HTTPS Everywhere for Firefox review

HTTPS Everywhere enhances your Web-browsing security by forcing your Firefox browser to operate in the HTTPS secure encrypted mode. It works invisibly for HTTPS-enabled sites, cooperates with Tor, and allows you to write your own rulesets in XML to better automate the switching of specific sites to their secure version.


Invisible: We installed HTTPS Everywhere almost instantly and were able to enjoy increased HTTPS security for popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, and 500px. We got into the good habit of checking for HTTPS in the address window even when we were not entering sensitive data for online sales.

Rulesets: … Read more

Is Venezuela blocking the Internet amid violence?

In Venezuela, the government controls most of the television stations, so many residents turn to the Internet and social media for news. But, what happens when those get censored?

As the South American country has become engulfed in lethal protests and government crackdowns, it is said that the authorities have now started blocking the Internet -- especially in those states that have seen the most bloodshed.

Widespread student-led protests against President Nicolas Maduro's administration erupted last week. While the government is working to maintain its control of the country, the protesters are calling for Maduro's resignation due to … Read more

With NSA reform, what does more disclosure from tech firms mean?

The US Department of Justice announced on Monday that it made a preliminary deal with a handful of top technology companies that will let them publicly disclose the number of times the government requests user data. While it appears this is a step toward greater transparency, what does it really mean?

For years, it's been unclear how much and what type of information the National Security Agency has been collecting from tech companies. The NSA is one of the biggest surveillance and eavesdropping agencies in the US and was where Edward Snowden worked before he decided to leak some … Read more

Call to action kicks off second Aaron Swartz hackathon

SAN FRANCISCO -- On the occasion of what would've been Aaron Swartz's 27th birthday, the hacker who was driven to suicide earlier this year by government prosecution was memorialized with a clay statue of his likeness at the Internet Archive.

The half-sized representation of Swartz bears his scruffy, unshaven likeness and neck-length hair, but also an Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) T-shirt and a laptop with an inscription on its lid: "10,000,000,000,000,000 Internet Archive 2012 bytes archived." The Internet Archive crossed 10 petabytes of data archived for free in October 2012.

Employees … Read more

Even with EFF's Congressphone, activism is a hard sell

LAS VEGAS -- Getting hackers to do anything as a collective has been derided as being as pointless as herding cats, but the Electronic Frontier Foundation is betting that an old school phone booth planted in the middle of Defcon will attract attention like fresh tuna to a feline.

The First Amendment advocacy group has set up what it's calling a "CFAA DC Dialer" phone in a classic glass and steel phone booth in hopes of leveraging the ongoing surveillance scandal and other recent events to convince the hacker faithful to ask their congressional representatives to sign … Read more

Judge: Lawsuit alleging illegal NSA spying may continue

A federal judge ruled today that a long-standing lawsuit alleging illegal surveillance by the National Security Agency may continue despite the Obama administration's objections.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in San Francisco rejected the administration's claim that the lawsuit could not proceed because it might reveal "state secrets" and endanger national security.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed the lawsuit, called Jewel v. NSA, in 2008 to challenge a NSA's warrantless surveillance program that vacuumed up Americans' confidential electronic communications. It alleges (PDF) that the NSA "intentionally and willfully caused" or directed AT&… Read more

San Francisco protests the NSA spying program in July 4th march

While many people choose to barbeque, drink beer, and watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July, others decided to protest the government this year.

A crowd of about 300 people gathered at San Francisco's Civic Center on Thursday and then marched throughout the city to join in on the nationwide Independence Day protest of the National Security Agency's surveillance program.

Chanting "NSA go away" and "Restore the fourth today," the protesters carried colorful banners and signs as they marched. Some were dressed up as the Statue of Liberty or Uncle Sam, while many … Read more

Reddit, Mozilla, EFF and more join July 4th anti-NSA protests

Rallying around the Fourth of July holiday, several Web sites have come together to take part in a nationwide protest over the National Security Agency's surveillance program.

Organized by the nonprofit Fight for the Future, thousands of sites -- including some heavy-hitters like Mozilla, Reddit, WordPress.org, and 4chan -- will be staging online protests.

Rather than going black, like many sites did during the 2012 protests of Congress' Stop Online Privacy Act, or SOPA, these sites will prominently display a Fourth Amendment banner. The banner will quote the text of the amendment, which says, "The right of … Read more

Mozilla, EFF, ACLU rally public against electronic surveillance

Incensed at revelations of U.S. government surveillance programs, Mozilla, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, Reddit, and others have launched an effort called StopWatching.Us to marshal opposition to the secret programs.

"The revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights," the site says. "We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA's spying programs."

The site includes a petition that people can sign and send electronically. Other participants in the initiative include the American Library … Read more

Oracle appeal in Google API copyright suit hit with criticism

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is throwing in its two cents in the ongoing legal battle between Oracle and Google over whether APIs should or shouldn't be copyrightable.

Gathering together 32 computer scientists and tech industry leaders, the Internet advocacy organization submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Thursday. The brief is signed by tech leaders like MS-DOS author Tim Paterson and ARPANET developer Larry Roberts.

EFF and the brief's signatories are trying to convince the court that APIs should not be copyrightable because they are critical to spurring innovation … Read more