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Eff Newsletter - July 5, 2006

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#1 tg1911


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Posted 08 July 2006 - 11:24 PM

EFFector Vol. 19, No. 25 July 5, 2006 editor@eff.org

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
ISSN 1062-9424

In the 386th Issue of EFFector:

* EFF Backs Court in Protecting Phone Call Privacy
* Online Message Board Fights for Anonymity in Oklahoma
* Another Endangered Gizmo: Neuros MPEG4 Recorder 2 and the
Analog Hole
* miniLinks (15): EFF Legal Director in Law Journal's Most
Influential Lawyers in America
* 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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* EFF Backs Court in Protecting Phone Call Privacy

Investigators Need a Warrant to Get Call Content

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and
the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) filed an
amicus brief last Friday arguing that the government needs a
warrant to collect the content of a telephone call, even if
that content came from digits dialed on a phone keypad.

A federal magistrate judge in Texas asked EFF to file the
brief in response to requests from government investigators
to use a pen register or trap and trace device to collect
all information entered using the buttons on a telephone
(including, for example, bank account numbers or
prescription refill requests). A "pen/trap" order must meet
a lower standard of judicial review than a typical phone-
tapping warrant, because only telephone numbers dialed from
a certain phone -- not the content of the phone call itself
-- are normally collected.

In their brief, EFF and CDT ask the judge to continue
denying the orders and argue that the government's request
cannot be granted without violating federal wiretap law and
the Fourth Amendment.

"After the phone call has been connected, the pen/trap
device's job is over," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee
Tien. "The numbers that you enter through the keypad to
fill a prescription or join a meeting are just like the
words or passcodes you say when there's no keypad option.
They cannot be retrieved without meeting stringent probable
cause requirements."

Until Magistrate Judge Smith asked for the brief, these
pen/trap requests were unknown to the public. The judge
previously asked EFF to respond to the government's secret
requests to track cell phone locations without a warrant
based on probable cause. Judge Smith and several other
magistrates around the country have now held that the
government cannot track cell phone locations unless it can
show probable cause and a judge finds good reason to believe
that criminal activity is afoot.

"Just as in the cell tracking cases, the government has
tried to hide its baseless arguments from public scrutiny,"
said EFF Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "We commend Judge
Smith for taking these issues seriously and allowing EFF to
offer a response to the government's contrived reasoning."

For the amicus brief:

For this release:

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* Online Message Board Fights for Anonymity in Oklahoma

EFF Defends Web Host and 'John Doe' Critic of School

Tulsa, Oklahoma - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
last week filed to block an Oklahoma school superintendent's
attempt to unmask the identities of a local website's
operator and all registered users.

The superintendent has sued Internet users who criticized
him on the website's message board. In its motion to quash,
EFF argues that the plaintiff's overbroad subpoena seeking
to identify the site's operator and users violates First
Amendment protections for anonymous speech and association.

"Anonymity is critical to public discourse and is
fundamental to a free society, allowing speakers to offer
diverse views without fear of undue reprisal," said EFF
Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry. "There is now clear
judicial consensus that subpoenas to identify anonymous
speakers must be carefully scrutinized."

In recent months, EFF lawyers have represented or provided
amicus support in anonymity cases in California, Colorado,
and Delaware. In the latter case, Doe v. Cahill, EFF helped
successfully defend a Delaware blogger who had criticized a
member of the town council. The case resulted in the first
state supreme court decision confirming the First Amendment
right to remain anonymous until a litigant can demonstrate a
legitimate claim.

"Litigants must not be permitted to abuse the judicial
process to identity anonymous individuals who have simply
created a forum for critical comments or made statements a
plaintiff dislikes," said EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman.
"Speech critical of public officials -- made anonymously or
not -- enjoys an extremely high level of legal protection."

Oral argument on EFF's motion to quash is scheduled for July

For EFF's motion to quash:

For this release:

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* Another Endangered Gizmo: Neuros MPEG4 Recorder 2 and the
Analog Hole

Recently, Congress held yet another hearing about "plugging
the analog hole." Why is Hollywood so bent on making all
analog-to-digital technologies obey copyright holders'
commands? Because in an age of DRM on digital media, the
analog hole is often the last refuge for fair use and for
innovators trying to build new gadgets to take your rights
into the digital age.

