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Electronic Frontier Foundation

Larry Lessig Will Headline Friday's 'Grand Re-opening of the Public Domain' Event (archive.org) 16

An anonymous reader quotes the Internet Archive's blog Please join us for a Grand Re-opening of the Public Domain, featuring a keynote address by Creative Commons' founder, Lawrence Lessig, on January 25, 2019. Co-hosted by the Internet Archive and Creative Commons, this celebration will feature legal thought leaders, lightning talks, demos, and the chance to play with these new public domain works. The event will take place at the Internet Archive in San Francisco....

Join the creative, legal, library, and advocacy communities plus an amazing lineup of people who will highlight the significance of this new class of public domain works. Presenters include Larry Lessig, political activist and Harvard Law professor; Corynne McSherry, legal director of the Electronic frontier Foundation; Cory Doctorow, science fiction author and co-editor of Boing Boing; Pam Samuelson, copyright scholar; and Jamie Boyle, the man who literally wrote the book on the public domain, and many others.

Attendees will also receive a discount on the world premiere of DJ Spooky's Quantopia: The Evolution of the Internet, a live concert commissioned by the Internet Archive "synthesizing data and art, both original and public domain materials, in tribute to the depth and high stakes of free speech and creative expression involved in our daily use of media."
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Electric Scooter Rental Service Bird Sent a 'Notice of Claimed Infringement' To a News Site For Reporting On Lawful Re-use of Scooters (eff.org) 114

Bird, an electric scooter rental company, sent a "Notice of Claimed Infringement" to news blog Boing Boing for reporting about people doing legal things that Bird does not like. EFF reports: Electric scooters have swamped a number of cities across the US, many of the scooters carelessly discarded in public spaces. Bird, though, has pioneered a new way to pollute the commons by sending a meritless takedown letter to a journalist covering the issue. The company cites the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and implies that even writing about the issue could be illegal. It's not.

Bird sent a "Notice of Claimed Infringement" over this article on Boing Boing, one of the Internet's leading sources of news and commentary. The article reports on the fact that large numbers of Bird scooters are winding up in impound lots, and that it's possible to lawfully purchase these scooters when cities auction them off, and then to lawfully modify those scooters so they work without the Bird app. The letter is necessarily vague about exactly how the post infringed any of Bird's rights, and with good reason: the post does no such thing, as we explain in a letter on behalf of Happy Mutants LLC, which owns and operates Boing Boing.

The post reports on lawful activity, nothing more. In fact, the First Amendment would have protected it even if reported on illegal conduct or advocated for people to break the law. (For instance, a person might lawfully advocate that an electric scooter startup should violate local parking ordinances. Hypothetically.) So, in a sense, it doesn't matter whether Bird is right or wrong when it claims that it's illegal to convert a Bird scooter to a personal scooter. Either way, Boing Boing was free to report on it.

Security

First-Ever UEFI Rootkit Tied To Sednit APT (threatpost.com) 168

Researchers hunting cyber-espionage group Sednit (an APT also known as Sofacy, Fancy Bear and APT28) say they have discovered the first-ever instance of a rootkit targeting the Windows Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) in successful attacks. From a report: The discussion of Sednit was part of the 35C3 conference, and a session given by Frederic Vachon, a malware researcher at ESET who published a technical write-up on his findings earlier this fall [PDF]. During his session, Vachon said that finding a rootkit targeting a system's UEFI is significant, given that rootkit malware programs can survive on the motherboard's flash memory, giving it both persistence and stealth.

"UEFI rootkits have been researched and discussed heavily in the past few years, but sparse evidence has been presented of real campaigns actively trying to compromise systems at this level," he said. The rootkit is named LoJax. The name is a nod to the underlying code, which is a modified version of Absolute Software's LoJack recovery software for laptops. The purpose of the legitimate LoJack software is to help victims of a stolen laptop be able to access their PC without tipping off the bad guys who stole it. It hides on a system's UEFI and stealthily beacons its whereabouts back to the owner for possible physical recovery of the laptop.

Math

51st Known Mersenne Prime Number Found (mersenne.org) 65

chalsall (Slashdot reader #185), writes: The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) has discovered the largest known prime number, 2^82,589,933-1, having 24,862,048 digits. A computer volunteered by Patrick Laroche from Ocala, Florida made the find on December 7, 2018.

