EFF in the News
Last week, Electronic Frontier Foundation was among the first organizations to report that Blue Coat Systems censorship and surveillance software had been discovered in government-controlled Syrian Telecommunications Establishment.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has more on the deadly Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the most extreme, anti-Internet, anti-privacy, anti-free speech copyright proposal in US legislative history. Today, EFF responds to claims from the Chamber of Commerce that SOPA isn't a blacklist because the law doesn't actually contain the word "blacklist":
Lee Tien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation... sees license plate readers as another ingredient in the Orwellian stew of lost privacy that has sneaked into all our lives with advances in technology.
...Tien said, and I agree, that residents of places whose law enforcement uses this technology should have a citizens’ commission or “some kind of official body that asks questions and requires transparency.”
Elaborating, Peter Eckerley, technology projects director at Electronics Frontier Foundation (EFF) said measurements of biological variables such as heart rate, galvanic skin response and eye movements would only be able to detect whether people were stressed, or even whether they were angry or nervous.
In announcing the award, the Electronic Frontier Foundation also credits Wyden with recent efforts to block legislation deemed harmful to free speech and with proposing legislation to define when and how government and private parties can access location information in cellphones and other electronic devices.
Other recipients of the award were:
_ Ian Goldberg, a University of Waterloo professor credited with exposing design weaknesses in encryption systems used to protect cellphone conversations and Wi-Fi traffic, resulting in improvements to the systems.
_ Nawaat.org, a blog operated by four Tunisians and credited with spreading information on social and political unrest there.
"These Pioneer Award winners are all working to make sure that technology protects freedom instead of curtailing it," EFF Executive Director Shari Steele said.
"There's really not much question that this bill is designed to do an end run around the DMCA," said Corynne McSherry, intellectual property director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group in San Francisco. "What has been affirmed by court after court is that service providers do not have to affirmatively police infringement. That's a good thing because it's a terrible burden to put on a service provider."
"People should take advantage of the time for curation to make sure their profiles look the way they want them to," says Rebecca Jeschke, a digital rights analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
People have shown that they really want privacy and transparency, Jeschke says. "It looks like these steps Facebook is taking with the Timeline are steps in the right direction."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has more information on Blue Coat, a US company whose "deep packet inspection" products are being used by the Syrian secret police with reportedly horrific consequences for Syrians who dare to express dissent online.