EFF in the News
The EFF and Carpathia launched a website Tuesday, Megaretrieval.com, to gather information from "innocent users who stored legitimate, non-infringing files." According to Samuels, EFF attorneys want to give those users some say in what happens to Megaupload's servers. But it's not clear what responsibility, if any, the government has to preserve the data, or how long users can be denied access to their files.
"We’re on a fact-finding mission right now. I don't know the best way forward," Samuels said. "We're asking folks to take a second, take a deep breath, consider the rights of innocent third parties who are caught up in this dragnet and go from there."
In the meantime, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has teamed up with Carpathia to create a website that puts folks in touch with EFF attorneys so users can try to retrieve their data. No word as to what legal wrangling the EFF can do to make it happen, but those affected can get the wheels of justice started at the source below.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), supported by Carpathia Hosting, today announced its plans to assess the scope of the issue facing Megaupload users who are at risk of losing their data.
“EFF is troubled that so many lawful users of Megaupload.com had their property taken from them without warning and that the government has taken no steps to help them,” said Julie Samuels, Staff Attorney at EFF. “We think it’s important that these users have their voices heard as this process moves forward.”
Also in 2010, the EFF warned that Big Brother wants to be your friend on social media... I worry about our civil liberties, freedom, and privacy. It's depressing, but I'd like to offer you something positive, so I reached out to a group that I deeply respect. I spoke with the EFF's Rebecca Jeschke who said:
he EFF and other groups want to take jailbreaking a step further: The EFF wants the US Government to maintain the DMCA exemption for smartphone jailbreaking, and extend it to cover tablets and consoles--apparently, jailbreaking your gaming console or tablet is still legally iffy, and many companies oppose the practice. Now, I'm no lawyer, but as a tech journalist and a consumer, I can't see how outlawing jailbreaking will do anything but hurt us users--and tech companies too. Here's why.
According to documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the FBI’s CIPAV spyware, when installed on a target's computer, allows the feds to collect the following information: IP address; media access control (MAC) address; browser environment variables; open communication ports; list of the programs running; operating system type, version, and serial number; browser type and version; language encoding; the URL that the target computer was previously connected to; registered computer and company name; currently logged-in user name; and other information that would assist with "identifying computer users, computer software installed, [and] computer hardware installed", EFF said in a news release.
The choose-your-own-price Humble Bundle has proven to be a runaway success on desktop platforms -- helping fund indie developers and causes like Child's Play and the EFF alike -- and it's now finally taken the plunge onto mobile devices.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is calling bullshit on this, and along with Carpathia, MegaUpload's hosting service, they've started MegaRetrieval.com, a new site meant to call attention and serve those affected. There's not much to the site right now, aside from providing a mission statement and an email address for Megaupload refugees to air their grievances. According to Forbes, they're not so much trying to take action in the short term as they are gathering info to see if there's a valid class-action lawsuit to be pursued. But it's the thought that counts, ya know?
Unlike other industries, in tech there is much more confusion about what the language in software patents covers, said Julie Samuels, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
"Folks who want to use those patents offensively can take advantage of that confusion," Samuels said.