Internet Freedom & Privacy

  • EFF, ACLU Urge Appeals Court to Revive Challenge to Los Angeles’ Collection of Scooter Location Data
    Lower Court Improperly Dismissed Lawsuit Against Privacy-Invasive Data Collection Practice San Francisco—The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU of Northern and Southern California today asked a federal appeals court to reinstate a lawsuit they filed on behalf of electric scooter riders challenging the constitutionality of Los Angeles’ highly privacy-invasive collection of detailed trip data and…
  • Tell Congress: Close the Warrantless Backdoor to Spy on Communications
    The backdoor into our communications comes from Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which requires tech and telecommunications companies to provide the U.S. government with access to emails and other communications to aid in national security investigations–ostensibly when U.S. persons are in communication with foreign surveillance targets abroad or wholly foreign communications…
  • Council of Europe’s Actions Belie its Pledges to Involve Civil Society in Development of Cross Border Police Powers Treaty
    As the Council of Europe’s flawed cross border surveillance treaty moves through its final phases of approval, time is running out to ensure cross-border investigations occur with robust privacy and human rights safeguards in place. The innocuously named “Second Additional Protocol” to the Council of Europe’s (CoE) Cybercrime Convention seeks to set a new standard…
  • Facial recognition technology (FRT): 100 countries analyzed
    Over 50 years ago 2001: A Space Odyssey introduced the world to HAL-9000, a computer with artificial intelligence capabilities, including facial recognition technology. It seemed other-worldly, advanced, and somewhat hard to comprehend. Today, facial recognition technology (FRT) is, for an alarming number of us, a part of everyday life. From opening up our phones and…
  • Cheers to the Winners of EFF's 13th Annual Cyberlaw Trivia Night
    On June 17th, the best legal minds in the Bay Area gathered together for a night filled with tech law trivia—but there was a twist! With in-person events still on the horizon, EFF’s 13th Annual Cyberlaw Trivia Night moved to a new browser-based virtual space, custom built in Gather. This 2D environment allowed guests to…
  • India’s Draconian Rules for Internet Platforms Threaten User Privacy and Undermine Encryption
    The Indian government’s new Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code (“2021 Rules”) pose huge problems for free expression and Internet users’ privacy. They include dangerous requirements for platforms to identify the origins of messages and pre-screen content, which fundamentally breaks strong encryption for messaging tools. Though WhatsApp and others are challenging the rules in…
  • Final Days: Connect to a Brighter Internet ☀️
    We’ve added one more day to EFF’s summer membership drive! Over 900 supporters have answered the call to get the internet right by defending privacy, free speech, and innovation. It’s possible if you’re with us. Will you join EFF? Through Wednesday, anyone can join EFF or renew their membership for as little as $20 and…
  • EFF to Ninth Circuit: Recent Supreme Court Decision in Van Buren Does Not Criminalize Web Scraping
    In an amicus brief filed Friday, EFF and the Internet Archive argued to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Van Buren v. United States shows that the federal computer crime law does not criminalize the common and useful practice of scraping publicly available information on the internet. The case,…
  • Right or Left, You Should Be Worried About Big Tech Censorship
    Conservatives are being censored Claiming that “right-wing voices are being censored,” Republican-led legislatures in Florida and Texas have introduced legislation to “end Big Tech censorship.” They say that the dominant tech platforms block legitimate speech without ever articulating their moderation policies, that they are slow to admit their mistakes, and that there is no meaningful…
  • Don’t Let Police Arm Autonomous or Remote-Controlled Robots and Drones
    It’s no longer science fiction or unreasonable paranoia. Now, it needs to be said: No, police must not be arming land-based robots or aerial drones. That’s true whether these mobile devices are remote controlled by a person or autonomously controlled by artificial intelligence, and whether the weapons are maximally lethal (like bullets) or less lethal (like…
  • The Tower of Babel: How Public Interest Internet is Trying to Save Messaging and Banish Big Social Media
    This blog post is part of a series, looking at the public interest internet—the parts of the internet that don’t garner the headlines of Facebook or Google, but quietly provide public goods and useful services without requiring the scale or the business practices of the tech giants. Read our earlier installments. How many messaging services…
  • UK's Draft Online Safety Bill Raises Serious Concerns Around Freedom of Expression
    On May 12, the UK government published a draft of its Online Safety Bill, which attempts to tackle illegal and otherwise harmful content online by placing a duty of care on online platforms to protect their users from such content. The move came as no surprise: over the past several years, UK government officials have…
  • Clearview’s Face Surveillance Still Has No First Amendment Defense
