Remember when your mom said that asking the wrong questions would put you on someone's list?

  anecdote eff foia government lists oversight questions us

As a child of the Cold War era I'd always been curious about politics and how things worked. My mom (and grandmother, for that matter) always warned me that asking those kinds of questions would mean that my name would wind up on a list someplace. They were never clear on what sort of list that was, or what effect being on one might have. The context was never a good one and it lead to no shortage of arguments, that was for sure. Those arguments mysteriously stopped when, in one of my high school civics classes (it's important to …

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ASCAP raising money to fight the new culture.

  ascap cc culture eff free fud libre music politics publicknowledge wtf

One of the cornerstones of the Internet is making information available to whomever wants it for low or no cost. Case in point, the TCP/IP stack within the operating system you're now running to read this post was probably originally posted to the Internet better than twenty years ago under the BSD license. In fact, if you dig around inside the "About.." panes of Windows chances are you'll find that little block of text (at least, everything up to Windows 2000 had it, it's been a couple of years). The fan cultures that many of us partake of grew …

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Legal battles over unwarranted search and seizure at the borders are spinning up.

  announcement border cbp customs data eff laptops lawsuit search seizure usa

For a couple of years now the Customs and Border Patrol of the United States has had the legal authority to confiscate the laptops of people entering the country to perform forensic analysis on an indefinite basis. If you don't give them your laptop (or you refuse to give them the passphrases to decrypt your data) they can and will send you back or incarcerate you, even if you're an American citizen. They also have standing orders to seize any and all data storage media you're transporting (including USB keys, cameras, cellular phones, MP3 players, and disks) for duplication and …

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Confiscation and examination of electronics at the border intensifies.

  alc big_brother cellphones confiscation customs data eff electronics ice laptops travel

It would appear that the confiscation and analysis of personal electronics at the US border is intensifiying and that people are starting to get up in arms about it. It's more than just laptops that US ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) are spiriting away (for up to two weeks at a time, which defeats the purpose of trying to fly anywhere): Cellular phones are being meddled with and sometimes data is erased (for one reason or another; I tend to lean toward Hanlon's Razor to explain this), corporate laptops are being taken away from travelers unless the log into the …

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The FBI's data mining program took a mile when it was given an inch. Film at eleven.

  big_brother eff fbi link_analysis nsl telecommunications

A number of lawsuits and Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation have confirmed what people have been saying since the get-go, which is that the FBI's telecommunications data mining program went far beyond what it was supposed to (login/password required, bugmenot.com will hook you up). It's well known and documented that the US government's been leaning on telecommunication companies all across the country (and a few rolled over and bared their throats without even being ordered) to provide them with lists of names and numbers of their customers so that who called whom …

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Tor has been accepted as a Google Summer of Code project!

  all_call crypto eff google privacy summer_of_code tor

Tor, The Onion Router is a well-known net.privacy project that has been the subject of a grassroots development project for a couple of years now. The EFF has made room for a couple of student developers through Google's Summer of Code programme and posted an official announcement to the NoReply wiki. To apply for a position in the project you have to have a code sample and be at least somewhat familiar with how Tor works and how the code works. Knowledge of crypto is a major plus, seeing as how it encrypts traffic between nodes for privacy. You …

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