Public universities and even the US Navy have sold hundreds of patents to America's most notorious troll


Researcher Yarden Katz scraped the database of Intellectual Ventures, a giant business that buys up patents, but produces nothing but lawsuits (previously), and discovered that IV claims ownership of nearly 500 patents that were created at public expense by researchers employed by public universities, and another 100 or so patents filed by the US Navy. Read the rest

To do in Mill Valley: a concert to help pay for John Perry Barlow's medical bills


John Perry Barlow -- author of the Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace, Grateful Dead lyricist, Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder, character in my novels, and all-round amazing, pioneering guy -- has been hospitalized on and off for a year and a half, is in constant pain, and has limited mobility. Read the rest

The Copyright Office wants your comments on whether it should be illegal to fix your own stuff


Under Section 1201 of the DMCA, a law passed in 1998, people who fix things can be sued (and even jailed!) for violating copyright law, if fixing stuff involves bypassing some kind of copyright lock; this has incentivized manufacturers so that fixing your stuff means breaking this law, allowing them to decide who gets to fix your stuff and how much you have to pay to have it fixed. Read the rest

Massive report details the surveillance powers of 12 Central and South American nations


Unblinking Eye, EFF's giant, deep research report (available in Spanish, English and Portuguese) on the state of surveillance law in latinamerica, reveals an alarming patchwork of overbroad powers given to police forces and government agencies. Read the rest

HP blinked! Let's keep the pressure on! [PLEASE SHARE!]


Only three days after EFF's open letter to HP over the company's deployment of a stealth "security update" that caused its printers to reject third-party cartridges, the company issued an apology promising to let customers optionally install another update to unbreak their printers. Read the rest

EFF to court: don't let US government prosecute professor over his book about securing computers


In July, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Dr Matthew Green, a Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute Assistant Professor of Computer Science; now the US government has asked a court to dismiss Dr Green's claims. A brief from EFF explains what's at stake here: the right of security experts to tell us which computers are vulnerable to attack, and how to make them better. Read the rest

HP blinks, says it will restore printer functionality, but there's a LOT more it needs to do


More than 10,000 people have signed onto EFF's open letter to HP CEO Dion Weisler, taking the company to task for its dirty trick of using a security update to revoke its customers' ability to print with third-party ink. Read the rest

Demand that HP make amends for its self-destructing printers [SIGN AND SHARE!]


I've written an open letter to HP CEO Dion Weisler on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, asking him to make amends for his company's bizarre decision to hide a self-destruct sequence in a printer update that went off earlier this month, breaking them so that they would no longer use third-party ink cartridges. Read the rest

The AI Now Report: social/economic implications of near-future AI


The National Economic Council convened a symposium at NYU's Information Law Institute in July, and they've released their report: 25 crisp (if slightly wonky) pages on how AI could increase inequality, erode accountability, and lead us into temptation -- along with recommendations for how to prevent this, from involving marginalized and displaced people in AI oversight; to increasing the diversity of AI researchers; to modifying the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Digital Millennium Copyright Act to clarify that neither stands in the way of independent auditing of AI systems. Read the rest

HTML standardization group calls on W3C to protect security researchers from DRM


The World Wide Web Consortium has embarked upon an ill-advised project to standardize Digital Rights Management (DRM) for video at the behest of companies like Netflix; in so doing, they are, for the first time, making a standard whose implementations will be covered under anti-circumvention laws like Section 1201 of the DMCA, which makes it a potential felony to reveal defects in products without the manufacturer's permission. Read the rest

HP detonates its timebomb: printers stop accepting third party ink en masse


On September 13, owners of HP OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro and OfficeJet Pro X began contacting third-party ink vendors by the thousand, reporting that their HP printers no longer accepted third-party ink. Read the rest

Join me at EFF's 25th Pioneer Awards in San Francisco next Wednesday


Nicole from EFF writes, "The Electronic Frontier Foundation is excited to host the 2016 Pioneer Awards in San Francisco next Wednesday, September 21 at Delancey Street’s Town Hall Room." Read the rest

Today is the day to call Congress about the TPP [PLEASE SHARE!]


Even though both parties' presidential candidates say they oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership -- the secretly negotiated "trade" deal that lets corporations sue governments to repeal their environmental, labor and safety laws if they hurt profits -- Obama's plan to ram through a vote before the election is alive and well. Read the rest

California's "gang" database is a sick joke; today, you can do something about it


Dave Maass from Electronic Frontier Foundation writes, "A coalition of social justice and digital rights groups are tweeting at Gov. Jerry Brown today to demand he sign A.B. 2298, a bill that would bring new accountability measures to CalGang, the state's troubled gang database. Read the rest

European court rules that making a link can be copyright infringement


The EU Court of Justice's ruling in GS Media BV v. Sanoma held that any commercial site that linked to a document that infringed copyright is presumed to be a party to the infringement, meaning that if you have a Google ad on your personal page and you link to something that turns out to be incorrectly licensed, you are potentially on the hook for enormous monetary damages. Read the rest

If DRM is so great, why won't anyone warn you when you're buying it?


Last month, I filed comments with the Federal Trade Commission on behalf of Electronic Frontier Foundation, 22 of EFF's supporters, and a diverse coalition of rightsholders, public interest groups, and retailers, documenting the ways that ordinary Americans come to harm when they buy products without realizing that these goods have been encumbered with DRM, and asking the FTC to investigate fair labeling for products that come with sneaky technological shackles. Read the rest

EFF takes a deep dive into Windows 10's brutal privacy breaches


Microsoft's deceptive hard-sell to gets users to "upgrade" to Windows 10 (the most control-freaky OS to ever come out of Redmond) is made all the more awful by just how much personal, sensitive, compromising data Microsoft exfiltrates from its users' PCs once they make the switch. Read the rest

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