Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Bipartisan Support for Student Rights in Senate VAWA Reauthorization

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Here's today's press release: 

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2012—The U.S. Senate made bipartisan progress on college student rights on Friday as it passed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011 (VAWA). Heeding the concerns of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Senators altered language in the final bill that might have required colleges and universities to employ our nation's weakest standard of proof in adjudicating allegations of sexual misconduct. 

"FIRE thanks Senators Patrick Leahy, Chuck Grassley, Robert Casey, Mike Crapo, and Kay Bailey Hutchison for their leadership in protecting students' due process rights," said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. "Campus sexual misconduct can and should be combated without eroding student due process rights."

FIRE takes no position on the vast majority of VAWA. Prior to last week's change, however, Section 304 of the VAWA draft would have required that all colleges and universities accepting federal funding "provide a prompt and equitable investigation and resolution" of allegations of campus sexual misconduct. While FIRE of course supports prompt and equitable campus disciplinary procedures, the term "prompt and equitable" was recently (and, in FIRE's opinion, incorrectly) defined by the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to require use of the ...

Facebook “likes” Aren’t Speech Protected by the First Amendment – Bland v. Roberts

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Bland and his cohorts worked in the Hampton Sheriff’s Office, under B.J. Roberts. Roberts ran for re-election against Jim Adams, and the plaintiffs were lukewarm in their support of Roberts. In fact, three of the plaintiffs went so far as to “like” Adams’ Facebook page. Roberts won the election, and he decided to not retain the plaintiffs. He justified the terminations on cost-cutting and budgeting grounds, but plaintiffs argued that their termination violated their First Amendment rights. The court grants Roberts’ motion for summary judgment.

Plaintiffs alleged they engaged in a variety of protected activities, such as placing a bumper sticker on one of their cars and attending an Adams-sponsored cookout, but the court says there is no evidence that Roberts was aware of these activities. The one activity that Roberts knew about was “the presence” of two of the plaintiffs on his opponent’s Facebook page. However, with respect to this activity, the court says that plaintiffs did not point to any specific statements they made on Adams’ Facebook page. One plaintiff claimed he posted a comment to Adams’ page, but he later took it down, and the comment wasn’t presented to the court. Plaintiffs “liked” Adams’ Facebook page, and ...

ACTA in the EU: We Can’t Call it Dead Yet

Monday, April 30th, 2012

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was dealt a major blow on April 12 when MEP David Martin, the European Parliament’s rapporteur for the agreement and member of the Committee responsible for delivering the recommendation [doc] to European Parliament to adopt or reject the agreement, announced that he would be recommending a “no” vote. While the prospects of the European Parliament ratifying the agreement seems to have fortunately lessened, it does not mean that it’s a fait accompli that the European Parliament will reject ACTA. As we’ve noted before, ACTA is a plurilateral agreement designed to broaden and extend existing intellectual property enforcement laws to the Internet. It was negotiated in secret by a handful of countries, in a process that intentionally bypassed the checks and balances of existing international IP norm-setting bodies without any meaningful input from national parliaments, policymakers, or their citizens. In our second post on the ACTA State of Play, we’ll look at what’s happening in Europe and why we should all be keeping a close eye on what’s happening in Brussels. (For those interested in US developments, please see our previous post here).

While the EU and 22 of its 27 member states signed ...

Cornell Becomes Latest College to Incorporate "Two-Tier" Disciplinary Process Following OCR Mandate

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Yesterday, I discussed the ramifications of the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights' (OCR's) April 4, 2011, "Dear Colleague" letter for students at the University of North Carolina, which decided earlier this month to inaugurate a new "two-tier" disciplinary system to comply with OCR's procedural mandates. Under the newly revised system, UNC students accused of misconduct like cheating, plagiarism, or drug and alcohol abuse will face a hearing using the "beyond a reasonable doubt" evidentiary standard employed in our criminal justice system, which has also traditionally been applied by UNC's century-old Student Honor Court. In contrast, students facing serious sexual harassment or sexual assault charges will be subject to use of our nation's lowest burden of proof, the "preponderance of the evidence" standard, per OCR's new requirements. Brooklyn College Professor KC Johnson criticized the resulting "two-tier system of justice" over at Minding the Campus

I ended my post yesterday by noting that it will be worth watching how many universities end up with similarly disparate procedures. Unfortunately, we can already add one more to the list, as The Cornell Daily Sun reports that Cornell University President David Skorton has approved a similar overhaul of his university's sexual assault ...

Former FIRE Legal Fellow Erica Goldberg on Defending Speech Rights

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Former FIRE Justice Robert H. Jackson Legal Fellow Erica Goldberg, now teaching at Penn State Law, concludes her stint guest-blogging at Concurring Opinions with an excellent piece discussing the work FIRE does and some of the general problems that free speech advocates face. Here's an excerpt: 

It is almost irresistible to censor those with opinions one finds particularly odious or wrongheaded. That is why speech advocates are often wrongly accused of being partisan. The day that I don't have to disassociate myself from the speech that I am defending is the day that I can stop worrying so much about the state of free speech issues on campus.

Professor Howard Wasserman of Florida International University has responded to Erica's piece thoughtfully over at Prawfsblawg, noting that the impulse to tie the content of controversial speech to its protection spills over into the judicial arena as well: in free speech decisions upholding unpopular speech, judges often take an opportunity to disassociate themselves from the speech they protect.  

Both pieces are well worth a read.

Rutgers’ Bias Investigation of Satirical Newspaper is No Laughing Matter

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Last week, we pointed to a piece penned by former FIRE intern Alex Lewis in The Daily Targum, Rutgers University's main campus newspaper, in response to a controversial "bias investigation" of The Medium, a weekly satirical Rutgers newspaper. Now, The Star Ledger (Newark, New Jersey) is covering the incident as well, in a piece that quotes Alex and draws further attention to the controversy. The Star-Ledger summarized the investigation:

The flap began when the campus satirical publication, the Medium, ran a parody of the work of a columnist at the Rutgers Targum. The columnist, Aaron Marcus, writes frequently on the Arab-Israeli conflict. The editors of the Medium, which publishes weekly, thought it would be fun to parody his column. They did so by creating a fake version in which the fake author says various good things about Hitler, such as that he created the Volkswagen. 

