[Fwd: EFFector 19.06: Help EFF Sue AT&T and Stop the NSA's Illegal Domestic Spying Program]

Paul G. Allen pgallen at randomlogic.com
Fri Feb 10 10:30:35 PST 2006

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: EFFector 19.06: Help EFF Sue AT&T and Stop the NSA's Illegal Domestic Spying Program
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 11:53:04 -0600 (CST)
From: EFFector list <editor at eff.org>
Reply-To: EFFector list <editor at eff.org>
Organization: EFF
To: pgallen at randomlogic.com

EFFector Vol. 19, No. 6  February 10, 2006  editor at eff.org

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
ISSN 1062-9424

In the 367th Issue of EFFector:

  * Help EFF Sue AT&T and Stop the NSA's Illegal Domestic
Spying Program
  * Google Copies Your Hard Drive - Government Smiles in
  * AOL, Yahoo, and Goodmail: Taxing Your Email for Fun and
  * It's Not Too Late - Nominate a Pioneer for EFF's Pioneer
  * miniLinks (19): CAFTA (and Anti-Circumvention for Central
America) in Trouble
  * Administrivia

For more information on EFF activities & alerts:

Make a donation and become an EFF member today!

Tell a friend about EFF:

effector: n, Computer Sci. A device for producing a desired

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* Help EFF Sue AT&T and Stop the NSA's Illegal Domestic
Spying Program

We hope you noticed that EFF filed a class-action lawsuit
last week to stop AT&T from continuing to violate the law
and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the
National Security Agency (NSA) in its massive program to
wiretap and data-mine Americans' communications.  To help us
develop the lawsuit, we would like to speak with members and
supporters who are current AT&T WorldNet subscribers.

Specifically, we would like to hear from you if you would
like to assist us with the lawsuit and you are a current
subscriber to any of the following services:
     -AT&T Worldnet dial-up Internet service
     -AT&T Worldnet DSL service (*NOT* AT&T Broadband cable
     -Any enterprise-level Internet access services, e.g.,
Business-Class DSL or Managed Internet Service (T1)

If you're interested in helping out, please email us at
privacycase at eff.org.

For more on EFF's suit against AT&T:

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* Google Copies Your Hard Drive - Government Smiles in

Consumers Should Not Use New Google Desktop

San Francisco  Google announced a new "feature" of its
Google Desktop software that greatly increases the risk to
consumer privacy. If a consumer chooses to use it, the new
"Search Across Computers" feature will store copies of the
user's Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets and other text-
based documents on Google's own servers, to enable searching
from any one of the user's computers. EFF urges consumers
not to use this feature, because it will make their personal
data more vulnerable to subpoenas from the government and
possibly private litigants, while providing a convenient
one-stop-shop for hackers who've obtained a user's Google

"Coming on the heels of serious consumer concern about
government snooping into Google's search logs, it's shocking
that Google expects its users to now trust it with the
contents of their personal computers," said EFF Staff
Attorney Kevin Bankston. "Unless you configure Google
Desktop very carefully, and few people will, Google will
have copies of your tax returns, love letters, business
records, financial and medical files, and whatever other
text-based documents the Desktop software can index. The
government could then demand these personal files with only
a subpoena rather than the search warrant it would need to
seize the same things from your home or business, and in
many cases you wouldn't even be notified in time to
challenge it. Other litigants--your spouse, your business
partners or rivals, whomever--could also try to cut out the
middleman (you) and subpoena Google for your files."

The privacy problem arises because the Electronic
Communication Privacy Act of 1986, or ECPA, gives only
limited privacy protection to emails and other files that
are stored with online service providers--much less privacy
than the legal protections for the same information when
it's on your computer at home. And even that lower level of
legal protection could disappear if Google uses your data
for marketing purposes. Google says it is not yet scanning
the files it copies from your hard drive in order to serve
targeted advertising, but it hasn't ruled out the
possibility, and Google's current privacy policy appears to
allow it.

"This Google product highlights a key privacy problem in the
digital age," said Cindy Cohn, EFF's Legal Director. "Many
Internet innovations involve storing personal files on a
service provider's computer, but under outdated laws,
consumers who want to use these new technologies have to
surrender their privacy rights. If Google wants consumers to
trust it to store copies of personal computer files, emails,
search histories and chat logs, and still 'not be evil,' it
should stand with EFF and demand that Congress update the
privacy laws to better reflect life in the wired world."

Google can and should design its technologies to avoid these
problems in the first place.  For example, searching across
computers can be accomplished without Google having to keep
copies of those computers' contents.  Alternatively, Google
could encrypt the stored data such that only the user has

"Google constantly touts its creative brainpower. More
privacy-protective technologies are surely not beyond its
reach, so long as its engineers make that a design
priority," added Bankston.

For more on the new version of Google Desktop:

For more on Google's data collection:

For this release:

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* AOL, Yahoo, and Goodmail: Taxing Your Email for Fun and

Remember the famous email rumor that made the rounds in the
1990s: "Congress is trying to tax your Internet connection,
write in now!"

Well what wasn't true in the 1990s is apparently coming true
in 2006, only the beneficiaries won't be Uncle Sam -- they
will be Yahoo, AOL, and a company ironically called
Goodmail.  Yahoo and AOL have announced that they will
guarantee access to your email inbox for email senders who
pay $.0025 per message. They will override their own spam
filters and webbug-strippers, and deliver the mail directly
with a "certified" notice.  In the process, it is likely
that they will treat more of your email as spam, and email
you're expecting won't be delivered.

This isn't really an anti-spam measure as much as a "pay to
speak" measure.  In fact, it probably won't diminish spam or
phishing at all. Yahoo and AOL are ransoming your email
boxes so that they can shake down ordinary people and
organizations, whether individuals mailing their local
bowling league or political groups communicating with their
national memberships.

