From Creativity to Exclusivity: The German Government’s Bad Deal for Article 17

The implementation process of Article 17 (formerly Article 13) of the controversial Copyright Directive into national laws is in full swing, and it does not look good for users’ rights and freedoms. Several EU states have failed to present balanced copyright implementation proposals, ignoring the concerns off EFF, other civil society organizations, and experts that only strong user safeguards can help preventing Article 17 from turning tech companies and online services operators into copyright police.

A glimpse of hope was presented by the German government in a recent discussion paper. While the draft proposal fails to prevent the use of

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Virginia’s Weak Privacy Bill Is Just What Big Tech Wants

Virginia’s legislature has passed a bill meant to protect consumer privacy—but the bill, called the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act, really protects the interests of business far more than the interests of everyday consumers.

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Virginia: Speak Up for Real Privacy

The bill, which both Microsoft and Amazon supported, is now headed to the desk of Governor Ralph Northam. This week, EFF joined with the Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, Consumer Federation of America, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, U.S. PIRG to ask for a veto on this bill, or for the governor to add a reenactment clause—a move that would

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The SAFE Tech Act Wouldn’t Make the Internet Safer for Users

Section 230, a key law protecting free speech online since its passage in 1996, has been the subject of numerous legislative assaults over the past few years. The attacks have come from all sides. One of the latest, the SAFE Tech Act, seeks to address real problems Internet users experience, but its implementation would harm everyone on the Internet. 

The SAFE Tech Act is a shotgun approach to Section 230 reform put forth by Sens. Mark Warner, Mazie Hirono and Amy Klobuchar earlier this month. It would amend Section 230 through the ever-popular method of removing platform immunity from liability

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EFF joins Dozens of Organizations Urging More Government Transparency

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Interoperability Gains Support at House Hearing on Big Tech Competition

With a new year and a new Congress, the House of Representatives’ subcommittee covering antitrust has turned its attention to “reviving competition.” On Thursday, the first in a series of hearings was held, focusing on how to help small businesses challenge Big Tech. One very good idea kept coming up, backed by both parties. And it is one EFF also considers essential: interoperability.

This was the first hearing since the House Judiciary Committee issued its antitrust report from its investigation into the business practices of Big Tech companies. This week’s hearing was exclusively focused on how to re-enable small businesses

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Coded Resistance: Freedom Fighting and Communication

It’s nearing the end of Black History Month, and that history is inherently tied to strife, resistance, and organizing related to government surveillance and oppression. Even though programs like COINTELPRO are more well-known now, the other side of these kinds of stories are the ways the Black community has fought back through intricate networks and communication aimed at avoiding surveillance.

The Borderland Network

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was as a dark, cruel time in the history of much of the Americas. The horrors of slavery still casts their shadow through systemic racism today. One of the biggest obstacles enslaved Africans

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Student Surveillance Vendor Proctorio Files SLAPP Lawsuit to Silence A Critic

During the pandemic, a dangerous business has prospered: invading students’ privacy with proctoring software and apps. In the last year, we’ve seen universities compel students to download apps that collect their face images, driver’s license data, and network information. Students who want to move forward with their education are sometimes forced to accept being recorded in their own homes and having the footage reviewed for “suspicious” behavior.

Given these invasions, it’s no surprise that students and educators are fighting back against these apps. Last fall, Ian Linkletter, a remote learning specialist at the University of British Columbia,

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How Do Copyright Rules Affect Internet Creators? And What Can They Do About It?

If you make and share things online, professionally or for fun, you’ve been affected by copyright law. You may use a service that depends on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in order to survive. You may have gotten a DMCA notice if you used part of a movie, TV show, or song in your work. You have almost certainly run up against the weird and draconian world of copyright filters like YouTube’s Content ID. EFF wants to help.

The end of last year was a flurry of copyright news, from the mess with Twitch to the “#StopDMCA” campaign that

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Cops Using Music to Try to Stop Being Filmed Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Someone tries to livestream their encounters with the police, only to find that the police started playing music. In the case of a February 5 meeting between an activist and the Beverly Hills Police Department, the song of choice was Sublime’s “Santeria.” The police may not got no crystal ball, but they do seem to have an unusually strong knowledge about copyright filters.

The timing of music being played when a cop saw he was being filmed was not lost on people. It seemed likely that the goal was to trigger Instagram’s over-zealous copyright filter, which would shut down the

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EFF to First Circuit: Schools Should Not Be Policing Students’ Weekend Snapchat Posts

This blog post was co-written by EFF intern Haley Amster.

EFF filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit urging the court to hold that under the First Amendment public schools may not punish students for their off-campus speech, including posting to social media while off campus.

The Supreme Court has long held that students have the same constitutional rights to speak in their communities as do adults, and this principle should not change in the social media age. In its landmark 1969 student speech decision, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School

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