Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Blogging Censorship 1970-01-01 00:00:00

Thursday, August 18th, 2011
—–Original Message—– From: Aaron Hill Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2011 5:36 PM To: NCAC Email Subject: Letter to the Editor, Censorship News It’s rather ironic and quite hypocritical for the Oregon State Library to subscribe to a newsletter on censorship. It’s the newsletter of the National Coalition Against Censorship, or NCAC. I can’t access the [...]

You Make a Difference

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

The Electronic Frontier Foundation would like to thank all of the attendees at this year's Black Hat USA, Security BSidesLV, and DEF CON conferences in Las Vegas. We are humbled by the infosec community's outpouring of generosity to sustain EFF's work defending coders rights and upholding our freedoms online.

With the help of our donors and creative community efforts, we were able to raise over $85,000 for protection of online rights! This amount is comprised almost entirely of modest contributions, so thanks to everyone who renewed their EFF membership or threw a few bucks in the bucket. Every dollar and reference to our work makes a big difference in the life of an organization like ours. We are especially grateful to:

  • Our DEF CON 19 Getaway Contest participants (who raised nearly $8,000 together!), and our contest sponsors and prize donors: DEF CON, iSEC Partners, Vegas 2.0, and Ninja Networks (we <3 u BarKode!).

  • The Vegas 2.0 organizers and volunteers for helming their seventh annual blockbuster EFF fundraiser party theSummit, and raising a record $24,000 in a matter of hours! Thanks to the Google Data Liberation Front for sponsoring their bar.
  • Independent fundraisers at DEF CON, including: Stealth for bringing back the Hackers and Guns firearms training simulation; information desk staffers for taking up a collection; and DEF CON Kids for raising $900, while teaching hacklings about responsible disclosure.
  • Nate and Trey for dedicating their DEF CON weekend to the Diebold Accuvote TSx e-voting machine and its many vulnerabilities. Through unflagging determination, they along with e-voting expert Alex Halderman began decrypting past election results and educated onlookers about the machine.
  • The goons.
  • Jeff Moss and the Black Hat and DEF CON teams for their ongoing support in our fight to protect you.

In a town known for excess, we were impressed by the goodwill shown to EFF and beyond. Cheers to everyone who got chopped by Mohawk-Con to benefit charity (we hope you chose us!), thanks to the DEF CON Scavenger Hunt for including EFF, and much respect to those who joined the Be the Match bone marrow donor registry.

But your opportunity to give isn't over! The DEF CON skateboard deck auction is back! The deck is signed by DEF CON 19 speakers and tech luminaries including Mikko, Hypponen, Major Malfuntion, Jericho, Renderman, Mouse, Schuyler Towne, Myrcurial, and many more. Proceeds will be divided between EFF and the Online Privacy Foundation. Help us cross the $5,000 mark to bring the total this year to $90,000! Click the image below to check out the auction.


Donors like you fund our activism and our work in the courts so every bit helps. Learn more about the continuing fight for your rights in cases like U.S. v. Fricosu, in which we argue that law enforcement should not be able to compel the defendant to give up the password to her encrypted computer. Information about this case and more affecting the security community can be found on our Coders Rights page. And don't forget that you can contact EFF if you have questions about presenting your security research. Thank you for supporting this important work.

Editor Bob Schreck Talks CBLDF LIBERTY ANNUAL with MTV Geek

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Bob Schreck, Editor in Chief for the comics division of Legendary Enterntainment, took a moment to talk to Alex Zalben at MTV Geek about his experience editing CBLDF Liberty Annual 2011, which hits shelves on October 12. MTV Geek also has an exclusive sneak peak at the Grendel pages from the issue.

Schreck sums up the Liberty Annual for Zalben:

The Liberty Annual is designed to help raise money and awareness every year by bringing great creators together to tell stories about freedom of speech. Scott Dunbier started the series in 2008, my friend Jamie Rich helmed the second edition in 2009, and Larry Marder edited the third book in 2010. Every year Eric Stephenson and the good folks at Image Comics volunteer their efforts to publish the book and Richard Starkings and JG Roshell at Comicraft do the production. It’s a great team effort.

Zalben asked about the Grendel story specifically. From Schreck:

Matt [Wagner] had some trouble getting his head around a story that would involve this totally evil dude and master of crime to somehow be a defender of free speech. But I knew he’d find a way. He always has. Look back at the incredible ...

Public Attention Keeps Threatened Blogger Safe in China

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Dan Ward, attorney to pro-democracy activist and blogger Du Daobin, issued a statement yesterday that noted the efficacy of EFF's campaign to spread awareness about Cisco’s responsibilities to stand up for human rights:

As I have previously stated, recent events lead us to believe that the safety of our clients in Du v. Cisco is dependent, in no small part, on the fact that the world is watching.

We were heartened to know that the actions of EFF supporters are safeguarding the lives and safety of activists in China. If you haven’t done so already, please sign our petition calling on Cisco to stand up for human rights and intervene on behalf of Du Daobin. By sending Cisco these emails, we can help keep Du Daobin and the other plaintiffs in the case safe — so they can argue their precedent-setting legal case against Cisco Systems.

We’re also glad to see that news outlets are beginning to report on the issue and educate their readers about the upcoming lawsuit and the dangers facing the plaintiffs involved. The Sydney Morning Herald published a ">lengthy article about the case against Cisco yesterday:

Cisco has publicly stated that it helped the CCP build ...

Omega: The Unknown signed by Jonathan Lethem and Farel Dalrymple

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

A re-imagining of the 1970s Steve Gerber cult classic, brought to you by award-winning and New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Lethem and artist Farel Dalrymple. Using themes found in Lethem’s prose novels, mixed with a love for 70s Marvel, this beautifully illustrated book is a loving homage to Gerber’s strange and wonderful comic.

This hardcover is signed by both Lethem and Dalrymple and is a must have for Gerber, Omega, and Lethem fans alike. This volume collects the complete run of Marvel’s 2007-2008 Omega: The Unknown.

Get it now!

