Why EFF flew a plane over Apple’s headquarters

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In August, Apple announced that it would soon install software to scan photos and messages on every device. These features would open a backdoor for heightened surveillance and censorship around the world, authoritarian governments looking to expand surveillance, provide ammunition, and be the first step towards ending truly secure messaging for Apple users. Following the public outcry and more than 60,000 signatures on petitions asking Apple to abandon its plans, the company has postponed functions while it conducts further research.

We win, but this delay can be a diversionary tactic. Every September, Apple hosts one of its major product announcement events where executives share information about the new devices and features that are coming to the market. Apple probably didn’t want concerns about phone scanning capabilities to steal the spotlight. But we can’t let Apple’s disastrous phone scanning idea fade into the background to be announced with minimal changes. Along with protests in Apple stores last week urging the company to keep its promises, EFF turned to an old-school messaging system during the company’s #AppleEvent: aerial advertising.

EFF updates

Since we started offering HTTPS Everywhere, the battle to encrypt the web has come on in leaps and bounds: HTTPS is now a mainstream standard that is offered on most websites. Follow these steps to enable these native HTTPS-only features in Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and Safari and celebrate with us that HTTPS is really available to users everywhere.

WhatsApp is introducing an option for users to encrypt their message backups and that is a huge win for users’ privacy and security. Next, encryption for backups should become the standard for all users, not just an option.

Prison technology and telecommunications companies such as Securus and Global Tel * Link are already notorious for their ongoing efforts to coax every last penny from detainees and destroy any remnants of their privacy in the process. By revealing some of the terrible technologies that Securus and GTL envisioned in their patents, we hope that most of these ideas never go from concept to reality and only remain visible in opaque patent documents.

The history of the world is filled with stories of information – responsibly collected or not, with intended purposes, benevolent or not – with a long afterlife. For two decades, the United States led the way in collecting information on the people of Afghanistan, both for everyday bureaucratic reasons such as salary and employment records – and in huge databases of biometrics. After the Taliban regained control of the country, coverage of the program raised fears that equipment could be confiscated and used to identify and target vulnerable people.

The Department of Defense’s “1033 Program” has provided US $ 7.4 billion in military equipment to law enforcement agencies since 1990. Congress should limit the amount of dangerous military equipment, including surveillance drones, that could be given to local and state law enforcement agencies.

Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin following the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) used a series of “geofence decisions” to force Google to disclose data on people who were near property damage – but possibly up to a soccer field away. These arrest warrants, which police are increasingly using across the country, threaten the right to protest and violate the Fourth Amendment.

The twentieth anniversary of the September 11th, 2021 attacks is a good time to reflect on the world we have built since then. These attacks caused incalculable heartache, anger, and fear. It is also clear that surveillance and government secrecy instituted after the attacks are deeply problematic for our democracy, privacy and fairness.

In addition to the drastic restrictions it places on a woman’s reproductive and medical rights, the new Texas abortion law SB8 will have a devastating impact on the online language. The law creates a cadre of bounty hunters who can use the courts to punish and silence anyone whose online advocacy, education, and other abortion talk attracts their wrath.

Facebook is full of people whose businesses you like, but if you don’t like its ads, monitoring, fraudulent practices, or moderation policies, why not quit Facebook and find a better platform (or run your own) while you continue to news to send and receive from the communities, friends and customers who haven’t left Facebook (yet)? Short answer? Because you can’t.

Announcements

Visit STOP, a local Electronic Frontier Alliance organization, on September 29 at 3:00 p.m. PT to learn about the variety of individual surveillance technologies used by the Department of Homeland Security.

The EFF Legislative Council, Ernesto Falcon, will speak at the Broadband Community Summit on September 29 at 10:30 a.m. PT. The Summit is the premier event for community leaders, apartment building owners, and network builders interested in building, managing, marketing, and monetizing high-speed broadband technologies and services.

Many of the important questions about content moderation practices get even more complicated as they move into the infrastructure layer of the Internet – domain registrars, hosting companies, payment systems, and other service providers that underpin the more publicly accessible online platforms. On October 6th, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT, Techdirt is hosting a salon where the authors discuss and debate the topic for a live audience.

On October 12th at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time, EFF will convene representatives from various spheres of activity that rely on encrypted platforms to discuss Apple’s new child safety products. The discussion focuses on the impact of these decisions, what we want to change in the products and on protection principles for initiatives that are supposed to monitor private digital spaces.

From October 17th to 19th, EFF will take part in this year’s All Things Open, the largest open-tech event on the US east coast.

Take part in an online discussion on surveillance, democracy and human rights in Latin America. The Brazilian Supreme Court, Luís Roberto Barroso, will be the keynote speaker. The event will take place on October 22nd at 8:00 am PDT.

Job offers

the Electronic Frontier Foundation is looking for a full-time litigation attorney to join EFF’s team of dedicated attorneys. The ideal candidate is someone who is passionate about helping us protect and promote our mission, protect and promote civil liberties, and ensure that rights and freedoms improve with the increasing use of technology. We are looking for an excellent author who thinks big and creatively about how impact litigation can advance human rights in the digital world and who can identify important issues early on.

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