In late 2012, Max Schrems, a privacy advocate and member of the Europe v Facebook group requested that the Irish Data Protection Commissioner investigate the alleged sharing of European Facebook users’ information with the United States National Security Agency (NSA), in the light of the Snowden revelations.
These revelations suggest that Facebook and the US government had violated the Safe Harbour arrangement, which aimed at guaranteeing the privacy of EU citizens and regulates the transfer of personal data from the European Union to the United States. When the Irish Data Protection Commissioner refused to investigate the case, Schrems appealed to the Irish High Court. The Court’s decision centred around whether the European Commission’s decision on Safe Harbour in 2000 was binding and therefore not subject to investigation by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner.
The Schrems case, to which EDRi-member Digital Rights Ireland is attached as an amicus curiae, will have a hearing at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on 24 March.
EFF tells an US district court ruled that the act of using someone else’s computer login credentials, even with their knowledge and permission, is a federal crime. The case was appealed and EFF filed an amicus brief in support, explaining why applying the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) is dangerous. First, CFAA prosecutions should be focused on hacking: keeping unwanted and unauthorized people from intruding into computer space. Second, using an authorized user’s credentials with their permission is not circumventing a technological access barrier.
Garcia v. Google is a copyright case arising from the "Innocence of Muslims" video that was associated with violent protests around the world. The appellant, Cindy Lee Garcia, argues that she holds a copyright in her five-second performance in the video, and that the video uses that performance without permission. EFF and many other public interest groups have filed friend-of-the-court briefs in the case, noting (among other concerns) that it is a matter of firmly established law that actors generally do not have a copyright in their performances.
Mozilla has joined several other tech and software companies in filing an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in the Halo and Stryker cases to urge the Court to limit the availability of treble damages.
EPIC has filed an amicus brief in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court regarding email privacy. At issue is Google's scanning of the email of non-Gmail users. EPIC argued that this is prohibited by the Massachusetts Wiretap Act. EPIC described Google's complex scanning and analysis of private communications, concluding that it was far more invasive than the interception of a telephone communications, prohibited by state law. A federal court in California recently ruled that non-Gmail users may sue Google for violation of the state wiretap law.