EFF in the News
Last week, PayPal and Google joined the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation, among other organizations, in formally opposing the measure, arguing it will greatly increase the potential for abuse.
The changes, the group said in a letter to lawmakers, “give federal magistrate judges across the United States new authority to issue warrants for hacking and surveillance in cases where a computer’s location is unknown.”
He cites a case where entertainment conglomerate Universal pushed YouTube to take down a video a mother posted of her baby dancing to Let’s Go Crazy by Prince (RIP). Doctorow is proud that the Electronic Frontier Foundation helped win an appeals-court victory in the case. “It’s one thing when an entertainment company is negotiating with Harry Potter’s publisher for the right to do a Harry Potter ride at a theme park. (2) It’s another when there’s some teen in her basement in Calgary, writing and posting Harry Potter fan-fic.”
"I think it's lost on most people how much of their activity online is tracked and cataloged and can be made available on a day-to-day basis," said Mark Rumold, senior staff attorney at the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Information disclosed to Google can be as diverse as the thoughts that are in your mind."
Mark Rumold, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation told Motherboard in a phone call, “The government is never shy about asserting its classification authority as broadly as it wants to.”
For starters, people know if their blinds are broken and have a chance to fix them. An officer looking through them is only observing what anyone else could observe. And "even if their blinds are broken doesn't mean you get to go into their house and search," said Mark Rumold, a senior staff attorney at the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation.
"The court's decision that you don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy in a laptop in your own home — people should be very worried," he said.
The size of the total pool of photos the bureau can access, which was not clear until the new report from the Government Accountability Office, is shocking even to those who have been paying close attention to the FBI’s growing use of biometric data, says Jennifer Lynch, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. And the degree to which the FBI has access to photos in state-owned face image databases, which contain mostly driver’s license images, has Lynch and other privacy advocates concerned.
The rest of the data comes from “the State Department’s Visa and Passport databases, the Defense Department’s biometric database, and the drivers license databases of at least 16 states,” according to Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
"I'm happy ... that Apple has announced this and seems to be working on it in a way that has a lot of potential," said Nate Cardozo, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights advocacy group. "Apple has said the right words at this point, and now we're waiting for the details."
“You would have to prove that Twitter took a certain step–or failed to take a step–that caused the Paris attack to happen,” Aaron Mackey, a legal fellow at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told FRANCE 24.
The causality argument may be even harder to win than the argument against the CDA, Mackey says.
The ordinance won praise from privacy advocates including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Adam Schwartz, a senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the new regulations on surveillance will be a good way to improve the trust between the public and law enforcement, and that it's important for the supervisors to ultimately decide whether the benefits of new surveillance technology outweigh the costs.
"We believe the decisions about such powerful, transformative technologies ought to be made at the very top," Schwartz said.