EFF-Austin-logo-300x188Date: Monday, November 16, 2015
Time: 7PM
Location: Capital Factory

Our speaker this month will be radio personality Jimmy Preston, host of 100 Proof Radio on KTSW 89.9FM and producer at Double Punch Kick Productions.



Jimmy is originally from Northern Virginia, and was a willing participant in the Tech Boom and crash at the turn of the century, and after leaving the tech sector went on to contribute to the Real Estate boom and bust in 2008. After moving to Austin 5 years ago, he began purposing a career in media production, and will complete his degree at Texas State University in May 2016. His interest in social justice issues, and media law and ethics have led him to follow many groups in the Austin area as they work to bring about change for the better. Jimmy is currently working with the Second Chance Democrats to bring Fair Chance Hiring to Austin, and the initiative just passed committee and will go to the full council in February 2016.

Jimmy will be speaking to us about Austin Police Department partnering with local company Snap Trends to monitor social media aggregate data. Snap Trends says they created this software “to serve public safety organization [sic] and national intelligence agencies in the United States.” They state that their technology “builds a clear view of social conversations when and where they occur, the influencers driving them, and why.”




Surveillance states

by EFF Austin

Arundhati Roy quites Edward Snowden from a meeting in Moscow:

Ed spoke at some length about “sleepwalking into a total surveillance state”. And here I quote him, because he’s said this often before: “If we do nothing, we sort of sleepwalk into a total surveillance state where we have both a super-state that has unlimited capacity to apply force with an unlimited ability to know (about the people it is targeting)—and that’s a very dangerous combination. That’s the dark future. The fact that they know everything about us and we know nothing about them—because they are secret, they are privileged, and they are a separate class…the elite class, the political class, the reso­urce class—we don’t know where they live, we don’t know what they do, we don’t know who their friends are. They have the ability to know all that about us. This is the direction of the future, but I think there are changing possibilities in this….”

Read the entire article here.



For this month’s meetup, David Glassco will talk to us about Neobase, his company’s new product that provides a secure communications hub for your home. He will also have a Neobase on hand that meeting participants can demo.

Neobase’s creation was motivated by David’s desire to have a secure and private way to have online conversations with friends and family, but he couldn’t fine a way to do that without the potential for his privacy being compromised, hence the creation of Neobase. Neobase provides a cloudless, secure alternative to social networks like Facebook. The Neobase is an encrypted, secure drive that lives in your home. All the files, pictures, and links you share live on the drive and are never passed through any website, service, or cloud. The things you choose to share will be shared with those friends you approve via email address and no one else. Friends who don’t have their own Neobase will be able to have an account on your Neobase that they can access directly via web portal. The interface is easy and intuitive, with little to no learning curve for those already familiar with modern social networks. The Neobase makes managing your privacy a simple affair, and allows you to communicate with friends and family in the way you choose to, with no reliance on having to trust third-party service providers.


Time: Monday, September 21st, 7:00pm-9:00pm, Capital Factory

Our speaker this month will be ACLU organizer, advocate and lobbyist Lesley Ramsey. Lesley will talk about the ACLU’s work on privacy and technology and their upcoming conference in Austin on these topics.

Lesley Nicole Ramsey has spent the last fifteen years working as an organizer, advocate and lobbyist on issues including civil rights, health care, reproductive justice, fair wages, labor rights, fair trade, tax policy and voting rights. She worked five Texas legislative sessions as a lobbyist and advocate, including two years as the Chief Lobbyist and Executive Director of the Texas Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates. More recently she served as the Executive Director of the Texas Civic Engagement Table, an organization created to increase the effectiveness of progressive organizations by helping them expand their reach into lower income communities and communities of color, and increase voter turn out in those communities. She was also a founding board member of the Lilith Fund, Texas Women’s Coalition and the Religion and Labor Network of Texas. Lesley has a Master’s Degree in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin.

Our talk this month will also be co-hosted with 501 Tech Club. 501 Tech Club is a monthly gathering of people working on nonprofit technology in the Austin area. Their gatherings are opportunities for anyone interested in helping nonprofits use technology to get together and talk shop in a fun, informal setting, with their name referring to the fact that most of them work primarily with and for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.

501 Tech Club is also our sponsor this month, and they have graciously donated beer and snacks for meeting attendees to enjoy.


Video: 20th Anniversary of The Raid on Steve Jackson Games

August 21, 2015

On March 9, 2010, EFF-Austin sponsored an event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the raid on Steve Jackson Games, which became the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s first prominent case when Steve sued the U.S. Secret Service, and which inspired the founding of EFF-Austin. Our event included a panel featuring Steve Jackson, Austin attorney Pete Kennedy (who […]

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The Craft of Investigation

August 3, 2015

How does a journalist get his facts? Investigative journalist Ken Martin of The Austin Bulldog walks through actual investigations behind the stories he’s written. For example, the Austin City Council’s violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act that resulted in an immediate county attorney’s investigation that lasted 20 months and resulted in the entire city […]

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EFF-Austin Celebrates EFF’s 25th Birthday!

July 2, 2015

EFF-Austin Celebrates The 25th Anniversary Of The Electronic Frontier Foundation At Black Star Co-op Twenty five years ago marks the founding of The Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, one of the nation’s foremost defenders and advocates for digital rights. Shortly thereafter, EFF-Austin was founded as the first and to this day only local chapter […]

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No June 2015 Meetup

June 15, 2015

EFF-Austin will have no meetup in June. We’ll have information about our July meetup soon!

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May Meetup: Archiving the Electronic Frontier

May 7, 2015
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For our May meetup, we have invited two Digital Archivists from the University of Texas to lead a discussion on a vast and unique challenge — preserving the huge, complex, and rapidly growing volume of information that our modern culture produces. Video Now Available

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April Meetup: Law Enforcement Body Cameras

April 13, 2015
Thumbnail image for April Meetup: Law Enforcement Body Cameras

For our April meetup, we invited APD Commander Ely Reyes, activist Debbie Russell, and community organizer Andrew Bucknall to lead a discussion on the push for law enforcement officers to wear body cameras, examining the implications for civil liberties, privacy, public safety, and police accountability. Video Now Available

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