Rutgers University President Richard L. McCormick denounced the article, and announced that the university was conducting a bias investigation into the protected expression of The Medium. Further, the Student Press Law Center reported:

Rutgers spokesman E.J. Miranda said through email that the university is investigating the event as a bias ...

Arizona Legislature Narrows Focus of Worrisome Electronic Speech Bill

Friday, April 27th, 2012

by Betsy Gomez

Earlier this month, we announced that Arizona’s HB 2549 — a bill that could have limited constitutionally-protected electronic speech — had been pulled back by the state legislature for revision. This week, Eugene Volokh with The Volokh Conspiracy laid out those revisions, discussing how the revisions conform to constitutional standards. In sharing a letter written by the Media Coalition in opposition to the bill, CBLDF was one of the first organizations to cover a story that had otherwise flown under the radar. In its original form — which the Arizona legislature had passed and was on Arizona governor Jan Brewer’s desk for signature — the bill could have created vulnerabilities for cartoonists and publishers.

The primary concern most Free Speech advocates had over the bill was the broadness of the language in the bill. Lawmakers intended the law to protect people from online stalkers and bullies. The bill revised statutes related to telephone harassment, widening existing legislation to include electronic and digital devices. Volokh points out why the revision was potentially unconstitutional:

The Arizona cyber-harassment bill, which I blogged about March 31, has now been narrowed in the Arizona Legislature. The original proposal — which had ...

CBLDF Hosts Member Appreciation Signings & More at Stumptown Comics Fest!

Friday, April 27th, 2012

By Charles Brownstein

This weekend, I’m heading off to Portland, Oregon, to represent the CBLDF at the Stumptown Comics Festival, where we’ll have signings with Craig Thompson, Dan Piraro, and Ron Randall, as well as a huge array of signed comics and graphic novels that you can get for making a donation in support of our important work! Stumptown is one of the great American independent comics festivals. In addition to the action on the convention floor, the entire Portland comics community goes all out, hosting a wide variety of parties, art exhibits, and special events that showcase the city’s unique comics culture.

CBLDF will be set up at booth 114, where we’ll be hosting the following signings:

Saturday
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.: Craig Thompson  (Free for card-carrying CBLDF Members, $10 donation for non-members)
4:00 – 5:00 p.m.: Dan Piraro (Free for card-carrying CBLDF Members, $5 donation for non-members)

Sunday
3:00 – 4:00 p.m.: Ron Randall (Free for card-carrying CBLDF Members, $5 donation for non-members)

In addition to the happenings on the show floor, there’s a vibrant schedule of off-site parties occurring throughout the weekend:

DRINK AND DRAW
Date: Friday, April 27, 2012
Time: 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
...

CBLDF Attends 10th Anniversary MoCCA Fest This Weekend!

Friday, April 27th, 2012

by Betsy Gomez

This Saturday and Sunday, the 10th annual MoCCA Fest takes place in New York City, raising funds to benefit the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. MoCCA functions to “promote the understanding and appreciation of comic and cartoon art as well as to detail and discuss the artistic, cultural, and historical impact of what is the world’s most popular art form,” and MoCCA Fest brings together an exciting array of creator guests, publishers, exhibitors, and fans of comics.

CBLDF Deputy Director Alex Cox will be on hand on Saturday, April 28, to present “A History of Comics Censorship,” a guided tour through censorship in comics, from Fredric Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent to today. The panel takes place in Room A at 12:15 p.m.

Photographer Seth Kushner and writer Christopher Irving, the creators behind Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comics, will also be at MoCCA Fest 2012. You can find both of them at the powerHouse Books table, B6, on Saturday (11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.) and Sunday (1:00 – 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 – 6:00 p.m).

Kushner and Irving will be signing books and selling exclusive Leaping ...

Introducing the Coders’ Rights List

Friday, April 27th, 2012

EFF works tirelessly to protect programmers and developers engaged in cutting-edge tech exploration through our Coders' Rights Project.

To help get the word out, today we're introducing the new Coders' Rights List with a short video, which could just be the coolest video of about hackers, cats and robots you will see all day.

mytubethumbplay
Privacy info. This embed will serve content from youtube.com

Share the video. Do it for the kittens. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google+ Share on Identi.ca

Sign up today to get the latest news on computer security law, upcoming events with EFF lawyers, discounts on infosec conferences like BlackHat, SOURCE, HOPE, and open source software events, and even get a jump on EFF's third annual D(EFF)CONtest coming in May! Your information is never sold, swapped, or shared.


EFF Condemns CISPA, Vows to Take Fight to the Senate

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Hours ago, the House of Representatives voted to approve the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a bill that would allow companies to bypass all existing privacy law to spy on communications and pass sensitive user data to the government.  EFF condemns the vote in the House and vows to continue the fight in the Senate.

"As the Senate takes up the issue of cybersecurity in the coming weeks, civil liberties will be a central issue. We must do everything within our power to safeguard the privacy rights of individual Internet users and ensure that Congress does not sacrifice those rights in a rush to pass vaguely-worded cybersecurity bills," said Lee Tien, EFF Senior Staff Attorney.

"Hundreds of thousands of Internet users spoke out against this bill, and their numbers will only grow as we move this debate to the Senate. We will not stand idly by as the basic freedoms to read and speak online without the shadow of government surveillance are endangered by such overbroad legislative proposals," said Rainey Reitman, EFF Activism Director.

EFF extends its deep gratitude to the dozens of organizations that have worked with us on this campaign and the tens of thousand of ...

LA Times Festival of Books Tells A Success Story For CBLDF!

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

By Alex Cox


Over the weekend, I had the great pleasure of representing the CBLDF at the LA Times Festival of Books, which was held on the campus of the University of Southern California. It was a gorgeous, breezy weekend, and the crowds were out, raising $3,000 in two short days.

