EFF in the News
Cindy Cohn (Legal Director, General Counsel, Electronic Frontier Foundation)
The cases taken on by Cindy Cohn are precedent-setting cases that are forming the digital media landscape. She has defended online activism, individuals against warrantless wiretapping under NSA spying, and the loosening of restrictions on encryption software (which later became caselaw).
1) HTTPS Everywhere:
HTTPS Everywhere, the Firefox extension from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, helps users to secure the connection between the browser and the servers. Once it is installed, by default every sites are checked and any time you visit one of the sites covered by HTTPS Everywhere, your browser automatically goes for the HTTPS/SSL connection option, or uses TOR's resources to encrypt it.
In its legal battle, Ivi drew support from a coalition of digital rights groups, including Public Knowledge and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They argued in a friend-of-the-court brief that the law should not favor "1970s-era cable operators" over companies that use new technology to offer similar services.
How awesome is this book? Here's a sneak peek: "This is a book about cops, and wild teenage whiz-kids, and lawyers, and hairy-eyed anarchists, and industrial technicians, and hippies, and high-tech millionaires, and game hobbyists, and computer security experts, and Secret Service agents, and grifters, and thieves." That's the first sentence in a fascinatingly frank firsthand account of life on the legal fringes of cyberspace; highlights include the fall of the Legion of Doom, the Knight Lightning trial of 1990 and the rise of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Amid criticism from the likes of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Sen. Collins has stated that the proposed bill is proactive in that "we cannot afford to wait for a cyber 9/11 before our government finally realizes the importance of protecting our digital resources."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published an Excel spreadsheet document listing recent dismissals of porn BitTorrent cases.
The spreadsheet lists all of the studios, movie titles, attorneys and number of dismissed and current John Does related to 36 mass defendant lawsuits in which judges dismissed more than 40,000 unnamed John Does accused of illegal file sharing.
However, the panel that was the most fascinating was later in the day with a panel called "Lawyers, Guns & Money," discussing questions around music file sharing and what should be done about it. The lineup of panelists included Rich Bengloff (who later told me that I should have the word "editor" stripped from my badge because it gave me too much credibility -- nice guy, that Rich) from A2IM (who represents independent music labels), Michael Petricone from the Consumer Electronics Association, Julie Samuels from the EFF, Mark Eisenberg who has worked at the major labels and is now a consultant, and Bryan Calhoun from SoundExchange. The whole thing was moderated by Jonathan Potter who certainly knows how to make a panel get... lively.
...these kinds of laws, Mr. Tien says, often also inspire new federal regulations that require communication providers to add “back doors” to their information architecture specifically so authorities can get at information when they need to.
Today, the EFF's Corynne McSherry, Intellectual Property Director at EFF, wrote the following commentary:
"First, as explained in more detail in a letter EFF sent today on behalf of three of the targets (Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen, authors of The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City, and their publisher, Process Media), the legal claims are baseless."
But apparently the changes aren't enough to appease Internet freedom and privacy advocates. CNET quotes the Electronic Frontier Foundation's senior staff attorney, Kevin Bankston, as follows:
"The president would have essentially unchecked power to determine what services can be connected to the Internet or even what content can pass over the Internet in a cybersecurity emergency."