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Digital Locks Can Cost You Your Privacy

October 9, 2014 Anticircumvention , Copyright Reform , DMCA , DRM , Privacy

On Monday, the Digital Reader revealed (confirmed in detail by Ars Technica here that Adobe’s ebook reader, Adobe Digital Editions, was reporting the reading habits of its users, and the contents of their digital libraries, to Adobe.

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What to Take Away from the FCC Settlement with Verizon over CPNI

September 5, 2014 CPNI , FCC , Net Neutrality , Privacy , Verizon

On Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it reached a $7.4 million settlement with Verizon over the company’s misuse of its customers’ private information (“customer proprietary network information,” or “CPNI”) for internal marketing, which violated longstanding federal privacy rules.

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Public Knowledge’s Website Has Officially Implemented HTTPS

June 6, 2014 Encryption , Privacy , SSL , Surveillance

On June 5, as part of the Reset the Net campaign, major online companies including Reddit, Google, Yahoo, Twitter, and more implemented that same encryption standard on their websites – Public Knowledge among them. This campaign is in response to the one-year anniversary of the first publication of Edward Snowden’s discoveries about U.S. surveillance.

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Highlights of Stockholm 2014 Internet Freedom Forum

June 2, 2014 Internet Freedom , Multistakeholderism , Privacy , TPP , TTIP

This week, I was in Stockholm, Sweden for the 2014 Internet Freedom Forum. The Stockholm Internet Forum (SIF) is a conference that aims to deepen the discussions on how internet freedom and openness promotes economic and social development worldwide. This year the forum was focused on two main topics: privacy and multistakeholderism. There were two […]

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NSA: Spying Is Fine, But Trademark Infringement Crosses the Line

September 11, 2013 Privacy , Trademark

The NSA is misusing an obscure trademark-like law to suppress online content critical of the NSA.


This is a story about the National Security Agency, trademark law, online content takedowns, and more irony upon irony than I could have come up with in fiction.

As we all know, the NSA has been under fire for the last few months, over its broad national spying campaign. The NSA is of the position that its surveillance programs do not constitute a breach of Americans’ interests in privacy—they are perfectly happy to listen to us talk. But when it comes to people criticizing the NSA, suddenly the NSA doesn’t want to listen to anyone talking about them.

Matthew Green, a cryptography professor at Johns Hopkins, wrote a post on his personal blog about the NSA’s activities in undermining Internet cryptography. He then received a call from his academic dean, directing him to remove the blog post from university servers.

The university told Ars Technica that it had ordered the removal of the blog post because the university had been informed that the post “contained a link or links to classified material and also used the NSA logo.”

What’s wrong with using the NSA logo?

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