EFF to Ecuador’s Human Rights Secretariat: Protecting Security Experts is Vital to Safeguard Everyone’s Rights

Today, EFF sent a letter to Ecuador’s Human Rights Secretariat about the troubling, slow-motion case against the Swedish computer security expert Ola Bini since his arrest in April 2019, following Julian Assange’s ejection from Ecuador’s London Embassy. Ola Bini faced 70 days of imprisonment until a Habeas Corpus decision considered his detention illegal. He was released from jail, but the investigation continued, seeking evidence to back the alleged accusations against the security expert.

The circumstances around Ola Bini’s detention, which was fraught with due process violations described by his defense, sparked international attention and indicated the growing seriousness of security

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A Wide, Diverse Coalition Agrees on What Congress Needs to Do About Our Broadband

A massive number of groups representing interests as diverse as education, agriculture, the tech sector, public and private broadband providers, low-income advocacy, workers, and urban and rural community economic development entities came together on a letter to ask Congress to be bold in its infrastructure plan. They are asking the U.S. Congress to tackle the digital divide with the same purpose and scale as we did for rural electrification. It also asks Congress to focus on delivering 21st century future-proof access to every American. While so many slow internet incumbents are pushing Congress to go small and do

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Decoding California’s New Digital Vaccine Records and Potential Dangers

The State of California recently released what it calls a “Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record.” It is part of that state’s recent easing of public health rules on masking within businesses. California’s new Record is a QR code that contains the same information as is on our paper vaccine cards, including name and birth date. We all want to return to normal freedom of movement while keeping our communities safe. But we have two concerns with this plan:

First, with minimal effort, businesses could use the information in the vaccination record to track the time and place of our

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[VISUAL] The Overlapping Infrastructure of Urban Surveillance, and How to Fix It

Between the increasing capabilities of local and state police, the creep of federal law enforcement into domestic policing, the use of aerial surveillance such as spy planes and drones, and mounting cooperation between private technology companies and the government, it can be hard to understand and visualize what all this overlapping surveillance can mean for your daily life. We often think of these problems as siloed issues. Local police deploy automated license plate readers or acoustic gunshot detection. Federal authorities monitor you when you travel internationally.

But if you could take a cross-section of the average city block, you

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How Big ISPs Are Trying to Burn California’s $7 Billion Broadband Fund

A month ago, Governor Newsom announced a plan to invest $7 billion of federal rescue funds and state surplus dollars to be mostly invested into public broadband infrastructure meant to serve every Californian with affordable access to infrastructure ready for 21st century demands. In short, the proposal would empower the state government, local governments, cooperatives, non-profits, and local private entities to utilize the dollars to build universal 21st century access. With that level of money, the state could end the digital divide—if invested correctly.

But, so far, industry opposition from AT&T and cable have successfully sidelined the money—as

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Standing With Security Researchers Against Misuse of the DMCA

Security research is vital to protecting the computers upon which we all depend, and protecting the people who have integrated electronic devices into their daily lives. To conduct security research, we need to protect the researchers, and allow them the tools to find and fix vulnerabilities. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions, Section 1201, can cast a shadow over security research, and unfortunately the progress we’ve made through the DMCA rule-making process has not been sufficient to remove this shadow.

DMCA reform has long been part of EFF’s agenda, to protect security researchers and others from its often troublesome

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The new ACCESS Act is a good start. Here’s how to make sure it delivers.

The ACCESS Act is one of the most exciting pieces of federal tech legislation this session. Today’s tech giants grew by taking advantage of the openness of the early Internet, but have designed their own platforms to be increasingly inhospitable for both user freedom and competition. The ACCESS Act would force these platforms to start to open up, breaking down the high walls they use to lock users in and keep competitors down. It would advance the goals of competition and interoperability, which will make the internet a more diverse, more user-friendly place to be.

We’ve praised the ACCESS Act

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Changing Section 230 Won’t Make the Internet a Kinder, Gentler Place

Tech platforms, especially the largest ones, have a problem—there’s a lot of offensive junk online. Many lawmakers on Capitol Hill keep coming back to the same solutionblaming Section 230.

What lawmakers don’t notice is that a lot of the people posting that offensive junk get stopped, again and again, thanks to Section 230. During a March hearing in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, lawmakers expressed concern over some of the worst content that’s online, including extremist content, falsehoods about COVID-19, and election disinformation.

But it’s people spreading just this type of content that often

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Emails from 2016 Show Amazon Ring’s Hold on the LAPD Through Camera Giveaways

In March 2016, “smart” doorbell camera maker Ring was a growing company attempting to market its wireless smart security camera when it received an email from an officer in the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Gang and Narcotics Division, who was interested in purchasing a slew of devices.

The Los Angeles detective wanted 20 cameras, consisting of 10 doorbell cameras and 10 “stick up” cameras, which retailed for nearly $3,000. Ring, headquartered in nearby Santa Monica, first offered a discount but quickly sweetened the deal: “I’d be happy to send you those units free of charge,” a Ring employee told

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Unconstitutional Florida Law Barring Platforms from Suspending Politicians Should be Blocked, EFF Tells Court

Tallahassee, Florida—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Protect Democracy urged a federal judge to strike down Florida’s law banning Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms from suspending political candidates’ accounts, saying it unconstitutionally interferes with the First Amendment rights of the companies and their users, and forces companies to give politicians’ speech preferential treatment that other users are denied.

EFF has long criticized large online platforms’ content moderation practices as opaque, inconsistent, and unfair because they often remove legitimate speech and disproportionately harm marginalized populations that struggle to be heard. These are serious problems that have real world consequences, but they

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