The LAT FoB is a massive affair, taking over the campus of USC like kudzu. The CBLDF was situated in the “Hero Complex” section, alongside folks like Hi De Ho Comics and our friends at ONI Press. The Hero Complex is the realm of journalist Geoff Boucher, and he has built it into a terrific resource for anyone interested in comics and pop culture. The representative tents and panels at the LAT FoB were an extension of that, with programs featuring Jim Lee, Dan Didio, Robert Kirkman, and Ed Brubaker, among others. The quality of panels and speakers rivaled a lot of full-sized comic cons, and when you add the overall programming (Judy Blume, Susan Orlean, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), you can see how the Festival of Books is an amazing event for book lovers in Southern California.

This was my first trip to Los Angeles, so I took a short ...

Don’t Let Them Eat Cake

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Sweden’s minister of culture has been in the global news spotlight recently, and not for her nation’s propensity for neo-noir literature. Minister Lena Adelson Liljeroth was invited to attend and speak at World Art Day at Stockholm’s Museum of Modern Art. The engagement took a turn for the bizarre when Liljeroth was invited by artist Makode Linde to cut into the most controversial cake in recent history. Linde’s edible creation was shaped in the likeness of a stereotyped native African woman and was blood-red inside; the artist’s head appeared above the cake torso and shrieked whenever a guest cut a piece of the confection. Linde stated that his intention with the piece (which was part of a series “illustrating degrading stereotypes of black people through history”) was to call attention to the horrors of female genital mutilation.

While the African Swedish National Association has called for Liljeroth’s resignation, the minister has refused to leave office over the incident. She recently issued a statement which included the proclamation that “art must be allowed to provoke,” noting that despite the “despicable” symbolism of Linde’s cake, the artist’s intention was “the opposite” of the “expression of racism” many have taken it ...

Bridgewater State Paper Reports Theft and Threats to Its Existence

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

At Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts, student newspaper The Comment has come under fire for reporting on a recent "Take Back the Night" rally at BSU. FIRE has come to the paper's defense

At the rally, a student addressed the crowd of 200 and shared a story about her experience having been a victim of rape. Leah Astore, a reporter from The Comment, wrote an article on the rally, and in preparing the article for publishing, The Comment filled in some background information about the student using publicly available information, including the school at which the student was previously enrolled.

The Comment was criticized for publishing the student's story, including her name and the additional details, with critics saying that the paper violated the student's privacy and safety. The Comment has refused calls to remove the article, asserting its First Amendment rights and also defending the quality of its journalism.

The calls for self-censorship are not the only problematic aspect of this case. According to The Comment, BSU President Dana Mohler-Faria has threatened the newspaper's existence. 

On Wednesday, President Dana Mohler Faria, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Howard London, and Vice President David ...

ISPs Ask Judge To Quash Subpoena In Troll Case — Or Let Them Appeal

Thursday, April 26th, 2012


At this point, EFF readers are doubtless well-familiar with the rise of -- and battles against -- copyright trollsTechdirt is reporting today about a relatively new copyright troll tactic -- suing only Does that are unfortunate enough to be subscribers of ISPs that don't resist mass subpoenas.  So we thought it was time to take note again of the ISPs that are challenging these outrageous lawsuits -- and, often, winning.

As it happens, there is an important hearing in one of these cases tomorrow, in Washington D.C., and EFF Senior Staff Technologist Seth Schoen will be a witness.  In this case, porn producer AF Holdings, represented by the Prenda Law Firm, has sued more than 1000 Does in a single lawsuit, based on their purported IP addresses, and obtained an order allowing it to issue subpoenas to various ISPs demanding the Does' identifying information.  

Several of the ISPs that were subpoenaed –- including Cox, AT&T, and Verizon –- moved to quash.  EFF, along with the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation and the ACLU of the Nation's Capitol, filed an amicus brief in support.  As these briefs explain, there's no reason to suppose these Does have ...

CPW 2012: George Christian on Taking a Stand for Privacy

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

This is the second in a series of three video presentations in advance of Choose Privacy Week that explore the growing impact of government surveillance on our civil liberties. In this video, George Christian, executive director of the Library Connection, Inc., discusses challenging government surveillance in the library, with advice on how all librarians can take a stand for privacy.

George Christian is the executive director of the Library Connection, Inc., a non-profit cooperative of 27 public and academic libraries that share an automated library system and other technology services. In 2005, he joined three other librarians in a lawsuit challenging portions of the USA Patriot Act after the Library Connection received a National Security Letter seeking sensitive information about a library patron.

(Cross-posted at www.privacyrevolution.org)

Dr. Seuss Quote Banned in Canadian Classrooms

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

by Betsy Gomez

According to one school district in British Columbia, Canadian teachers shouldn’t be allowed to display a quote by Dr. Seuss. The Prince Rupert School District banned a quote from Seuss’s classic Yertle the Turtle from classrooms after declaring that the quote violated a district policy against political speech in classrooms. Basically, the district declared the quote “too political.”

A specific quote from the book, which was displayed in the classroom of an elementary school teacher in the district, brought about the ban:

I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here on the bottom, we too should have rights.

After receiving a complaint from the school district, the teacher met with acting director of instruction for the district, Dave Stigant. From the Canada’s The Globe and Mail:

And while he conceded Tuesday that it might seem absurd to spend time reviewing quotes from, among others, Dr. Seuss and former Canadian prime minister John Diefenbaker, Mr. Stigant said the review is necessary to protect students from an often-bitter dispute.

“It’s a good use of my time if it serves the purpose of shielding the children from political messaging,” Mr. Stigant said. “I don’t ...

UCLA Professor’s Link to Boycott Website Sparks Controversy

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

University of California, Los Angeles, associate professor David Shorter's link to a website supporting a boycott of Israel has sparked controversy over academic freedom. The Daily Bruin has the basic facts: 

David Shorter, an associate professor of world arts and cultures, was the subject of a late March complaint from an organization of University of California faculty that fights anti-Semitic sentiments on college campuses. The organization, AMCHA Initiative, decried that Shorter had linked his course website to a campaign calling for a boycott of Israel.

