In our 565th issue:
Congress voted at the end of February to extend the expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, but only for three months -- giving liberty-loving citizens a new opportunity to continue to protest this dangerous law and demand the passage of meaningful PATRIOT reform before the end of May. Click here to email your congressperson today -- a message from you, opposing PATRIOT extension and demanding that Congress pass the reforms contained in the JUSTICE Act, could make a critical difference. Help EFF defend civil liberties and stop Congress from rubber-stamping the PATRIOT Act!
EFF has asked the Supreme Court to focus on the privacy
issues at stake in a battle over the sale and data mining
of medical records, urging justices to reverse a ruling
that could jeopardize patient privacy. At issue is
Vermont's Prescription Confidentially Law, which bans
pharmacies from selling or using patients' prescription
records for marketing purposes without the doctor's express
consent. Companies that collect and sell these records
challenged the law in court, arguing that they use
"de-identified" information and that the law infringed
their corporate free speech rights. In an amicus brief, EFF
questioned the efficacy of the "de-identification," raising
concerns that data-mining could expose patients'
In a powerful ruling for government transparency and
accountability, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected so-called
"privacy" protections for corporate entities under the
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). EFF and a coalition of
other groups filed an amicus brief in this case urging just
this result, arguing that a new definition of "corporate
privacy" would lead to broad swaths of previously public
records becoming hidden from view.
The Senate began debating the watered-down Patent Reform
Act of 2011 last week. Despite the bill's problems, we are
encouraged that Congress seems serious about reforming the
patent system. It is time to level the playing field
between patent owners and other innovators whose work is
often stymied by bad patents. EFF hopes that 2011 will be
the year that long-awaited patent reform becomes a reality.
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Libya Goes Offline
Amid ongoing upheavel, Internet access was blocked in much
Facebook Activists Arrested
Individual Facebook users were arrested in two countries -- Azerbaijan and
EFF Stands Up for Fans
At the Digital Music Forum, EFF Staff Attorney Julie
Samuels stood up for the rights of music fans in the
"Internet freedom" politician Al Franken speaks out for
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CanSecWest Vancouver 2011
Marcia Hofmann, EFF Senior Staff Attorney, joins the
line-up at this year's CanSecWest speaking on "The Law of
Web Application Hacking."
Location: Vancouver, BC
Date: March 9-11, 2011
SXSW: South by Southwest Music + Film Interactive
Four of EFF's finest are presenters on three different
panels at this year's SXSW Interactive!"
Location: Austin, TX
Date: March 11-20, 2011
Crossing Boundaries: Conference on International News, Technology and Audiences
Marcia Hofmann, EFF Senior Staff Attorney, will be speaking
on a panel discussing "Citizen vs. Government."
Location: Berkeley, CA
Date: March 18, 2011
From Mad Men to Mad Bots: Advertising in the Digital Age
EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien joins a panel discussion
on online advertising privacy at Yale Law School's
Information Society Project's Spring Symposium.
Location: New Haven, CT
Date: March 25-26, 2011
SOURCE Boston and SOURCE Seattle
EFF is a proud partner of two SOURCE Security Conferences!
In addition to advanced technical talks, SOURCE offers
workshops on entrepreneurship, management strategies, job
interviewing, presentation skills, and proficiencies and
strategies designed for the security industry.
Location: Boston, MA
Date: April 20, 2011
Location: Seattle, WA
Date: June 15-16, 2011