Internet Freedom & Privacy

  • Outliving Outrage on the Public Interest Internet: the CDDB Story
    This is the second in our blog series on the public interest internet: past, present and future. In our previous blog post, we discussed how in the early days of the internet, regulators feared that without strict copyright enforcement and pre-packaged entertainment, the new digital frontier would be empty of content. But the public interest internet barn-raised to…
  • The Enclosure of the Public Interest Internet
    This is the second in our blog series on the public interest internet: past, present and future. It’s hard to believe now, but in the early days of the public internet, the greatest worry of some of its most high-powered advocates was that it would be empty. As the Clinton administration prepared to transition the internet…
  • Introducing the Public Interest Internet
    Say the word “internet” these days, and most people will call to mind images of Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, of Google and Twitter: sprawling, intrusive, unaccountable. This tiny handful of vast tech corporations and their distant CEOs demand our online attention and dominate the offline headlines.  But on the real internet, one or two…
  • Surveillance Self-Defense Playlist: Getting to Know Your Phone
    We are launching a new Privacy Breakdown of Mobile Phones “playlist” on Surveillance Self-Defense, EFF’s online guide to defending yourself and your friends from surveillance by using secure technology and developing careful practices. This guided tour walks through the ways your phone communicates with the world, how your phone is tracked, and how that tracking data…
  • Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Rubber Stamps Mass Surveillance Under Section 702 – Again
    As someone once said, “the Founders did not fight a revolution to gain the right to government agency protocols.”  Well it was not just someone, it was Chief Justice John Roberts. He flatly rejected the government’s claim that agency protocols could solve the Fourth Amendment violations created by police searches of our communications stored in…
  • The Florida Deplatforming Law is Unconstitutional. Always has Been.
    Last week, the Florida Legislature passed a bill prohibiting social media platforms from “knowingly deplatforming” a candidate (the Transparency in Technology Act, SB 7072), on pain of a fine of up to $250k per day, unless, I kid you not, the platform owns a sufficiently large theme park.  Governor DeSantis is expected to sign it…
  • Facebook Oversight Board Affirms Trump Suspension — For Now
    Today’s decision from the Facebook Oversight Board regarding the suspension of President Trump’s account — to extend the suspension for six months and require Facebook to reevaluate in light of the platform’s stated policies — may be frustrating to those who had hoped for a definitive ruling. But it is also a careful and needed indictment of…
  • Proposed New Internet Law in Mauritius Raises Serious Human Rights Concerns
    As debate continues in the U.S. and Europe over how to regulate social media, a number of countries—such as India and Turkey—have imposed stringent rules that threaten free speech, while others, such as Indonesia, are considering them. Now, a new proposal to amend Mauritius’ Information and Communications Technologies Act (ICTA) with provisions to install a…
  • Tell Congress: Support the Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act
    Everyday, your personal information is being harvested by your smart phone applications, sold to data brokers, and used by advertisers hoping to sell you things. But what safeguards prevent the government from shopping in that same data marketplace? Mobile data regularly bought and sold, like your geolocation, is information that law enforcement or intelligence agencies…
  • Tell Congress: The Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale
    News outlets have been filled with headlines in the last year of government agencies, from immigration enforcement to the U.S. military, acquiring location data collected about you by smart phone applications. The data marketplace where advertisers go to sell ads for a local store should not be the same place the government goes to evade…
  • Brazil's Bill Repealing National Security Law Has its Own Threats to Free Expression
    The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies is on track to approve  a law that threatens freedom of expression and the right to assemble and protest, with the stated aim of defending the democratic constitutional state. Bill 6764/02 repeals the Brazilian National Security Law (Lei de Segurança Nacional), one of the ominous legacies of the country’s dictatorship…
  • EFF at 30: Protecting Free Speech, with Senator Ron Wyden
    To commemorate the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s 30th anniversary, we present EFF30 Fireside Chats. This limited series of livestreamed conversations looks back at some of the biggest issues in internet history and their effects on the modern web. To celebrate 30 years of defending online freedom, EFF was proud to welcome Senator Ron Wyden as our second special…
  • Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency is Upending Mobile Phone Tracking
    Apple’s long-awaited privacy update for iOS is out, and it’s a solid step in the right direction. With the launch of iOS 14.5, hundreds of millions of iPhone users will now interact with Apple’s new AppTrackingTransparency feature. Allowing users to choose what third-party tracking they will or will not tolerate, and forcing apps to request…