Celebrate Banned Books Week with the Virtual Read-Out

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Banned Books Week takes place September 24 through October 1. In celebration of Banned Books Week, book lovers around the country are encouraged to make a YouTube video of themselves reading a banned book. From the School Library Journal:

Librarians, bookstores, and others celebrating the freedom to read from September 21 to October 1 are encouraged to take part in this year’s Virtual Read-Out on YouTube. The criteria are simple: create a video that’s less than two minutes long of anyone reading a book that’s been banned. If you choose to talk about a personal experience battling censorship, then feel free to extend the video to three minutes.

Comic books are often challenged in libraries, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a sponsor of Banned Books Week. Imagine your library without graphic novels such as Craig Thompson’s Blankets, Jeff Smith’s Bone, or Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home — CBLDF helped protect these books and more when they were challenged. Now, you can film yourself reading these books to celebrate Banned Books Week!

Find out more about the Virtual Read-Out and Banned Books Week here.

Celebrate your right to read and support CBLDF’s defense of ...

Rights Lawyer Disbarred

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
A Vietnamese attorney is removed from the bar after representing political dissidents.

San Diego State University Upgraded From ‘Red Light’ Status

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

San Diego State University (SDSU) has been upgraded by FIRE from a "red light" to a "yellow light" school, reports the student newspaper The Daily Aztec.

The change comes as the result of the complete removal of a policy that heavily restricted the content of emails sent via SDSU's network or computers. The former policy banned the transmission of "unsolicited information which contains obscene, offensive or discriminatory material" and "inappropriate" mailing list entries. In so doing, the former policy prohibited a substantial amount of speech that SDSU, as a public university, is legally bound to protect under the First Amendment. We were grateful to learn from Beth Elderkin, managing editor of The Daily Aztec, that SDSU said "the policy was outdated and no longer represented the current attitude toward academic computer use."

Though SDSU has work to do to reach "green light" status, we here at FIRE are extremely pleased that the university was responsive to our concerns about student speech rights, and are hoping to help SDSU become the first "green light" school in California. We look forward to SDSU reaching that goal.

FIRE Publishes FAQ for Students on New OCR Mandates

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

FIRE has published answers to frequently asked questions from students about the new threats to due process and freedom of speech presented by recent guidance from the federal Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Among other things, FIRE's FAQ explains why mandating that colleges and universities employ the "preponderance of the evidence" standard for allegations of sexual harassment and sexual violence is inappropriate and why this lowered standard threatens free speech and due process.

The FAQ also explains why OCR exerts so much power over institutions of higher learning:

What does OCR do?

OCR enforces various federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age by an educational institution (including colleges and universities) that receives federal funding. One of the most prominent of these laws is Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which forbids discrimination on the basis of sex.

OCR investigates complaints filed by anyone who believes that such discrimination has occurred. Complaints must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination, but the person filing the complaint does not have to be the alleged victim. Discrimination under these statutes includes "harassment" on the basis of any ...

This Week in Internet Censorship: Egyptian Twitter User Faces Trial While Argentina and Pakistan Ratchet Up Censorship

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Egyptian activist faces trial for Tweet

In Egypt, an activist and blogger is facing trial for a Tweet. Asmaa Mahfouz, a prominent young activist, is facing trial by court martial for defaming the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) by posting to Twitter:

If the judiciary doesn't give us our rights, nobody should be surprised if militant groups appear and conduct a series of assassinations because there is no law and there is no judiciary.

According to a statement from Reporters without Borders, Mahfouz is also being charged with inciting violence, disturbing public order and spreading false information via her Twitter account. Mahfouz has defended her statements, saying "There is no truth in these accusations, I was only warning the military council that the absence of justice will lead to chaos."

EFF condemns the decision of the SCAF to prosecute Mahfouz and urges the Egyptian military to respect the right to free expression.

Argentinian telecoms regulator issues notice to ISPs to block websites

According to a report in TechEye, Argentina’s National Telecommunications Commission (CNC) has responded to an order (in Spanish) from Federal Judge Sergio Torres to block two websites by issuing a directive to local ISPs. ...

Speakeasy: Burning Man

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Join us on Wednesday, August 31st at Burning Man! EFF's Speakeasy events are free, informal member gatherings that give you a chance to mingle with fellow EFF supporters and meet the people behind the world's leading digital civil liberties organization. It is also our chance to thank you, the EFF members who make this work possible. In the spirit of Burning Man, EFF is welcoming all supporters, well-wishers, and friends on the playa to gather and celebrate online (and offline) freedom.

SPEAKEASY: Burning Man
Wednesday, August 31, 2011 from 2-4 PM
Camp Above the Limit at 9:30 & A

Meet EFF co-founders and boardmembers John Gilmore and John Perry Barlow, boardmember Brad Templeton, International Rights Director Katitza Rodriguez, and Technology Projects Director Peter Eckersley. Learn about our latest work and get to know the people fighting for your online rights. We will be joined by a special guest — beloved author, international activist, and EFF fellow Cory Doctorow!

Crystal CavernSpeakeasy: Burning Man takes place during the Playa Talks on Digital Freedom and Human Rights held at Camp Above the Limit in the Crystal Cavern, a large geodesic dome festooned with 18-foot fluorescent crystals. As is customary ...

Tibetan Monk Sets Himself Ablaze

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011
In a self-immolation protest, he calls for freedom for Tibet and the Dalai Lama's return.

School library webinar this Thursday

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

OIF’s third webinar in its “Intellectual Freedom Summer School” series is on hot topics for school libraries, and will take place Thursday, August 18 from 3-4 p.m. Central. Register by 4:30 p.m. Central on Wednesday (8/17) to join speakers Frances Jacobson Harris and Angela Maycock for a lively discussion of the following topics as they specifically relate to school libraries:

  • Aggressive, heavy-handed filtering
  • Social media and privacy
  • Labeling and rating systems

“Intellectual Freedom Summer School” sessions cost $39 for ALA members; $49 for nonmembers; and $95 for groups of two or more attendees at the same location.

To register online, click here.

To register by fax, please print and submit the PDF registration form here.

