Internet Freedom & Privacy

  • EFF to Court: Social Media Users Have Privacy and Free Speech Interests in Their Public Information
    Special thanks to legal intern Rachel Sommers, who was the lead author of this post. Visa applicants to the United States are required to disclose personal information including their work, travel, and family histories. And as of May 2019, they are required to register their social media accounts with the U.S. government. According to the … Read MoreRead more
  • Inside the Invasive, Secretive “Bossware” Tracking Workers
    COVID-19 has pushed millions of people to work from home, and a flock of companies offering software for tracking workers has swooped in to pitch their products to employers across the country. The services often sound relatively innocuous. Some vendors bill their tools as “automatic time tracking” or “workplace analytics” software. Others market to companies … Read MoreRead more
  • EFF Successfully Defends Users’ Right to Challenge Patents and Still Recover Legal Fees
    When individuals and companies are wrongly accused of patent infringement, they should be encouraged to stand up and defend themselves. When they win, the public does too. While the patent owner loses revenue, the rest of society gets greater access to knowledge, product choice, and space for innovation. This is especially true when defendants win … Read MoreRead more
  • Tell Your Senator: Vote No on the EARN IT Act
    This month, Americans are out in the streets, demanding police accountability. But rather than consider reform proposals, a key Senate committee is focused on giving unprecedented powers to law enforcement—including the ability to break into our private messages by creating encryption backdoors. TAKE ACTION STOP THE EARN IT BILL BEFORE IT BREAKS ENCRYPTION This Thursday, … Read MoreRead more
  • 5 Serious Flaws in the New Brazilian “Fake News” Bill that Will Undermine Human Rights
    The Brazilian Senate is scheduled to make its vote this week on the most recent version of “PLS 2630/2020” the so-called “Fake News” bill. This new version, supposedly aimed at safety and curbing “malicious coordinated actions” by users of social networks and private messaging apps, will allow the government to identify and track countless innocent … Read MoreRead more
  • Now Is The Time: Tell Congress to Ban Federal Use of Face Recognition
    Cities and states across the country have banned government use of face surveillance technology, and many more are weighing proposals to do so. From Boston to San Francisco, elected officials and activists rightfully know that face surveillance gives police the power to track us wherever we go, turns us all into perpetual suspects, increases the … Read MoreRead more
  • Your Phone Is Vulnerable Because of 2G, But it Doesn't Have to Be
    Security researchers have been talking about the vulnerabilities in 2G for years. 2G technology, which at one point underpinned the entire cellular communications network, is widely known to be vulnerable to eavesdropping and spoofing. But even though its insecurities are well-known and it has quickly become archaic, many people still rely on it as the … Read MoreRead more
  • Egypt's Crackdown on Free Expression Will Cost Lives
    For years, EFF has been monitoring a dangerous situation in Egypt: journalists, bloggers, and activists have been harassed, detained, arrested, and jailed, sometimes without trial, in increasing numbers by the Sisi regime. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, these incidents have skyrocketed, affecting free expression both online and offline.  As we’ve said before, this crisis means … Read MoreRead more
  • Dutch Law Proposes a Wholesale Jettisoning of Human Rights Considerations in Copyright Enforcement
    With the passage of last year’s Copyright Directive, the EU demanded that member states pass laws that reduce copyright infringement by internet users while also requiring that they safeguard the fundamental rights of users (such as the right to free expression) and also the limitations to copyright. These safeguards must include protections for the new … Read MoreRead more
  • Tell Congress to Ban Federal Use of Face Recognition
    Cities and states across the country have banned government use of face surveillance technology, and many more are weighing proposals to do so. These elected officials and activists have proven that face surveillance gives police the power to track us wherever we go, turns us all into perpetual suspects, increases the likelihood of being falsely … Read MoreRead more
  • Your Objections to the Google-Fitbit Merger
    EFF Legal Intern Rachel Sommers contributed to this post. When Google announced its intention to buy Fitbit in April, we had deep concerns. Google, a notoriously data-hungry company with a track record of reneging on its privacy policies, was about to buy one of the most successful wearables company in the world —after Google had repeatedly tried to launch a competing product, only … Read MoreRead more
  • Stop The EARN IT Bill Before It Breaks Encryption
    The bill uses crimes against children as an excuse to force Internet platforms to follow a set of “best practices” set out by a government commission. If owners of the platforms don’t follow the new rules, they’ll lose legal protections for free speech. It’s easy to predict how Attorney General William Barr, who will dominate … Read MoreRead more
  • EFF and Durie Tangri Join Forces to Defend Internet Archive’s Digital Library
