An international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI)
is a unique number, usually fifteen digits, associated with Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) network mobile phone users. An IMSI catcher is a device, used by the NSA drone program
, the police
, Chinese spammers
and spies all around Washington DC
and the world
to spoof the identity of a GSM cell tower and intercept cellular voice and data communication. They come in
all sizes and flavors, from tiny
professional surveillance devices, to easy to order off the shelf solutions
, to Chinese DIY
(links in Chinese) and have spawned efforts to retaliate with an IMSI-catcher-catcher
. IMSI-catcher technology has become increasingly widespread
, with far-reaching constitutional
NSA Tried To Delete Court Transcript In Lawsuit Over Deleting Evidence
On three separate occasions in the Jewel V. NSA case, the NSA sought to delete evidence. Then it sought to redact the transcript.
Alaa Abd El-Fattah
) is among the many Egyptian activists, organizers, and bloggers
being held under the military government's law against protests
. The EFF's Bloggers Under Fire section
highlights bloggers detained for their online speech and provides advice for bloggers at risk
While Jacob Appelbaum grabbed headlines with his NSA revelations
at this year's Chaos Communication Congress
, other presentations provided equally fascinating insight into how the world works. Learn how data mining is bringing perpetrators of genocide to justice
), how an artist uses different concepts of secrecy landscapes
) to keep tabs on clandestine activities, and how India's surveillance state continues to grow
previously [more inside]
The Trans-Pacific Partnership has come under fire
for the sweeping effects it may have on intellectual property laws in signatory countries, and is expected to export and even extend some of the worst features of US copyright law, including the criminalisation of DRM circumvention
. The level of secrecy
surrounding the agreement has been controversial: the US Trade Representative has refused to make the text of the agreement public, and only three persons in each TPP nation have access to the full text. The New York Times editorial board has been criticised
for its endorsement of the deal,
when the public (and supposedly the NYT) were unable to read the agreement.
In advance of the 19-24 November Chief Negotiators summit in Salt Lake City, Wikileaks has obtained and published the secret negotiated draft text of the TPP Intellectual Property Chapter, including negotiation positions and disagreements between all 12 prospective member states. [more inside]
Over at the Freedom to Tinker blog, Steve Schultze posts
about a recent ruling against Craigslist in their suit against PadMapper
an online service that helps users of craigslist via mapping, and 3Taps
, a platform that documents and stores historical transaction information...
Craigslist responded by filing 17 claims... [more inside]
trade association has been lobbying
, a bill the EFF describes
as a “misguided cybersecurity bill that would create a gaping exception to existing privacy law while doing little to address palpable and pressing online security issues” (previously
). Google's Eric Schmidt signed TechNet's letter supporting CISPA
. [more inside]
The ACLU reports that the IRS claims in an internal document that it has the authority to access citizens' online communications without a warrant.
The IRS claimed in a 2009 document that "the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on a server, because internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications." It still retains that position even after the 2010 case of US v Warshak
which determined that citizens have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications. [more inside]
Amazon blocked sales of the Ebook Spots the Space Marine
by author M.C.A. Hogarth
after a notice from gaming industry powerhouse Games Workshop
that they had trademarked the phrase "Space Marine
" and that Hogarth, and anyone else who uses it, is infringing. GW brought this complaint based on "Class 16" of their European tradmark
. [more inside]
The Justice Department, after a legal battle with the ACLU to avoid having to admit it, recently released documents
showing that the federal government’s use of warrantless “pen register” and “tap and trace” surveillance has multiplied over the past decade. But the Justice Department is small potatoes. Every day, the NSA intercepts and stores 1.7 billion emails, phone calls, texts, and other electronic communications. [more inside]
"Now we have three former NSA officials confirming the basic facts. Neither the Constitution nor federal law allow the government to collect massive amounts of communications and data of innocent Americans and fish around in it in case it might find something interesting. This kind of power is too easily abused. We're extremely pleased that more whistleblowers have come forward to help end this massive spying program." - the EFF announces
that three former employees of the NSA have come forward to testify in their lawsuit against the NSA
over the domestic spying program.