NOTE: Discount pricing is available for those participating in multiple webinars; please email registration@ala.org or call 1.800.545.2433 and press 5 to be connected with ALA Member and Customer Service for details.

For more information, visit http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/oifprograms/webinars/index.cfm. Contact Angela Maycock at amaycock@ala.org with any questions about Intellectual Freedom Summer School offerings.

‘Garcetti’ Issue Comes Up Again, This Time in Seventh Circuit Case at Northeastern Illinois University

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

A Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) professor's lawsuit alleging violation of her First Amendment rights by her employer is the latest case to test the speech protections afforded to public university faculty in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's 2006 decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos.

Loretta Capeheart, a tenured associate professor of justice studies at NEIU, lost her dispute at the federal district court level and has appealed the ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The case has drawn the attention of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), which submitted an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief to the Seventh Circuit last week. Both The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed have the story.

Capeheart's suit arose when she was denied promotions and a faculty award after she clashed with the university administration over a number of protest activities. Capeheart alleges in her lawsuit that administrators threatened her with disciplinary action for protesting military recruitment at a job fair on NEIU's campus in 2006, and that they were similarly angered by her defense of students arrested for protesting Central Intelligence Agency recruitment in 2007, in the form of contacting members ...

Tonight: Second Round of Recall Elections in Wisconsin

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Two Wisconsin Democrats, Sens. Bob Wirch and Jim Holperin, are defending their seats tonight against Republican challengers. Holding these seats would put the Democrats just one vote away from a majority in the Senate – and provide an excellent position to hold the Republicans’ feet to the fire and push back against their extreme pro-corporate, anti-middle class agenda.

These elections are more than a referendum on specific legislators: it’s clear that Wisconsin voters, and Americans across the nation, are taking a stand against the priorities of Gov. Scott Walker and his ilk: slashing the right to pursue fair wages and benefits through collective bargaining, stacking the cards in our elections to disenfranchise minorities, students and the elderly, or cutting regulations to help big corporations reap even more profits while our environment, health and safety suffers.

Whatever the outcome, one thing is clear: the pro-corporate agenda won’t continue to get a free pass at the expense of working families any longer.

More Support for Whistleblowing UCLA Professor; Enstrom Case Becomes Class Assignment

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

I have been impressed by the amount of concern and support expressed in the case of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) professor James Enstrom, who has been fighting for his job (with FIRE's help) for more than a year. Dr. Enstrom, an environmental health sciences professor who has been at UCLA for 35 years, has been facing retaliation after publishing politically inconvenient research about air pollution and leading a successful whistleblowing campaign against the California Air Resources Board. UCLA told Enstrom that his controversial research failed to accord with the environmental health sciences department's "mission," threatening academic freedom for any professor who engages in politically charged research.

FIRE supporters have expressed their outrage publicly and privately and have offered many resources to help Enstrom in his fight for justice. Reason.tv produced an excellent video about the case, and Enstrom is now being legally represented by former FIRE president David French and the American Center for Law & Justice. National Association of Scholars President Peter Wood has been addressing Enstrom's story in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Today I want to draw attention to an email sent to Environmental Health Sciences Chair Richard Jackson, perhaps the central villain of ...

Erica Friedman Speaks Out on Canada Customs Case

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

This is not a pipe

A drawing of a thing is not the thing itself, nor should the drawing be supposed to be a stand-in for the thing itself. You may be able to smoke Magritte’s pipe if you burn the paper on which it is printed, but you cannot smoke using Magritte’s pipe as a pipe without some rather complicated alterations of its chemical properties.

A representation of thing is not the thing itself.  However simple that truth, it’s the  core of an ongoing battle. In every age, there have been those who simply cannot divorce the concept of a thing from a representation of that thing.

Whether it be flag-burning,  comic books in the mid-20th century America, riots in Britain right now or George Washington enthroned, history tells us that strong reactions to art, to new platforms for communications, and to fear all take the form of restricting behavior. Governments, corporations and people, when confronted by something they do not understand or cannot control, react by removing that thing as quickly as possible from public access.

This is not a person

Yet, here in the US we are taught that we have freedom of expression that scales ...

Bruce McFarling Talks Canada Customs Case

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Writing on his Daily Kos community blog, Bruce McFarling makes a passionate case about the CBLDF’s fight against Canada Customs.

Some things I can write, some things I cannot. My outrage at the obscenity of these Customs Officials using child pornography laws as an excuse to try to throw a comic book reader into jail because they do not like the drawings on his laptop and/or ipod and/or ebook reader … that’s not something I think I can express.

And this blurring of boundaries by authorities to steal the authority to suppress what they have no reasonable right to suppress … all that a Customs Officer has to do to suppress any comic book that they disapprove of for being too sexually explicit is to decide that one or more of the individuals protrayed is underage. Pity the poor fool that has bought some digital copies of classic R. Crumb out of sixties and seventies nostalgia.

Read the full story here.

Please make a contribution to support this case today!

Farmers Sent to Reeducation Camp

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011
Uyghurs who protested farm policies were detained in Beijing.

‘Chronicle’ Article on Emeritus Faculty Highlights Case of Wronged UNC Professor

Monday, August 15th, 2011

The Chronicle of Higher Education has published an interesting article on the vagaries of emeritus faculty status and what it means at various universities—i.e., whether it comes with perks or is merely symbolic.

In part, the article focuses on recent controversial cases in which emeritus status was denied. In one case, law professor Robert Natelson was denied emeritus status by a vote of his fellow faculty at the University of Montana; he believes the cause to be his outspokenly conservative political views. Another case involves Professor William Ayers of the University of Illinois at Chicago (whose right to speak FIRE has defended on numerous occasions), whose bid for emeritus status was rejected by the trustees of the University of Illinois due to his political activities in the 1970s (Ayers was a founding member of the Weather Underground movement) before becoming a professor.

Those stories alone merit a full read of the article, but also included in the Chronicle piece is the story of Professor Emeritus Elliot Cramer of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who had his university network privileges revoked due to the agitations of a non-UNC-affiliated individual who drew UNC into his private dispute with ...