The chair of the Academic Senate responded to the complaint by saying that Shorter was counseled to not use the link again. But Shorter said he has not agreed to do so, and was only approached informally about the issue.

During winter quarter, Shorter taught a class titled "Tribal Worldviews." The class focused on "native people's worldviews as they are expressed through language, mythology, ritual, health practices, languages and ecology," according to the syllabus.

As part of the class materials, Shorter posted a link to a site advocating for a cultural and academic boycott of Israel. Currently, he is also listed on the site as one of the endorsers of the boycott.

His status as ...

Adam to Speak at Stonehill College Tonight

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

This evening, FIRE Vice President of Programs Adam Kissel will give a lecture at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. The event is hosted by the Stonehill College Young Americans for Liberty and Youth in Government student groups.  

"Free Speech and Religious Liberty on Campus"

Thursday, April 26

6:30 p.m.

Martin Institute, Martin Auditorium

FIRE supporters in the area are encouraged to attend. To invite a FIRE speaker to your school, visit FIRE's Speakers Bureau page or email jaclyn@thefire.org.

‘Inside Higher Ed’, KC Johnson on the University of North Carolina’s New ‘Two-tiered’ Disciplinary Procedures

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Yesterday, Inside Higher Ed reported on the University of North Carolina's recent decision to revoke its Student Honor Court's power to adjudicate allegations of sexual misconduct. Inside Higher Ed's Allie Grasgreen writes: 

The change, which some have sought for years, appears to be the most extensive yet in response to the "Dear Colleague" letter issued a year ago by the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights.

[...]

But the change is also significant at the micro level: it marks a philosophical shift at UNC, where for more than a century, the student Honor Code states, "Carolina students have pledged not to lie, cheat or steal. Students enjoy a great deal of freedom at Carolina and have been entrusted to hold each other accountable for maintaining a just and safe community."

Hence North Carolina's unusual practice of letting its students hear and decide all alleged cases of conduct and academic integrity violations.

But earlier this week, the North Carolina Faculty Council voted to remove allegations of sexual assault from the court's jurisdiction. Chancellor Holden Thorp told the Daily Tar Heel student newspaper, saying of officials at the civil rights office, "The best way to comply with them is to ...

Former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean to Give Henry J. Abraham Lecture This Friday at 5PM

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Security for the 99%

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

The House of Representatives kicked off their “cybersecurity week” yesterday with a hearing titled "America Is Under Cyber Attack: Why Urgent Action is Needed." Needless to say, the rhetoric of fear was in full force. A lot of topics were raised by members of Congress and panelists, but perhaps the most troublesome theme came from panelist and Former Executive Assistant Director of the FBI Shawn Henry, who repeatedly urged that good cybersecurity means going on the offensive:

“the problem with existing [...] tactics is that they are too focused on adversary tools (malware and exploits) and not on who the adversary is and how they operate. Ultimately, until we focus on the enemy and take the fight to them […], we will fail.”

This offensively-minded approach has major pitfalls, as it could lead to more government monitoring and control over our communications. While we think an increased focus on catching criminals using existing tools is a fine tactic that could be used by law enforcement, we fear the temptation for law enforcement to increase their surveillance capabilities in order to successfully go on the offensive in the context of computer crimes. This could mean things like breaking into people's ...

CA Legislators Allow Wireless Industry to Continue "Working Day and Night" Selling You Out in Secret

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

EFF, along with the ACLU of Northern California, is a sponsor of the California Location Privacy Act of 2012 ("SB 1434"), a bill that would require California law enforcement officers and agencies to seek a search warrant before obtaining electronic location information. Yesterday, the bill passed through the California Senate Committee on Public Safety and is now on its way to the full Senate for consideration. But when it gets there, it will be missing a major, important piece of its text: its reporting requirement.

Its certainly no surprise that there's opposition whenever a bill proposes making it harder for law enforcement to get information. But in the case of SB 1434, the opposition came from a surprising place: the wireless industry. And their opposition wasn't with SB 1434's search warrant requirement. In fact, imposing a search warrant would actually be beneficial to the wireless industry. As the ACLU demonstrated with its nationwide FOIA request on law enforcement access to cell phone tracking information, police throughout the country are using different legal standards and judicial process in order to obtain this sensitive information. SB 1434 would create a uniform, easy-to-apply standard for the disclosure of location information ...

CISPA, “National Security,” and the NSA’s Ability to Read Your Emails

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

This week the House of Representatives is debating CISPA, the dangerous ‘cybersecurity’ bill that threatens to decimate Internet users’ privacy in the name of security. EFF and a wide variety of other groups have been protesting the law’s provisions giving companies the power to read users’ emails and other communications and hand them to the government without any judicial oversight whatsoever—essentially a giant ‘cybersecurity’ exception to all existing privacy laws.

We’ve already shown how the bill’s definition of ‘cyber threat information’ can lead the companies and government to surveil citizens for a host of reasons beyond critical cybersecurity threats. But we want to focus on one vital portion of the bill that is not getting enough attention: what the government can do with your private information once companies hand it over.

Even though CISPA is styled as a ‘cybersecurity’ bill, it explicitly allows the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA) to use your information for ‘national security’ purposes—expanding the bill far beyond its purported goal. Bill sponser Mike Rogers introduced a package of amendments yesterday, but did not remove “national security” as one of the purposes for which information can be used.

...

Nothing to Investigate after Nebraska Student Displays Confederate Flag

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

The Daily Nebraskan reported on Tuesday that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) has launched a disciplinary investigation after learning that a student was seen in public carrying a Confederate flag. Of course, displaying a flag is protected expression on a public university campus, so it seems that there is nothing to investigate. 

Here are the details according to witness Rebecca Carr and the Daily Nebraskan:

A group of about 25 to 30 young men, dressed in camouflage fatigues, were walking past Seaton Hall singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the top of their lungs, Carr said. 

The three men in the front of the group were carrying three flags: the American flag, the rebel battle flag and a POW/MIA flag. Upon seeing the rebel battle flag, Carr took out her phone to record the procession. She was unsure of why the group was walking around and didn't immediately associate the group with Delta Tau Delta until she saw the group members on the house porch. 

