Two New Tools from Electronic Freedom Foundation


EFF Releases How-To Guide to Fight Government Spying
‘Surveillance Self-Defense’ Gives Practical Advice on Protecting Your Private

March 3, 2009

San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) launched its Surveillance
Self-Defense project today — an online how-to guide for protecting your private
data against government spying. You can find the project at

EFF created the Surveillance Self-Defense site to educate Americans about the
law and technology of communications surveillance and computer searches and
seizures, and to provide the information and tools necessary to keep their private
data out of the government’s hands. The guide includes tips on assessing the
security risks to your personal computer files and communications, strategies
for interacting with law enforcement, and articles on specific defensive technologies
such as encryption that can help protect the privacy of your data.

“Despite a long and troubling history in this country of the government
abusing its surveillance powers, most Americans know very little about how the
law protects them or about how they can take steps to protect themselves against
government surveillance,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston.
“The Surveillance Self-Defense project offers citizens a legal and technical
toolkit with tips on how to defend themselves in case the government attempts
to search, seize, subpoena or spy on their most private data.”

Surveillance Self-Defense details what the government can legally do to spy
on your computer data and communications, and what you can legally do to protect
yourself against such spying. It addresses how to protect not only the data
stored on your computer, but also the data you communicate over the phone or
the Internet and data about your communications that are stored by third party
service providers.

“You can imagine the Internet as a giant vacuum cleaner, sucking up all
of the private information that you let near it. We want to show people the
tools they can use to encrypt and anonymize data, protecting themselves against
government surveillance,” said EFF Staff Technologist Peter Eckersley.
“Privacy is about mitigating risks and making tradeoffs. Every decision
you make about whether to save an email, chat online, or search with or sign
into Google has privacy implications. It’s important to understand those implications
and make informed decisions based on them, and we hope that Surveillance Self-Defense
will help you do that.”

Surveillance Self-Defense was created with the support of the Open Society

For Surveillance Self-Defense:

March 16th, 2009
EFF Launches Search Tool for Uncovered Government Documents
New Search Engine Highlights EFF’s Transparency Efforts During Sunshine Week

San Francisco – In celebration of Sunshine Week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation
(EFF) today launched a sophisticated search tool that allows the public to closely
examine thousands of pages of documents the organization has pried loose from
secretive government agencies. The documents relate to a wide range of cutting-edge
technology issues and government policies that affect civil liberties and personal

EFF’s document collection — obtained through requests and litigation under
the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) — casts light on several controversial
government initiatives, including the FBI’s Investigative Data Warehouse and
DCS 3000 surveillance program, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Automated
Targeting System and ADVISE data-mining project. The documents also provide
details on Justice Department collection of communications routing data, Pentagon
monitoring of soldiers’ blogs, mismatches in the Terrorist Screening Center’s
watchlist, and FBI misuse of its national security letter subpoena authority.

The new search capability enables visitors to EFF’s website to conduct keyword
searches across the universe of government documents obtained by EFF, maximizing
the value of the material.

“Until recently, documents obtained under FOIA often gathered dust in
filing cabinets,” said David Sobel, EFF Senior Counsel and director of
the organization’s FOIA Litigation for Accountable Government (FLAG) Project.
“We believe that government information should be widely available and
easy to research, and our new search engine makes that a reality.”

EFF is launching the tool during national Sunshine Week, an annual, non-partisan
event that promotes government transparency. The celebration is particularly
significant this year, because it comes after eight years of a presidential
administration that was widely criticized for its secrecy and two months into
a new administration that has promised “unprecedented” openness.

“We welcomed President Obama’s declaration — on his first full day in
office — that he will work to make the federal government more open and participatory,”
EFF Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann said. “There’s certainly a lot of work
to do — so much government activity has been hidden from public view in the
name of ‘national security’ and the ‘war on terror.'”

For the new FOIA document search tool:

For more on EFF’s FLAG Project:

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