Koch Brothers Sink to a New Low to Undermine Public Education

Monday, August 15th, 2011

The Koch brothers have had a piece of the right-wing anti-public education franchise for some time, through their sponsorship of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The corporate-funded think tank has churned out all sorts of model legislation for right-wing state legislators aimed at undermining and defunding public education.

Now, through the Koch-created and funded Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the Koch brothers have taken their attacks on public education to a new level: attempting to reinstitute school segregation.

A brand new video from our friends at Brave New Foundation -- a part of their "Koch Brothers Exposed" series -- details the disturbing rise of racial resegregation in one award-winning North Carolina school district. The story goes like this: AFP supported a slate of right-wing school board candidates who ran on a platform that echoed those of 1960's southern segregationists like George Wallace almost verbatim ... they won, and now they are using their power to hurt the public school system by not only erasing the district's commendable achievements of diversity, but hurting the quality of public education received by all the district's students.

People For the American Way and PFAW's African American Ministers in Action (AAMIA) program are both ...

Koch Brothers Sink to a New Low to Undermine Public Education

Monday, August 15th, 2011

The Koch brothers have had a piece of the right-wing anti-public education franchise for some time, through their sponsorship of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The corporate-funded think tank has churned out all sorts of model legislation for right-wing state legislators aimed at undermining and defunding public education.

Now, through the Koch-created and funded Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the Koch brothers have taken their attacks on public education to a new level: attempting to reinstitute school segregation.

A brand new video from our friends at Brave New Foundation -- a part of their "Koch Brothers Exposed" series -- details the disturbing rise of racial resegregation in one award-winning North Carolina school district. The story goes like this: AFP supported a slate of right-wing school board candidates who ran on a platform that echoed those of 1960's southern segregationists like George Wallace almost verbatim ... they won, and now they are using their power to hurt the public school system by not only erasing the district's commendable achievements of diversity, but hurting the quality of public education received by all the district's students.

People For the American Way and PFAW's African American Ministers in Action (AAMIA) program are both ...

Mitt Romney: People Person?

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney turned a few heads on Thursday when he told an audience at the Iowa State Fair that “corporations are people.”

Responding to a protestor who suggested that Romney be open to raising taxes on corporations, Romney said, “Corporations are people, my friend. Of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people. Where do you think it goes?”

While Romney might feel a personal connection to the corporations that are spending millions of dollars to support his campaign, the fact remains that corporations are legal entities and not human beings. And while it’s true that corporate profits are indeed at the disposal of certain people, those people are hardly the ones hurting most in the recession. In fact, the salaries of CEOs skyrocketed in 2010, even as unemployment rates remained high.

Over the weekend, we made an ad responding to Romney’s statement, which we’re airing in New Hampshire:

Watch the original video from the Iowa State Fair:

You can also sign our petition urging Romney to retract his new definition of personhood here.
 

Mitt Romney: People Person?

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney turned a few heads on Thursday when he told an audience at the Iowa State Fair that “corporations are people.”

Responding to a protestor who suggested that Romney be open to raising taxes on corporations, Romney said, “Corporations are people, my friend. Of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people. Where do you think it goes?”

While Romney might feel a personal connection to the corporations that are spending millions of dollars to support his campaign, the fact remains that corporations are legal entities and not human beings. And while it’s true that corporate profits are indeed at the disposal of certain people, those people are hardly the ones hurting most in the recession. In fact, the salaries of CEOs skyrocketed in 2010, even as unemployment rates remained high.

Over the weekend, we made an ad responding to Romney’s statement, which we’re airing in New Hampshire:

Watch the original video from the Iowa State Fair:

You can also sign our petition urging Romney to retract his new definition of personhood here.
 

Former FIRE Intern Defends Due Process in ‘The Philadelphia Inquirer’

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Cynthia Bell, a rising senior at Seton Hall University and 2010 FIRE intern, contributed an opinion piece to The Philadelphia Inquirer this weekend in which she defends student due process in academia. Cynthia explains why the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights' (OCR's) April 4 letter to colleges and universities, mandating the "preponderance of the evidence" standard of evidence for sexual harassment and sexual assault cases, is problematic for student rights on campus:

[S]exual assault is a criminal offense, and a felony to boot. It is a serious crime that should be reported to the police, not dealt with by campus judiciary systems with a low standard of proof. Lowering the burden of proof in these cases puts more college students at risk of being wrongly found guilty and having their reputations permanently damaged. How many innocents does OCR want to see mistakenly expelled as rapists in the name of getting tough on crime?

Real accusations require real evidence, and it is grossly unfair for students nationwide not to be afforded the rights they deserve simply because they want a college education.

I recommend reading her full argument here. We are proud to see a FIRE alumna ...

San Francisco railway blocked phones to quash protest

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

A rail transit provider in the United States disabled mobile phone services to prevent a planned protest on Thursday, attracting criticism and unflattering comparisons to crackdowns on dissent in the Middle East.
Demonstrators in northern California’s Bay Area had planned a protest to condemn the shooting death of Charles Hill, who was killed on July 3 after Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officers responded to complaints about a drunk man at a station in the city of San Francisco.

Read more.

BART Pulls a Mubarak in San Francisco

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

This week, EFF has seen censorship stories move closer and closer to home — first Iran, then the UK, and now San Francisco, an early locus of the modern free speech movement. Operators of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART) shut down cell phone service to four stations in downtown San Francisco yesterday in response to a planned protest. Last month, protesters disrupted BART service in response to the fatal shooting of Charles Blair Hill by BART police on July 3rd. Thursday’s protest failed to materialize, possibly because the disruption of cell phone service made organization and coordination difficult.

Early reports indicated that BART cut off cell phone service by approaching carriers directly and asking them to turn service off. Later statements by James Allison, deputy chief communications officer for BART, assert “BART staff or contractors shut down power to the nodes and alerted the cell carriers” after the fact. AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile have not yet made comment as to whether or not they were complicit in the shutdown.

