You Should Not Trust Russia’s New “Trusted Root CA”
March 15, 2022, 11:41 PM
Last week, Russian citizens began receiving instructions to either download a government-approved web browser, or change their basic browser settings, according to instructions issued by their government’s Ministry of Digital Development and Communications. On the one hand, these changes may be necessary for Russians to access government services and websites impacted by international sanctions. Nonetheless, it is a worrying development: the Russian state’s stopgap measure to keep its servi...
Podcast Episode: Watching the Watchers
March 15, 2022, 10:00 AM
Imagine being detained by armed agents whenever you returned from traveling outside the country. That’s what life became like for Academy Award-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras, who was placed on a terrorist watch-list after she made a documentary critical of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. Poitras was detained close to 100 times between 2006 and 2012, and border agents routinely copied her notebooks and threatened to take her electronics.
It was only after Poitras teamed up with EF...
EFF Asks Federal Appellate Court to Re-hear Important Patent Transparency Case
March 14, 2022, 6:35 PM
After pushing for more than three years to access court records in a lawsuit brought by a notorious patent troll, Uniloc, against Apple, EFF is challenging a federal appellate court’s decision that imperils the public’s ability to understand what happens in patent litigation.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overruled the district court’s decision to grant public access to records documenting the legal fight last month. The court ruled that the public had no interest in ac...
The Foilies 2022
March 13, 2022, 4:41 PM
Recognizing the year's worst in government transparency.
The Foilies were compiled by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (Director of Investigations Dave Maass, Senior Staff Attorney Aaron Mackey, Frank Stanton Fellow Mukund Rathi, Investigative Researcher Beryl Lipton, Policy Analyst Matthew Guariglia) and MuckRock (Co-Founder Michael Morisy, Senior Reporting Fellows Betsy Ladyzhets and Dillon Bergin, and Investigations Editor Derek Kravitz), with further review and editing by Shawn Musgrave. I...
Big Tech Pay-Outs to European ISPs Would Just Concentrate Their Power
March 10, 2022, 11:36 PM
As the debate about how to rein in Big Tech and its anti-competitive practices continues, news publishers and telecommunications providers are increasingly calling for large pay-outs from major platforms. However, these proposals risk restricting users into ever-smaller walled gardens and cementing the dominance of a few big players.
On Valentine’s day, an open letter from the CEOs of Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, Vodafone, and Orange surfaced. In the letter, the heads of Europe’s biggest t...
Federal Court in Virginia Holds Geofence Warrant Violates Constitution
March 10, 2022, 10:32 PM
In the first order of its kind, a federal district court has held that a warrant used to identify all devices in the area of a bank robbery, including the defendant’s, “plainly violates the rights enshrined in [the Fourth] Amendment.” The court questioned whether similar warrants could ever be constitutional.
The case is United States v. Chatrie, and addresses a controversial tool called a geofence warrant. The police issued the warrant to Google seeking information on every device within ...
Utah: Urge Governor Cox to Veto This Weak Data Privacy Bill
March 10, 2022, 8:48 PM
EFF fights for strong data privacy laws in statehouses across the country. That’s why we joined a coalition of privacy advocates in urging Utah's lawmakers to stop the bill. Now we're asking Gov. Spencer J. Cox to veto SB227, which passed quickly through the state’s legislature last week. This bill protects privacy in name only, and lacks real protections or teeth. By setting such a low bar for privacy, and blessing some anti-privacy company tactics, it does not set a strong foundation for f...
Here’s How ICE Illegally Obtained Bulk Financial Records from Western Union
March 10, 2022, 7:29 PM
Senator Ron Wyden has released a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Inspector General voicing his concern over a previously-unknown bulk data collection program that was carried out by Homeland Security Investigations(HSI), a unit within DHS’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). For more than two years, HSI used administrative subpoenas to acquire millions of financial records from two companies involved in money transfers, Western Union and Maxitransfer...
How the NTIA Can Fund Future-Proof Open Access Fiber
March 10, 2022, 6:09 PM
EFF Legal Intern Emma Hagemann contributed to the corresponding comment.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has big decisions to make in its effort to implement the new federal broadband infrastructure program. If done right, and with the right state policies in place, a great number of Americans will obtain access to multi-gigabit broadband in the coming years. EFF sent comments to the NTIA urging them to fund the deployment of open access fiber networks, p...
Using Your Phone in Times of Crisis
March 9, 2022, 10:35 PM
Secure communications are especially important in times of crisis. Just being aware of surveillance has chilling effects in how we exercise speech, which is often under attack by all sorts of actors from criminals to our own governments. With war in Ukraine and political crackdowns in Russia, it is critical for Russians and Ukrainians alike to let their loved ones know they're ok, to stay informed, and to organize.
It is not surprising that in times of crisis many people default to the most wide...
EFF to European Court: “Right to be Forgotten” Shouldn’t Stop The Public From Reading The News
March 7, 2022, 5:23 PM
The “right to be forgotten," which exists in European Union member states and allows for mandatory delisting of results from search engines, must be balanced against the rights of the public to read media archives. EFF joined together with more than a dozen other media and free expression groups to make that point clear in a recent case from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
In Hurbain v. Belgium, the applicant, the editor-in-chief of Belgian daily newspaper Le Soir, argued that his ...
Telegram Harm Reduction for Users in Russia and Ukraine
March 4, 2022, 7:09 PM
Update March 8, 2022: EFF has clarified that Channels and Groups are not fully encrypted, end-to-end, updated our post to link to Telegram’s FAQ for Cloud and Secret chats, updated to clarify that auto-delete is available for group and channel admins, and added some additional links.
Russians and Ukrainians are both prolific users of Telegram. They rely on the app for channels that act as newsfeeds, group chats (both public and private), and one-to-one communication. Since the Russian invasion...
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