In our 568th issue:
You have clicked on our April Fool's Day edition of EFFector. None of the articles herein are true -- they are just our way of raising important issues through humor. We do, however, have a very real surprise for your -- a video of kittens we rescued from behind the EFF offices. These three kitty cats are currently being fostered by our web developer, Micah Lee. Their names are Nova, Perl and Malcolm.
EFF today launched its new troll and surveillance, or
"Trollveillance," (c)(tm) membership campaign. EFF, with
the help of online advertising firm DeepPacketWatch, (tm)
will track the identities of people as they look at online
pornography. EFF will then send shakedown messages to the
culprits, threatening to Photoshop their faces into the
very porn they had viewed and then post it to EFF's blog,
Facebook, status.net, diaspora, Twitter, identi.ca, and the
bathroom wall unless they join EFF at the $500 "Rare Earth"
"If you look at Internet porn, you should already be an EFF
member," explained EFF Membership Coordinator Aaron Jue.
"Given all we've done to fight laws that would interfere
with sexual content online, that's always been true. Now
we're using the technologies of targeted advertising to
"At first we were upset that Illinois troll attorney John
Steele was engaging in flagrant mendacity by claiming that
EFF was making money off the troll cases," added EFF Legal
Director Cindy Cohn. "But then we thought -- hey, we can go
him one better. Who needs legal process -- or even
copyrights. With Trollveillance, we skip straight to the
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of the
"Beast Zuckerberg Privacy Settings Institute of the West
University," the nation's first college to offer
undergraduate degrees in Facebook Privacy Settings. The
institute is the latest project intended to improve users'
ability to manage their privacy on the social networking
Zuckerberg, speaking during a live webcast in Facebook-blue
academic regalia (while totally wearing a hoodie under his
gown -- you could definitely see the zipper bumps),
announced his intention to donate zillions of dollars to a
fund providing scholarships to high school students
demonstrating distinguished achievement in successfully
managing their privacy settings on Facebook.
The young CEO tearfully characterized the move as a natural
return to Facebook's origins. "Facebook started by
networking students at colleges. With the Beast Zuckerberg
Privacy Settings Institute of the West University, Facebook
is finally bringing education back to the people. It's the
circle of life -- and it moves us all."
A list of classes was displayed during the webcast,
including: "Privacy Is Publicity: Philosophies of Sharing,"
"Connections Are Everything: EVERYTHING," "The Rudiments of
Advanced Personal Search Results Management," and "Tag! A
Survey of Photo Album Mishaps." The list also included a
pair of special-topics classes: "Learn 2 Play Nub:
Succeeding in FarmVille, FrontierVille, and VilleVille" and
"F*****g Magnets: How Do They Work?"
Nation Reels in the Wake of Obama Downloading Allegations
The House of Representatives is weighing impeachment
hearings after a disgruntled White House staffer's
bombshell revelation that he once saw President Barack
Obama listen to what could have been an illegally
downloaded copy of U2's "Beautiful Day" in the Oval Office.
"I never downloaded," the embattled leader of the free
world insisted during a press conference this morning, "I
only streamed." A spokesman for the RIAA condemned the
President's actions, and said the group will withhold
further comment until it can calculate the astronomical
damages the President could face: a number "with lots of
zeroes" that it hopes to unveil at the National Press Club
FBI Demands Back Door Into Your House
First the FBI wanted Congress to force Internet companies
to build back doors into your private communications by
amending CALEA, the Communications Assistance for Law
Enforcement Act. Now the FBI is also demanding that
Congress pass HALEA -- the Housing Assistance for Law
Enforcement Act -- to require all providers of residential
housing to build new back doors and peepholes into every
home. Said the FBI's top lawyer Valerie Caproni, "When we
have a search warrant signed by a judge that lawfully
authorizes us to secretly search a house, we can't let
physical realities like opaque walls and locked doors get
in the way of that!" Asked about potential new security
vulnerabilities from adding back doors and peepholes to
everyone's homes, Caproni responded: "Don't worry, only the
government will have the keys."
Medical Justice Sues Gastronomical Justice for Infringement
Medical Justice, a company that works with doctors to
obtain copyright assignments of future reviews from
patients so that the doctors can use the DMCA to takedown
negative reviews, has filed a lawsuit against Gastronomical
Justice, claiming the start-up has stolen its idea.
Gastronomical Justice adds a copyright assignment to
restaurant bills via a EULA that says "if you pay this
bill, you are agreeing to assign your copyright in any
future review of the food or service quality." "Not only is
it blatant theft of our valuable idea," Medical Justice
said in a statement, "but it also is laughable. What's
going to protect the restaurant if someone other than the
payer gets food poisoning?" Asked for comment on the
dispute, an EFF staffer merely smiled and got some popcorn.
EFF Asks Court to Strike Down Restrictive Internet
EFF filed an amicus brief supporting online free speech today, asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourteenth
Circuit to affirm a permanent injunction blocking a federal
law that would violate the First Amendment by imposing
penalties on website operators that publish indecent
material without also using technological measures to block
access by kittens.
The Kitten Internet Protection Act of 2008 (KIPA) was
passed after the Supreme Court struck down its
predecessors, the Child Online Protection Act of 1998
(COPA) and the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA).
The government had argued that narrowing the law's scope to
young felines would make the restrictive law pass
constitutional muster. In the district court, EFF
successfully argued that the law unduly restricted
websites, and that supervision of online activities was
best left to Ceiling Cat, not the government.
EFFector is a publication of
the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
San Francisco, CA
+1 415 436 9333
+1 415 436 9993 (fax)
Rainey Reitman, Activist
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