[...]

The reason the fraternity members were wearing fatigues and singing the "The Star-Spangled Banner" was their philanthropy, M*A*S*H, an outdoor barbecue event that raises proceeds to support the men, women and families who serve ...

CPW 2012: Michael German on Data Mining, Government Surveillance, and Civil Liberties

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

This is the first in a series of three video presentations in advance of Choose Privacy Week that explore the growing impact of government surveillance on our civil liberties. In this video, Michael German, policy counsel for the ACLU, discusses the government’s growing use of data mining for surveillance purposes.

Michael German is senior policy counsel for national security and privacy for the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. He previously served as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he specialized in domestic terrorism and covert operations. He is a Senior Fellow with GlobalSecurity.org.

(Cross-posted from www.privacyrevolution.org)

The NSA in Your Inbox? No Way. Call Now to Stop CISPA

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

The House of Representatives is now poised to vote on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which would allow companies to monitor our online communications and share private information about users with the government.

CISPA would let companies bypass all existing privacy law as long as they claim a "good faith" belief that they are doing so for cybersecurity purposes. These exemptions would allow a huge trove of data to end up in the government's hands with no judicial oversight.

House leadership is pushing for a vote on CISPA this week. Please call your Representative now and urge them not to sacrifice the civil liberties of Internet users in the name of cybersecurity legislation.

Click here to find your Representative's phone number and a short script of suggested talking points.

Once you've made the call, please share this on your social networking sites and ask your friends to join you. We need to get as many calls as possible today, before the legislation can be rushed through, so please help spread the word.

Choose Privacy Week 2012 Resources and Events

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Choose Privacy Week begins next week, May 1 – 7, 2012, and the ALA is offering numerous resources to help libraries observe the week.

From April 25 through April 27, the ALA will post three online presentations to Privacy Revolution that explore the growing impact of surveillance on our civil liberties. These presentations can be used to guide library program planning or can be shared with the community during Choose Privacy Week.

On Wednesday, April 25, Michael German, senior policy counsel for national security and privacy for the ACLU Washington Legislative Office, will discuss “Data Mining, Government Surveillance and Civil Liberties.” George Christian, executive director of the Library Connection, Inc., will discuss “Challenging Government Surveillance in the Library” on Thursday, April 26. On Friday, April 27, Amie Stepanovich, legal counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), will close the series with a discussion about “The Future of Biometrics and Government Surveillance.”

Beginning on April 30 and continuing throughout Choose Privacy Week, five guest bloggers will reflect on topics addressing the importance of defending privacy and assuring freedom from surveillance:

  • Monday, April 30: Barbara Jones, director, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom.
  • Tuesday, May 1: George Christian, executive director of the Library ...

Lawsuit Over Canceled Statue

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012
A U.S. sculptor says the Taiwanese government broke its contract due to pressure from mainland China.

FIRE Welcomes 5,000th Student to the Campus Freedom Network

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

This month, FIRE was thrilled to welcome the 5,000th student member to our Campus Freedom Network (CFN)! The CFN unites students, professors, and alumni who support free speech and individual rights on campus. The CFN also hosts events for its members and provides literature, resources, speakers, and support for those who want to promote liberty on campus. 

As FIRE co-founder Alan Charles Kors warned, "A nation that does not educate in liberty will not long preserve it and will not even know when it is lost." Since 2006, the CFN has helped thousands of students and faculty members learn about their rights on campus. CFN members have successfully pursued speech code reform at schools including Arizona State University, James Madison University, the University of Virginia, and The College of William & Mary. This school year alone, CFN members have hosted 40 FIRE speaking events at colleges across the country, and promoted expression on their campuses by celebrating Free Speech Week and Constitution Day. Through their advocacy, the students and faculty of the CFN ensure that free speech and academic freedom on campus cannot be ignored and will not be forgotten. 

We need your help as ...

ACLU Connects the Comics Code and Video Game Bill

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

by Betsy Gomez

In a recent post, Gabe Rottman with the ACLU discussed the connection between the self-censorship of comics and HR 4204, a bill introduced in Congress that requires that all games with a rating above E (for Everyone) carry a label warning parents that exposure to violent video games has been linked to violent behavior. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has already voiced their opposition to the bill, starting a a letter-writing campaign to legislators.

Rottman begins the article with a rundown of the events that led to the censorship of comics, including the publication of Fredric Wertham’s specious Seduction of the Innocent and Congressional showboating on the issue. Before linking the Comics Code with today’s furor over violence in video games, Rottman shares a rare instance of victory against Comics Code censors:

The pernicious effects of the Comics Code Authority — which was only abandoned in 2011 — were nowhere more obvious than in the treatment of Incredible Science Fiction #33, an EC title. EC owner William Gaines wanted to reprint a “pre-Code” story called “Judgment Day” about an astronaut who travels to a planet inhabited by two “races” of robots, one of which ...

Central Michigan Student Defends Speech of Westboro Baptist Church

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Just before a talk on campus by members of the Westboro Baptist Church on Monday, Central Michigan University student Ryan Fitzmaurice published an insightful op-ed in Central Michigan Life titled, "Why I Love the Westboro Baptist Church." After clarifying that he does not actually love the Westboro Baptist Church, he explains that what he loves is their First Amendment right to participate in the American "conversation":

America is a conversation, but not a polite dinner conversation. Our nation's conversation is passionate, convoluted, confused, messy, explosive, eccentric, sometimes angry, increasingly odd, and most of the time, wildly off topic.

It's a conversation open to everyone, of all opinions, of all religions, of all societal backgrounds. And, with very few exceptions, you too can jump in and say whatever you want. The First Amendment is what sets our country apart, and it is a major component of the liberty we value.

No group embodies that conversation for me more than the Westboro Baptist Church. The very fact that we as a nation honor and protect their right to express their opinion, an opinion that even the KKK has separated themselves from, means my right to speak will also be honored and respected.

...

