EFF in the News
“A lot of the language in this regulation has been sharpened in response to U.S. companies walking very close to the line as far as complying with E.U. data protection regulations,” said Danny O’Brien, the international director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based cyber rights group.
For the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the civil society group that created the petition, the White House’s response was not the one they hoped for. The administration “acknowledged the importance of the conversation but offered no conclusions,” said Rainey Retiman, EFF’s director of activism. If the administration wants to know what interested parties think about encryption, Reitman told BuzzFeed News, it should refer to the original petition. The signatories called for the president to unequivocally oppose encryption “backdoors” and privileged government access into encrypted devices. “We are ready for leadership from Obama on this issue,” she said.
"The extent to which they oppose the status quo depends on whether or not they’ll be targeted," Eva Galperin, global policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the Daily Dot. "They didn't suddenly develop a sympathy for Muslims."
Andrew Crocker, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says the first step is finding out what the government's policy for using zero days is to begin with. He has sued to find out and has so far won a redacted version of the policy, which applies to the NSA as well as the FBI, he said. Nonetheless, he said the government might have a good reason for using a hacking tool.
"I don't think that we have ever said that they should never do this," Crocker said. Rather, he said it's about "making sure that this is being done in a way that makes sense from the public's point of view."
Legally speaking, Disney does have a copyright in the appearance of an action figure it produces, as well as the packaging. And a photo of a copyrighted item can sometimes be infringing. But a photo on a fan blog that essentially says "check out what I just bought" has an extremely strong claim to fair use, according to Mitch Stolz of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
"Yes there's a copyright, but I don't think that entitles Disney and Lucasfilm to try to make that image disappear from the Internet," he said. "Someone may have screwed up, and violated an agreement as to when the toys would hit the shelves. But that doesn't make a photo of a toy forbidden information."
It has been 25 years since the Electronic Frontier Foundation was founded to ensure the civil liberties that mattered in the real world followed us into the online world, and it has been a heady quarter-century, with many significant victories, and we have learned some alarming, important lessons on the way.
Privacy advocates say the data collection has the potential for misuse. "One of the concerning things is, this is hidden from you in your phone," Noah Swartz, staff technologist at Electronic Frontier Foundation, told CBS News. "This could be used by abusive partners. It could be used by police in an investigation. It could be used by your boss or your company if you gave them access to your phone or if you're using a work phone."
"Most of this tracking is invisible to the regular user, and the more they find out about what is going on, the more that it clashes with their expectations of privacy," said Danny O’Brien, international director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a pro-digital rights group.
“At the end of the day, you can’t stop someone from doing math or creating cryptography,” said Mark Jaycox, a legislative analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“The free speech concerns are really weighty because to the extent that these companies are acting at the instruction of the government, it’s essentially the government at that point,” said David Greene, Civil Liberties Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an online civil liberties organization.
“I don’t know what the line is [between terrorism and political speech],” Greene said. “I don’t think anybody knows what the line is.”