    Free, Public-Service Lending Program Threatened by Baseless Copyright Lawsuit San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is joining forces with the law firm of Durie Tangri to defend the Internet Archive against a lawsuit that threatens their Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) program, which helps people all over the world check out digital copies of … Read MoreRead more
  • California Agency Blocks Release of Police Use of Force and Surveillance Training, Claiming Copyright
    Under a California law that went into effect on January 1, 2020, all law enforcement training materials must be “conspicuously” published on the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) website.  However, if you visit POST’s Open Data hub and try to download the officer training materials relating to face recognition technology or … Read MoreRead more
  • The Senate’s New Anti-Encryption Bill Is Even Worse Than EARN IT, and That’s Saying Something
    Right now, we rely on secure technologies like never before—to cope with the pandemic, to organize and march in the streets, and much more. Yet, now is the moment some members of the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence Committees have chosen to try to effectively outlaw encryption in those very technologies. The new Lawful Access to … Read MoreRead more
  • Victory! Boston Bans Government Use of Face Surveillance
    The push to minimize the government’s power to track and spy on people with surveillance technology has picked up steam as the Black-led movement against racism and police brutality continues to push politicians to reconsider the role policing plays in our lives. Thanks to the tireless efforts of activists and organizations in Massachusetts and around the … Read MoreRead more
  • Brazil's Fake News Bill Would Dismantle Crucial Rights Online and is on a Fast Track to Become Law
    Despite widespread complaints about its effects on free expression and privacy, Brazilian Congress is moving forward in its attempts to hastily approve a “Fake News” bill. We’ve already reported about some of the most concerning issues in previous proposals, but the draft text released this week is even worse. It will hinder users’ access to … Read MoreRead more
  • Tell Congress to Vote Yes on Giving Us All Access to Affordable, High-Speed Internet
    The Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act would create an $80 billion fiber infrastructure program run by a new Office of Connectivity that would coordinate all federal infrastructure efforts with state governments. It would deliver universal fiber to America much quicker than if the industry was left to its own devices. This would ensure that … Read MoreRead more
  • The House Has a Universal Fiber Broadband Plan We Should Get Behind
    America is behind on its transition to a 21st-century, fiber-connected Internet with no plan for how to fix the problem. Until today. For the first time, legislation led by Majority Whip James Clyburn would begin a national transition of everyone’s Internet connection into multi-gigabit capable fiber optics has been introduced and is likely heading towards a … Read MoreRead more
  • Groundbreaking Community-Building Technologists Join EFF’s Board of Directors
    EFF Is Proud to Welcome Anil Dash and James Vasile San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is honored to announce the two newest members of its Board of Directors: tech executive and advocate Anil Dash and free and open source software advocate James Vasile. Both Dash and Vasile have spent their careers blending … Read MoreRead more
  • Pride Resources for Activism in Digital and Physical Spaces
    In June, people honor one of the key events that ushered the era of LGBTQIA+ Pride—Stonewall—during which Black and Brown trans and queer people led a riot in direct response to police brutality. This year, Pride occurs during national and global protests over the continued murder of Black people, and highlights disparities around race, gender, … Read MoreRead more
  • Victory: Indiana Supreme Court Rules that Police Can’t Force Smartphone User to Unlock Her Phone
    In courts across the country, EFF has been arguing that the police cannot constitutionally require you to unlock your phone or give them your password, and today the Indiana Supreme Court issued a strong opinion agreeing with us. In the case, Seo v. State, the court found that the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination protected … Read MoreRead more
  • OTF's Work Is Vital for a Free and Open Internet
    Keeping the internet open, free, and secure requires eternal vigilance and the constant cooperation of freedom defenders all over the web and the world. Over the past eight years, the Open Technology Fund (OTF) has fostered a global community and provided support—both monetary and in-kind—to more than four hundred projects that seek to combat censorship … Read MoreRead more
  • Apple’s Response to HEY Showcases What’s Most Broken About the Apple App Store
    Basecamp’s new paid email service, HEY, has been making headlines recently in a very public fight with Apple over their App Store terms of service.  Just as the service was launching, the HEY developers found the new release of the app—which included important security fixes—was held up over a purported violation of the App Store … Read MoreRead more
  • California Coalition Calls for Moratorium on State Gang Database
    EFF has joined a coalition of civil rights, immigration, and criminal justice reform organizations to demand the California Department of Justice (CADOJ) place an immediate moratorium on the use of the state’s gang database, also known as CalGang.  For years, EFF has stood beside many of these organizations to advocate for reforms to the CalGang … Read MoreRead more