Taking on the United States Secret Service is a pretty risky venture… But that’s exactly what the EFF did, shortly after it was founded in July 1990. The Secret Service had raided a small videogames book publisher, looking for a stolen technical document that might fall into the wrong hands. Ultimately, it found no evidence to press charges, but the publisher ended up facing bankruptcy, after having its computers seized, missing deadlines, and being forced to lay off staff. Worst of all, the Secret Service erased much of the publisher’s valuable data.
A group of civil liberty-aware geeks – who had seen similar instances of rights being trampled on in the growing digital and online world – caught wind of this. So Mitch Kapor (founder of Lotus and later chair of the Mozilla Foundation), John Perry Barlow (former Grateful Dead lyricist), and John Gilmore (an early Sun Microsystems employee) founded the EFF, taking extra funding from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Their first major task was to support the publisher in a lawsuit against the Secret Service.
In the end, the publisher won two of the three counts, $50,000 in damages and $250,000 in attorney’s fees. Most importantly, however, the issue of whether electronic communication deserves the same legal protection as other forms of communication (such as telephone calls) came to the forefront. The court ruled that the Secret Service had no right to access the publisher’s emails without a search warrant that specifically referred to the emails, setting a precedent that remains today.
8-6-2021 (August 6, 2021) is the Snakiest day of the year and it’s also this year’s CircuitPython Day! The day highlights all things CircuitPython and Python on Hardware. See you there!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
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Electronics — Get the scoop on crystal capacitors
Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: WipperSnapper beta, 30k Discord Users and more! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF
Adafruit IoT Monthly — Smart Agriculture, an E-Ink Newspaper, and more!
Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode for the micro:bit - 2021 Release!
EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey
New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — New Prods 7/22/21 feat. Etched Glow-Through Keycap w/ Open Source Hardware Gear Logo – MX Switches! @adafruit #adafruit #newproducts
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