Email being basically free isn't a bug. It's a feature that
has driven the digital revolution, allowing groups to scale
up from a dozen friends to a hundred people who love
knitting to half-a-million concerned citizens without a
major bankroll.  Spam is a real problem demanding real
solutions, but taxing the Internet isn't one of them.

EFF urges AOL and Yahoo subscribers and those who
communicate with them to tell them that taxing email is not
the right way to go.

For more on the threat Goodmail poses:

For EFF's white paper on best practices for fighting spam:

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* It's Not Too Late - Nominate a Pioneer for EFF's Pioneer

EFF established the Pioneer Awards to recognize leaders on
the electronic frontier who are extending freedom and
innovation in the realm of information technology. This is
your opportunity to nominate a deserving individual or group
to receive a Pioneer Award for 2006.

The International Pioneer Awards nominations are open both
to individuals and organizations from any country.
Nominations are reviewed by a panel of judges chosen for
their knowledge of the technical, legal, and social issues
associated with information technology.

This year's award ceremony will be held in Washington, DC,
in conjunction with the Computers, Freedom and Privacy
conference (CFP), which takes place in early May.

How to Nominate Someone for a 2006 Pioneer Award:

You may send as many nominations as you wish, but please use
one email per nomination. Please submit your entries via
email to pioneer at eff.org.  It's not too late -- we have
extended the deadline and will now accept nominations until
March 1, 2006!

Simply tell us:
1. The name of the nominee;
2. The phone number or email address or website by which the
nominee can be reached; and, most importantly,
3. Why you feel the nominee deserves the award.

Nominee Criteria:

There are no specific categories for the EFF Pioneer Awards,
but the following guidelines apply:
1. The nominees must have contributed substantially to the
health, growth, accessibility, or freedom of computer-based
2. To be valid, all nominations must contain your reason,
however brief, for nominating the individual or organization
and a means of contacting the nominee. In addition, while
anonymous nominations will be accepted, ideally we'd like to
contact the nominating parties in case we need further
3. The contribution may be technical, social, economic, or
4. Nominations may be of individuals, systems, or
organizations in the private or public sectors.
5. Nominations are open to all (other than current members
of EFF's staff and executive board or this year's award
judges), and you may nominate more than one recipient. You
may also nominate yourself or your organization.
6. Persons or representatives of organizations receiving an
EFF Pioneer Award will be invited to attend the ceremony at
EFF's expense.

More on the EFF Pioneer Awards:

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* miniLinks
miniLinks features noteworthy news items from around the

~ CAFTA (and Anti-Circumvention for Central America) in
Close Costa Rica elections are putting a wobble into the
Central American Free Trade Agreement - one of many FTAs
that export the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA

~ Australia's IP Calendar
Kim Weatherall lists the reforms to copyright and trademark
law lined up for Australia in the next few weeks. No Aussie
DMCA -- although that's to come, unfortunately.

~ Good Fences Make Bad Broadband
Public Knowledge takes a look at the issue of network
neutrality in this white paper.

~ The Right Kind of Policy Laundering
Michael Geist notes that governments all over the world are
rebelling against copyright expansionists.

~ "This is Great! We Must Ban it at Once!"
Slingbox's place-shifting technology gets rave review from
broadcaster, before he declares that it should be stopped.

~ Senate Hearings Into NSA Wiretap Program - the Transcripts
That's the public transcripts, rather than monitored
transcripts of the phone calls the senators made

~ When Librarians Protect Terrorists
A disturbingly misdirected attack on a librarian defending
his clients' communications, from the Boston Globe.

~ P2P 2 RMS
Stallman shares his opinions on file-sharing.

~ Lambda Legal Warns Blizzard Over Gay Rules
Gay legal group sends letter noting that World of Warcraft's
bizarre anti-harassment rules against openly gay clans could
be illegal.

~ Anti-Spammers Say No to Goodmail Paymail
"An e-mail charge will destroy the spirit of the Internet,"
says Richard Cox of Spamhaus.

~ Pow! Smash! Fair use as Affirmative Defense!
Duke professor James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins write a
comic book for filmmakers explaining copyright issues.

~ Eavesdropping 101: What Can the NSA Do?
The ACLU watches the watchers.

~ PATRIOT Postponed
The PATRIOT Act gets another five week extension. It appears
the urgent expansion of police powers can wait after all.

~ Human Rights, the Internet, and Congress
Harvard's John Palfrey, among others, briefs the Human
Rights Caucus.

~ Somebody Thinking of the Orphans
The Copyright Office releases its report on how to deal with
copyrighted works when the rightsholder is unknown.
Executive summary: if you try hard enough to find them, you
won't get sued too badly.

~ RFID Passport Data Intercepted and Cracked
No need to check the secret key encoded in print; perfectly
cloneable too.

~ Judge, Jury, and Self-Publicist
WIPO boasts about how many cybersquatting cases it decides
in favor of big business.

~ Privatizing Transport Security
The Preferred Traveler program, allowing people to bypass
standard air flight security checks, will be privately run.
Should do a good job of maximizing the number of unknown,
but paying customers past federal security.

~ FCC says AT&T, Alltel Apparently Violated Privacy
Not a great week for AT&T's privacy record.

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* Administrivia

EFFector is published by:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation
454 Shotwell Street
San Francisco CA 94110-1914 USA
+1 415 436 9333 (voice)
+1 415 436 9993 (fax)

Derek Slater, Activist
  derek at eff.org	

Membership & donation queries:
  membership at eff.org

General EFF, legal, policy, or online resources queries:
  information at eff.org

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Paul G. Allen
Owner, Sr. Engineer, BSIT/SE
Random Logic Consulting Services

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