November 30, 2006 | By John Gilmore

In Memoriam: Peter Junger, Digital Freedom Fighter

Last week, digital freedom fighter Peter Junger passed away. Peter was a truly pioneering legal thinker on digital issues, and his impact was felt far outside the walls of academia. In particular, we all owe him a debt of gratitude for challenging the government's draconian restrictions on encryption and helping to establish that code is speech protected by the First Amendment.

Today, strong encryption is taken for granted, whether it's keeping snoops out of your Internet communications, protecting your credit card number when you shop online, or otherwise securing your privacy. But when Peter filed his lawsuit a decade ago, export controls treated encryption as a dangerous weapon; in turn, Peter and other researchers who wanted to publish encryption code were akin to arms dealers. In 2000, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that these restrictions demanded scrutiny under the First Amendment. At the time, EFF was challenging the export controls in Bernstein v. US, and we also supported Peter in his efforts.

In Junger v. Daley and beyond, Peter was fearless. His contributions to the fight for digital freedom will be sorely missed and forever celebrated.

For anyone who would like to make a donation in Peter's name, please send your donation to the Cleveland Buddhist Temple, 1573 East 214th St., Euclid, Ohio 44117.

News.com writer Declan McCullagh posted some of his own memories here.


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Unless stopped, European user content sites may be forced to do revenue-sharing deals with entertainment companies https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Aug 26 @ 3:52pm

Leaked European copyright proposal would cause massive changes to Internet platforms and news sites as we know them https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Aug 26 @ 1:06pm

Research universities are supposed to drive innovation. When they sell patents to trolls, they do just the opposite. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Aug 26 @ 12:41pm
JavaScript license information