Internet Freedom & Privacy

  • Ask Governor Cuomo to Support a Healthy New York by Protecting New Yorkers’ Privacy
    Since May, to fight the spread of COVID-19, public health officials in New York State have undertaken contact tracing efforts. Health care workers—with the assistance of COVID-positive New Yorkers—identify and notify people who may have been exposed so that they might isolate themselves and stem the spread of COVID-19. Contact tracing is an important weapon…
  • Visa Wants to Buy Plaid, and With It, Transaction Data for Millions of People
    Visa, the credit card network, is trying to buy financial technology company Plaid for $5.3 billion. The merger is bad for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it would allow a giant company with a controlling market share and a history of anticompetitive practices to snap up its fast-growing competition in the market for payment…
  • Let’s Stand Up for Home Hacking and Repair
    Let’s tell the Copyright Office that it’s not a crime to modify or repair your own devices. Every three years, the Copyright Office holds a rulemaking process where it grants the public permission to bypass digital locks for lawful purposes. In 2018, the Office expanded existing protections for jailbreaking and modifying your own devices to…
  • Victory! Court Protects Anonymity of Security Researchers Who Reported Apparent Communications Between Russian Bank and Trump Organization
    Security researchers who reported observing Internet communications between the Russian financial firm Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization in 2016 can remain anonymous, an Indiana trial court ruled last week. The ruling protects the First Amendment anonymous speech rights of the researchers, whose analysis prompted significant media attention and debate in 2016 about the meaning…
  • Ask Governor Cuomo to Support a Healthy New York by Protecting New Yorkers’ Privacy
    Since May, to fight the spread of COVID-19, public health officials in New York State have undertaken contact tracing efforts. Health care workers—with the assistance of COVID-positive New Yorkers—identify and notify people who may have been exposed so that they might isolate themselves and stem the spread of COVID-19. Contact tracing is an important weapon…
  • Podcast Episode: Control Over Users, Competitors, and Critics
    Episode 004 of EFF’s How to Fix the Internet Cory Doctorow joins EFF hosts Cindy Cohn and Danny O’Brien as they discuss how large, established tech companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook can block interoperability in order to squelch competition and control their users, and how we can fix this by taking away big companies’ legal…
  • The FCC’s Independence and Mission Are at Stake with Trump Nominee
    When there are only five people in charge of a major federal agency, the personal agenda of even one of them can have a profound impact. That’s why EFF is closely watching the nomination of Nathan Simington to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Simington’s nomination appears to be the culmination of a several-month project to…
  • ICANN Can Stand Against Censorship (And Avoid Another .ORG Debacle) by Keeping Content Regulation and Other Dangerous Policies Out of Its Registry Contracts
    The Internet’s domain name system is not the place to police speech. ICANN, the organization that regulates that system, is legally bound not to act as the Internet’s speech police, but its legal commitments are riddled with exceptions, and aspiring censors have already used those exceptions in harmful ways. This was one factor that made…
  • Once Again, Facebook Is Using Privacy As A Sword To Kill Independent Innovation
    Facebook claims that their role as guardian of users’ privacy gives them the power to shut down apps that give users more control over their own social media experience. Facebook is wrong. The latest example is their legal bullying of Friendly Social Browser. Friendly is a web browser with plugins geared towards Facebook, Instagram, and…
  • Video Analytics User Manuals Are a Guide to Dystopia
    A few years ago, when you saw a security camera, you may have thought that the video feed went to a VCR somewhere in a back office that could only be accessed when a crime occurs. Or maybe you imagined a sleepy guard who only paid half-attention, and only when they discovered a crime in…
  • Introducing Cover Your Tracks!
