Deepfakes that hurt people are already illegal, so let's stop trying to rush out ill-considered legislation

Deepfakes -- videos with incredibly realistic faceswapping, created with machine learning techniques -- are creepy as hell, except when they're not (then they're a form of incredibly expressive creativity with implications for both storytelling and political speech). Read the rest

The Internet Archive's John Perry Barlow collection

It's been less than a week since the death of EFF co-founder, cowboy poet, Grateful Dead lyricist and Mayor of the Internet John Perry Barlow died, and he's already sorely missed. But Barlow was an open access advocate before that was a thing, and the archive of his work at the Internet Archive is full of what Bruce Sterling calls "a lot of weird, flaky, broke-the-mold stuff." Read the rest

RIP John Perry Barlow, 1947-2018

I met John Perry Barlow in 1999, and I was awestruck: here was the legend whose Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace had profoundly changed my life, making me realize that the nascent internet that I'd dropped out of university to devote my life to could be more than a communications tool: it could be a revolutionary force for good.

Federal Appeals Court rules that violating a website's Terms of Service is not a crime

A Ninth Circuit Appellate Court has rejected Oracle's attempt to treat violating its website terms of service as a felony under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Read the rest

New York City's Right to Know Act requires cops to record people's explicit consent to warrantless stop-and-frisks

You could write books about the evils of "broken windows" policing and its handmaiden, stop-and-frisk searches (this is a rather good one, in fact), and few places have been more prolific in the racist pursuit of this policy than New York City, where walking-while-brown is a one-way ticket to being stopped, searched, even stripped, all without a warrant or any particularized suspicion. Read the rest

EFF's Net Neutrality livecast with legal director Corynne McSherry and me

Last week, I interviewed EFF's legal directory Corynne McSherry about the next steps in the Net Neutrality fight in a 35-minute-long livestream; the archived video is now online for your viewing pleasure. We talk about how we got here, what just happened -- and what we're going to do about it. Read the rest

The year in DRM: seven rotten moments and two rays of hope

My end-of-the-year roundup the year in DRM for EFF's Deeplinks blog hits seven lowlights, from the catastrophic (the W3C greenlighting DRM for the web) to the idiotic ( Read the rest

ACT NOW: Only hours remain to stop Congress from sneaking in massive new NSA spying powers

There's only hours remaining before Congress will vote to renew the Section 702 powers that let the NSA conduct mass surveillance; powers that expand in 12 days. Read the rest

EFF to US Copyright Office: fix the DRM rules that stop us from fixing our stuff, make fair use, and make IoT gadgets work the way we want

Section 1201 of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (1998) give DRM incredible protections: it's illegal to bypass DRM in products you own, for legal purposes, and merely investigating or revealing defects in products with DRM can land you in jail. Read the rest

The FCC literally doesn't know how the internet works

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Erica Portnoy and Jeremy Gillula analyze a FCC's recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that served as precursor to the order to kill net neutrality and explain how fantastically, totally wrong it gets the internet -- not on a mere philosophical level, but on a nuts-and-bolts, bits-and-bytes technical level. Literally, the FCC doesn't know what the internet is. Read the rest

One of the net's most important freedom canaries died the day the W3C greenlit web-wide DRM; what can we learn from the fight?

EFF's long, hard-fought campaign at the World Wide Web Consortium over its plan to standardize a universal DRM for the web was always a longshot, but we got farther than anyone dared hope before we lost the web to corporate interests and cynical indifference in September. Read the rest

EFF's Security Education Companion: essential materials for people helping their communities practice good information security

EFF has just launched its new Announcing the Security Education Companion, a beautifully organized, clearly written set of materials to help "people who would like to help their communities learn about digital security but are new to the art of security training." Read the rest

Portugal passes the world's first reasonable DRM law

Last June, Portugal enacted Law No. 36/2017 which bans putting DRM on public domain media or government works, and allows the public to break DRM that interferes with their rights in copyright, including private copying, accessibility adaptation, archiving, reporting and commentary and more. Read the rest

Boring, complex and important: the deadly mix that blew up the open web

On Monday, the World Wide Web Consortium published EME, a standard for locking up video on the web with DRM, allowing large corporate members to proceed without taking any steps to protect accessibility work, security research, archiving or innovation. Read the rest

Apple makes it harder to track you online, ad industry has an aneurysm

Safari has blocked third-party cookies (used to track your behavior across multiple websites) since 2010, but the ad-tech industry has fired back with a bunch of covert tracking tools that watch you even if you've adopted privacy countermeasures; the latest version of Safari goes one better, deploying machine-learning to selectively block even more tracking technologies, while still preserving useful third-party cookies that help you stay logged in and do useful work across different sites. Read the rest

World Wide Web Consortium abandons consensus, standardizes DRM with 58.4% support, EFF resigns

In July, the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium overruled dozens of members' objections to publishing a DRM standard without a compromise to protect accessibility, security research, archiving, and competition. Read the rest

California Democrats sell out online privacy in the dead of night

California AB 375 was a bill to restore the online privacy rights that the Republican Congress stripped away in March when they passed a bill that allowed your ISP to spy on you and sell data about your online activities. Read the rest

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