EFF in the News
Kevin Mitnick was eager to participate in a social-engineering contest at the Defcon hacker conference in Las Vegas last weekend and was told he would target Microsoft in the event.
Attorneys for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) advised the social-engineering contest organizers on legalities and since no confidential information was being sought the event passed muster. "We would never advise anyone to break the law," Jennifer Granick, EFF civil liberties director, said in an e-mail exchange this week.
Jailbreaking iPhones to load Web apps not approved by Apple used to be difficult. And anyone who did so to his or her iPhone risked Apple shutting down service, or "bricking" the device. But there's a popular jailbreaking app available at jailbreakme.com. And the Electronic Frontier Foundation recently won a federal ruling banning Apple from bricking jailbreaked iPhones.
The State Department recently said it would seek clarification on why the United Arab Emirates decided to block BlackBerry services. But Gwen Hinze, international director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, noted U.S. officials cannot expect other countries to support a free and open Internet when federal laws at home require a degree of regulatory control over citizens' digital information for security and law enforcement purposes.
"It is going to become increasingly difficult for the U.S. government to put pressure on other countries to protect their citizens' civil liberties, and the free and open Internet while the U.S. does not lead by example," Hinze said, echoing an Aug. 2 statement by United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba.
The open-source Mozilla project has been offering cash bounties for security bugs for six years now, but often bug finders simply turn down the cash.
"A lot of people would say, 'Don't worry about it. Donate it to the EFF [Electronic Frontier Foundation] or just send me a T-shirt,'" said Johnathan Nightingale, the director of Firefox development, in a recent interview.
In what would be the stupidest potential lawsuit in almost a month, the FBI is threatening to sue Wikipedia for posting its official seal online... Cindy Cohn of the Electronic Frontier Foundation sums the whole episode up perfectly when she spoke to the New York Times: “I have to believe the FBI has better things to do than this.”
Eva Galperin with the Electronic Frontier Foundation defines it:
EVA GALPERIN: The theory posits that the combination of a perfectly normal human being, total anonymity and an audience will result in a cesspit.
Researcher Chris Paget demonstrated what’s likely the world’s cheapest and most accessible system for intercepting GSM phone calls, the protocol used by AT&T and T-Mobile. His hardware and open source software cost just $1,500, far less than previous methods. Paget went ahead with his talk despite legal concerns by the Federal Communications Commission–thanks in part to legal representation from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, he hasn’t been arrested as of yet.
However, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) suggested that while many counterfeiters had links with organised crime, piracy may not prevent sales and could have the effect of marketing the software or music to a wider audience.
"Piracy and counterfeiting are often incorrectly lumped together to make piracy seem worse than it is," EFF chair John Buckman told ZDNet UK. "It is not at all clear that these copies, if prevented, would have actually led to sales... Furthermore, there is extensive academic evidence that pirated music and software leads to sales."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital advocacy group, is also wary of Facebook's pattern of ever-changing privacy policies. "Facebook takes one step forward, and two steps back," says EFF spokesperson Eva Galperin. "They'll start to erode the privacy of users, roll it back when there are complaints, but in the end you'll have less privacy then you did before."
Discussion of the DMCA rulemaking, in which EFF earned exemptions for jailbreaking and unlocking mobile phones.