  • Here Are 458 California Law Enforcement Agencies' Policy Documents All in One Place
    Dylan Kubeny, a student at the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, served as the primary data hunter and co-author on this project.  At this moment in history, law enforcement agencies in the United States face a long-overdue reevaluation of their priorities, practices, and processes for holding police officers accountable for both…
  • Your Service Provider’s Terms of Service Shouldn’t Overrule Your Fourth Amendment Rights
    Last week, EFF, ACLU, and ACLU of Minnesota filed an amicus brief in State v. Pauli, a case in the Minnesota Supreme Court, where we argue that cloud storage providers’ terms of service (TOS) can’t take away your Fourth Amendment rights. This is the first case on this important issue to reach a state supreme…
  • Canada’s Attempt to Regulate Sexual Content Online Ignores Technical and Historical Realities
    Canadian Senate Bill S-203, AKA the “Protecting Young Persons from Exposure to Pornography Act,” is another woefully misguided proposal aimed at regulating sexual content online. To say the least, this bill fails to understand how the internet functions and would be seriously damaging to online expression and privacy. It’s bad in a variety of ways,…
  • EFF and ACLU Ask Supreme Court to Review Case Against Warrantless Searches of International Travelers’ Phones and Laptops
    Border Officers Accessing Massive Amounts of Information from Electronic Devices Washington, D.C. —The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the American Civil Liberties Union, and the ACLU of Massachusetts today filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, asking the Supreme Court to hear a challenge to the Department of Homeland Security’s policy and practice of warrantless…
  • Tell Congress: Federal Money Shouldn’t Be Spent On Breaking Encryption
    We don’t need government minders in our private conversations. That’s because private conversations, whether they happen offline or online, aren’t a public safety menace. They’re not an invitation to criminality, or terrorism, or a threat to children, no matter how many times those tired old lines get repeated.  TAKE ACTION TELL CONGRESS: DON’T SPEND TAX…
  • Data Driven 2: California Dragnet—New Data Set Shows Scale of Vehicle Surveillance in the Golden State
    This project is based on data processed by student journalist Olivia Ali, 2020 intern JJ Mazzucotelli, and research assistant Liam Harton, based on California Public Records Act requests filed by EFF and dozens of students at the University of Nevada, Reno Reynolds School of Journalism.  Tiburon, California: a 13-square-mile peninsula town in Marin County, known for its glorious views of…
  • Speak Up For Strong Encryption Rules in Congress
    The Malinowski-Meijer proposal would prohibit federal agencies from pushing private companies to intentionally weaken encryption. It’s a common-sense proposal that we shouldn’t even need to pass. But we do—because the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies keep threatening to undermine encryption. We need as many members of Congress as possible to support this proposal.…
  • No Digital Vaccine Bouncers
    The U.S. is distributing more vaccines and the population is gradually becoming vaccinated. Returning to regular means of activity and movement has become the main focus for many Americans who want to travel or see family. An increasingly common proposal to get there is digital proof-of-vaccination, sometimes called “Vaccine Passports.” On the surface, this may…
  • EFF Sues Proctorio on Behalf of Student It Falsely Accused of Copyright Infringement to Get Critical Tweets Taken Down
    Links to Software Code Excerpts in Tweets Are Fair Use Phoenix, Arizona—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a lawsuit today against Proctorio Inc. on behalf of college student Erik Johnson, seeking a judgment that he didn’t infringe the company’s copyrights when he linked to excerpts of its software code in tweets criticizing the software maker.…
  • Fighting FLoC and Fighting Monopoly Are Fully Compatible
    Are tech giants really damned if they do and damned if they don’t (protect our privacy)? That’s a damned good question that’s been occasioned by Google’s announcement that they’re killing the invasive, tracking third-party cookie (yay!) and replacing it with FLoC, an alternative tracking scheme that will make it harder for everyone except Google to…
  • Maine: Tell Your State Representatives to Shut Down Maine’s Intelligence Fusion Center
    The surveillance apparatus in the United States, at the local, state, and federal levels, has been out of control for a long time. In the last two decades, the intelligence community and law enforcement at all levels of government have greatly increased their sharing of sensitive information about people. All too often, bad information passes…
  • Indian Government's Plans to Ban Cryptocurrency Outright Are A Bad Idea
    While Turkey hit the headlines last week with a ban on paying for items with cryptocurrency, the government of India appears to be moving towards outlawing cryptocurrency completely. An unnamed senior government official told Reuters last month that a forthcoming bill this parliamentary session would include the prohibition of the “possession, issuance, mining, trading and transferring [of] crypto-assets.”…