GIMPS has been on amazing lucky streak, finding triple the expected number of new Mersenne primes -- a dozen in the last fifteen years.

"This anomaly is not necessarily evidence that existing theories on the distribution of Mersenne primes is incorrect," notes GIMPS. "However, if the trend continues it may be worth further investigation. " They also report that the newly-discovered prime number "is more than one and a half million digits larger than the previous record prime number" -- and it's one of just 51 known Mersenne prime numbers ever discovered. "GIMPS, founded in 1996, has discovered the last 17..."

Patrick Laroche is one of thousands of volunteers using GIMPS' free software to hunt for prime numbers -- and is now eligible for a $3,000 "research discovery award," the group writes at mersenne.org. "GIMPS' next major goal is to win the $150,000 award administered by the Electronic frontier Foundation offered for finding a 100 million digit prime number" -- of which $50,000 will be awarded to the discoverer, with another $50,000 going to a 501(c)(3) mathematics-related charity selected by GIMPS, and $50,000 retained by GIMPS to cover expenses and fund other awards.
Cloud

Cloudflare Under Fire For Allegedly Providing DDoS Protection For Terrorist Websites 98

Cloudflare is facing accusations that it's providing cybersecurity protection for at least seven terrorist organizations. "On Friday, HuffPost reported that it has reviewed numerous websites run by terrorist organizations and confirmed with four national security and counter-extremism experts that the sites are under the protection of Cloudflare's cybersecurity services," reports Gizmodo.

"Among Cloudflare's millions of customers are several groups that are on the State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations, including al-Shabab, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, al-Quds Brigades, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Hamas -- as well as the Taliban, which, like the other groups, is sanctioned by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)," reports HuffPost.

"In the United States, it's a crime to knowingly provide tangible or intangible 'material support -- including communications equipment -- to a designated foreign terrorist organization or to provide service to an OFAC-sanctioned entity without special permission," the report continues. "Cloudflare, which is not authorized by the OFAC to do business with such organizations, has been informed on multiple occasions, dating back to at least 2012, that it is shielding terrorist groups behind its network, and it continues to do so." Gizmodo reports: The issue that HuffPost raises is whether Cloudflare is providing "material support" to sanctioned organizations. Some attorneys told HuffPost that it may be in violation of the law. Others, like the Electronic frontier Foundation, argue that "material support" can and has been abused to silence speech. Cloudflare's general counsel, Doug Kramer, told Gizmodo over the phone that the company works closely with the U.S. government to ensure that it meets all of its legal obligations. He said that it is "proactive to screen for sanctioned groups and reactive to respond when its made aware of a sanctioned group" to which it may be providing services. HuffPost spoke with representatives from the Counter Extremism Project, who expressed frustration that they've sent four letters to Cloudflare over the last two years identifying seven terrorist-operated sites without receiving a reply. Kramer would not address any specific customers or situations when speaking with Gizmodo. He said that's simply company policy for reasons of protecting privacy.
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Can Democrats In Congress Restore America's Net Neutrality Rules? (nbcnews.com) 256

"Democrats are expected to use their upcoming control of the House to push for strong net neutrality rules," reports NBC News: "The FCC's repeal sparked an unprecedented political backlash, and we've channeled that internet outrage into real political power," said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, a digital rights-focused non-profit organization. "As we head into 2019, net neutrality supporters in the House of Representatives will be in a much stronger position to engage in FCC oversight...." Gigi Sohn, a former lawyer at the FCC who is now a fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology, Law and Policy, said she expects Democrats to use their new power to push for the restoration of strong net neutrality rules -- and for the topic to be on the lips of presidential hopefuls. "I have no doubt that bills to restore the 2015 rules will be introduced in both the Senate and the House relatively early on," Sohn said....

