Boing Boing 

Going to DEFCON? EFF's got your back


The Electronic Frontier Foundation always has a huge presence at Las Vegas's DEFCON, but this year, we're hosting our first-ever badge-hack contest!

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Jamaica's new copyright means Jamaicans pay for reggae the rest of the world gets free


Jamaica now has the third-longest copyright term in the world, and the term extension has been imposed retrospectively, all the way back to works created in 1962, the year ska burst on the public scene.

The new term only binds on Jamaicans, meaning that the currently public domain Jamaican works that are going back into copyright will be free for foreigners long before they're free for Jamaicans again, a situation that will apply to all Jamaican works produced from 1962 onward.

Jamaica has also committed to enforcing copyright on foreign works that had entered the public domain in Jamaica, meaning that Jamaicans will have to pay for imports they currently get for free.

If Jamaica hoped that this measure would bring in additional royalties for its musicians from overseas markets, then the tactic that it chose to pursue was doomed to failure from the outset. Foreign users of Jamaican copyrights are not bound by the extended copyright term; only Jamaicans are; but conversely, Jamaicans are now obliged to honor foreign copyrights for the full extended term.1 As opposition spokesperson on culture Olivia Grange put it during debate on the new law, “what will happen is that we will, in fact, be paying out to foreign copyright holders in foreign exchange for the continued use of foreign works in Jamaica, while our own rights holders will only benefit up to the 50, 70 or 80 years that exist in other countries”. So all that this measure has accomplished is that citizens of Jamaica, a developing country, will be paying more money into Hollywood's coffers, while Jamaica's own rich cultural heritage draws in not a penny more in return. Yay?

This measure is so stupid on its face that it is a wonder it passed through parliament at all. But what pains us even more is that it was deemed a trivial enough change to the law that it went unreported in the press until it was already a fait accompli. We could've spotted it earlier, and we're not proud of missing it. But it also came as an unwelcome shock to all the other activists with whom we work, including the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, whose members in Jamaica have suffered a sudden and severe setback to their mission to preserve and disseminate the early written records of newly-independent Jamaica.

Anatomy of a Copyright Coup: Jamaica's Public Domain Plundered [Jeremy Malcolm/EFF]

Chicagoans: EFF fundraiser at Cards Against Humanity's club!


EFF's executive director, the wonderful Cindy Cohn, will host a Q&A before a night of outstanding comedy and improv.

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Laura Poitras sues the US Government to find out why she was repeatedly detained in airports

The Oscar-winning documentarian, who directed Citizenfour, was detained and searched over 50 times, but the breaking-point was when the US Government refused to respond to her Freedom of Information Act request for the reasons for her harassment.

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Nominate your Internet heroes for the 2015 EFF Pioneer Awards

Previous winners include Edward Snowden, Carl Malamud, Limor Fried, Laura Poitras, Hddy Lamarr, Aaron Swartz, Gigi Sohn, Bruce Schneier, Zoe Lofgren, Glenn Greenwald, Jon Postel and many others (I am immensely proud to have won one myself!).

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What happened at yesterday's Congressional hearings on banning crypto?


Cryptographers and security experts gathered on the Hill yesterday to tell Congress how stupid it was to ban crypto in order to make it easier to spy on "bad guys."

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NZ's anti-troll law: gift to trolls, bad for free speech


If you set out to create the platonic ideal of a badly considered anti-trolling bill that made a bunch of ineffectual gestures at ending harassment without regard to the collateral damage on everything else on the Internet, well, you'd be New Zealand's Parliament, apparently.

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EFF is hiring an activist!


You can save the future! EFF pays a competitive wage and offers moving assistance and help with home-buying for its new hires, too.

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EFF's new certificate authority publishes an all-zero, pre-release transparency report


EFF, Mozilla and pals are launching Let's Encrypt, an all-free certificate authority, in September -- but they've released a transparency report months in advance.

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EFF's 25th Anniversary Party with me and Wil Wheaton: July 16/SF


It's been a quarter-century since the Electronic Frontier Foundation was founded by John Perry Barlow, John Gilmore, and Mitch Kapor, and we're celebrating!

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TPP fast track is dead! (for now)

On Friday, the US House of Reps overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would have ensured the acceptance of the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership treaty without any chance to debate or amend its clauses.

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The Internet may not be the question, but it's the answer


My latest Guardian column looks at the fiction and reality of "Internet Utopianism," and the effect that a belief in the transformative power of the Internet has had on movements, companies, and norms.

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TPP: TODAY IS THE DAY! Call Congress now!

This is the day that Congress votes on whether to give "fast track authority" on the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership, ending any meaningful debate about a treaty that will prohibit America from passing environmental, labor and Internet laws that interfere with multinational corporate profits.

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Emails: corporate lobbyist thanks US Trade Rep for pasting his wish-list right into TPP


A Freedom of Information Act lawsuit has extracted emails between corporate lobbyists and US Trade Rep officials working on the secretive, corrupt Trans Pacific Partnership treaty.

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After lying and covering up, Facebook finally changes rules for inmates' pages


After at least four years of lying about its rubberstamp takedown process for prison authorities and omitting prison takedowns from its transparency reports, Facebook is finally bringing a crumb of due process to its treatment of prisoners.

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Less than a day left to kill Paraguay's mass surveillance bill


Katitza from EFF writes, "Paraguay is at a vitally important digital civil liberties crossroads, and we're calling on all Paraguayans to help! "

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USA Freedom Act: the good, the bad, and what's next


With the sunsetting of Section 215 of the Patriot Act and the passage of the USA Freedom Act, Congress has, for the first time since the 1970s, put limits on the surveillance powers of America's spooks.

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