EFF backs new nonprofit free certificate authority "Let's Encrypt"

It will be overseen by Internet Security Research Group with backing from EFF, Mozilla, Cisco, Akamai and others, and will offer free HTTPS certificates to all comers, making it radically easier and cheaper to encrypt the Web and make it resistant to mass surveillance.

Currently, most Internet traffic is unencrypted, meaning most interactions you have with websites leave your accounts vulnerable to eavesdropping by everyone from a minimally competent hacker to the U.S. government. The HTTPS protocol—in contrast to HTTP—encrypts your connection and verifies the authenticity of sites, protecting your data and personal information. EFF has been campaigning successfully for a number of years to spread HTTPS from payment pages and banking sites to email, social networking, and other types of sites. But there are still hundreds of millions of domains that lack this protection.

The new Let's Encrypt project aims to solve that. Let's Encrypt is a new free certificate authority, which will begin issuing server certificates in 2015. Server certificates are the anchor for any website that wants to offer HTTPS and encrypted traffic, proving that the server you are talking to is the server you intended to talk to. But these certificates have historically been expensive, as well as tricky to install and bothersome to update. The Let's Encrypt authority will offer server certificates at zero cost, supported by sophisticated new security protocols. The certificates will have automatic enrollment and renewal, and there will be publicly available records of all certificate issuance and revocation.

Let's Encrypt

New, Free Certificate Authority to Dramatically Increase Encrypted Internet Traffic [EFF]

EFF makes DoJ admit it lied in court about FBI secret warrants

Department of Justice lawyers told a judge that when the FBI gives one of its secret National Security Letters to a company, the company is allowed to reveal the NSL's existence and discuss its quality -- it lied.

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ISPs caught sabotaging their customers' email encryption


Ever since 2013, when the Electronic Frontier Foundation started shaming email providers that did not encrypt their customers' email, more and more mail providers have turned on STARTTLS, which protects email in transit from snooping, without requiring users to take any additional steps.

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EFF leadership change: Cindy Cohn to head organization


Cindy Cohn, Legal Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, will take over from Shari Steele, who is retiring from EFF after 14 years as Executive Director.

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EFF asks US Copyright Office for your right to fix your car


It's that time again: every three years, the Copyright Office allows the public to ask for exceptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's ban on "circumvention," which prevents you from unlocking devices you own.

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How Rupert Murdoch could compete with Amazon Video and Netflix

He says major media companies should run their own streaming services, and if you're running your own service, you can do it your way, so why not ditch DRM?

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Opsec, Snowden style

Micah Lee, the former EFF staffer whom Edward Snowden reached out to in order to establish secure connections to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, shares the methodology he and Snowden employed to stay secure and secret in the face of overwhelming risk and scrutiny.

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Aaron Swartz day Nov 8, at the Internet Archive and worldwide


Lisa Rein writes, "This year's annual Aaron Swartz Day event is happening Saturday, November 8th at 6pm at the Internet Archive in San Francisco. The reception starts at 6pm, and activities are going on straight through until 10:30 pm."

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EFF launches a new version of Surveillance Self-Defense


Hugh from the Electronic Frontier Foundation writes, "We're thrilled to announce the relaunch of Surveillance Self-Defense (SSD), our guide to defending yourself and your friends from digital surveillance by using encryption tools and developing appropriate privacy and security practices. The site launches today in English, Arabic, and Spanish, with more languages coming soon."

Surveillance Self-Defense (Thanks, Hugh!)

When can the police search your computer/phone?


The Electronic Frontier Foundation has updated its indispensable "Know Your Rights" guide for dealing with police search requests for your phone, computer, and other devices.

Know Your Rights [Hanni Fakhoury and Nadia Kayyali/EFF]

If you don't agree to the new Wii U EULA, Nintendo will kill-switch it

When you bought your Wii U, it came with one set of terms-of-service; now they've changed, and if you don't accept the changes, your Wii seizes up and won't work. That's not exactly what we think of when we hear the word "agreement."

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Secret Law is Not Law

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Cindy Cohn is on fire: "Let’s be clear: Under international human rights law, secret “law” doesn’t even qualify as 'law' at all."

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San Francisco: visit the public domain arcade, play games, learn about threats


Elliot from Creative Commons writes, "Your readers might remember the Public Domain Game Jam from a few months ago -- next Tues, Sep 9 people in San Francisco will be able to play the games from it and discuss them with jam organizer Nicky Case and then Parker Higgins from the Electronic Frontier Foundation will be talking about why the public domain is under attack, and what you can do to defend it."

CC Salon in San Francisco: Public Domain FTW!

(Thanks, Elliot!)

Dragoncon cosplayers team up with EFF to fight for anonymity


It's called "Project Secret Identity," and it's a joint effort with Southeastern Browncoats, ; the Harry Potter Alliance, the Baker Street Babes, Wattpad, , Organization for Transformative Works, and IO9.

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Help EFF code for freedom!

April from EFF writes, "Help improve the Electronic Frontier Foundation's free software projects to defend freedom & enhance privacy and security online. Here's a list of all the projects we invite you to hack your heart out on!"

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