EFF in the News
When it comes to Obama transparency, Electronic Frontier Foundation privacy attorney Kurt Opsahl points out that the chief executive told the American public one thing Wednesday night and a federal appeals court another just a few weeks ago...
“What they want to hide will not give some advantage to our adversaries,” Opsahl said in a telephone interview. “They want to protect the telecoms and themselves from the embarrassment to be involved in lobbying to deny millions of Americans their day in court.”
Peter Eckersley, a staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says on privacy: "There are dozens of companies that are making a garage living or maybe more. The problem is if you choose to do business with one of those companies, there's so little to guarantee you're actually getting real privacy." Online privacy is really hard to achieve, he says, and a programming error you don't know about could expose your personal data to the world.
And in fact it turns out that the privacy-protecting technologies that have prospered are noncommercial. There's Adblock Plus, for which the source code is available at no cost. The Tor network, which offers reasonably strong anonymity, is free software using a network run by volunteers.
"If you want privacy from a piece of software, you want to be able to see inside it and see how it works," Eckersley says. "You have that level of assurance with open source that you don't have with a Windows executable." He thinks that a for-profit privacy business could sell a service retroactively: "If there's a way you could fix privacy problems afterwards, there may be a very good business model."
Those with no technical knowledge generally believe that they are anonymous when simply browsing the Web. Those who know more might recognize that IP addresses can be used to do some rough targeting, while browser cookies can be used to track someone across sessions and across IP addresses. But what if your browser itself—even with cookies off and IP addresses out of the picture—was leaving a digital fingerprint at every site you visit?
That possibility lies behind a new experiment from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, something called "Panopticlick."
Now, he'll be volunteering at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, traveling with his wife and studying guitar, which he took up after his son died. Barclay will also spend more time reading his favorite humor and law blogs -- and maybe even start his own.
Electronic Frontier Foundation legal director Cindy Cohn hopes "to see the president commit that he meant it when he said it's time to return to the rule of law in this country."
From warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens to detention, treatment and extraordinary rendition of terrorism suspects, Cohn said, Obama's Justice Department has "enthusiastically embraced and extended most of the broad claims of executive power, which, when the Bush administration made them, he and most of the people now in his administration were up in arms against."
Indeed, "it's not an unexpected move from China," agreed Danny O'Brien, international outreach coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
On China's charges that the United States maintains a double standard, "it has to be admitted that they're right," O'Brien told TechNewsWorld. "The U.S. does not currently have the world's best track record for that kind of surveillance."
That said, "I don't think if a country goes past what is legal or legitimate under its own laws and the laws of international standards of human rights, they can expect a company to go along with them," O'Brien asserted.
8. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
...If you are a technology user of almost any type then the EFF has got your back, and thankfully it's very good at what it does.
Bankson vowed on Friday that the EFF will ask the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn Walker's decision in the two class-action suits.
"The alarming upshot of the court's decision is that so long as the government spies on all Americans, the courts have no power to review or halt such mass surveillance even when it is flatly illegal and unconstitutional," said Bankston.
Taking counter measures against such cyber attacks is problematic. Microsoft issued an emergency patch for its Internet Explorer browser this week that it said addressed a vulnerability exploited in the Google hack. The previous week, Google beefed up its own Gmail security by automatically encrypting its e-mail sessions. The Electronic Frontier Foundation said the move was a "significant step to safeguard user's privacy and security."
Cindy Cohn, the legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation that brought one of the cases, said the decision means “when you’re trying to stop the government from doing something illegal, and if the government does it to enough people, the courts can’t fix it.”