EFF in the News
"It sounds very dangerous," says Lee Tien, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, referring to the police-only Web interface. "Let's assume you set this sort of thing up. What does that mean in terms of what the law enforcement officer be able to do? Would they be able to fish through transactional information for anyone? I don't understand how you create a system like this without it."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has listed seven Western companies responsible for selling censorship and surveillance technology to the Chinese.
The EFF compiled its "corporations of interest" list from published data on companies that have sold surveillance tools to the Chinese. In strongly worded language, the EFF's Danny O'Brien said the named companies are "fostering repression in China" because the Chinese use the technology for "rampant censorship, invasive data collection and intimidation."
"Things have changed slightly — for the worse," said Rebecca Jeschke from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
Warning of an FCC power grab, the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation says the commission lacks authority to impose regulations.
At a meeting last week in Mozilla's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., a few dozen attendees including representatives from the Federal Trade Commission began to sketch out how a standard for privacy icons would work. "They were thinking that you might have several icons in the address bar for each site," said Seth Schoen, staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Maybe they would be showing things that were good about that site's privacy practices, and maybe they would be showing things that were bad about that site's privacy practices."
"Of course, they would never charge a guy from Channel 4 news, but they arrested this guy," said Attorney Jennifer Granick, the Civil Liberties Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Certainly under federal law, you are allowed to make recordings of things that happen in public places. The intent of the [two-party] law is meant to protect private communication,but not to insulate public occurrences from being recorded. Can you imagine if a news reporter was not allowed to record a fire?"
"This goes to show that there's a problem with due process in these kinds of situations," said Fred von Lohmann, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which advocates for Internet users and technology companies. "If you're going to kick somebody off the Internet, there's a lot of procedures that need to be put in place to protect the innocent. It doesn't look like those were in place here."
And many — including the former AT&T technician who produced the documents in the case and the EFF — believe the alleged dragnet surveillance program continues unabated today.
“Nothing has stopped the dragnet,” said Cindy Cohn, the EFF’s legal director, whose case had grown to include all of the nation’s leading internet service providers.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has created an on-line tool that details the wealth of information a Web browser reveals, which can pose privacy concerns when used to profile users.
The EFF's Panopticlick tool takes just a few seconds to pluck out information that a Web browser divulges when visiting a Web site, such as a user's operating system, version numbers for plug-ins, system fonts and even screen size, color and depth.
The first panel opened with a discussion of the little-known topic of Flash cookies, a type of software deposited on computers to gather information. It runs through Adobe's Flash multimedia player and isn't deleted when a user clears the standard cookies through their Internet browser.
The technology "clearly circumvents the intentions" of users, said Peter Eckersley, staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.