Barbara Jones discusses Choose Privacy Week 2012

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Barbara Jones, executive director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF), highlights the importance of privacy rights in today’s digital age with a new video podcast in honor of Choose Privacy Week, May 1 – 7, 2012.

In the podcast, Jones discusses how new technologies have made it possible for organizations and government agencies to monitor our everyday activities through surveillance, and the choices we can make to protect our privacy.

Now in its third year, Choose Privacy Week (May 1-7) is a national public awareness campaign that aims to educate the public on how to protect their privacy and understand their rights. Through special programs, workshops and events, Choose Privacy week aims to deepen public awareness about the serious issue of government surveillance, and offers individuals the resources to think critically and make more informed choices about their privacy.

(Cross-posted from privacyrevolution.org)

Students at Virginia Commonwealth Protest Proposed Policy on Demonstrations

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

In defense of their free speech rights, students at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) recently took to protesting a proposed new policy aimed in part at student demonstrations at VCU. The policy in question prohibited the following: 

Participating in an on-campus or off-campus demonstration, riot or activity that disrupts the normal operations of the University and/or infringes on the rights of others; leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area.

The protesting students argued that the policy was too broadly worded and could be used against peaceful demonstrations and rallies, a core First Amendment activity. While the policy was limited to only that conduct which "disrupts the normal operations of the University and/or infringes on the rights of others," its explicit mention of campus demonstrations (and, notably, off-campus demonstrations as well) arguably posed a threat to students' free speech rights. 

(FIRE has not to date rated VCU's policies on student speech for our Spotlight database. We will be adding VCU to Spotlight soon, however, and at that time we will rate any and all speech codes maintained by the university.)

Regardless of the policy's merits, it seems the students were able to convince ...

Comics-On Tees Submissions Online, Challenge Ends Soon!

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

by Betsy Gomez

Threadless and CBLDF announced the Comics-On Tees vol. 6 Design Challenge at C2E2, and submissions have started rolling in! Artists are creating their vision of Neil Gaiman’s original script, The Day the Saucers Came, and the winner of the contest will have their work printed on the first of four Comics-On Tees shirts, alongside Ben Templesmith (Fell, 30 Days of Night), Brandon Graham (Prophet, King City), and John Cassaday (Captain America, Planetary).

Threadless’s community of 1.8 million members will pick the final design, and the chosen shirt will be revealed at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Submissions are open until May 4, 2012, and fans can follow the submissions here. When the four-part series is released, 25% of the proceeds will benefit CBLDF’s important First Amendment work.

Artists: the challenge ends soon, so get to work on your submissions! For more details on the contest, visit the Threadless Atrium here. For more from CBLDF about the contest, check out this article.

Please help support CBLDF’s important First Amendment work by making a donation or becoming a member of the CBLDF!

Greg’s Appearance on ‘Stossel’ Now Online

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

FIRE President Greg Lukianoff's appearance on Stossel last week is now available online. The episode highlights two current FIRE cases: Auburn University's selective banning of student window hangings and the University of Cincinnati's threats to arrest students who wanted to gather signatures outside of the school's free speech zone. Greg also told the Florida State University audience that FSU's speech codes are unconstitutional. Check out the video below!

 

New Wave of Facebook Phishing Attacks Targets Syrian Activists

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

The campaign of attacks targeting Syrian opposition activists on the Internet continues to intensify. Since the beginning of the year, Syrian opposition activists have been targeted using several Trojans, which covertly install spying software onto the infected computer, as well as phishing attacks which steal YouTube and Facebook login credentials.

Since April 9th, EFF has seen at least five new phishing attacks, the aim of which is to steal Facebook logins and passwords; some attacks also involve a component that covertly installs surveillance malware onto the targeted computer. One of these attacks was seeded through links in comments left on the Facebook pages of prominent members of the Syrian opposition, including Burhan Ghalioun, Chairman of the Syrian Opposition Transitional Council. Ghalioun has been the target of numerous hacking attempts. Last week, members of the Syrian Electronic Army leaked emails purporting to demonstrate collaboration between Ghalioun and officials in the United States and Saudi Arabia. Ghalioun's email account was reportedly targeted in retaliation for the Syrian opposition's leak of emails allegedly allegedly belonging to Syrian president Bashar Assad and his wife.

The link left in the comments section of Ghalioun's Facebook page led to a site, displayed in the ...

Senate Bill Would Make Unconstitutional Anti-Stalking Law Even More Unconstitutional

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Just a few months ago in United States v. Cassidy, a court smacked down a prosecutor's attempt to use the federal anti-stalking law to punish a man for criticizing a religious leader on Twitter. The court ruled that the criminal charges brought against the critic ran afoul of his constitutional right to free speech. Because the law violated the First Amendment as applied to that specific Twitter user, though, the court chose not to go a step further and decide whether the statute is unconstitutional as written, which EFF had argued in a "friend of the court" brief.

Now the Senate is thinking about passing legislation to update that problematic law. Instead of fixing the statute's shortcomings, however, the bill would guarantee that it's blatantly unconstitutional on its face.

As originally written, the anti-stalking law made it a crime to intentionally put another person in reasonable fear of death or serious injury. But the law was expanded in 2006 through the Violence Against Women Act to criminalize causing "substantial emotional distress" to another person using an "interactive computer service" such as the Internet. The law doesn't even require that the offending speech be directed at a particular person — ...

Free Speech Victory at East Carolina University: $31,200 Settlement for Newspaper Advisor

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

In a victory for freedom of the press, East Carolina University (ECU) has agreed to pay former student newspaper advisor Paul Isom $31,200 after firing him because the newspaper printed photos of a streaker. FIRE and groups including the Student Press Law Center had helped Isom defend free speech on campus. 

As FIRE Senior Vice President Robert Shibley commented to the North Carolina press, "It's been obvious from the beginning that East Carolina University fired Isom because of the photos, and the university has failed to provide the public with a scrap of evidence to the contrary. It's unfortunate that the taxpayers of North Carolina have had to pay more than $30,000 to help ECU paper over its violations of the First Amendment."