Jessica Rosenworcel, an FCC commissioner who has been a vocal supporter of net neutrality, noted that it has become a national issue -- and one that has broad approval from Americans. She pointed to a University of Maryland study that found 83 percent of people surveyed were against the FCC's move to undo the rules around net neutrality... Ernesto Falcon, legislative counsel at the Electronic frontier Foundation...said he is "extraordinarily confident" that proponents of net neutrality will win. "It really just boils down to how one side of the polling is in this space," Falcon said.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

EFF, MuckRock Partner To See How Local Police Are Trading Your Car's Location (eff.org) 60

v3rgEz writes: The Electronic frontier Foundation and transparency non-profit MuckRock helped file over a thousand public records requests, looking into how local police departments were trading away sensitive data on where you drive and park, picked up by their use of automated license plate recognition devices. They've just published the results of those requests, including looking at how hundreds of departments freely share that data with hundreds of other organizations -- often with no public oversight. Explore the data yourself, or, if your town isn't yet in their database, requests its information free on MuckRock and they'll file a request for it. "[Automated license plate readers (ALPR)] are a combination of high-speed cameras and optical character recognition technology that can identify license plates and turn them into machine-readable text," reports the EFF. "What makes ALPR so powerful is that drivers are required by law to install license plates on their vehicles. In essence, our license plates have become tracking beacons. After the plate data is collected, the ALPR systems upload the information to a central a database along with the time, date, and GPS coordinates. Cops can search these databases to see where drivers have traveled or to identify vehicles that visited certain locations. Police can also add license plates under suspicion to 'hot lists,' allowing for real-time alerts when a vehicle is spotted by an ALPR network."
Facebook

86 Organizations Demand Zuckerberg To Improve Takedown Appeals (vice.com) 81

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: An open letter to Mark Zuckerberg signed by 86 organizations and published on Tuesday implores Facebook to provide a clear, fast mechanism that allows users to appeal instances of content takedowns and account deactivations. The letter which was spearheaded by the Electronic frontier Foundation, Article 19, Ranking Digital Rights, and the Center for Democratic Technology (CDT) -- expanded upon the Santa Clara Principles published earlier this year, which called for all social media platforms to improve its transparency and responsiveness to flagged posts and appeals for removed content.

In April of this year, Facebook launched appeals for posts that are removed on grounds nudity, hate speech, or graphic violence. The press release claims that one of Facebook's human content reviewers will review all appeals within 24 hours, and notify users if their appeal has been approved or denied. The open letter to Mark Zuckerberg also requests that all content takedown and deactivation appeals are reviewed by a human moderator, which Facebook claims that it already does.
EFF Director of International Freedom of Expression, Jillian York, believes the undercurrent of content moderation on social media is the censorship or restriction of speech towards marginalized groups.

"There are accounts, [and] there is content that is taken down frequently from social media, and we don't hear those stories as much because they're often overshadowed by the pushes for hate speech to come down," York said. "I respect the people doing that work, I think it's really important. But really, the thing about appeals is they work in every case. So if someone breaks the rules for hate speech and they appeal, they're not gonna get their account restored. But if someone who should not have had their account taken down in the first place, appeals are the right solution to that."
The Courts

Edward Snowden Says a Report Critical To an NSA Lawsuit Is Authentic (techcrunch.com) 70

An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: An unexpected declaration by whistleblower Edward Snowden filed in court [last] week adds a new twist in a long-running lawsuit against the NSA's surveillance programs. The case, filed by the EFF a decade ago, seeks to challenge the government's alleged illegal and unconstitutional surveillance of Americans, who are largely covered under the Fourth Amendment's protections against warrantless searches and seizures. It's a big step forward for the case, which had stalled largely because the government refused to confirm that a leaked document was authentic or accurate. News of the surveillance broke in 2006 when an AT&T technician Mark Klein revealed that the NSA was tapping into AT&T's network backbone. He alleged that a secret, locked room -- dubbed Room 641A -- in an AT&T facility in San Francisco where he worked was one of many around the U.S. used by the government to monitor communications -- domestic and overseas. President George W. Bush authorized the NSA to secretly wiretap Americans' communications shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

Much of the EFF's complaint relied on Klein's testimony until 2013, when Snowden, a former NSA contractor, came forward with new revelations that described and detailed the vast scope of the U.S. government's surveillance capabilities, which included participation from other phone giants -- including Verizon (TechCrunch's parent company). Snowden's signed declaration, filed on October 31, confirms that one of the documents he leaked, which the EFF relied heavily on for its case, is an authentic draft document written by the then-NSA inspector general in 2009, which exposed concerns about the legality of the Bush's warrantless surveillance program -- Stellar Wind -- particularly the collection of bulk email records on Americans.
"I read its contents carefully during my employment," he said in his declaration. "I have a specific and strong recollection of this document because it indicated to me that the government had been conducting illegal surveillance."
Electronic Frontier Foundation

