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Hardware Hacking

EFF Sues Apple Over BluWiki Legal Threats 242

Hugh Pickens writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed suit against Apple to defend the First Amendment rights of BluWiki, a noncommercial, public Internet 'wiki' site operated by OdioWorks. Last year, BluWiki users began a discussion about making some Apple iPods and iPhones interoperate with software other than Apple's iTunes. Apple lawyers demanded removal of the content (pdf) sending a letter to OdioWorks, alleging that the discussions constituted copyright infringement and a violation of the DMCA's prohibition on circumventing copy protection measures. Fearing legal action by Apple, OdioWorks took down the discussions from the BluWiki site but has now filed a lawsuit to vindicate its right to restore those discussions (pdf) and seeking a declaratory judgment that the discussions do not violate any of the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions, and do not infringe any copyrights owned by Apple. 'I take the free speech rights of BluWiki users seriously,' said Sam Odio, owner of OdioWorks. 'Companies like Apple should not be able to censor online discussions by making baseless legal threats against services like BluWiki that host the discussions.'" Random BedHead Ed adds ZDNet quotes EFF's Fred von Lohmann, who says that this is an issue of censorship. 'Wikis and other community sites are home to many vibrant discussions among hobbyists and tinkerers. It's legal to engage in reverse engineering in order to create a competing product, it's legal to talk about reverse engineering, and it's legal for a public wiki to host those discussions.'"

EFF Unveils Search Tool for FOIA Results 57

The EFF has released a beta version of a new search tool that lets you mine the documents the EFF has unearthed using FOIA requests and lawsuits over the years. Quoting: "In celebration of Sunshine Week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today launched a sophisticated search tool that allows the public to closely examine thousands of pages of documents the organization has pried loose from secretive government agencies. The documents relate to a wide range of cutting-edge technology issues and government policies that affect civil liberties and personal privacy." I tried a search for "border" among the documents relating to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and turned up 21 results and fascinating reading.
The Courts

EFF Sues NSA, President Bush, and VP Cheney 267

VisualE writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will file a lawsuit against the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies today on behalf of AT&T customers to stop the illegal, unconstitutional, and ongoing dragnet surveillance of their communications and communications records. The five individual plaintiffs are also suing President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Cheney's chief of staff David Addington, former Attorney General and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and other individuals who ordered or participated in the warrantless domestic surveillance."
The Internet

EFF Releases Tool For Testing ISP Interference 96

Placid notes that the EFF has announced Switzerland, a tool for testing if your ISP is interfering with your Net connection (e.g. by resetting BitTorrent transfers). It's command-line only at this point. Of course the tool is FOSS, and you can contribute to it via its SourceForge project. From the announcement: "Developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Switzerland is an open source software tool for testing the integrity of data communications over networks, ISPs, and firewalls. It will spot IP packets which are forged or modified between clients, inform you, and give you copies of the modified packets."
The Internet

EFF, ACLU Back WikiLeaks 116

souls writes "Seems like the forces to protect freedom-of-speech in the groundsetting case have spoken: Henry Weinstein at LA Times reports that a coalition of media and public interest organizations today urged judge Jeffrey White to rescind the shutdown of, which presents 'restraint on free speech that violated the First Amendment,' and is generally considered to become a representative case for free online speech. The dirty dozen organizations fighting for your voice and mine include the EFF, the ACLU, The Times, AP, Gannett, Hearst, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the Society of Professional Journalists. Lets hope that is enough muscle to stop a judge running wild in favor of a bunch of offshore bankers! Meanwhile wikileaks is still going strong via all available other domains, and is currently organizing support and donations."

Reform Could Kill EFF "Patent Busting Project" 110

netbuzz alerts us to a letter the EFF sent today to Senators Leahy and Specter pointing out a deleterious clause in the current draft of the Patent Reform Act of 2007 — which EFF generally supports. As written, the proposal would kill the EFF's Patent Busting Project. Fine print in the bill would limit the time in which a patent could be challenged, by anyone other than those suffering direct financial harm, to one year after the patent's grant. Since the EFF is non-profit it would have a hard time showing financial harm.

EFF Documentation Victory in Telco Spying Case 89

Krishna Dagli sent on a link to Ars Technica's coverage of an EFF victory in a court case related to the NSA/Telco spying scandal. "Judge Vaughn Walker ruled today that AT&T, Verizon, Cingular (now part of AT&T), Sprint, and BellSouth (also part of AT&T now) must all maintain any data or papers related to the NSA spying case that Walker is overseeing in California. The EFF had requested the ruling out of concern that documents would be destroyed as part of routine data deletion practices before the case could even progress to discovery."

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.