Isom's ordeal began on November 8, 2011, when independent student newspaper The East Carolinian published uncensored photos (warning: nudity) of a streaker at an East Carolina University football game. According to East Carolinian Editor in Chief Caitlin Hale, ECU Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Virginia Hardy said on November 8 that Hale would be "facing consequences" for her decision to run the unedited photos. In a November 9 article in local newspaper The Daily Reflector, Hardy ...

Preserve Privacy: Oppose Cybersecurity bills that will restructure privacy policy and law

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Library and privacy supporters: Keep pressuring House members to vote NO on H.R. 3523 and other bills that will restructure our nation’s privacy policies and laws. ALA remains staunchly opposed to this bill.  Petition your elected representatives with the ALA Legislative Action Center.

The major problems remain:

  • CISPA would permit private “entities” (ISPS, utilities, etc.) to share huge amounts of information about our electronic communications with the government without a legal review or warrant;
  • CISPA permits these private providers to provide dumps of information without necessarily anonymizing or aggregating the information to protect personal privacy;
  • CISPA would authorize the National Security Agency (NSA) – an intelligence and military agency – to receive all of the Internet records to be used, not just for cybersecurity, but for other “lawful purposes” as well;
  • CISPA trumps all other privacy laws – state, local and national – if the sharing of the information is deemed “cybersecurity.”

The House of Representatives is still scheduled to address a number of troubling cyber bills during Cybersecurity Week, the week of April 23. One of the most troubling bills remains H.R. 3523, The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011, CISPA.

At this writing, ...

AP: Sexual Assault Claims on Campus a ‘Legal Minefield’

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

This weekend, Justin Pope of the Associated Press came out with a pair of thorough and insightful articles about the "legal minefield" in which universities currently find themselves when it comes to addressing claims of sexual assault on campus. As Pope explains,

Typically, colleges enjoy wide leeway in responding to student misconduct, whether that means using a disciplinary board to enforce their own rules or simply punting the matter to law enforcement. But as Title IX is now interpreted — and would be reinforced under a new version of the Violence Against Women Act awaiting a Senate vote — colleges must respond if a sexual assault is reported, even if prosecutors refuse to get involved. Moreover, they face often precise instructions from the government for conducting their investigations and proceedings, and even the standard of proof to use. 

Many of those precise instructions, of course, come from the April 4, 2011, "Dear Colleague" letter from the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR). That letter sent shock waves through the civil liberties community when it mandated that colleges and universities adjudicate claims of sexual assault and sexual harassment on campus using the "preponderance of the evidence" (roughly 50.1% proof) ...

CBLDF Executive Director Joins Everyday Superheroes for 37th Annual Long Island Library Conference

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

On Thursday, May 3, 2012, CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein will join librarians, patrons, and educators from throughout Long Island for the 37th Annual Long Island Library Conference. This educational forum provides instructive programming and networking opportunities that help improve the quality of libraries in the Long Island community. This year’s theme: Everyday Superheroes at Your Library.

Brownstein will be speaking from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. about the particular concerns of graphic novels in libraries during “With Great Stories Comes Great Responsibility.” The website describes the program:

Whether you call them comics, graphic novels, or manga, books telling stories by blending words and pictures have changed the world of reading. Learn about the great power that the many categories of comics hold for your patrons and explore the responsibilities we face in helping them navigate these brave new worlds. Charles Brownstein provides an overview of the world of comics and addresses common challenge issues in a talk affirming why comics are a vital aspect of the 21st century library environment.

Please join Brownstein and fellow library lovers for the 37th Annual Long Island Library Conference, happening May 3, 2012, at the Melville Marriot (1350 Old Walt Whitman ...

‘Safety’ Defense Only Makes Auburn Look Foolish

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

For months now, as shown last week on Stossel, FIRE has been fighting alongside Auburn University student Eric Philips for the reform of an unnecessarily restrictive policy on window decorations at Auburn. As we've argued, the policy needlessly curtails a traditional form of student expression. What's more, as FIRE and Philips have repeatedly shown, the policy has been unevenly enforced, with Philips being ordered to remove his banner supporting Ron Paul's presidential candidacy while other students have faced no such censorship.  

Here's the timeline: FIRE first wrote to Auburn about the policy in December 2011; Auburn responded that it was indeed committed to a "total ban" on such decorations. FIRE wrote back in January, asking once again for Auburn to reform the policy while providing photographic evidence of Auburn's continued uneven enforcement. 

Then, on February 6, Auburn Vice President for Student Affairs Ainsley Carry responded to FIRE and changed Auburn's argument. Now, Carry claimed, the key purpose of Auburn's policy was "safety." Specifically, Carry said:

Our FIRST responsibility to our residential community is their safety, health, and wellbeing. Every community standard is ... evaluated based on our most important criteria: "Will this community standard help to keep ...

EFF opposes CISPA on Hackers and Founders Panel

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Yesterday, EFF participated in a panel discussion about CISPA moderated by CNET's Declan McCullagh and put on by Hackers and Founders. We were happy to have the opportunity to do so, and although we disagreed quite a bit with a key proponent of the bill, House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee staffer Jamil Jaffer, one area where we agreed is that more people should read the text of the bill. Let's not let this legislation rush through right when people are starting to question it—if Jamil and other staffers stand behind the bill, why not give it another week or two to let the public debate mature?

The fundamental problems with the bill are numerous. The language of the bill is too broad, and it's hard to know what information will actually be shared by private entities as a result of the bill, or what “cybersecurity systems” will do once they are enabled (if indeed they are different than what companies are doing already, an unknown). CISPA also grants sweeping immunity to companies to share information “notwithstanding any other provision of law,” and unsurprisingly has a fair amount of industry support as a result. McCullagh rightly called this a “wildcard" ...

Former FIRE Intern Pens ‘A Case for Free Speech’ at Rutgers

Friday, April 20th, 2012

In his column for the The Daily Targum this semester, former FIRE intern and Rutgers University senior Alex Lewis has written two articles making "A case for free speech" at Rutgers. In the first article, published last month, Alex wrote about the philosophy of free speech and why it is important not to censor speech, even if some find it offensive: 

The government of our country has been humble enough to presume that no ideological stripe, or theory, or school or dogma is inherently "better" or "more right" than any other. The only ethic the First Amendment embraces is that of a constant and abiding pluralism. Of course, the way that our country looks and functions today reflects a whole bunch of philosophies that won out over others. But at the most base level, we require ideas to win or lose based on their merit, on the free marketplace of speech.

