In our 636th issue:
Starting this week, department stores will begin affixing "FBI
Anti-Piracy" stickers to mirrors, warning consumers that placing a
reflective object in the same room as a television could constitute a
violation of U.S. copyright law. In a related lawsuit, EFF is
representing Dana Auerbach, a ballet instructor who was caught watching
The Black Swan in her dance studio while on lunch break. She faces a
$750 to $150,000 penalty for each of her infinite charges of
A troubling new agreement between the MPAA, the RIAA, several
large ISPs, and the Department of Homeland Security has paved the way
for a new government program aimed at combatting the violent overthrow
of the United States and/or moderate-to-heavy copyright infringement.
The initiative, officially named the Unmanned Aircraft Copyright
Notification System, is said to work on a "six strike" basis of warnings
and destruction. The first three accusations of infringement or
terrorism by the U.S. government will deliver pop-up notifications to
targeted users. Subsequent offenses will be addressed with a range of
"mitigation measures" that will be determined by the drones' onboard
autonomy software. EFF is
concerned about the possibility of innocent American citizens being
caught in the (literal) crossfire of the program. In response, a DHS
spokesperson pointed to evidence compiled by the entertainment industry
that terrorists and file-sharers frequently hang out in the same seedy
bars, and often stay on each other's couches.
The House Subcommittee on Cybersecurity released a report
Tuesday blasting the United States' cyber-preparedness for a wide range
of cyber-tastrophes. "Though Senators and Congressmen have discussed an
impending 'Cyber-Pearl-Harbor' literally hundreds of times, U.S.
cyber-preparations have been in-cyber-adequate for a host of possible
disasters, such as a cyber-Vesuvius, a cyber-Teapot-Dome-Scandal, or
most alarmingly, a cyber-Bicholim-Conflict." The report goes on to
recommend a nearly threefold increase for the annual spending on the
Cyber-Department of Cyber-Prefixes.
New FOIA Docs Reveal Shocking Facts From DHS
In a surprising response to a recent Freedom of Information Act
request filed by EFF, the Department of Homeland Security has revealed
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██████ ████ ████, ██ ███ ████ █████. ███ ██ ███. ███ ████ █████ █████ █
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Facebook Moving Servers to Skull-Shaped Island Off South America
Citing the rising costs of observing local privacy laws in
Europe and other jurisdictions as well as the cost of compliance with
government data requests, Facebook has announced plans to move its
datacenters to a skull-shaped volcanic island believed to be some 200
miles off the coast of Chile. In a video promoting the move, Facebook
CEO Mark Zuckerberg also touted the security benefits of the new
location and its roaming packs of bloodthirsty wolves. EFF is
researching legal arguments that local privacy laws should still apply,
without also requiring compliance with overreaching government access
requests. But when asked about the relationship between these doctrines,
EFF Junior Staff Attorney Mackey said "It's
Google's Good and Evil Divisions Reportedly in Talks Over Precious
Industry sources say that representatives of Google's executive
board are deep in negotiations with an internal "skunkworks" start-up
originally dedicated to researching online marketing opportunities, but
which has since expanded to cover the entirety of evil services. The
morally errant division, nicknamed Googollum, is understood to be
arguing internally that the Internets stole the precious social
networking, they did, and gave it to the Facebooks, and must be
punished. While some at the company have suggested that it mustn't steal
the Internets' privacies, other Googollum workers, who asked not to be
identified, have said that no-one would notice, and anyways, what has
the nasty Internetsies done for
Google lately? Talks are ongoing, although setbacks did occur when
Googollum's management, speaking at the company's Friday meeting,
refused to tell anyone where the Google Plus development team was
hidden, and went on to eat the Google Reader product manager raw.
Internet Archive Announces Initiative to Begin Mirroring NSA Datacenters
For the first time, the Internet Archive will have a full and
complete archive of the U.S. Internet, including social media, email,
and VOIP telephone calls. Thanks to a deal with the National Security
Administration announced Wednesday, the San Francisco non-profit will
begin mirroring all online communications piped into the NSA's famous
SigInt operations centers to its own datastores. During the same press
conference, the NSA announced that archive.org will no longer be
accessible to the public and officially denied its existence.
Kickstarter "Miracle Phone" Offers Total Privacy On The Go
A Kickstarter project with the lofty goal of producing a
smartphone that doesn't suffer from the same privacy drawbacks as the
top offerings from Apple and Google has captured the Internet's
attention, raising nearly $1 million from over 7,000 users in just three
weeks. The designers' initial prototype -- a piece of balsa wood
roughly the size of a deck of cards -- appears to deliver on the privacy
promises, but some have criticized the phone's inability to run apps,
take photos, place or receive calls and text messages. Battery life is,
however, said to be "impressive."
Scandinavians Send Cease-and-Desist to EFF
On Thursday, EFF received a formal cease-and-desist letter from
a group claiming to represent the Kalmar Union of Scandinavian
Countries, urging the organization to stop using the terms "Copyright
Troll" and "Patent Troll" in its campaign against abusive intellectual
property litigants. Citing the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of
Intangible Cultural Heritage, a Kalmar Union spokesperson said said,
"Trolls are a cherished element of Scandinavian folklore and the misuse
of Nordic mythology results in the denigration of our culture and
compromised search-engine optimization." In the event EFF refuses to
comply, the group threatened that his country would post comments on
Reddit and Hacker News
comparing EFF lawyers to Nazi Germany.
State Department offers Internet Freedom Grant for Best Presentation of Own Cables
The US State Department's Internet Freedom division has begun
soliciting applications for a $1 million grant intended to foster open
government worldwide, and aimed at "hackers, coders, and other activist
brainiacs". The money, which will be divided between a number of
applicants, is intended to improve access to and understanding of the
State Department's own set of internal cables, previously only available
to three million US government personnel. The cables are understood to
contain information of interest to citizens of many countries worldwide.
"It's a great step forward for open government," said a State
Department official, "We can only hope that there's some lone hacker out
who wants to take us up on our offer." Payments for the grant will be
available through PayPal, Mastercard and Visa.
Drones: Drones, drones drones, drones?
In drones today, drones drones droney droney drones. EFF
Activist Trevor Timm reiterated, "Drones and drones drone droney drone
drone. And nanodrones."
New EFF sticker for Canadian cell phones
In response to last week's exceedingly polite Canadian Supreme
Court ruling on text message privacy, EFF will print a limited edition
run of "Sorry if this is a bother, but I'd really prefer if you returned
with a warrant, eh" stickers for Canadian mobile devices.
Video: Chris Dodd calls for reversal of Senate barbershop closure
In a heartfelt video, former Senator and current MPAA chief
Chris Dodd has lamented the sequester-motivated closure of the Senate
barbershop. Dodd appears to be choking back tears at one point, yelling
into the camera, "Leave the barbershop alone!"
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Editor: Parker Higgins, Activist
EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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