EFF To Texas AG: Epson Tricked Its Customers With a Dangerous Fake Update | Electronic Frontier Foundation


Back in 2016, printing giant HP sent a deceitful, malicious update to millions of OfficeJet and OfficeJet Pro printers that disguised itself as a “security update.” Users who trusted HP and applied the update discovered to their chagrin that the update didn’t improve their printers’ security: rather, the updated printers had acquired the ability to reject cheaper ink, forcing the printer owners to throw away their third-party and refilled ink cartridges and buy new ones.Now, Epson has followed suit: in late 2016 or early 2017, Epson started sending deceptive updates to many of its printers. Just like HP, Epson disguised these updates as routine software improvements, when really they were poison pills, designed to downgrade printers so they could only work with Epson’s expensive ink systems.

Source: EFF To Texas AG: Epson Tricked Its Customers With a Dangerous Fake Update | Electronic Frontier Foundation

No, you can’t patent the ability to pause a lesson recording, EFF says | Ars Technica


According to Thomas’ patent filing itself, “the technique involves a process through which a student, for each of a set of expressions listens to a recorded expression in the home language, and then with a pause under control of the student, translates the expressions into the target language.”

Source: No, you can’t patent the ability to pause a lesson recording, EFF says | Ars Technica

Did Congress Really Expect Us to Whittle Our Own Personal Jailbreaking Tools? | Electronic Frontier Foundation


DMCA 1201 allows the Copyright Office to grant “use” exemptions, but not “tools” exemptions. That means that if the Copyright Office likes your proposal, they can give you permission to jailbreak your gadgets to make some use (say, install third-party apps on your phone, or record clips from your DVDs to use in film studies classes), but they can’t give anyone the right to give you the tool needed to make that use (law professor and EFF board member Pam Samuelson argues that the Copyright Office can go farther than this, at least some of the time, but the Copyright Office disagrees).

Source: Did Congress Really Expect Us to Whittle Our Own Personal Jailbreaking Tools? | Electronic Frontier Foundation

The FBI Is Building A National Watchlist That Gives Companies Real Time Updates on Employees


Will the FBI’s Rap Back service notify your boss that you got arrested protesting the inauguration?

Source: The FBI Is Building A National Watchlist That Gives Companies Real Time Updates on Employees

Stupid Patent of the Month: A Lyrics Website With User Interaction | Electronic Frontier Foundation


Song lyrics are some of the most searched-for topics on the Internet. This has lead to fierce competition among lyrics sites. If you scroll to the bottom of one of these websites, you’ll see the claim: “Song discussions is protected by U.S. Patent No.

Source: Stupid Patent of the Month: A Lyrics Website With User Interaction | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Malcolm Gladwell’s Ridiculous Attack On Ed Snowden Based On Weird Prejudice About How A Whistleblower Should Look | Techdirt

So, suffice it to say I was already skeptical of Gladwell’s recent piece attacking Ed Snowden as not being a “real” whistleblower. But the piece is much, much worse than even I expected. The short, Gladwellian-style summary of it might be: real whistleblowers have to look the part, and they need to be part of an Ivy League elite, with clear, noble reasons behind what they did. Here’s how Gladwell describes Daniel Ellsberg, the guy who leaked the Pentagon Papers, and to whom Gladwell has given his stamp of approval as a “Real Whistleblower™”

Source: Malcolm Gladwell’s Ridiculous Attack On Ed Snowden Based On Weird Prejudice About How A Whistleblower Should Look | Techdirt

Ruling Unsealed: National Security Letters Upheld As Constitutional| Electronic Frontier Foundation

San Francisco – A federal judge has unsealed her ruling that National Security Letter (NSL) provisions in federal law—as amended by the USA FREEDOM Act—don’t violate the Constitution. The ruling allows the FBI to continue to issue the letters with accompanying gag orders that silence anyone from disclosing they have received an NSL, often for years.

Source: Ruling Unsealed: National Security Letters Upheld As Constitutional | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Did You Hear About How ISIS Has A Sophisticated Training Manual For Encryption? Yeah, It Was Actually A Pamphlet For Journalists And Activists | Techdirt

The “manual” was “discovered” by analysts at the Combating Terrorism Center, based out of the US Military Academy at West Point. Thankfully, Buzzfeed has the details, noting that the guide, created by a cybersecurity firm in Kuwait, named Cyberkov, is actually a guide for journalists and activists to protect their communications from oppressive governments. And there’s nothing particularly secret about it, as apparently it’s basically just repurposed stuff from the EFF’s website

Source: Did You Hear About How ISIS Has A Sophisticated Training Manual For Encryption? Yeah, It Was Actually A Pamphlet For Journalists And Activists | Techdirt

Once Again, Megaupload User Asks Court for His Files Back | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Three years ago now, EFF’s client Kyle Goodwin, a sports videographer, asked the court to allow him to retrieve the files he stored in an account on the cloud storage site Megaupload. When the government seized Megaupload’s assets and servers in January 2012, Mr. Goodwin lost access to video files containing months of his professional work.

Source: Once Again, Megaupload User Asks Court for His Files Back | Electronic Frontier Foundation