EFFector Vol. 16, No. 9 April 13, 2003 firstname.lastname@example.org
A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation ISSN 1062-9424
In the 248th Issue of EFFector:
- EFF Files Comments Against Government Attempt to Ignore E-Activism
- California Supreme Court Hears Email Pamphleteer Case
- 2003 Pioneer Awards Thanks, Pictures
- EFF at RSA Conference 2003!
- Thanks to Van Dayke Software
- Deep Links (8): USA Patriot Act Could Be Extended
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EFF Files Comments Against Government Attempt to Ignore E-Activism
EFF recently submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture urging the rejection of a rule that would bar citizens from using online "action centers" in some government rulemakings. Proposed rule 219.19(d)(1) would ban "form letters, check-off lists, pre-printed post cards, or similar duplicative materials" from being considered in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) proceedings. While this particular rule is limited to NEPA initiatives, it sets a bad example for other agencies and raises free speech issues for citizens and organizations that use empowering technology to address policy issues.
A broad range of advocacy organizations have online action centers, from the American Association of Retired Persons to the National Rifle Association, the National Right to Life Coalition to the American Civil Liberties Union and thousands of others. EFF has its own center at http://action.eff.org.
California Supreme Court Hears Email Pamphleteer Case
Lower Court Decision Threatens Internet Commerce and Speech
Los Angeles - The California Supreme Court recently reviewed a lower court ruling that companies can sue those who send unwanted email to their employees.
The case, called Intel v Hamidi, arises from six firmwide email messages sent by Ken Hamidi during a two-year period to thousands of Intel employees worldwide. The messages admittedly did no harm to Intel's computer systems and caused no delays in its computer services. Nonetheless, in a 34-page opinion, the Third Appellate District Court in California ruled that sending unwanted emails was an illegal "trespass."
"The court today heard arguments explaining why extending the trespass to chattels doctrine to electronic communications would be very hard to justify," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien. "The court seemed unwilling to rule that anyone who sends electronic communications after having been told not to could risk a lawsuit from recipients."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed an amicus brief in the Intel v. Hamidi case, arguing that the lower court distorted the "trespass to chattels" doctrine when applying it to the Internet. EFF noted that the doctrine has already been used by companies in several cases around the country to stop competitors from gathering comparative price information from websites, something that is generally viewed as assisting consumers.
- For this release
- EFF amicus brief in Intel v. Hamidi case
- Documents related to Intel v. Hamidi case
- Trespass to chattels analysis
- Intel v. Hamidi website
- Former and Current Employees of Intel website
- ACLU brief in Intel v. Hamidi case
2003 Pioneer Awards Thanks, Pictures
EFF held the 12th Annual Pioneer Awards on April 2nd, 2003, on the 80th floor of the Empire State Building. EFF would like to thank everyone that helped make the evening a success.
We would, of course, like to thank the 2003 Pioneer Award Winners, Eben Moglen, Amy Goodman, and David Sobel, both for their difficult and visionary work, and for their inspirational acceptance speeches at the event itself.
Thank you also to the 2003 Pioneer Award Judges, who chose this year's winners. They gave generously of both their time and effort to choose the new Pioneers. This years' judges were:
- Herb Brody (Senior Editor, Technology Review)
- Beth Givens (2002 Pioneer Award Winner, Executive Director of Privacy Rights Clearinghouse)
- Moira Gunn (Host, "Tech Nation", National Public Radio)
- Donna L. Hoffman (Associate Professor of Management, Vanderbilt University)
- Peter G. Neumann (Principal Scientist, SRI Intl.; Moderator, ACM Risks Forum)
- Drazen Pantic (Media & Tech. Director, NYU Center for War, Peace, & the News Media)
- Barbara Simons (past President, Association for Computing Machinery, & U.C. Berkeley Distinguished Alumnus)
- Karen G. Schneider (Director, Librarians Index to the Internet, Oakland, CA)
Thank you to the Empire State Building for allowing us to use their space, even in a time of high security for New York City, and specifically to Tricia Dempsey, who helped us coordinate the event.
Thank you to CFP (Computers, Freedom and Privacy) and specifically to Barry Steinhardt, for both supporting and publicizing the Pioneer Awards Ceremony.
Finally, thank you to Madison Caterers for providing the delicious dessert buffet for the event.
A round of applause from all of us at EFF to all of you for your generosity. Thank you!
EFF at RSA Conference 2003!
Once again, the EFF will have a booth at the upcoming RSA Conference on data security. Various EFF representatives will be there, passing out literature and promoting your privacy. Stop by and say hi!
Where: Moscone Center, 747 Howard St., San Francisco, CA
When: April 14-16, 10am - 5pm
Thanks to Van Dayke Software
The Electronic Frontier Foundation would like to thank Van Dayke Software (http://www.vandyke.com) for their donation of EnTunnel, a software tool for establishing secure, compressed SSH tunnels to our Linux email server. EFF appreciates donations of useful tools from companies that support our cause.
Deep Links features noteworthy news items, victories, and threats from around the Internet.
- USA Patriot Act Could Be Extended
If Orrin Hatch gets his way, the "sunset provisions" of the 2001 anti-terror bill could be lifted, making many terrorism-inspired snooping powers permanent.
- Free Software and the End of Microsoft
Pioneer Award winner Eben Moglen has a compelling take on the biggest threat to Microsoft's monopoly: the free software movement.
- DMCA Sends Modchip Vendor to Jail
ISONews proprietor David Rocci will serve five months in prison and pay almost $28,500 in fines for selling Xbox modchips.
- Stealthy Officials Raid Libraries of Emergency Plans
Apparently, documents regarding civic responses to hazardous waste emergencies are now classified. In order to keep us safe, the government is sending plainclothes agents into libraries, posing as patrons, and repossessing these dangerous instructions for... dealing with disasters?
- DRM and the Disabled
Interesting article on how digital rights management causes trouble for people with disabilities.
- Greenspan on Copyright
Economic guru thinks IP law needs more balance.
- Al Jazeera's Hosting Woes
The Register covers the case study for silencing unpopular speech on the Net.
- ACLU Loses Censorware Case
Reverse engineering and the First Amendment suffer.
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