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Yikes! Yelp Critics Lose Anonymity

“Takes you to court if he doesn’t like your anonymous Yelp review. He will literally make a federal case out of it.” That was a review of Hadeed Carpet posted on Yelp today, in light of a ruling by the Virginia Court of Appeals confirming a lower court’s decision that Yelp must provide the names […]

15 Minutes Of Fame, Courtesy Of Google

The words “shared endorsement” sound fairly benign. But in fact, it’s a scheme cooked up by Google to feature users’ names, photos and profile information in advertising. The Google Terms of Service, under the heading “Your Content In Our Services,” state: If you have a Google Account, we may display your Profile name, Profile photo, […]

Facebook Sued For Storing, Sharing Private Message Data

Facebook Sued For Storing, Sharing Private Message Data

A lawsuit against social media giant Facebook alleges the company has been secretly capturing and storing the contents of users’ private messages in order to share that information with third parties to craft targeted advertising tailored to appeal to members’ most intimate tastes.

My… What Big Ears You Have, Disney!

A year ago, it might’ve been cool. What child doesn’t want to hear Mickey Mouse say “Happy birthday, Johnny!” without first having to be prompted by Mom and Dad. It’s the magic of Disney, after all. Only in today’s post-National Security Agency scandal world, it isn’t cool. In fact, it’s downright creepy. Disney plans to […]


I began publishing my monthly newsletter The Bob Livingston Letter™ (subscription required) in 1969. The following is an excerpt from the January 1996 issue in which I discussed the dangers of the growing surveillance state.

Privacy is directly linked to personal survival. You can’t survive, and you can’t be private while being totally dependent on the system. Since we can’t find another country, our goal is to survive with privacy right here under the nose of the government. Privacy and survival is a moral and legal right, and in fact, a duty to posterity. Our greatest challenge to privacy and survival is to escape the propaganda of government and its politicians. The amount of personal freedom that you have in the next few years in America will be in direct relationship to how sophisticated you become in techniques of privacy and survival.

A Plan For Broader Anti-Surveillance Action

This post, written by Cindy Cohn and Katitza Rodriguez and Parker Higgins, was originally published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on Dec. 17. Last Monday, eight of the largest Internet companies took the unprecedented step of publicly calling for an end to bulk collection of communications data. Then on Tuesday, a coalition of over 550 […]

A First: Judge Rules NSA Data Collection Likely UnConstitutional

A First: Judge Rules NSA Data Collection Likely UnConstitutional

In the first court ruling against the National Security Agency’s data collection efforts revealed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden over the summer, Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., ruled that the agency’s actions violate 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Electronic Frontier Foundation Issues Legal Challenge To Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking

Alarming information about just how frequently law enforcement officials across the country (not to mention the NSA) are trying to get cell phone data, including your location, seem to be published in the news media every day.  With these privacy concerns in mind, last week we filed an amicus brief in the Connecticut Appellate Court in State […]

Libraries Are Fighting To Protect User Information From Government Spies

Libraries Are Fighting To Protect User Information From Government Spies

A growing number of Americans are concerned about privacy following the National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s leaks over the summer — but it isn’t just individuals who are concerned.

Does Video Surveillance Of A Home For A Month Violate The 4th Amendment

This article, originally published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, was written by attorney Hanni Fakhoury. Just because a jogger can see the outside of your home on a public street doesn’t mean you’ve surrendered all your privacy expectations in the home. However, that seemingly obvious concept is being put to the test in a federal […]


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