Take the Neuros MPEG4 Recorder 2 (the "R2"), an endangered
gizmo that digitizes analog video output and records it to a
CF card or a memory stick in MPEG4 format. The video can
then be copied to your computer's hard drive, burned to DVD,
moved to your video iPod, or slotted right into your Sony
PSP. You can also output video to a display device from the

In turn, the R2 helps you make legitimate use of your media
and lawfully escape DRM restrictions. For example, you can:

* Free your recorded TV content: TiVo and other PVRs
restrict moving recorded video to other devices. The DMCA
limits removing these DRM locks, and, if the broadcast flag
proposal passes, these restrictions will get even worse.
Regardless, you can lawfully use the R2 to create a DRM-free
copy, recording straight from your TV or TiVo.

* Free your DVDs: DVD ripping software is widely
available, but using it to rip a film to your computer and
video iPod may violate the DMCA. The R2 gives you a legal
(albeit more cumbersome) alternative. Similarly, though
region-free DVD players are available, you can use the R2 to
help create a region-free copy of the movie itself.

* Free your VHS tapes: You've probably faced the unhappy
choice between rebuying your VHS collection on DRM-
restricted DVDs or lugging around a legacy player. The R2
helps you liberate your movies from their VHS chains.

The good folks at Neuros Technology were kind enough to give
us a device to test out. This clever gadget is light,
fitting neatly in your hand. Setup is simple, and you can
customize the recording resolution to suit your needs.

But you might not get to use the R2 or other innovations
that rely on the analog hole if Hollywood gets its way. In
fact, you shouldn't even expect that such devices will stay
on the market for use with DRM-free media (e.g., digitizing
your own home movies) -- after all, the manufacturers will
suffer great expense to install these bogus analog hole
plugs and will be forced to get permission from Hollywood
and regulators before innovating.

Take a stand now and save these endangered gizmos:

To learn more about the "analog hole":

To learn more about the R2:

To learn more about other endangered gizmos:

For this post:http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004778.php

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* miniLinks
miniLinks features noteworthy news items from around the

~ EFF Legal Director in Law Journal's Most Influential
Lawyers in America
Cindy Cohn is "rushing to the barricades wherever freedom
and civil liberties are at stake online."

~ Will Bono Sign Against DRM?
FSF's Defective by Design campaign aims a petition at Bono's

~ A Year After Grokster, File Sharing More Popular Than Ever
Shutting down peer-to-peer networks was like taking a half-
course of antibiotics every six months.

~ Guns Don't Kill People -- At Least Not Without A Valid
Bruce Schneier describes a patent covering access control
for bullets.

~ The Rio Declaration on DRM
Attendees of the iCommons summit call for exceptions to
anti-circumvention laws.

~ Government Accountability Office Leaks Personal Info

~ Did AT&T's Assistance With Domestic Wiretaps Precede 9/11?
Bloomberg reports on claims the NSA asked AT&T Inc. to set
up a domestic call monitoring site in June 2000.

~ Bypassing the Great Firewall By Pretending It's not There
Richard Clayton shows how Chinese censorship systems can be
simply ignored.

~ AP on EFF
The Associated Press reviews our last 0x10 years.

~ Recording Industry Goes International
Sues Yahoo China, seeks out AllofMP3.com in, of all places,
the British courts.

~ Google Lists "Privacy Concerns" as Threat to Future
Its 10-Q statement includes the worry between proprietary
document formats, spammers, and clickfraud.

~ Bruce Perens on Software Patents: Told You So
We've warned you for a decade. Now the monster has finally
arrived: attacks against Open Source developers by patent
holders, big and small.

~ ISPs to Scan all Mail, Match Attachments With Hash
It all starts with child pornography.

~ Extended Range RFID Skimmer for Less Than $100
Snoop on RFIDs from 25cm, over double the official distance.

~ Seeking Volunteers to Investigate Congress
Investigate the 539 representatives whose disclosure forms
have not been scrutinized.

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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

Membership & donation queries:

General EFF, legal, policy, or online resources queries:

Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is
encouraged. Signed articles do not necessarily represent the
views of EFF. To reproduce signed articles individually,
please contact the authors for their express permission.
Press releases and EFF announcements & articles may be
reproduced individually at will.

Current and back issues of EFFector are available via the
Web at:

This newsletter is printed on 100% recycled electrons.
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