The latest on your privacy, the NSA’s PRISM project, and how the tech companies want to protect it better.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
In a day of fast moving news regarding the National Security Agency‘s domestic surveillance program,a new wire report reveals that a lawsuit brought by the privacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation forced the U.S. to declassify some of the documents related to the spying program.
The NSA declassified three secret court opinions showing how it collected as many as 56,000 emails and other communications by Americans with no ties to terrorism annually over three years, according to the Associated Press. A secret court assigned to monitor surveillance activities struck down the activities in 2011.
Google, BlackBerry, Earthlink and Red Hat today petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on companies whose chief business is enforcing patents held by individuals. The move came one day after cloud host Rackspace announced that it was suing one such patent assertion entity, IP Nav, for violating a previous agreement that both companies would provide 30 days notice before suing over a group of contested patents.
Facebook’s move to allow marketers to import consumer lists obtained through data broker companies, announced today, met with substantial concern from privacy advocates.
Instagram rolled back proposed changes to parts of its terms of service that relate to advertising yesterday, but left in place changes to its privacy policies which attorneys at the Electronic Frontier Foundation call troublesome.
Gmail users can now search by date range, message size and exact word match rather than keyword. For instance, users tired of turning up messages from 2007 in their search results can limit their searches to those less than a year old using “newer_than:1y.”
SocialTimes reported yesterday that the ACLU and EFF had sued to block enforcement of parts of Prop 35, now California law, that affect registered sex offenders’ use. The court has offered a temporary restraining order in the case, putting the provisions in question on hold until the court can make a decision on their constitutionality.
The ACLU of Northern California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed suit in California today to block enforcement of parts of Proposition 35, a California ballot measure designed to help prevent human sex trafficking.
Melissa Walthall, of Mesquite, Texas, was given a photo of the undercover police officer who had helped to convict a friend of hers. She did what many of us would do: She posted it to Facebook, adding the ill-considered comment, “Anyone knew this –?”
An important measure in protecting free speech, Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act of 1996 prevents internet service providers from being held liable for the unpredictable things people say in public forums online. Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have created an infographic to explain why this law is still important to social media companies and users everywhere.