    Clearview AI extracts faceprints from billions of people, without their consent, and uses these faceprints to help police identify suspects. This does grave harm to privacy, free speech, information security, and racial justice. It also violates the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which prohibits a company from collecting a person’s biometric information without first…
  • The Internet Loses a Champion with the Passing of Sherwin Siy
    We at EFF are devastated to learn of the passing of Sherwin Siy. He was a brilliant advocate and strategist who was dedicated to protecting and preserving the internet as a space for creativity, innovation and sharing. He was also a friend and generous mentor who shaped the present and future of tech policy by…
  • Improving Enforcement in State Consumer Privacy Laws
    Momentum for state privacy bills has been growing over the past couple of years, as lawmakers respond to privacy invasions and constituent demand to address them. As several states end their legislative sessions for the year and lawmakers begin to plan for next year, we urge them to pay special attention to strengthening enforcement in…
  • Tell Congress to Pass the Safe Connections Act and Make It Easier for Survivors to Escape Domestic Violence
    This January, Senators Brian Schatz, Deb Fischer, Richard Blumenthal, Rick Scott, and Jacky Rosen introduced The Safe Connections Act (S. 120), which would make it easier for survivors to separate their phone line from a family plan while keeping their own phone number. It would also require the FCC to create rules to protect the…
  • Greetings from the Internet! Connect with EFF this Summer
    Every July, we celebrate EFF’s birthday and its decades of commitment fighting for privacy, security, and free expression for all tech users. This year’s membership drive focuses on a central idea: analog or digital—what matters is connection. If the internet is a portal to modern life, then our tech must embrace privacy, security, and free…
  • Victory! Fourth Circuit Rules Baltimore’s Warrantless Aerial Surveillance Program Unconstitutional
    This blog post was cowritten by EFF intern Lauren Yu. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled last week that Baltimore’s use of aerial surveillance that could track the movements of the entire city violated the Fourth Amendment. The case, Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle v. Baltimore Police Department, challenged the Baltimore…
  • Tell Your Representative to Support a More Interoperable Future
    By enforcing transparency and consent, the ACCESS Act checks abuse of the data that large tech companies collect from us. It mandates that the largest online platforms make it possible for a user to leave that service and go to a new one, taking some or even all their data with them, while still maintaining…
  • EFF is Highlighting LGBTQ+ Issues Year-Round
    EFF is dedicated to ensuring that technology supports freedom, justice and innovation for all the people of the world. While digital freedom is an LGBTQ+ issue, LGBTQ+ issues are also digital rights issues. For example, LGBTQ+ communities are often those most likely to experience firsthand how big tech can restrict free expression, capitulate to government…
  • Supreme Court Narrows Ability to Hold U.S. Corporations Accountable for Facilitating Human Rights Abuses Abroad
    People around the world have been horrified at the role that technology companies like Cisco, Yahoo!, and Sandvine have played in helping governments commit gross human rights abuses. That’s why EFF has consistently called out technology companies, and American companies in particular, that allow their internet surveillance and censorship products and services to be used…
  • Nominations Open for 2021 Barlows!
    Nominations are now open for the 2021 Barlows to be presented at EFF’s 30th Annual Pioneer Award Ceremony. Established in 1992, the Pioneer Award Ceremony recognizes leaders who are extending freedom and innovation in the realm of technology. In honor of Internet visionary, Grateful Dead lyricist, and EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow, recipients are awarded…
  • Victory! Biden Administration Rescinds Dangerous DHS Proposed Rule to Expand Biometrics Collection
    Marking a big win for the privacy and civil liberties of immigrant communities, the Biden Administration recently rescinded a Trump-era proposed rule that would have massively expanded the collection of biometrics from people applying for an immigration benefit. Introduced in September 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposal would have mandated biometrics collection…
  • Setbacks in the FTC’s Antitrust Suit Against Facebook Show Why We Need the ACCESS Act
    After a marathon markup last week, a number of bills targeting Big Tech’s size and power, including the critical ACCESS Act, were passed out of committee and now await a vote by the entire House of Representatives. This week, decisions by a federal court tossing out both the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) antitrust complaint against…
  • EFF to Ecuador's Human Rights Secretariat: Protecting Security Experts is Vital to Safeguard Everyone's Rights
    Today, EFF sent a letter to Ecuador’s Human Rights Secretariat about the troubling, slow-motion case against the Swedish computer security expert Ola Bini since his arrest in April 2019, following Julian Assange’s ejection from Ecuador’s London Embassy. Ola Bini faced 70 days of imprisonment until a Habeas Corpus decision considered his detention illegal. He was…
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