Obviously, we'd like to know exactly what the carriers said to BART, but many other unanswered questions remain as well. Was pulling the plug on people's ...

This Week in FIRE News: Warnings for Prospective Law Students at Widener and for College Parents Nationwide

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Last Saturday, Volokh Conspiracy blogger and law professor David Bernstein wrote, "I can't in good conscience have my reputation associated in any way with Widener Law"—and we don't blame him.

On Monday we learned that Widener University School of Law Dean Linda L. Ammons recommended that Professor Lawrence Connell be suspended without pay for one year until he undergoes a psychological evaluation and apologizes to two students who accused him of making racist and sexist references in class—even though Professor Connell had already been cleared by a unanimous university hearing panel on the charges of harassment and discrimination more than once. It's an embarrassing decision on Dean Ammons' part, and we're glad that Volokh took notice, as did Peter Schmidt of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Gil Spencer of The Delaware County Daily Times, Ashley Thorne of the National Association of Scholars, and Charlotte Allen of Minding the Campus. Allen writes:

What is appalling is that, despite both exonerations, Ammons appears to have gotten her way in the end after all, exacting sanctions against a tenured professor that are not only costly but humiliating (he is supposed to apologize to the complaining students). The charge ...

This Month in FIRE History: OCR Reinforces First Amendment Protections on Campus

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

While FIRE's criticisms of the federal Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) have been manifold of late, nine years ago this month we saluted OCR for its statement in defense of free speech on campus. The episode serves as an excellent lesson for today's debate over OCR's recent guidance regarding campus adjudication of sexual harassment and sexual assault cases.

In late July 2003, OCR dealt a major blow to campus censorship when it issued a "Dear Colleague" letter to colleges and universities nationwide that clarified the need for university administrators to respect students' individual rights and freedom of expression when addressing matters of campus harassment and discrimination. Then-Assistant Secretary Gerald A. Reynolds wrote:

No OCR regulation should be interpreted to impinge upon rights protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or to require recipients to enact or enforce codes that punish the exercise of such rights. There is no conflict between the civil rights laws that this Office enforces and the civil liberties guaranteed by the First Amendment.

In light of ongoing university violations of student rights, predominantly in the form of speech codes aimed at "offensive" speech supposedly proscribed by federal policies, OCR's letter ...

In ‘Daily Caller,’ FIRE’s Robert Shibley Warns Parents, Grandparents about Reduced Rights on Campus

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

At The Daily Caller, FIRE Senior Vice President Robert Shibley sends an important warning about student rights to the parents and grandparents of college-bound students: "College isn't what it used to be."

Specifically, Robert alerts readers to new threats to student civil liberties to be found at campuses across the country this fall: speech codes that unlawfully restrict expression protected by the First Amendment; sexual assault policies that declare anyone who has had even one alcoholic drink unable to consent to sexual activity, effectively making many students unwittingly guilty of serious misconduct; and lowered standards of proof for those students accused of such crimes, leaving them with no more procedural protection than what one might expect to receive in traffic court.

Robert writes:

Whether your own college experience was more like The Paper Chase or Animal House, you can be sure that today's campuses are neither. Instead, your tuition and tax dollars are funding an ever-growing army of bureaucrats that police everything from free speech to dating. Administrators now outnumber faculty on our nation's campuses, and even students' innermost thoughts are subject to their oversight. Each year, the college experience gets closer to that of a TSA line ...

Al-Jazeera Follows EFF’s Whistleblower Recommendations

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011
In June, we published an article highlighting the problems with uploading sensitive documents to two Wikileaks imitators, the Al-Jazeera Transparency Unit (AJTU) and the Wall Street Journal's Safehouse. Apart from the well-documented security problems of both sites, we noted that their terms of use (TOU) offered whistleblowers very little protection. On August 8, AJTU published its revised TOU, attempting to address our concerns. We've looked through the new terms and we're happy to report some good changes. It's Easier to Find The most obvious change is that the Transparency Unit's terms are now easier to find. Previously, the TOU was a PDF file buried in the Transparency Unit's submission page. Assuming a user could even find the TOU, its placement assured it might not be read until after submission. The terms are now presented as a web page that is linked from the Transparency Unit's front page. This should hopefully ensure that more people actually have an opportunity to read the terms before submitting sensitive documents. Al-Jazeera Still Reserves the Right to Sell You Out, But At Least It Has Your Back Before the revisions, the Transparency Unit noted it could "share personally identifiable information in response to ...

Reaping What Was Sowed by the Supreme Court in ‘Martinez’, Ninth Circuit’s Decision in ‘Alpha Delta’ is a Worrying One for Freedom of Association

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011
Last week, Will covered the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit's troublesome ruling (PDF) in Alpha Delta v. Reed, which upheld the decision of San Diego State University (SDSU) to deny official recognition to two student groups due to the groups' requirement that members share their religious beliefs. SDSU argued that denial of recognition was justified because the student groups, a Christian fraternity and sorority, violated the university's non-discrimination policy by requiring members to regularly attend church and demonstrate "personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord" (in the case of the sorority), and to "sincerely want to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior" and sign a "Statement of Faith" declaring similar religious commitments (in the case of the fraternity). The Ninth Circuit found in favor of SDSU on the student groups' First Amendment claims, holding that the denial of official recognition and its attendant benefits did not violate the student groups' freedom of association, despite the groups' protestations that the forced inclusion of members who fundamentally disagreed with their core tenets would water down their message and significantly impair the exercise of their expressive association. Will has already written a comprehensive discussion ...

EFF Urges Court To Maintain Protections for Innocent Third Parties Accused of Patent Infringement

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011
Patent law, supposed to spur innovation, is instead unfortunately often full of barriers to innovation: trolls targeting phone app developers, standards making it harder rather than easier to invalidate bad patents, and toothless patent reform legislation, for example. But the law does do some things right, like removing liability for an innocent third party who unknowingly performs one step of a patented process. Yet some patent owners are trying to convince the Federal Circuit to change this law and create a new category of potential patent defendants: third-party users, consumers, and developers, i.e., a group that is likely to lack both requisite knowledge of the patent laws and resources to make a robust defense. Yesterday, EFF filed two amicus briefs (really the same brief in two cases, here and here) opposing this change. Right now, the rule is simple: only one party can be guilty of direct infringement. So, if multiple parties perform different steps of a patented invention, none of those parties can be liable, no matter how many (or how few) of those steps it performs. (The one exception is when a person acts on behalf of another person who is performing the other ...

