Patent Office Throws Out GEMSA’s Stupid Patent on a GUI For Storage

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has issued a ruling [PDF] invalidating claims from US Patent No. 6,690,400, which had been the subject of the June 2016 entry in our Stupid Patent of the Month blog series. The patent owner, Global Equity Management (SA) Pty Ltd. (GEMSA), responded…

Dear Canada: Accessing Publicly Available Information on the Internet Is Not a Crime

Canadian authorities should drop charges against a 19-year-old Canadian accused of “unauthorized use of a computer service” for downloading thousands of public records hosted and available to all on a government website. The whole episode is an embarrassing overreach that chills the right of access…

A Tale of Two Poorly Designed Cross-Border Data Access Regimes

On Tuesday, the European Commission published two legislative proposals that could further cement an unfortunate trend towards privacy erosion in cross-border state investigati­ons. Building on a foundation first established by the recently enacted U.S. CLOUD Act, these proposals compel tech companies and service providers to ignore…

New York Judge Makes the Wrong Call on Stingray Secrecy

A New York judge has ruled that the public and the judiciary shouldn’t second-guess the police when it comes to secret snooping on the public with intrusive surveillance technologies. He couldn’t be more wrong.  A core part of EFF’s mission is questioning the decisions of…

Hearing Monday in Groundbreaking Lawsuit Over Border Searches of Laptops and Smartphones

EFF and ACLU Fight Government’s Move to Dismiss Case Boston – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will appear in federal court in Boston Monday, fighting the U.S. government’s attempts to block their lawsuit over illegal laptop and smartphone…

Privacy as an Afterthought: ICANN’s Response to the GDPR

Almost three years ago, the global domain name authority ICANN chartered a working group to consider how to build a replacement for the WHOIS database, a publicly-accessible record of registered domain names. Because it includes the personal information of millions of domain name registrants with no built-in protections for their…

Congressmembers Raise Doubts About the “Going Dark” Problem

In the wake of a damning report by the DOJ Office of Inspector General (OIG), Congress is asking questions about the FBI’s handling of the locked iPhone in the San Bernardino case and its repeated claims that widespread encryption is leading to a “Going Dark”…

‘Scraping’ is Just Automated Access, and Everyone Does It

For tech lawyers, one of the hottest questions this year is: can companies use the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)—an imprecise and outdated criminal anti-“hacking” statute intended to target computer break-ins—to block their competitors from accessing publicly available information on their websites? The answer…

55 Infosec Professionals Sign Letter Opposing Georgia’s Computer Crime Bill

In a letter to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, 55 cybersecurity professionals from around the country are calling for a veto for S.B. 315, a state bill that would give prosecutors new power to target independent security researchers. This isn’t just a matter of solidarity among those…

The California Senate Utilities Committee’s Net Neutrality Analysis Might as Well Have Been Written by AT&T

S.B. 822, Senator Scott Wiener’s net neutrality bill, is currently pending in the California legislature. It’s a bill that prioritizes consumers over large ISPs, creating strong net neutrality protections. Unsurprisingly, AT&T and the rest of the giant telecom companies don’t like it. And unfortunately for…

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