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4th Amendment Summary by the EFF

Can you refuse search or not? It would be good to know your rights.
(Image is in the Public Domain)

You can't use rights you don't know about or don't understand. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has posted a summary of your 4th amendment rights to deny the government permission to search you or your belongings (digital or otherwise).

It's good to know what you can and can't do since you should know that even when you've done nothing wrong, you may still get yourself into a lot of trouble if you are careless with your privacy.

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ACLU and EFF to Cripple RIAA Lawsuits

(Image used under: Fair Use doctrine)

While I don't support downloading music and movies instead of buying them, I also don't support abusing the legal system to bully people and make money. The RIAA has been doing just that for a long time according to several consumer groups.

In this case, the The American Civil Liberties Union - ACLU and the The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) are arguing that when the The RIAA - Who They Are In a Nutshell sues thousands of "infringers", they have to file thousands of separate lawsuits and not just one.

Filing one is cheaper and easier, but makes it harder and is unfair for the victims… er, I mean defendants.

If the court adopts the approach suggested here, the costs of the current anti-P2P litigation strategy could become untenable. If each anonymous defendant requires several hundred dollars in filing fees, individual paperwork, individual subpoenas, and detailed information on their alleged distribution, settling for a mere $1,500 doesn't sound so hot.

Let's hope for the best. Leave people alone and worry about pirating organizations and criminal groups instead.

Source: Ars Technica

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EFF Takes Opportunity to Shut Down All RIAA Lawsuits

The Electronic Frontier Foundation
(Image used under: Fair Use doctrine)

In a recent case, the judge has asked for public comment which the Electronic Frontier Foundation was happy to do.

In brief, the EFF is trying to show the judge that the RIAA can't win judgments against people only by showing that someone had a copyrighted song in a share folder. In other words, just because it was "available" for download, doesn't mean a crime occurred. Second, just because MediaSentry (the company paid by the RIAA to find copyrighted material online) downloads the song from someone doesn't suddenly make the providing person a criminal.

Hear, hear.

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Protecting Yourself From Suspicionless Border Searches

Don't tempt pointless attention
(Image is in the Public Domain)

The EFF has an excellent article about how to avoid being searched at the border. Specifically, how to protect your laptop data that courts recently ruled could be searched without warrant.

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EFF Releases Free Software To Detect If Your ISP is Cheating You

Because Comcast has been denying the results of an Associated Press study showing they've been blocking certain types of traffic, the The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has done their own study proving that it's true. Beyond that, they've created software that can be downloaded free that people can use to test it for themselves. Go EFF! Tags: , ,

Top 10 Worst Consumer Privacy Infringers

Companies just can't seem to mind their own business
(Image is in the Public Domain)

This is a damn funny article explaining who is the worst of the worst and why:

America Online

America Online's privacy intrusion efforts are so aggressive and offensive, that the only explanation seems to be that AOL thought its clientele was so naïve they would never catch on to the company's privacy invasions.
and…

Amazon.com

Amazon.com is currently among the world leaders in distributing information about its users to advertisers, and if they continue this practice the recent advancements in data mining by Amazon threaten to make shopping online with any form of anonymity a thing of the past.
and (not surprisingly)…

Microsoft

Perhaps the most insidious method of privacy invasion Microsoft employs is the “Windows Live ID ? (formerly Microsoft .NET Passport). The Windows Live ID collects data from the majority of Microsoft networks including MSN, Hotmail, and Xbox Live, and stores them in a central database.

Most of the others were data-brokering companies like ChoicePoint and Acxiom which have already been in the news for the way they treat consumer information. Some that I didn't expect, but am not surprised about are Yahoo and Google.

Thanks to the EFF newsletter for the link! Tags: , , , , , , ,

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