First Amendment Rodeo 7/25-8/8, 2011

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

A round-up of intellectual freedom issues in the news

Privacy/Technology
House panel approves broadened ISP snooping bill

ACLU Probing Government Use of Cell Phone Location Data

Web tracking has become a privacy time bomb

Will Missouri ‘Facebook Law’ spook teachers away from social media?

Patriot Act
Senate Intel Committee Blocks Report on “Secret Law”

Free Speech
Use of Worcester Public Library meeting rooms studied as library reacts to violent incident

Freedom of Expression
Homeless patrons prompt Bethlehem Area Public Library’s behavior policy
See also:
Lehigh Valley, northwest New Jersey libraries enforce behavior policies

Censorship/Books
Two books pulled from Republic school library shelves
See also:
Policy on movies next for Republic schools

Suburban Springfield-area school board bowed to book banners after yearlong fight

Vonnegut library offers banned book to Missouri students

This Week in Internet Censorship: Good News in Turkey, Bad News in Iran, and Threatened Voices

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
This week's news roundup takes us to Iran, where censorship is getting worse, Turkey, where it might be getting better, and Zimbabwe, where a blogger is under threat. Iran sets out to build ‘national Internet’ Iran already ranks amongst the world’s worst when it comes to online censorship. The country's censors target a variety of content, including political opposition, human rights and news sites, and a range of 'offensive' sites. The latest news from Iran comes in the form of an announcement by technology minister Reza Taqipour Anvari, who in July stated that by the end of August, Iran will begin transitioning to a 'national Internet,' ultimately cutting off access to the global Internet for the majority of the country's citizens. Although the Intranet—dubbed the 'halal Internet' by Ali Aghamohammadi, Iran's head of economic affairs—will at first run in parallel to the Internet, Iranian officials have indicated that they would like to see its use fully replace the global Internet, not only in Iran but in other Muslim countries as well. Despite pervasive censorship, Iran, which boasts 50% Internet penetration, is home to a well-developed and lively political blogosphere. But it was undoubtedly the protests following Iran's 2009 election ...

New Legal Scholarship by Will Creeley and Greg Lukianoff in ‘The Charleston Law Review’

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
FIRE is pleased to announce the publication of "New Media, Old Principles: Digital Communication and Free Speech on Campus," an article co-written by FIRE's Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Will Creeley and President Greg Lukianoff, in The Charleston Law Review. In the article, Creeley and Lukianoff examine how online student speech has fared during the precipitous rise of social media and digital communication. Detailing numerous cases in which students have been punished for online speech, they argue that although vehicles for communication may have changed, the legal principles underlying First Amendment doctrine must not. As Greg and Will point out:
The First Amendment has weathered technological revolutions before, and it will do so again. For the most part, the legal tests we employ to ascertain whether speech enjoys First Amendment protection do not rely on the medium in which the expression occurs. The exacting definition of peer-on-peer harassment remains the same, whether the speech takes place online or on the campus green; the legal test for incitement still requires the satisfaction of the same elements, whether the expression at issue is visible on a screen or heard on the way to class. While the media may be new, the ...

Developers and Fans Benefit From Humble Indie Bundle Pay-What-You-Want Model

Monday, August 8th, 2011
By now, we’ve all heard the traditional content industries complain about how technology hurts their business model. But, of course, the story does not end there. While the record labels, movie studios, and video game producers have not figured out a way to compete with free, others have. And this is good news for the rest of us, because it reduces the influence of the traditional gatekeepers who formerly operated an ironclad monopoly on what content we could experience and at what costs, and also because it allows developers and artists without major deals to widely distribute their work and to find new ways to get paid. The problem, as the content industries would have you believe, is that it is “impossible to compete with free” (without resorting to law enforcement). But as the Humble Bundle has shown us, it is possible, with creators and distributors finding new and exciting ways to compete with free. It’s hard work, and it takes a distinct investment in time and effort compared to providing content the old-fashioned way, but – when done right – developers, content providers, and even those who provide the business model can successfully compete with free. Back in ...

Widener Law School, Dean Ammons Continue to Embarrass Themselves in Professor Connell Case

Monday, August 8th, 2011
In late July, we provided an update to the case of Professor Lawrence Connell at Widener University School of Law in Delaware, reporting that Professor Connell had been cleared by a unanimous university hearing panel on charges of "harassment" and "discrimination." Connell's case, which you'll want to read up on if you're not familiar with the basic facts, involved his use of the term "black folks" in class as well as his use of law school dean Linda L. Ammons as a character in hypothetical case scenarios in class discussion (a common law school practice). As we reported at the time, the hearing panel largely cleared Connell of Widener's weak charges against him and critically vindicated his free speech and academic freedom rights in the classroom. However, Widener did find him guilty of "retaliation," a charge originating out of two apparent offenses: "emailing his students to explain why Ammons had banned him from the campus," as well as the decision of his attorney, Thomas S. Neuberger, to issue a press release "explaining his efforts to identify Connell's accusers and to protect his client's reputation." Somehow, unbelievably, the school was fine with allowing the charge of retaliation to stick for ...

Rutgers Ditches Unconstitutional ‘Bias Prevention’ Committee, Red-Light Rating

Monday, August 8th, 2011
In 2006, FIRE wrote about Rutgers University–New Brunswick and its Orwellian "Bias Prevention Steering Committee." The mission of the various deans, administrators, and staff members who comprised the committee was to monitor reported acts of bias which, startlingly, included "cultural conflicts" defined by the University as "disagreements, arguments, or controversies that developed due to the cultural differences, backgrounds and lifestyles of the disputants in the conflict."

