The End of the NSA's ‘About’ Searches Is Just the Beginning

The NSA is stopping its use of one controversial surveillance technique that impacts Americans’ privacy. Make no mistake. This is good news for anyone who wants government surveillance to follow the law. But there’s much more to be done to rein in unconstitutional spying. Initially reported by The New York Times today and confirmed by […]

Post-TPP Special 301 Report Shows How Little Has Changed

Last Friday the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released the 2017 edition of its Special 301 Report [PDF], which the USTR issues each year to “name and shame” other countries that the U.S. claims should be doing more to protect and enforce their copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. Most of these demands exceed those countries’ […]

Chinese Government and Hollywood Launch Snoop-and-Censor Copyright Filter

Two weeks ago the Copyright Society of China (also known as the China Copyright Association) launched its new 12426 Copyright Monitoring Center, which is dedicated to scanning the Chinese Internet for evidence of copyright infringement. This frightening panopticon is said to be able to monitor video, music and images found on “mainstream audio and video sites and graphic portals, small […]

The WIPO Broadcasting Treaty Would be a Body Blow for Online Video

This week EFF is in Geneva, at the Thirty-Fourth session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), to oppose a Broadcasting Treaty that could limit the use of video online. Ahead of this meeting, word was that delegations would be pushing hard to have a […]

In Providence, Policymakers Delay Visionary Local Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Reforms

Recent events in Providence, RI demonstrate both how a sustained grassroots campaign can create opportunities for civil rights and civil liberties, and also how quickly those opportunities can be derailed by institutional actors. While the latest City Council decision delayed reform efforts and frustrated community members, policymakers will return in a few weeks to the […]

Oakland City Council Committee Advances Measure to Require Transparency and Public Process for Surveillance Tech

On May 9, the Public Safety Committee of the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to approve a proposed “Surveillance and Community Safety Ordinance.” The measure, passed on to the Council by the city’s Privacy Advisory Commission, is modeled on a law enacted in spring 2016 by Santa Clara County and could set a new standard for […]

European Publishing Lobby Forces Compromise on Marrakesh Treaty

The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled was one of the most fiercely contested treaty negotiations at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Representatives of publishers and other copyright holder groups spent years unashamedly lobbying against an instrument that would provide access […]

Secret New European Copyright Proposal Spells Disaster for Free Culture

EFF has learned about a new proposal for European law that takes aim at online streaming services, but which will strike a serious blow to creators and their fans. The proposal, which would effectively ban online streaming services from hosting works under free licenses, could spell an end to services like the Luxembourg-based Jamendo that offers […]

Why the Patching Problem Makes us WannaCry

Over the weekend a cyber attack known as “WannaCry” infected hundreds of computers all over the world with ransomware (malware which encrypts your data until you pay a ransom, usually in Bitcoin). The attack takes advantage of an exploit for Windows known as “EternalBlue” which was in the possession of NSA and, in mid April, […]

RCEP's Digital Trade Negotiations Remain Shrouded in Secrecy

From May 2-12, the Philippines hosted the 18th round of negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a TPP-like trade agreement covering ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and six partner countries – China, India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. Access to the negotiators was extremely limited, with […]