Google’s Perilous Plan for a Cloud Center in Saudi Arabia is an Irresponsible Threat to Human Rights
September 27, 2022, 2:59 PM
On August 9, a Saudi woman was sentenced to 34 years in prison by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s notorious specialized criminal court in Riyadh. Her crime? Having a Twitter account and following and retweeting dissidents and activists.
That same day, a federal jury in San Francisco convicted a former Twitter employee of money laundering and other charges for spying—on behalf of the kingdom—on Twitter users critical of the Saudi government.
These are just the latest examples of Saudi Arabia...
Ban Government Use of Face Recognition In the UK
September 26, 2022, 6:20 PM
In 2015, Leicestershire Police scanned the faces of 90,000 individuals at a music festival in the UK and checked these images against a database of people suspected of crimes across Europe. This was the first known deployment of Live Facial Recognition (LFR) at an outdoor public event in the UK. In the years since, the surveillance technology has been frequently used throughout the country with little government oversight and no electoral mandate.
Face recognition presents an inherent threat t...
Study of Electronic Monitoring Smartphone Apps Confirms Advocates’ Concerns of Privacy Harms
September 23, 2022, 5:35 PM
Researchers at the University of Washington and Harvard Law School recently published a groundbreaking study analyzing the technical capabilities of 16 electronic monitoring (EM) smartphone apps used as “alternatives” to criminal and civil detention. The study, billed as the “first systematic analysis of the electronic monitoring apps ecosystem,” confirmed many advocates’ fears that EM apps allow access to wide swaths of information, often contain third-party trackers, and are frequent...
San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors Grants Police More Surveillance Powers https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2022/09/san-franciscos-board-supervisors-grants-police-more-surveillance-powers
September 22, 2022, 5:24 PM
In a 4-7 vote, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed a 15-month pilot program granting the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) more live surveillance powers. This was despite the objections of a diverse coalition of community groups and civil rights organizations, residents, the Bar Association of San Francisco, and even members of the city’s Police Commission, a civilian oversight body comprising of mayoral and Board appointees. The ordinance, backed by the Mayor and the SFPD, enab...
Lawsuit: SMUD and Sacramento Police Violate State Law and Utility Customers’ Privacy by Sharing Data Without a Warrant
September 22, 2022, 2:37 PM
The public power utility and police racially profiled Asian communities in the illegal data-sharing scheme.SACRAMENTO—The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) searches entire zip codes’ worth of people’s private data and discloses it to police without a warrant or any suspicion of wrongdoing, according to a privacy lawsuit filed Wednesday in Sacramento County Superior Court.
SMUD’s bulk disclosure of customer utility data turns its entire customer base into potential leads for po...
How to Ditch Facebook Without Losing Your Friends (Or Family, Customers or Communities)
September 19, 2022, 4:44 PM
Today, we launch “How to Ditch Facebook Without Losing Your Friends” - a narrated slideshow and essay explaining how Facebook locks in its users, how interoperability can free them, and what it would feel like to use an “interoperable Facebook” of the future, such as the one contemplated by the US ACCESS Act.
Giving Big Corporations “Closed Generic” Top-Level Domain Names to Run as Private Kingdoms Is Still a Bad Idea
September 16, 2022, 9:50 PM
No business can own the generic word for the product it sells. We would find it preposterous if a single airline claimed exclusive use of the word “air,” or a broadband service tried to stop its rivals from using the word “broadband.” Until this year, it seemed settled that the internet’s top-level domain names (like .com, .org, and so on) would follow the same obvious rule. Alas, ICANN (the California nonprofit that governs the global domain name system) seems intent on taking domains...
EFF’s DEF CON 30 Puzzle—SOLVED
September 15, 2022, 9:48 PM
Puzzlemaster Aaron Steimle of the Muppet Liberation Front contributed to this post.
Every year, EFF joins thousands of computer security professionals, tinkerers, and hobbyists for Hacker Summer Camp, the affectionate term used for the series of Las Vegas technology conferences including BSidesLV, Black Hat, DEF CON, and more. EFF has a long history of standing with online creators and security researchers at events like these for the benefit of all tech users. We’re proud to honor this commun...
It’s Time For A Federal Anti-SLAPP Law To Protect Online Speakers
September 15, 2022, 7:47 PM
Our country’s fair and independent courts exist to resolve serious disputes. Unfortunately, some parties abuse the civil litigation process to silence others’ speech, rather than resolve legitimate claims. These types of censorious lawsuits have been dubbed Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, or SLAPPs, and they have been on the rise over the past few decades.
Plaintiffs who bring SLAPPs intend to use the high cost of litigation to harass, intimidate, and silence critics who a...
Members of Congress Urge FTC to Investigate Fog Data Science https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2022/09/members-congress-urge-ftc-investigate-fog-data-science
September 15, 2022, 7:30 PM
In the week since EFF and the Associated Press exposed how Fog Data Science purchases geolocation data on hundreds of millions of digital devices in the United States, and maps them for easy-to-use and cheap mass surveillance by police, elected officials have voiced serious concerns about this dangerous tech.
In a strong letter to Lina Khan, the chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Rep. Anna Eshoo of California on Tuesday criticized the “significant Fourth Amendment search and seizure...
The Fight to Overturn FOSTA, an Unconstitutional Internet Censorship Law, Continues
September 15, 2022, 6:04 PM
More than four years after its enactment, FOSTA remains an unconstitutional law that broadly censored the internet and harmed sex workers and others by chilling their ability to speak, organize, and access information online. And the fight to overturn FOSTA continues. Last week, two human rights organizations, a digital library, a sex worker activist, and a certified massage therapist filed their opening brief in a case that seeks to strike down the law for its many constitutional violations. ...
San Francisco Police Must End Irresponsible Relationship with the Northern California Fusion Center
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