EFF Unveils VR Tool To Help People Spot Surveillance Devices In Their Communities (eff.org) 24

An anonymous reader quotes a report from the Electronic frontier Foundation: The Electronic frontier Foundation (EFF) launched a virtual reality (VR) experience on its website today that teaches people how to spot and understand the surveillance technologies police are increasingly using to spy on communities. Spot the Surveillance, which works best with a VR headset but will also work on standard browsers, places users in a 360-degree street scene in San Francisco. In the scene, a young resident is in an encounter with police. Users are challenged to identify surveillance tools by looking around the scene. The experience takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. The surveillance technologies featured in the scene include a body-worn camera, automated license plate readers, a drone, a mobile biometric device, and pan-tilt-zoom cameras. The project draws from years of research gathered by EFF in its Street-Level Surveillance project, which shines a light on how police use, and abuse, technology to spy on communities.
Patents

Patent Troll Values Its Entire Portfolio At $2, Goes Bankrupt (arstechnica.com) 117

mspohr shares a report from Ars Technica: In September 2018, Shipping & Transit LLC (formerly known as ArrivalStar) filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy -- voluntary liquidation -- but no one seems to have noticed until the Electronic frontier Foundation pointed it out on October 31. The company claimed that it held the patent on vehicle tracking and related alerts. But about 15 months ago, judges began to rule against Shipping & Transit for the first time. That seems to have put a damper on its entire business model.

Now, according to Shipping & Transit LLC's federal bankruptcy filings, its global patent holdings (34 in the United States and 29 elsewhere) are worth a whopping $2. Meanwhile, it owes more than $423,000 to numerous creditors, including banks, law firms, and something called the "West African Investment Trust," based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Printer

Printer Makers Are Crippling Cheap Ink Cartridges Via Bogus 'Security Updates' (vice.com) 202

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Printer maker Epson is under fire this month from activist groups after a software update prevented customers from using cheaper, third party ink cartridges. It's just the latest salvo in a decades-long effort by printer manufacturers to block consumer choice, often by disguising printer downgrades as essential product improvements. For several decades now printer manufacturers have lured consumers into an arguably-terrible deal: shell out a modest sum for a mediocre printer, then pay an arm and a leg for replacement printer cartridges that cost relatively-little to actually produce.

The Electronic frontier Foundation now says that Epson has been engaged in the same behavior. The group says it recently learned that in late 2016 or early 2017, Epson issued a "poison pill" software update that effectively downgraded user printers to block third party cartridges, but disguised the software update as a meaningful improvement. The EFF has subsequently sent a letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, arguing that Epson's lack of transparency can easily be seen as "misleading and deceptive" under Texas consumer protection laws. "When restricted to Epson's own cartridges, customers must pay Epson's higher prices, while losing the added convenience of third party alternatives, such as refillable cartridges and continuous ink supply systems," the complaint notes. "This artificial restriction of third party ink options also suppresses a competitive ink market and has reportedly caused some manufacturers of refillable cartridges and continuous ink supply systems to exit the market."

The Internet

'Seven Dirty Words' Restriction Policy Lifted from .US Domain Name Registrations (circleid.com) 87

An anonymous reader shares a report: Neustar, the registry operator of the .US domain and NTIA have reversed course, allowing the inclusion of previously restricted "seven dirty words" from future .US domain name registrations. The decision came after EFF and the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard Law School intervened in the cancelation of a domain name containing a restricted word. The domain name -- fucknazis.us -- registered by Mr. Rubin was suspended by Neustar calling it a violation of an NTIA "seven dirty words" policy -- "a phrase with particular First Amendment significance," said EFF. Further reading: EFF: Yes, You Can Name A Website "Fucknazis.us".
EU

The EU Can Still Be Saved From Its Internet-Wrecking Copyright Plan (vice.com) 87

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: While the European Union voted this week to pass its widely-criticized new Copyright Directive, activists and members of European Parliament say there's still a chance of keeping the EU from fully implementing the worst parts of the troubling proposal. The most controversial aspects of the plan remain twofold: Article 11, which would require EU News outlets to pay a "link tax" just to share anything more than "insubstantial" snippets of published content, and Article 13, which would require that EU member countries implement the kind of automated copyright filters that have been a chaotic mess here in the States. Other problematic measures were passed as well, including Article 12a, which prohibits sports fans from posting their own photos or videos of sporting events online, while stating that only event "organizers" have the right to do so.