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act
) is a controversial
surveillance bill that proposes broad legal exemptions
for the U.S. government and private companies to share "cyber threat intelligence" that go well beyond the FISA Amendments Act
which legalized the NSA's warrantless wiretapping
program. [more inside]
EFF's HTTPS Everywhere v2
adds support for Chrome and adds Decentralized SSL Observatory
to the FireFox version, [more inside]
"Speech on the Internet requires a series of intermediaries to reach its audience. Each intermediary is vulnerable to some degree to pressure from those who want to silence the speaker. Even though the Internet is decentralized and distributed, "weak links" in this chain can operate as choke points to accomplish widespread censorship." Free speech is only as strong as the weakest link
William Lawrence Cassidy has been indicted for a series of threatening tweets
directed towards Alyce Zeoli, aka Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo, the leader of a Buddhist organization known as Kunzang Palyul Choling (KPC) to which Cassidy had belonged. There is however a small problem that federal prosecutors are employing a vague anti-stalking law
that makes 'intentional infliction of emotional distress' through the use of 'any interactive computer service' a felony, rather than focussing more narrowly upon the outright threats. [more inside]
The Humble Frozenbyte Bundle.
It's back! The third Humble Bundle (previously: 1 2
) includes Trine
, Shadowgrounds: Survivor
, and more, all from indie Finnish developer Frozenbyte
. Pay what you want and choose how to split the proceeds between the EFF
, Child's Play
, Frozenbyte, and Humble Bundle Inc.
On the one
of wikileaks release of Collateral Murder
, Panorama has released a documentary
on the shooting featuring an interview
with Ethan McCord
The Netherlands' Minister of Foreign Affairs Uri Rosenthal commemorated the occasion by informing a Green MP that he "would not rule out extraditing Rop Gonggrijp to the US"
for Gonggrijp's role in the video's production. The ACLU and EFF are appealing
a U.S. subpoena of the twitter accounts belonging to Rop Gonggrijp, Birgitta Jonsdottir
, and Jacob Appelbaum
The "Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act" (COICA)
is back on the Judiciary Committee's schedule
. This bill would create two blacklists (without due process) of domains which ISPs (in the USofA) would be forced to block, based on alleged copyright infringement. [more inside]
... Apple will know who you are, where you are, and what you are doing and saying and even how fast your heart is beating. ... This patent is downright creepy and invasive— certainly far more than would be needed to respond to the possible loss of a phone.
In another of their many efforts
in the field of digital rights and laws surrounding them, the Electronic Frontier Foundation
has released Panopticlick
, a tool to analyze the information your browser shares, revealing how personally identifiable your browser's footprint is. [more inside]
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a criticism
of Burning Man, LLC's Terms and Conditions
, saying that the automatic rights assignment to BMOrg for photos & video taken during the event is "creative lawyering intended to allow the BMO to use the streamlined “notice and takedown” process enshrined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to quickly remove photos from the Internet" and that this is corrosive to our freedom of speech. Burning Man responds
The SSD Project.
"The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has created this Surveillance Self-Defense site to educate the American public about the law and technology of government surveillance in the United States, providing the information and tools necessary to evaluate the threat of surveillance and take appropriate steps to defend against it." [Via]
Google has announced
plans to implement a filter for copyrighted works on youTube. They have been receiving criticism
from all sides. [more inside]
"Dear Internet, I'm Sorry..."
Meet Michael Crook
, being billed as "the most hated man on the internet". First coming in to view when taking a really bad idea
to it's ridiculous extreme
, he appears on
Fox's Hannity & Colmes to lambast members of the military for being "worthless pukes" and whining about their compensation. One site decides to give him a taste of his own medicine, which he clearly didn't like.
Senator John McCain (R. - AZ) has introduced legislation [PDF]
that would hold blogs responsible for all activity in their comments sections and user profiles. Provisions of the proposed bill
include: (1) commercial websites and personal blogs "would be required to report illegal images or videos posted by their users or pay fines of up to $300,000," (2) bloggers with comment sections may face "even stiffer penalties" than ISPs, and (3) any social-networking site must take "effective measures" to remove any Web page that's "associated" with a sex offender. "Because 'social-networking site' isn't defined, it could encompass far more than just MySpace.com, Friendster and similar sites." The list could include any site that allows comments, authot and personal profiles. Kevin Bankston of the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes that this proposal may be based more "on fear or political considerations rather than on the facts
." "McCain’s legislation could deal a serious blow to the blogosphere. Lacking resources to police their sites, many individual blogs may have to shut down open discussion."*
, president of the MPAA
, and John Perry Barlow
, Greatful Dead
lyricist and co-founder of the EFF
, debate movie piracy in this interview
(RealVideo) on the BBC's "Click
has obtained a copy of a file detailing AT&T's involvement with the NSA that was sealed in the EFF's class-action lawsuit against AT&T. At 2AM EST this morning they have published that file
on their site for anyone to download (this is the fixed link, the one on Wired is currently broken)
Bush administration signals intent
to invoke the obscure state secrets privilege
in order to stop the EFF
lawsuit against AT&T
, (previously discussed here
) for providing the NSA direct access all 312 terabytes
of its customers' telephone and internet traffic since 2001, (including those Good Vibrations charges you racked up).
