Skip to main content
Podcast Episode: Fighting Enshittification

EFFector - Volume 15, Issue 18 - EFF Opposes "Broadcast Flag"


EFFector - Volume 15, Issue 18 - EFF Opposes "Broadcast Flag"

EFFector       Vol. 15, No. 18        June 13, 2002

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

In the 218th Issue of EFFector:

*	Electronic Frontier Foundation Opposes "Broadcast Flag," Submits
	Letter To Congress
*	Biometrics, Surveillance, National ID Threats To Privacy
*	EFF Still Needs Your Tax-Deductible Office Chairs
*	Administrivia

For more information on EFF activities & alerts:

To join EFF or make an additional donation:

EFF is a member-supported nonprofit.  Please sign up as a member


Electronic Frontier Foundation Opposes "Broadcast Flag"

Proposed Technology Mandate Will Harm Consumers

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release For Immediate Release:
Thursday, June 13, 2002

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today sent a
letter to Representative Billy Tauzin (R-LA) exposing how the studios'
"broadcast flag" proposal for digital television (DTV) will harm
consumers and slow DTV roll-out.

Representative Tauzin, a key Congressional player in the DTV debate,
today held a meeting of his DTV Roundtable, an invitation-only event
comprised of industry representatives. Although Representative Tauzin
neglected to invite EFF or other groups representing consumer
EFF hopes that today's EFF letter will highlight consumer concerns and
assist Rep. Tauzin in his effort to protect the public interest in the
DTV transition.

In its letter, EFF points out the ways in which the Broadcast
Discussion Group (BPDG), the group developing the technical standards
for the "broadcast flag," has excluded consumer groups. The BPDG made
its recommendations as part of a Final Report published on June 4,
The exclusion of consumer-interest voices from the process has
in recommendations that will undermine fair use and endorse
standards that will harm competition and innovation. If adopted, these
recommendations will hinder, rather than help, DTV roll-out by making
DTV a complex and expensive alternative to traditional analog

"Consumer voices have been excluded from these inter-industry
negotiations about the 'broadcast flag' and the future of DTV," said
Senior Intellectual Property Attorney Fred von Lohmann. "We hope Rep.
Tauzin will see the BPDG report for what it is -- a self-interested
document generated by a small number of large corporations without
soliciting the concerns of consumers."

The BPDG is an inter-industry group that includes large companies from
the consumer electronics, information technology, and entertainment
industries. The group has been tasked with developing a
standard based on a "broadcast flag" to be added to all DTV
The EFF has participated in the BPDG process and has been critical of
its procedures and recommendations.


For this release:

EFF letter and attachment:

For more about the BPDG and "broadcast flag":


Fred von Lohmann
Senior Intellectual Property Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
+1 415 436-9333 x123 (office), +1 415 215-6087 (cell)

Cory Doctorow
Outreach Coordinator
Electronic Frontier Foundation
+1 415 436-9333 x106 (office), +1 415 726-5209 (cell)


Biometrics, Surveillance, National ID Threats to Privacy

Electronic Frontier Foundation Releases Reports

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release For Immediate Release:
Thursday, June 13, 2002

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today
a series of reports on the shortcomings of large-scale civilian
biometrics systems, the invasive nature of public surveillance, and
inherent dangers of a national identification system.

After September 11, the U.S. government enacted sweeping legislation
that diminished privacy rights in the name of domestic security. In
response to bills like the USA Patriot Act, the Enhanced Border
and Visa Entry Reform Act, and the proposed Driver's License
Modernization Act, EFF is providing the public with factual data on
these laws and the technologies they employ.

"High-tech systems are not a quick fix for terrorism," said EFF Senior
Staff Attorney Lee Tien. "For the most part, these technologies are
dangerously unreliable, and even the best of them are highly

"Governments justify overreaching surveillance on vulnerable targets
such as aliens and dissenters, then inevitably try to extend its use
the rest of society," Tien added.

The EFF "Biometrics," "National ID System," and "Surveillance Monitor"
documents describe in detail the technologies being deployed by the
and other governments in an effort to tighten security. The reports
provide an overview of the technologies and a comprehensive analysis
the privacy concerns they raise.

EFF also recently released an updated version of "EFF's Top 12 Ways to
Protect Your Online Privacy," a detailed account of the best methods
maintaining one's privacy on the Internet, including use of encryption
and cookie management software.


For this release:

EFF's Privacy Now Campaign:

EFF's Top 12 Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy:

Biometrics page:

National ID page:

Surveillance Monitor page:


Lee Tien
Senior Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
+1 415 436-9333 x102 (office), +1 510 290-7131 (cell)

About EFF:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil liberties
organization working to protect rights in the digital world. Founded
1990, EFF actively encourages and challenges industry and government
support free expression, privacy, and openness in the information
society. EFF is a member-supported organization and maintains one of
most linked-to Web sites in the world:


EFF Needs Office Chairs

EFF is still looking for some good office chairs. Fighting the good
fight is hard on the vertebrae, so ergonomically-minded donations are
especially welcome. We can also provide tax-deductible receipts! We
in San Francisco, so donors should probably be in the Bay Area.
Ren Bucholz if you have questions or donations. Thanks in advance!


Ren Bucholz
Electronic Frontier Foundation
+1 415 436-9333 x121 (office)



EFFector is published by:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation
454 Shotwell Street
San Francisco CA 94110-1914
+1 415 436 9333 (voice)
+1 415 436 9993 (fax)

Ren Bucholz

To Join EFF online, or make an additional donation, go to:

Membership & donation queries: General EFF, legal,
policy or online resources queries:

Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged.
Signed articles do not necessarily represent the views of EFF. To
reproduce signed articles individually, please contact the authors for
their express permission. Press releases and EFF announcements &
articles may be reproduced individually at will.

To subscribe to or unsubscribe from EFFector via the Web, go to:

Back issues are available at:

To get the latest issue, send any message to
(or, and it will be mailed to you automatically. You can
also get it via the Web:


Back to top

JavaScript license information