EFF in the News
"Not only was this request a plain violation of federal privacy law -- which would require the government to at least get a court order based on a factual showing to get that kind of data; not only did it violate Department of Justice regulations that require subpoenas to media organizations to be vetted by the attorney general; not only did it threaten the First Amendment right to read anonymously of all of Indymedia's users, it also violated Ms. Clair's First Amendment rights by ordering her not to disclose the subpoena's existence," EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston told FoxNews.com.
The documents, unearthed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation via a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, also suggest the administration was wary it might first have to concede that the telcos were complicit in the alleged dragnet surveillance to garner congressional support for the amnesty bill. The legislation, passed in July 2008, killed the EFF’s federal civil rights lawsuit against the companies.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the EFF, the government has now begrudgingly divulged thousands of pages of documents pertaining to the legislation’s development.
We will be poring through them today.
The EFF notes, “The government has said it will continue to try to block the release of additional documents, including communications within the Executive Branch and records reflecting the identities of telecoms involved in lobbying for immunity.” More litigation on the disclosure matter is set for January.
Take a look at the immunity negotiation documents and, in the comments section, report your findings.
Pamela Samuelson, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, said "It's not very often that some obscure issue of patent law can excite so much attention."
Samuelson, who was an author of a brief on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an online civil liberties group, and others, said it was time for the court to tap the brakes on the business patents rush. The earlier State Street decision, her brief stated, had the effect of "knocking patent law loose from its historical moorings and improperly injecting patents into business areas where they were neither needed nor wanted."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation said Wednesday that it will represent the Yes Men in fighting a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce against the activists for staging a fake news conference claiming the business association had changed its stance on climate change legislation. The chamber's lawsuit, filed in October, claimed the Yes Men unlawfully used the group's trademark and other intellectual property by using the chamber's logo in a press release and at the fake news conference.
The EFF, having worked with the Yes Men to keep their fake site accessible, has announced that it will continue with what it terms a "free speech fight." To defend against the lawsuit, it will be joined by Davis Wright Tremaine, a large international law firm with a history of pro bono work.
"The leaks confirm everything that we feared about the secret ACTA negotiations," wrote Gwen Hinze of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in a grim post on the advocacy organization's "Deeplinks" blog. Or, as author and Boing Boing blogger Cory Doctorow put it even more pithily: "It's bad. Very bad."
"The US government appears to be pushing for three strikes – despite the fact that it has been categorically rejected by the European parliament," said Gwen Hinze of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, adding that the leaks "confirmed everything that we feared".
Kevin Bankston, a senior staff attorney at the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, replied to the Justice Department on behalf of his client in a February 2009 letter (PDF) outlining what he described as a series of problems with the subpoena, including that it was not personally served, that a judge-issued court order would be required for the full logs, and that Indymedia did not store logs in the first place.
In a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the PTO, the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote, "EFF believes that patents should only be granted for technological processes. Congress never intended the strong protections of the patent monopoly to be available for mere services and methods of doing business."