In a nutshell, according to legal experts, invoking the privilege kills the judicial process dead: the courthouse doors are closed, and there's nothing but grownup stuff to see here; move along, kids.
EFF Accuses AT&T of diverting internet traffic to NSA. "More than just threatening individuals' privacy, AT&T's apparent choice to give the government secret, direct access to millions of ordinary Americans' Internet communications is a threat to the Constitution itself. We are asking the Court to put a stop to it now."
from the EFF.
In a sardonic new editorial, the Register asks whether the EFF is harming the very causes that it's supposedly fighting for.
This isn't coming out of left field. The EFF has lost numerous cases that could have been won
, and in doing so is helping to creating precedents that make fights for civil liberties harder to wage.
California holds a "No Hearing Hearing" on Diebold certification. "In June, over 200 people traveled to Sacramento to voice their concerns at a public hearing before a panel of advisors to the Secretary of State on voting systems. Since then, every scheduled meeting of the Voting Systems Panel has been cancelled, and now the Secretary has simply disbanded the VSP without notice, without hearings, without any type of due process."
This isn't the only jurisdiction in which Diebold is attempting to circumvent legal requirements - in North Carolina they filed for and received a broad exemption from new disclosure rules
recently passed into law. The EFF are now suing to force Diebold to comply with the law
As if that wasn't enough, an official Certification Test
(PDF) for Diebold's Optical Scan voting machines confirms an earlier threat analysis test
(PDF) that the memory cards on these machines run uncertified and arbitrary executable code, a charge that Diebold has vigorously denied
Is John Barlow, cofounder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Grateful Dead lyricist, a threat to national security?
"On September 15, 2003, I boarded Delta Flight 310, scheduled to depart San Francisco International Airport for JFK at 7:20 that morning. I was still feeling slightly singed from Burning Man and the hour was one I prefer to see from the other side. I was almost back to sleep when, roughly two minutes before pull-back, I was approached by a Delta employee who informed me that there was 'a problem' of some sort and that it would be necessary to get off the aircraft..."
Broadcast flag blues?!
The EFF seems to be fighting a losing war against the FCC's proposed "broadcast flag" initiative
(Salon), but they're making a big last-minute push to get more people to spread the news and contact the FCC
. Will the broadcast flag initiative become a "gateway regulation", leading us to a future where Hollywood dictates to manufacturers what they can and cannot create? Mass exodus to Tokyo, anyone?!
The EFF is throwing a party, and it's gonna be a good one.
Being thrown at jwz
's DNA Lounge
, the featured event is some celebrity boxing. The combatants? Wil Wheaton
and his lawyers.
Morpheus is broken.
The Netherlands-based provider of the technology used by Kazaa and Grokster upgrades their system, but leaves out Streamcast Networks' (formerly Music City) Morpheus network, and suddenly, everyone is locked out. Kinda punches a giant hole in their EFF-backed battle with the RIAA, which hinges on the assertion that their network is 'decentralized' and impossible to stop.
Corporate censorship in China
(via slashdot). I guess censorship and collusion in the repression of people is okay if you're making profits for your shareholders. An eye-opening look into the way that corporations are helping to facilitate censorship on the Internet in China. AOL and Yahoo's attitudes to what I thought were universal human rights is nothing short of sickening.
Kuro5hin's xmas gift to the EFF.
Rusty and the gang over at k5 have decided to donate all their site's income to the Electronic Frontier Foundation
from now until midnight, December 25th. The EFF fights for high profile cases like Dmitry
, but also to protect the rights
of everyday citizens
chimes in on new anti-terrorist bills that attack due process, the fourth amendment, and encryption. Sample letters and information on how to contact your reps are available at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Act quickly, because congress sure will.
A quick break from all the WTC stuff... Considering the recent events, it's probably been overlooked.
Canada is proposing a Consultation Paper on Digital Copyright Issues
which is similar to the DMCA in the US.
All comments on it have to be received by Sept. 15th. You can read the EFF Alert
, for more information.
How often are legal threats used to silence Internet activity? Help us to find out and counter baseless threats with the "chilling effects clearinghouse."
Harvard Cyber Law and the EFF combine forces to get a handle on over-zealous cease-and-desist orders issued over websites. Mattel has been so active in this area that they became the butt of jokes
about it. Hopefully stupid stuff like this
will start decreasing, or at least, there will be a group you can contact when you need support against these types of actions.