An anonymous reader writes to alert us to a court win for the EFF in two cases in which DirecTV employed heavy-handed legal tactics to suppress security and computer science research into satellite and smart card technology. Here's the ruling (PDF) from the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals. From the announcement: "The cases, DirecTV v. Huynh and DirecTV v. Oliver, involved a provision of federal law prohibiting the 'assembly' or 'modification' of equipment designed to intercept satellite signals. DirecTV maintained that the provision should cover anyone who works with equipment designed for interception of their signals, regardless of their motivation or whether any interception occurs. But in a hearing earlier this year, EFF argued that the provision should apply only to entities that facilitate illegal interception by other people and not to those who simply tinker or use the equipment, such as researchers and others working to further scientific knowledge of the devices at issue."
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