EFF in the News
I already mentioned Rep. Lofgren's talk at the Section 230 Symposium from the High Tech Law Institute at the University of Santa Clara on Friday, but wanted to do a separate post on another point that Lofgren raised. EFF's Cindy Cohn asked Lofgren a simple question towards the end of Lofgren's talk, questioning what we in Silicon Valley could actually do so that folks in Washington DC actually understand these issues.
Although technology can enhance free speech and provide great opportunities, there are new risks and challenges such as technologies to shut down the internet, provide disinformation or invade the privacy of activists, said Michael Posner, assistant secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour at the US mission.
Posner encouraged multistakeholder initiatives such as the Global Network Initiative, including a range of participants from companies such as Microsoft, Google and Yahoo, civil society organisations such as Human Rights Watch, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and investors and academics.
“I think the these subpoenas, the information they seek, is inappropriate,” said Corynne McSherry, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In a letter to Magistrate Spero, she termed the subpoenas “overly broad.” (.pdf)
In particular, an Internet blackout in Libya will make it tougher for people outside the country to know how the uprising is unfolding. That was likely the government's main motivation in shutting down the Internet in a country where people are more likely to communicate using cell phones, said Richard Esguerra, policy analyst with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
New evidence surfaced Friday in the Righthaven LLC lawsuits that attorneys say could undermine Righthaven’s entire copyright infringement lawsuit campaign over Las Vegas Review-Journal stories.
Attorneys for the online freedom of speech group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed heavily-redacted court papers in Las Vegas on Friday asking the federal court for permission to use the evidence against Righthaven and Stephens Media LLC.
AT&T's lawyers argued that as a corporate citizen it was provided the same exemptions as a private citizen. A coalition of groups ranging from the EFF to the National Security Archive filed an Amicus brief explaining why corporations were not, and should not be, considered persons under FOIA. The Court obviously agreed with them. In agreeing with them, the Court picked apart the term "personal privacy," using definitions, precedents, and a little horse sense to overturn the lower courts decision. One of my favorite passages was the last paragraph of page 7 continuing onto page 8:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an online civil liberties group, has denounced Righthaven as one of the new "copyright trolls."
Cindy Cohn (Legal Director, General Counsel, Electronic Frontier Foundation)
The cases taken on by Cindy Cohn are precedent-setting cases that are forming the digital media landscape. She has defended online activism, individuals against warrantless wiretapping under NSA spying, and the loosening of restrictions on encryption software (which later became caselaw).
1) HTTPS Everywhere:
HTTPS Everywhere, the Firefox extension from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, helps users to secure the connection between the browser and the servers. Once it is installed, by default every sites are checked and any time you visit one of the sites covered by HTTPS Everywhere, your browser automatically goes for the HTTPS/SSL connection option, or uses TOR's resources to encrypt it.
In its legal battle, Ivi drew support from a coalition of digital rights groups, including Public Knowledge and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They argued in a friend-of-the-court brief that the law should not favor "1970s-era cable operators" over companies that use new technology to offer similar services.