EFF in the News
"It highlights the fact that technology has political impacts beyond its business model," said Eddan Katz, international affairs director for San Francisco's Electronic Frontier Foundation. "It's not just a form of communication, but a political opportunity in terms of freedom of expression."
Technologists at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who are working on a proposal to fix this whole problem, say hackers can use similar techniques to steal your money or your passwords. In that case, attackers are more likely to trick a Certificate Authority into issuing a certificate, a point driven home last year when two security researchers demonstrated how they could get certificates for any domain on the internet simply by using a special character in a domain name.
“It is not hard to do these attacks,” said Seth Schoen, an EFF staff technologist. “There is software that is being published for free among security enthusiasts and underground that automate this.”
Early reports from China on Monday suggested that the Chinese government was already restricting access to Google's Hong Kong-based site, said Eddan Katz, International Affairs Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
"We've already heard indications that visitors to Google.hk are getting 'can't find page' errors," he said.
"I think that's the key question," said Fred von Lohmann, senior attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocate for Internet users and tech companies. "At the heart of the case is what the court considers red-flag knowledge...and [whether] the kind of knowledge that YouTube had [falls] within that definition."
For lawyers, rapidly changing online tools such as social networks can be a boon — or a minefield. Earlier this week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation posted some interesting documents from the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice that detailed the use of social-networking sites to investigate taxpayers and suspects.
Looking ahead, David Sobel, Senior Counsel with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, sees hope in fixing FOIA in the form of a pending bill in the Senate. He says Senators Patrick Leahy (D.-Vermont) and John Cornyn (R.-Texas) this past week introduced the "Faster FOIA" bill, designed to create an advisory committee to look into the problem of FOIA processing delays.
Under what circumstances, for example, is it OK for a police officer to impersonate someone else online? A watchdog group called the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) demanded, under the Freedom of Information Act, that various government agencies release their guidelines on the subject. This morning, it posted the response from the Department of Justice on its website.
The next time someone tries to “friend” you on Facebook, it may turn out to be an undercover fed looking to examine your private messages and photos, or surveil your friends and family. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has obtained an internal Justice Department document that describes what law enforcement is doing on social networking sites.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based civil liberties group, obtained the Justice Department document when it sued the agency and five others in federal court. The 33-page document underscores the importance of social networking sites to U.S. authorities. The foundation said it would publish the document on its Web site on Tuesday.