EFF in the News
he E.F.F (Electronic Frontier Federation) as part of its ongoing investigation into how law enforcement obtains and uses personal information, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding social networking. It requested that federal and state agencies alike provide a copy of requirements sent to them from the social media giants on How to Obtain Private Information for official Justice Department use.
Enter Chilling Effects, a non-profit educational project run jointly by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and an impressive collection of law schools. Chilling Effects invites the public to submit takedown notices, after which they are posted, commented upon by the public and studied by legal scholars. Google, being the netizen that it is, had been dutifully forwarding all of Perfect10’s takedown notices to Chilling Effects. Then, in place of the removed images, Google included a link to the takedown notice with a statement that said:
“In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at ChillingEffects.org.”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is worried by the lawsuit Sony recently filed against hackers of the PlayStation 3.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending digital civil liberties, has gotten behind the PlayStation 3 hackers Sony sued for cracking the console's security measures. The EFF's official stance on the suit is that it's downright "frightening."
Here, though, are five efforts by prominent journalists and organizations to do just that. The five posts here serve as digests of the last year's Wikileaks news, selected according to personal assessment of newsworthiness and salience. They are a valuable resource for anyone who wants to ascertain for him or herself whether it is true that "Wikileaks told us nothing new."
Electronic Frontier Foundation: Rainey Reitman: The Best of Cablegate: Instances Where Public Discourse Benefited from the Leaks
This post by Rainey Reitman lists "a small selection of cables that [have] been critical to understanding and evaluating controversial events." Among the revelations overviewed are the DYNCORP "dancing boy" scandal, and the misuse of the U.S. diplomatic corp to fix contracts and law reform for big business. Valuable commentary is provided for each entry.
Corrynne McSherry and Marcia Hofmann of the EFF write :
For years, EFF has been warning that the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act can be used to chill speech, particularly security research, because legitimate researchers will be afraid to publish their results lest they be accused of circumventing a technological protection measure. We've also been concerned that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act could be abused to try to make alleged contract violations into crimes.
Chris Palmer -- formerly Google Android security framework engineer and now Technology Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation -- writes about the cavalier attitude toward security exhibited by the major mobile operating system vendors, and the risk this poses to all of us:
A recent lawsuit filed by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. against several security researchers for allegedly jailbreaking the company's PS3 hardware is evoking howls of protest from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
In a blog post this week, the digital rights advocacy group called Sony's lawsuit (download PDF) a dangerous move designed expressly to scare security researchers away from looking at flaws in its products.
"The real point, it appears, is to send a message to security researchers around the world: publish the details of our security flaws and we'll come after you with both barrels blazing," the EFF wrote.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed an amicus brief asking an Illinois judge to throw out subpoenas related to mass BitTorrent lawsuits, which join thousands of defendants together in an effort to secure a financial settlement.
The EFF, which filed the 37-page brief at U.S. District Court in Chicago, said it wants to stop content owners and attorneys from targeting the alleged file sharers in what the foundation calls “predatory” lawsuits because they violate the defendant’s rights.
“Copyright owners have a right to protect their works, but they can’t use shoddy and unfair tactics to do so,” said Corynne McSherry, EFF intellectual property director.
In the latest case, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation explains, Sony has sued computer security researchers:
for publishing information about security holes in Sony’s PlayStation 3. At first glance, it's hard to see why Sony is bothering — after all, the research was presented three weeks ago at the Chaos Communication Congress and promptly circulated around the world. The security flaws discovered by the researchers allow users to run Linux on their machines again — something Sony used to support but recently started trying to prevent. Paying lawyers to try to put the cat back in the bag is just throwing good money after bad. And even if they won — we'll save the legal analysis for another post — the defendants seem unlikely to be able to pay significant damages. So what's the point?
But existing laws cover such problems, and this one clumsily attempts to preserve freedom of speech exceptions by outlawing only "credible" impersonations, whatever those are. The Electronic Frontier Foundation notes that there’s potential for abuse, such as quashing parodies, perhaps even political speech. Just as annoying is the new word coined by the law: “epersonation.”