By 2010, the Steering Committee had evolved into the Bias Prevention Education Committee (BPEC), but retained its unconstitutional program of policing protected expression by targeting hazily defined instances of "cultural conflicts" and "inappropriate language." The committee also claimed the authority to prosecute those who engaged in perceived acts of "bias" with wholly undefined "systems of adjudication and reprimand."

As if that wasn't enough to raise the eyebrows of any liberty-loving student "on the banks," as we Rutgers denizens refer to our campus, the committee took the astonishing step of reserving for itself the right to punish violations that didn't actually violate any rules. As of August of last year, BPEC stated that it would address "acts [that] may not always be in violation of civil, criminal, or University codes," but nonetheless warrant intervention ...

FIGHT FOR YOUR FREEDOM!

Monday, August 8th, 2011
Support CBLDF With The Industry’s Greatest Creators in CBLDF LIBERTY ANNUAL 2011 from Image Comics! United We Stand Against Censorship! That’s the message from Image Comics, over two dozen of the industry’s greatest creators, and our friends at DC Comics and Marvel Comics, who have all banded together to deliver the greatest CBLDF benefit comic yet — CBLDF LIBERTY ANNUAL 2011! Famed comics editor Bob Schreck, Editor-in-Chief of Legendary Comics, and Assistant Editor Greg Tumbarello view censorship as the ultimate form of bullying and have gathered an all-star team of comics creators to tell powerful stories that take a stand against censorship. CBLDF LIBERTY ANNUAL 2011 comprises 48 powerful pages of all new stories and art. The proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the ever-important First Amendment work of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Schreck declares, “It’s an honor to be asked to edit LIBERTY ANNUAL! We wanted to show the human side of what it means to be censored, and we’re elated with how many powerful and heartfelt tales were delivered. With an American facing prosecution in Canada for the comics he reads, the work that CBLDF does is more important now than ever, ...

Last chance to register for privacy webinar tomorrow

Monday, August 8th, 2011
Registration closes at 4:30 p.m. (Central) today for “Intellectual Freedom Summer School: Privacy Law, Ethics, and Policy in the Library.” Join us tomorrow, Tuesday, August 9 from 10-11 a.m. Central for Deborah Caldwell-Stone’s presentation on:
  • Privacy laws and ethical codes protecting user privacy in the library
  • Creating and implementing library policies to protect user privacy
  • Hot topics in library privacy: self-serve holds, surveillance cameras, and third party library vendors (e-books)
Intellectual Freedom Summer School webinars cost $39 for ALA members; $49 for nonmembers; and $95 for groups of two or more attendees at the same location. To register online, click here. To register by fax, please print and submit the PDF registration form here. Discount pricing is available for those participating in multiple webinars; please email registration@ala.org or call 1.800.545.2433 and press 5 to be connected with ALA Member and Customer Service for details.

“And Tango Makes Three”

Monday, August 8th, 2011
Some believe it is legitimate to shield children and teenagers from information that is perceived to negatively affect that critical time of development. Time and time again, the efforts of artists and authors to incorporate controversial themes in works for children are challenged by parents, schools and libraries. While the right of parents to decide [...]

Spanish Court Rules That Linking to Potential Copyright Infringing Material Is Not Copyright Infringement

Friday, August 5th, 2011
by Oscar Montezuma Panez, Google Policy Fellow
We all know that HTML links are the heart of the World Wide Web. What many don’t appreciate is that legal liability for linking varies greatly across countries. Given the importance of linking to the World Wide Web, whether websites can be held liable for copyright infringement for linking to material that is potentially copyright-infringing is a key issue. While US copyright law has a safe harbor for websites that provide location tools, the European framework for e-commerce does not have a specific limitation on liability for websites that provide links. As a result, courts in different EU member states have developed different standards for linking liability. In recent years, Spanish courts have issued several inconsistent rulings on whether websites containing links to potentially copyright-infringing material on peer-to-peer networks violate copyright owners’ exclusive right under Spanish law of making available copyrighted works. But now a recent decision of the influential Court of Appeals of Barcelona (Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona) in the case of Indice-web has clarified that merely providing a link is not "making available" content, and does not infringe copyright. The case was brought by the Spanish collecting society Sociedad General de ...

New Indian Internet Intermediary Regulations Pose Serious Threats to Net Users’ Freedom of Expression

Friday, August 5th, 2011
by David Rizk, EFF Legal Intern

As the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression noted recently “[Internet] Intermediaries play a fundamental role in enabling Internet users to enjoy their right to freedom of expression and access to information. Given their unprecedented influence over how and what is circulated on the Internet, States have increasingly sought to exert control over them and to hold them legally liable for failing to prevent access to content deemed to be illegal.”

In countries across the world, we're witnessing escalating efforts to turn Internet intermediaries into chokepoints for online free expression. Internet intermediaries—Internet Service Providers (ISPs), online service providers like Twitter and Google, and even Internet cafes—are increasingly subject to legal demands by private citizens and governments worldwide for allegedly infringing or illegal content to be removed, filtered or blocked, and for mandatory collection and disclosure of Internet users' personal data. At the same time, whether Internet intermediaries have liability for content posted by their users, and in what circumstances, remains unsettled in most of the world.

This is especially true in the developing world, where Internet usage is rapidly growing. In leading developing countries like Brazil and India, policymakers are just ...

In Blow to Freedom of Association, Ninth Circuit Rules Against Religious Student Groups at San Diego State University

Friday, August 5th, 2011
This week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dealt a serious setback to freedom of association on college campuses, ruling that San Diego State University (SDSU) did not violate the First Amendment rights of religious student groups by refusing them official recognition on account of the groups' requirement that members share the groups' religious convictions. The ruling is deeply problematic for two reasons: for the result itself, which forces religious student groups into making an untenable choice between abandoning their beliefs or simply accepting their new status as second-class campus citizens, and for the flawed rationale the Ninth Circuit relied on to justify this result. First, let's start with the facts. The case, Alpha Delta v. Reed (.PDF), came before the Ninth Circuit on appeal by a Christian fraternity and sorority. Both the Christian student groups asked would-be members to share the group's faith. The sorority, Alpha Delta Chi, required members to regularly attend church and demonstrate "personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord," while the fraternity, Alpha Gamma Omega, required members to "sincerely want to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior." Alpha Gamma Omega also asked that its leadership sign a ...