    Today, we’re pleased to announce Cover Your Tracks, the newest edition and rebranding of our historic browser fingerprinting and tracker awareness tool Panopticlick. Cover Your Tracks picks up where Panopticlick left off. Panopticlick was about letting users know that browser fingerprinting was possible; Cover Your Tracks is about giving users the tools to fight back…
  • Find Out How Ad Trackers Follow You On the Web With EFF’s “Cover Your Tracks” Tool
    Beginner-Friendly Tool Gives Users Options for Avoiding Browser Fingerprinting and Tracking San Francisco—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today launched Cover Your Tracks, a interactive tool that teaches users how advertisers follow them as they shop or browse online, and how to fight back against corporate trackers to protect their privacy, mitigate relentless ad targeting, and…
  • macOS Leaks Application Usage, Forces Apple to Make Hard Decisions
    Last week, users of macOS noticed that attempting to open non-Apple applications while connected to the Internet resulted in long delays, if the applications opened at all. The interruptions were caused by a macOS security service attempting to reach Apple’s Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) server, which had become unreachable due to internal errors. When…
  • Podcast Episode: Fixing a Digital Loophole in the Fourth Amendment
    Episode 003 of EFF’s How to Fix the Internet  Jumana Musa joins EFF hosts Cindy Cohn and Danny O’Brien as they discuss how the third-party doctrine is undermining our Fourth Amendment right to privacy when we use digital services, and how recent court victories are a hopeful sign that we may reclaim these privacy rights…
  • GitHub Reinstates youtube-dl After RIAA’s Abuse of the DMCA
    GitHub recently reinstated the repository for youtube-dl, a popular free software tool for downloading videos from YouTube and other user-uploaded video platforms. GitHub had taken down the repository last month after the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) abused the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s notice-and-takedown procedure to pressure GitHub to remove it. By shoehorning DMCA…
  • Computer Security Experts Urge White House to Keep Politics Out of Election Security
    Elections Are Partisan Affairs – Election Security Isn't San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has joined more than three dozen cybersecurity experts and professional security organizations in calling for the White House to keep politics out of securing this month’s election. Election security officials and computer security experts must be able to tell…
  • Elections Are Partisan Affairs. Election Security Isn't.
    An Open Letter on Election Security Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. And since computers are deeply involved in all segments of voting at this point, computer security is vital to the protection of this fundamental right.  Everyone needs to be able to trust that the critical infrastructure systems we rely upon to safeguard…
  • EFF Publishes New Research on Real-Time Crime Centers in the U.S.
    EFF has published a new report, “Surveillance Compounded: Real-Time Crime Centers in the United States,” which profiles seven surveillance hubs operated by local law enforcement, plus data on dozens of others scattered across the country.  Researched and written in collaboration with students at the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, the…
  • EFF Urges Universities to Commit to Transparency and Privacy Protections For COVID-19 Tracing Apps
    Campus Communities Shouldn’t Be Forced to Use Apps They Can’t Trust San Francisco—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) called on universities that have launched or plan to launch COVID-19 tracking technologies—which sometimes collect sensitive data from users’ devices and lack adequate transparency or privacy protections—to make them entirely voluntary for students and disclose details about data…
  • End University Mandates for COVID Tech
    Since the COVID-19 crisis began, many universities have looked to novel technologies to assist their efforts to retain in-person operations. Most prominent are untested contact tracing and notification applications or devices. While universities must commit to public health, too often these programs invade privacy and lack transparency. To make matters worse, some universities mandate these…
  • InternetLab’s Report Sets Direction for Telecom Privacy in Brazil
    Five years have passed since InternetLab published “Quem Defende Seus Dados?” (“Who defends your data?“), a report that holds ISPs accountable for their privacy and data protection policies in Brazil. Since then, major Brazilian telecom companies have provided more transparency about their data protection and privacy policies, a shift primarily fueled by Brazil’s new data…
  • Don’t Blame Section 230 for Big Tech’s Failures. Blame Big Tech.
    Next time you hear someone blame Section 230 for a problem with social media platforms, ask yourself two questions: first, was this problem actually caused by Section 230? Second, would weakening Section 230 solve the problem? Politicians and commentators on both sides of the aisle frequently blame Section 230 for big tech companies’ failures, but…
  • Tell Trump’s Patent Office Director: Don’t Make Permanent Rule Changes Now
    In the final days of the administration, Andre Iancu, President Trump’s Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is trying to push through permanent rule changes that would destroy the post-grant review system. Iancu is going all out to weaken “inter partes review” proceedings (or IPRs), which are the most effective mechanisms we have…
  • Podcast Episode: The Secret Court Approving Secret Surveillance
    Episode 001 of EFF’s How to Fix the Internet Julian Sanchez joins EFF hosts Cindy Cohn and Danny O’Brien as they delve into the problems with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, also known as the FISC or the FISA Court. Sanchez explains how the FISA Court signs off on surveillance of huge swaths of our…
  • Podcast Episode: Why Does My Internet Suck?
    Episode 002 of EFF’s How to Fix the Internet Gigi Sohn joins EFF hosts Cindy Cohn and Danny O’Brien as they discuss broadband access in the United States – or the lack thereof. Gigi explains the choices American policymakers and tech companies made that have caused millions to lack access to reliable broadband, and what…