EFF in the News
After more than 15 years as a web developer and environmental and human rights activist, Bill Budington kept noticing the same problems. Whether it was unpatched hosts or outdated and expired software, many of the non-profits he worked with were highly vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Making matters worse, Bill noticed that many of the organizations weren’t able to invest the resources to follow the best practices for security.
“As much as they’d like to move from some outdated platform to something better, they wouldn’t be able to,” Bill said. “Part of my job was to let them know what some of the larger holes in their security might be and how they can actually protect themselves.”
Bill now combines those passions for activism and technology in his current role as Staff Technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization that champions and defends people’s rights to privacy and expression online.
“This judge definitely got it right,” said Mark Rumold senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “Regardless of the information the FBI got back – whether it was an IP address or piece of sensitive information – there is no question that this was a search.”
Also on the show: After Kevin Moore filmed Baltimore police dragging Freddie Gray into a van, he says police came to arrest him, with assault weapons and helicopters. Released without charges, Moore said months later, police sit outside his son’s school and ride past him, taunting him with their phones up. Citizen journalists collecting evidence of violence and abuse by law enforcement are literally providing the content for a social movement. So why are they being harassed and jailed and ignored—while corporate journalists collect awards for their work? We’ll talk about the importance of legal—and journalistic—defense of citizen journalists with Shahid Buttar, director of grassroots advocacy at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Bruce Schneier is an internationally renowned security technologist, called a “security guru” by The Economist. He is the author of 12 books — including "Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World" — as well as hundreds of articles, essays, and academic papers. His influential newsletter “Crypto-Gram” and blog “Schneier on Security” are read by over 250,000 people. Schneier is a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, a program fellow at the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and an Advisory Board member of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. He is also the Chief Technology Officer of Resilient Systems, Inc.
“They pose a different threat than the NSA. ... But they can reveal a much more invasive picture of a person’s life,” attorney Stephanie Lacambra of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a California-based digital-rights advocacy group, said in response to the newspaper’s findings. “The public should be concerned.”
"...truth is always a defense against defamation..." says Jaimie Williams, Staff Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation
A 2002 case — Veeck v. Southern Building Code Congress — would seem to have settled the issue. The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled, “Public ownership of the law means precisely that ‘the law’ is in the ‘public domain’ for whatever use citizens choose to make of it.” One of Public Resource’s pro bono lawyers, Corynne McSherry of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says there are also Supreme Court decisions that make it clear that publishing laws is a constitutional right. “Copyright does not trump the Constitution,” she says.
Janine Jackson interviewed Shahid Buttar on retaliation against copwatchers for the September 9, 2016, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.
"I really worry with this mass collection of biometric data that the government is not going to protect it appropriately and then all of a sudden we’ll see this information released and people’s identities will be stolen," said Jennifer Lynch, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.