This Week in the News: Professors Under Fire

Friday, August 5th, 2011
FIRE works to bring public awareness to the violations of free speech and academic freedom of students and faculty members on college campuses. This week, professors' rights have been under the microscope. Last Wednesday, FIRE wrote Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust after learning that a group of Harvard students had begun a petition calling on the university to fire economics professor Subramanian Swamy for an opinion piece he published in the Indian newspaper Daily News & Analysis in response to a July 13 terrorist bombing in Mumbai. The column makes several controversial suggestions about how to "negate the political goals of Islamic terrorism in India," including the ideas that India "[e]nact a national law prohibiting conversion from Hinduism to any other religion," "[r]emove the masjid [mosque] in Kashi Vishwanath temple and the 300 masjids at other temple sites," and "declare India a Hindu Rashtra [nation] in which non-Hindus can vote only if they proudly acknowledge that their ancestors were Hindus." While FIRE of course respects students' right to protest the column, we are concerned that Dean Donald H. Pfister's statement, "We will give this matter our serious attention," will unacceptably chill expression among members of Harvard's community. Simply put, ...

T-Shirts Debuted at Comic-Con Now Available Online

Friday, August 5th, 2011
CBLDF debuted a number of new shirts during Comic-Con, including all new shirts from Matt Wagner and John Cassaday and new colors and women’s sizes for CBLDF’s popular “I Read Banned Comics” shirt! If you missed us at Comic-Con, you can now get these shirts online! The new shirts come courtesy of Graphitti Designs. Matt Wagner’s shirt delivers an incredible new image of Grendel leaping into action! John Cassaday’s Uncle Sam design makes a powerful statement about the fight to defend Free Speech! Finally, CBLDF’s I Read Banned Comics shirt now comes in yellow on black in both men’s and women’s sizes. You can also get the shirt in blue on white in women’s sizes. These shirts are sure to move fast, so get yours now! Matt Wagner’s Grendel John Cassaday’s Uncle Sam I Read Banned Comics, blue on grey I Read Banned Comics, yellow on black I Read Banned Comics, women’s yellow on black I Read Banned Comics, women’s blue on white

Website Blocking – Off The Table in the UK (For Now)

Friday, August 5th, 2011
In countries across the world, IP rightholders are pushing website blocking as the latest weapon against online copyright infringement. United Nations’ Human Rights experts, security engineers, law professors and others are pushing back, noting both the enormous collateral damage such blocking can cause and the likelihood that it will do little to actually curb infringement. Against this background, the UK government’s announcement on Wednesday that it will not go forward with a highly controversial website blocking regime - at least for the time being - is an important step in the right direction. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to be the end of the debate in the UK, if Freedom of Information documents and news reports about comments made by UK Minister for Communications, Culture and the Creative Industries Ed Vaizey are any indication. The UK government’s decision was based on a report by UK regulator Ofcom, dated 27 May 2011, but released on Wednesday as part of the UK government’s welcome response to the landmark Hargreaves report from May. As we saw in last week’s Newzbin2 judgment, rightsholders in the UK already have the ability under existing law to obtain court injunctions requiring ISPs to block websites proven ...

Court Refuses to Return Seized Domain Name, Claims Shutting Down Speech Doesn’t Cause a Substantial Hardship

Friday, August 5th, 2011
In a cursory opinion issued today that left us scratching our heads, a federal judge has ruled that the government does not have to return a domain name seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), because its seizure did not create a substantial hardship. Really? Puerto 80 is the Spanish company behind popular sports streaming sites Rojadirecta.com and Rojadirecta.org, which were both seized by U.S. ICE earlier this year -- even though a Spanish court found they did not violate copyright law. Puerto 80 filed a petition to have the sites released pending a trial on the merits of the case. The petition explained that government's seizure and continued control of the site was seriously damaging Puerto 80's business and also infringed on its readers' First Amendment right to access its content. EFF, with co-amici Public Knowledge and Center for Democracy and Technology, submitted an amicus brief that elaborated on the First Amendment issues. Puerto 80's petition explained that while the company can host content elsewhere, its usual visitors might not know how to find it. Too bad, said the court. "Rojadirecta has a large internet presence and can simply distribute information about the seizure and its new domain to ...

Widespread Hijacking of Search Traffic in the United States

Friday, August 5th, 2011
By ICSI researchers href="http://www.icir.org/christian/">Christian Kreibich, href="http://www.icsi.berkeley.edu/~nweaver/">Nicholas Weaver and href="http://www.icir.org/vern/">Vern Paxson, with href="https://www.eff.org/about/staff/peter-eckersley">Peter Eckersley. Earlier this year, two href="http://www.icir.org/christian/publications/2011-satin-netalyzr.pdf">research papers reported the observation of strange phenomena in the Domain Name System (DNS) at several US ISPs. On these ISPs' networks, some or all traffic to major search engines, including Bing, Yahoo! and (sometimes) Google, is being directed to mysterious third party proxies. A href="http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20768-us-internet-providers-hijacking-users-search-queries.html">report in New Scientist today documents that the traffic is being rerouted through a company called Paxfire. This blog post, coauthored with one of the teams that discovered the phenomenon, will explain the situation in more detail.  

Who is rerouting this search traffic?

  The published research papers did not identify the controller of the href="https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Proxy_server">proxy servers that were receiving the traffic, but parallel investigations by the ICSI Networking Group and EFF have since revealed a company called Paxfire as the main actor behind this interception. Paxfire's href="http://www.paxfire.com/privacystatement.php">privacy policy says that it may retain copies of users' "queries", a vague term that could be construed to mean either the domain names that they look up or the searches they conduct, or both. The redirections mostly occur transparently to the user and few if any of the affected ...