Category: Commentary

How People Broadcast Their Locations Without Meaning To

Smart phones include geotagging features that many people aren’t aware of. People were up in arms this week about the privacy implications of news that the iPhone gathers location information and stores it in a file on the user’s computer. But experts say that smart-phone owners are unknowingly taking a much bigger risk with information about where they go all […]

Publishers Force Domain Seizure of Public Domain Music Resource

IMSLP, the largest public domain music library on the Internet, has just suffered a damaging attack on the site’s infrastructure. In a wrongful action over a single 90 year-old classical piece by Rachmaninoff, the UK’s Music Publishers Association convinced registrar GoDaddy to seize IMSLP’s domain name, which took the site completely offline. While most readers will be very familiar with […]

“Who Has Your Back?” In Depth: Which Companies Promise To Tell Users About Government Data Requests?

EFF recently launched a campaign calling on companies to stand with their users when the government comes looking for data. (If you haven’t done so, sign our petition urging companies to provide better transparency and privacy.) This article will provide a more detailed look at one of the four categories in which a company can earn a gold star in […]

CAPTCHAs With Chaos: Strong Protection for Weak Passwords

The passwords of the future could become more secure and, at the same time, simpler to use. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden have been inspired by the physics of critical phenomena in their attempts to significantly improve password protection. The researchers split a password into two sections. With the first, easy-to-memorize […]

Google’s Lack of Transparency and Openness in the Android Market Will Hurt More Than Just Grooveshark

The vast open landscape for users, developers, and industry that Google announced with the release of Android has been growing narrower and more opaque. When the service launched, Google made much of Android’s transparency and inclusiveness, which it said would enable innovation lacking in the mobile space. And Google has pointed fingers at Apple for its draconian, closed ways. But […]

Protect the API Keys to your Cloud Kingdom

API keys to become first class citizens of security policies, just like SSL keys Much lip service is paid to protecting information in the Cloud, but the reality is often seat-of-the-pants Cloud security. Most organizations use some form of API keys to access their cloud services. Protection of these API keys is vital. This blog post will explore the issues […]

ISP Cannot Be Forced To Block Copyright Infringing Files

An advisor to the European Court of Justice has said that an ISP involved in a long-running file-sharing dispute cannot be forced to block or filter copyright-infringing files at the behest of copyright holders. Such an action would amount to an invasion of customers’ privacy and violate rights guaranteed under EU law. The dispute between music rights group SABAM and […]

File-Sharers Await Official Recognition of New Religion

A group of self-confessed radical pirates are pinning their hopes on gaining official recognition of their own unique belief system. The founders of the Missionary Church of Kopimism – who hold CTRL+C and CTRL+V as sacred symbols – hope that along with this acceptance will come harmony, not just with each other, but also with the police. ‘Thou shall not […]

Building a Distributed, Decentralized Internet – A Roadmap

I know that I’m not Patrick, and I don’t pretend to speak for anyone but myself here. I just want to say that I share Patrick’s belief in the radical necessity of humanity’s co-owning the physical layer. As I see it, this is the only path to freedom. To that end, I *have* a roadmap. It has five stages, and […]

Proposal Suggests Browsers Should Block Users From BitTorrent Sites

As the United States heads off firmly down the domain seizures route, other countries around the world are also considering how best to deal with the issue of online piracy. Blocking sites via the web’s DNS system has been high on the agenda but doubts exist over its effectiveness. A suggestion coming out of Europe this week would mean that […]

[How to] Be Confident Storing Information in the Cloud

Over the past few years, information explosion has inhibited organizations’ ability to effectively secure, manage and recover data. This complexity is only increasing as organizations try to manage the data growth by moving it to the cloud. It’s clear that storage administrators must regain control of information to reduce costs and recovery times while complying with regulatory compliance standards, including […]

Google Books Decision: “The Privacy Concerns are Real”

A federal district court in New York today issued a long-awaited ruling in the Google Books case, Authors Guild v. Google, rejecting the proposed settlement between the parties. EFF participated in the case as counsel to a collection of authors and publishers, including Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem and Cory Doctorow, who objected to the settlement based on concerns about reader […]

An Introduction to the Federated Social Network

Lately, EFF’s work to protect rights and liberties in the online world has focused rather heavily on social networking sites and their policies. The logic is borne out by the numbers — Facebook and Twitter combined claim hundreds of millions of worldwide users, so advocating for stronger privacy and less censorship from these kinds of websites will mean a better […]

Tracking Protection Lists: A privacy enhancing technology that complements Do Not Track

Yesterday, Microsoft released version 9 of Internet Explorer, which includes two significant new privacy features: Tracking Protection Lists (TPLs) and a Do Not Track (DNT) header that allows users to request that websites not track them. We’ve written about the virtues of the Do Not Track header previously. In this post we’ll look more closely at privacy blacklists, a category […]

HHS Should Require the Encryption of Portable Devices

Many companies use encryption on their portable devices, but the continuing parade of health data breaches demonstrates that too many organizations have yet to do the same. The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) should consider revising the Security Rule to outright require encryption for portable devices containing the protected health information of 500 or more patients. Setting […]

The Open Source trials: hanging in the legal balance of copyright and copyleft

For those meddling in open source software affairs, compliance with licenses is a very hot topic. In the last 2 years we have witnessed the licensing FUD (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt) giving way to legal clarity with more and more relevant cases proving the acceptance of open source licenses by legal systems around the world. The secrets of Copyright – […]

5 Reasons Why the US Domain Seizures Are Unconstitutional

Last week, Bryan McCarthy, the 32-year-old operator of ChannelSurfing.net, was arrested on charges of criminal copyright infringement. This arrest has once again raised questions about the seizure of domains operated by those that are accused, but not convicted, of copyright infringement related crimes. Critics ranging from bloggers to individual rights advocates to Senators have rightfully questioned the constitutionality of these […]

Game Changing Study Puts Piracy in Perspective

To counter the many one-sided piracy studies that have been released by the entertainment industry in recent history, a group of dozens of academics have bundled their powers to write the most objective and elaborate piracy study to date. As many would have predicted, the results differ quite significantly from the message pro-copyright lobby groups have put out over the […]

Steer clear of Android Market and its DRM

Google recently made headlines after they identified some malware being distributed through the Android Market. Not only did they stop distributing those apps, but they used their “remote kill switch” to remove the apps from phones where they were already downloaded. This is a kind of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) that all computer users should avoid. In this case, the […]

The Revolution Will Not Be Properly Licensed

We see it everywhere. Corporations are trying to take control over our communications tools, citing copyright concerns. Frequently, they are assisted by hapless politicians, who are also aspiring for the same control, citing terrorist concerns or some other McCarthyist scareword of the day. We should see this in perspective of the revolts happening right now in the Arab world. We […]