Clearview’s Face Surveillance
February 15, 2022, 7:58 PM
Face surveillance is a growing menace to racial justice, privacy, free speech, and information security. So EFF supports bans on government use of this dangerous technology, and laws requiring corporations to get opt-in consent from a person before taking their faceprint.
One of the worst offenders is Clearview AI, which extracts faceprints from billions of people without their consent and uses these faceprints to help police identify suspects. For example, police in Miami worked with Clearview ...
What Spotify, Neil Young, and Joe Rogan Tell Us About Content Moderation
February 15, 2022, 5:09 PM
Content moderation is complex, difficult and, frankly, exhausting. The most recent example involves Spotify and its decision to stick with the controversial podcast host, Joe Rogan, over other creators. There is no question that Spotify has the right to determine whom to host, profit from or reject from its platform; what is worrisome, however, is Spotify abdicating its ethical responsibility to its users to make such decisions in a transparent and consistent way.
Let’s start from the beginn...
The Federal Circuit Helps a Patent Troll Block Public Access to Court Records
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