Net Neutrality Did Not Die Today

When the FCC’s “Restoring Internet Freedom Order,” which repealed net neutrality protections the FCC had previously issued, was published on February 22nd, it was interpreted by many to mean it would go into effect on April 23. That’s not true, and we still don’t know…

Stupid Patent of the Month: Suggesting Reading Material

Online businesses—like businesses everywhere—are full of suggestions. If you order a burger, you might want fries with that. If you read Popular Science, you might like reading Popular Mechanics. Those kinds of suggestions are a very old part of commerce, and no one would seriously…

We’re in the Uncanny Valley of Targeted Advertising

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and CEO, thinks people want targeted advertising. The “overwhelming feedback,” he said multiple times during his congressional testimony, was that people want to see “good and relevant” ads. Why then are so many Facebook users, including leaders of state in the…

Minnesota Supreme Court Ruling Will Help Shed Light on Police Use of Biometric Technology

A decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday will help the public learn more about how law enforcement use of privacy invasive biometric technology. The decision in Webster v. Hennepin County is mostly good news for the requester in the case, who sought the…

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…

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