That said, all hope is not lost. While some variant of Article 11 and Article 13 is likely be approved next spring, public pressure could force inclusion of additional safeguards for end users, Member of the European Parliament Julia Reda told me in an email. "While the overall bill was adopted with a comfortable majority, the outcome was more narrow for the two controversial articles (366:297 and 393:279)," Reda said. "Since the final vote will be close to the next European elections, that leaves open a small chance that massive public protest against these provisions may still convince MEPs to kill the entire bill." If passed, individual EU countries will be able to interpret the Directive as they see fit, though Reda believes they will likely steer toward stricter interpretation.
"The real hope for repeal in my opinion is in the courts," author and activist Cory Doctorow said. "There's simply no way this passes EU Constitutional muster -- it's generalized filtering and mass surveillance by another name. The fact that they claim to be looking for 'infringement' doesn't change that."

Longtime Slashdot reader Lauren Weinstein adds: [...] These articles now enter a period of negotiation with EU member states, and then are subject to final votes next year, probably in the spring. So now's the time for the rest of the world to show Europe some special "tough love" -- to help them understand what their Internet island universe will look like if these terrible articles are ever actually implemented.
UPDATE: The Electronic frontier Foundation issued a report slamming the proposal, offering a number of ways people can fight back.
Piracy

YouTube Download Sites Are the Biggest Piracy Threat To Music Industry, Industry Figures Say (independent.co.uk) 149

Websites dedicated to "stream ripping" music from YouTube represent the biggest threat to the global music business, UK news outlet The Independent reported this week, citing industry figures, who added that that these shady sites are also posing business threat to "fantastic range" of legal streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music. The report describes the nature of the issue: Sites that allow YouTube videos to be converted into an MP3 file and illegally downloaded to someone's phone or computer are attracting millions of visitors, with estimates suggesting that a third of 16-24-year-olds in the UK have ripped music from the Google-owned platform. Other platforms affected by the illegal ripping sites include DailyMotion, SoundCloud and Vimeo, however YouTube is by far the most pirated. The results of a crackdown that began in 2016 are beginning to be seen, thanks to a coordinated effort by organizations representing record companies in the US and the UK. Earlier this week, stream ripping website MP3Fiber was forced to shut down following legal pressure. However, dozens of sites offering similar services still remain active and are easily accessible through Google, whose search engine provides more than 100 million results for the term "YouTube MP3 converter." The Electronic frontier Foundation (EFF) said that even referring to the aforementioned questionable websites as "stream ripping" sites is misstating copyright law. "There exists a vast and growing volume of online video that is licensed for free downloading and modification, or contains audio tracks that are not subject to copyright," the EFF told the US Office of the United States Trade Representative last year. "Moreover, many audio extractions qualify as non-infringing fair uses under copyright. Providing a service that is capable of extracting audio tracks for these lawful purposes is itself lawful, even if some users infringe."
The Courts

EFF Defends Bruce Perens In Appeal of Open Source Security/Spengler Ruling (perens.com) 132

Bruce Perens co-founded the Open Source Initiative with Eric Raymond -- and he's also Slashdot reader #3872. "The Electronic frontier Foundation has filed an answering brief in defense of Bruce Perens in the merits appeal of the Open Source Security Inc./Bradley Spengler v. Bruce Perens lawsuit," reads his latest submission -- with more details at Perens.com: Last year, Open Source Security and its CEO, Bradley Spengler, brought suit against me for defamation and related torts regarding this blog post and this Slashdot discussion. After the lower court ruled against them, I asked for my defense costs and was awarded about $260K for them by the court.

The plaintiffs brought two appeals, one on the merits of the lower court's ruling and one on the fees charged to them for my defense... The Electronic frontier Foundation took on the merits appeal, pro-bono (for free, for the public good), with the pro-bono assistance of my attorneys at O'Melveny who handled the lower court case...

You can follow the court proceedings here

"Sorry I can't comment further on the case," Perens writes in a comment on Slashdot, adding "it's well-known legal hygiene that you don't do that." But he's willing to talk about other things.

