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EPIC 13.9 Newsletter

[1] Secret Surveillance at an All-Time High
[2] Coalition Comments on Phone Record Privacy; FTC Brings 5 Cases
[3] Federal Appeal Pushes for WHOIS Privacy
[4] Privacy, Technology Experts Convene for CFP 2006
[5] EPIC Welcomes New Board Members
[6] News in Brief
[7] EPIC Bookstore: Herbert N. Foerstel's "Surveillance in the Stacks"
[8] Upcoming Conferences and Events
Electronic Privacy Information Center

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1> Two annual reports recently released by federal agencies show that
surveillance activity conducted by the United States government has
continued to rise dramatically since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, with
use of investigative powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
Act again at an all-time high.

2> A coalition of consumer and civil liberties groups joined EPIC in filing
comments with the Federal Communications Commission that urge the agency
to adopt stronger protections for phone records. Phone records (and
other types of personal information held by businesses) are vulnerable
to "pretexting," a practice where an individual impersonates another
person, employs false pretenses, or otherwise uses trickery to obtain
information. In 2005, EPIC identified 40 websites offering to obtain
phone records through pretexting, and filed a petition with the FCC to
require stronger rules for protecting phone records

3> EPIC has filed a friend of the court brief supporting the rights of .US
domain name holders not to publish their personal information on the
Internet. In 2005, the Department of Commerce, which administers the .US
domain, banned users from using proxy services that would protect
privacy. EPIC's brief supports one user who is trying to block the
Commerce Department policy. The EPIC brief argues that privacy experts
have made clear that personal information should not be routinely
accessible in the WHOIS database and that the policy for .US provides
much less protection when compared with the policies of other countries
for country code domains.

4> The 16th annual Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference met this week
in Washington, DC. The event, presented by the Association for Computing
Machinery, covered a wide range of topics affecting technology and civil

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