We pay an uncomfortable price to embrace this principle: We have to protect everyone's rights, including those who say things that offend, infuriate or contradict us. And everyone means everyone - the offensive, the biased and, yes, even those mouthbreathers in Tinsley Hall. 

Although I doubt they are ...

Colorado Academic Center Institutes Censorship Regime After Controversy Over Student Art Work

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Until a few weeks ago, the Arts Building at the Aurari Higher Education Center in Denver featured several walls emblazoned with the kindly decree to “Post Artwork Here.” However, in light of recent controversy over the graphic work that student Estee Fox hung on one of these walls, the “authorities” (that blissfully meaningless blanket term) have rechristened these areas as reserved only for “approved artwork.” The natural question of “approved by who?” has proved difficult to get an actual answer to. A laminated letter next to the display areas informs potential submitters that they must “contact the appropriate art department” in order to have artwork exhibited on the re-purposed boards. The bowdlerizing buck doesn’t stop with the deans and chairs of the art department, though. When contacted for comments on the debacle, many of them claimed they were under the command of “another authority.”

The clampdown of the elusive “authorities” came in response to the controversy over and repeated vandalization of Fox’s piece. Entitled “Garbage Vagina,” the mixed media work of “a blacked out face on a body with garbage discharging from female genitalia.” First, someone ripped down the work and left an ironic note stating that ...

Boston Man Sentenced to 17.5 Years in Prison for Translating Arabic Text

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Please note that this is an opinion column that has been provided  to spark discussion, and does not necessarily represent the views of the Thomas Jefferson Center.

Google “39 Ways to Serve and Participate in Jihad” and you’ll get over 590,000 hits. You’ll find full-text English language translations of this Arabic document on the Internet Archive, an Internet library; on 4Shared Desktop, a file-sharing site; and on numerous Islamic sites. You will find it cited and discussed in a US Senate Committee staff report and Congressional testimony. Feel free to read it. Just don’t try to make your own translation from the original, which was written in Arabic in Saudi Arabia in 2003. Because if you look a little further on Google you will find multiple news accounts reporting that on April 12, a 29-year old citizen from Sudbury, Massachusetts named Tarek Mehanna was sentenced to seventeen and a half years in prison for translating “39 Ways” and helping to distribute it online.

As Anthony Lewis was wont to ask in his New York Times columns, “Is this America?” Seventeen and a half years for translating a document? Granted, it’s an extremist text. Among the “39 ways” it advocates include ...

Columbia University Posts Video from COMIC NEW YORK: A SYMPOSIUM

Friday, April 20th, 2012

by Betsy Gomez

I don’t know about the rest of you, but as a West Coast gal, I was pretty bereft that I couldn’t attend Comic New York: A Symposium, the two-day event that brought together comics creators and academics to discuss American comics and the role New York City played in their establishment. I love New York and would have loved the chance to see CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein, CBLDF founder Denis Kitchen, and CBLDF board member Paul Levitz share their takes on comics and the city that molded them.

I got a good piece of news this week, though: The nice folks at Columbia University have uploaded videos of the programming at the symposium!

First, let’s take a look at “Political New York,” the panel featuring Kitchen, Peter Kuper (Speechless), Sabrina Jones (Girltalk), and John Carey. It was moderated by David Hajdu, author of The Ten-Cent Plague. Hajdu started the program by asking the panelists why they think comics are suited (or ill-suited) to the topic of politics:

Brownstein joined Bill Griffith (Zippy the Pinhead), R. Sikoryak (Masterpiece Comics), Julia Wertz (Museum of Mistakes...

This Week in Censorship: News from Iran, India, Vietnam, and China

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Iran: Authorities Seeking Information on Censorship Tools

The Islamic Republic of Iran has recently become notorious for its efforts to create a “halal” Internet. This week, a security researcher found that Iranian authorities published a “Request for Information” (RFI) seeking details on new types of censorship tools that are available in the market. Ars Technica reported that the Persian language RFI calls for “proper conditions for domestic experts in order to build a healthy Web and organize the current filtering situation.” The deadline for response was yesterday, April 19.

The existence of the RFI suggests that Iran is seeking to nationally expand its scope of online content blocking and filtering. The RFI states:

The creation of a comprehensive Internet purifying system that works based on analysis of Web content is considered among the most important activities in this area and efforts must be made to cultivate domestic technologies…In addition to creating a domestic industry, among other goals of the institute are the purchase and acquisition of foreign technical knowledge and leveraging of the latest technology alongside domestic ones.

What’s clear is that the Iranian government is seeking a more sophisticated system to block content, beyond its current mandate of ...

This Week in Transparency: New Documents Posted to EFF’s Site, DOJ’s Transparency Promises Unfulfilled, and the Secrecy of Dissent

Friday, April 20th, 2012

EFF Releases New Government Documents on Drones and Law Enforcement Training

EFF recently posted three new sets of documents obtained through FOI requests. Yesterday, as reported in the Wall Street Journal, EFF released the lists of private and public entities that have been granted authorization by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly drones in the United States. The lists were obtained through EFF’s lawsuit against the FAA, which seeks a variety of information on domestic drone authorization and use. The lists provide the public with the most thorough accounting to date of the organizations operating drones within our borders. Yesterday, along with EFF’s disclosure, Congressmen Ed Markey and Joe Barton sent the FAA a letter (pdf) asking the agency to disclose information similar to that sought in EFF’s FOIA suit.

A second, related release, which we blogged about previously, was obtained through a public records request to the Miami-Dade Police Department for information on it’s drone program. In response, the Miami PD released its Certificate of Authorization (COA) for its drone – the first time a COA has been made publicly available.

Finally, EFF also posted over 2,000 pages of records released in response to a ...