EFF in the News
The potential for abuse still worries privacy advocates, who fear the cameras could easily be converted into a surveillance tool.
“These cameras would be trained on traffic, potentially picking up license plate data, which would allow for location tracking from law enforcement and others,” said Rebecca Jeschke, a digital rights analyst and media relations director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The White House endorsed the bill even before it passed the Senate, so it was no surprise that the president signed the must-pass federal budget bill to which the House of Representatives added CISA in December. And while the White House previously identified the need for more robust privacy protection, the bill passed with no improvements to CISA’s privacy provisions. “One of the main things we were searching for was for companies to scrub personal data, and that did not make it into the bill,” says Mark Jaycox, a legislative analyst at Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose stated mission is defending civil liberties in the digital world.
“This is [a] terrible policy that is entirely infeasible from a technical perspective,” said Andrew Crocker, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group. “There is no way to ensure that phones can be decrypted by the police and not the ‘bad guys.’ It's not about privacy but security — the security of innocent people's devices against hackers, thieves and others.”
"So one undereported aspect to the Safe Harbor decision is that much of it hangs off the judgement by the ECJ that it's the United States' existing surveillance laws that are the problem, not just the companies' compliance with EU privacy law," says Danny O'Brien, international director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Similarly, Andrew Crocker, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told Ars that the bill had "glaring problems" and that it was "entirely infeasible from a technical perspective."
"There is no way to ensure that phones can be decrypted by the police and not the ‘bad guys,’" he e-mailed Ars. "Just as in New York, this California lawmaker misses the point that it's not about privacy but security—the security of innocent people's devices against hackers, thieves and others. It could well be unconstitutional under the First Amendment as well."
“In the last 12 months in particular, the frequency with which we have gotten inquiries has skyrocketed,” said Nate Cardozo, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a 25-year-old San Francisco nonprofit advocating for technology users’ privacy rights. EFF started an investigation into how cloud providers of educational software handle students’ data. They began with Google because it represents more than half the cloud software installations in schools around the country, Cardozo said.
The suggestion yielded backlash quickly. Nate Cardozo, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, called the idea “plainly unconstitutional.”
Kit Walsh and Jeremy Malcolm of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a digital rights advocacy group, told us that Verizon's FreeBee Data program raises red flags in light of the FCC's stance on the Open Internet. Verizon did not respond to our request for more details about its new offering.
"Apple and Cook have been very strong on this issue," said Andrew Crocker, staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
"I think it's heartfelt on Cook's part -- he says he believes privacy is a human right, and Apple has introduced a number of features that support privacy and security," he told the E-Commerce Times.
I will be talking about the same material that I work on at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which relates to the way the old and fairly obscure copyright law has become more and more urgent not just in the realm of free software but in realm of software in general.