"Valerie and I are doing well. I am doing a lot of travel for the Open Source Initiative as their Standards Chair, speaking with different standards groups and governments about standards in patents and making them compatible with Open Source."
Privacy

Does Gmail's 'Confidential Mode' Go Far Enough? (engadget.com) 160

Last month, Gmail's big redesign became default for everyone, changing up the aesthetic appearance of the email service and introducing several new features. One of the key features, Confidential Mode, lets you add an "expiration date" and passcode to emails either in the web interface or via SMS, but not everyone is so trusting of its ability to keep your private data secure. "Recipients of these confidential emails won't be able to copy, paste, download, print or forward the message, and attachments will be disabled," notes Engadget.

The Electronic frontier Foundation (EFF) doesn't think this new mode is secure at all. It's not encrypted end-to-end, so Google could read your messages in transit, and the expiring messages do not disappear from your Sent mail, which means they are retrievable. What's more is that if you use an SMS passcode, you might need to give Google your recipient's phone number. Because of these reasons, Slashdot reader shanen doesn't believe the new feature goes far enough to secure your data. They write: [M]y initial reaction is that I now need a new feature for Gmail. I want an option to reject incoming email from any person who wants to use confidential mode to communicate with me. Whatever conspiracy you are trying to hide, I'm not interested. So can anyone convince me you have a legitimate need for confidential mode? The main features I still want are completely different. Easiest one to describe would be future delivery of email, preferably combined with a tickler system.
Privacy

California Officials Admit To Using License Plate Readers To Monitor Welfare Recipients (gizmodo.com) 170

According to a report from the Sacramento Bee, officials in Sacramento County have been accessing license plate reader data to track welfare recipients suspected of fraud. The practice dates back to 2016. Gizmodo reports: Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance Director Ann Edwards confirmed to the paper that welfare fraud investigators working under the DHA have used the data for two years on a "case-by-case" basis. Edwards said the DHA pays about $5,000 annually for access to the database. Abbreviated LPR, license plate readers are essentially cameras that upload photographs to a searchable database of images of license plates. If a driver passed by an LPR four times throughout a city, an officer with access would know where and at what time of day. Anyone with access to that data could use it track where someone drove and when, provided they were scanned by the LPR.

It's not immediately clear how travel patterns might reveal welfare fraud. As noted by the Electronic frontier Foundation, welfare fraud is statistically speaking, extremely rare. In 2012, the DHA found only 500 cases of fraud among Sacramento's 193,000 recipients. Following an inquiry from the EFF, the DHA has instituted a privacy policy (one that didn't exist before their initial inquiry) requiring investigators to justify each request for LPR data. The Sacramento Bee reports the DHA accessed the data over a thousand times in two years.

Japan

EFF To Japan: Reject Website Blocking (eff.org) 41

An anonymous reader quotes a report from the Electronic frontier Foundation: The latest country to consider a website blocking proposal is Japan, and EFF has responded to the call for comment by sharing all the reasons that cutting off websites is a terrible solution for copyright violations. In response to infringement of copyrighted material, specifically citing a concern for manga, the government of Japan began work on a proposal that would make certain websites inaccessible in Japan. In response to Japan's proposal, EFF explained that website blocking is not effective at the stated goal of protecting artists and their work. First, it can be easily circumvented. Second, it ends up capturing a lot of lawful expression. Blocking an entire website does not distinguish between legal and illegal content, punishing both equally. According to numerous studies, the best answer to the problem of online infringement is providing easy, lawful alternatives. Doing this also has the benefit of not penalizing legitimate expression the way blocking does. According to The Japan Times, the "emergency measure" would "encourage [ISPs] to restrict access to such 'malicious' websites 'on a voluntary basis' in order to protect the nation's famed manga and anime industries from free-riders."
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Malls In California Are Sending License Plate Information To ICE (theweek.com) 677

Presto Vivace shares a report from The Week with the caption, "And they wonder why some of us prefer to shop online." From the report: Surveillance systems at more than 46 malls in California are capturing license plate information that is fed to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Electronic frontier Foundation reported Tuesday. One company, Irvine Company Retail Properties, operates malls all over the state using a security network called Vigilant Solutions. Vigilant shares data with hundreds of law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, and debt collectors -- including ICE, which signed a contract with the security company earlier this year, reports The Verge. "[Irvine Company] is putting not only immigrants at risk, but invading the privacy of its customers by allowing a third-party to hold onto their data indefinitely," EFF wrote in its report, urging the chain of malls to stop providing information to ICE.

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