EFF in the News
Also on the show: After Kevin Moore filmed Baltimore police dragging Freddie Gray into a van, he says police came to arrest him, with assault weapons and helicopters. Released without charges, Moore said months later, police sit outside his son’s school and ride past him, taunting him with their phones up. Citizen journalists collecting evidence of violence and abuse by law enforcement are literally providing the content for a social movement. So why are they being harassed and jailed and ignored—while corporate journalists collect awards for their work? We’ll talk about the importance of legal—and journalistic—defense of citizen journalists with Shahid Buttar, director of grassroots advocacy at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Bruce Schneier is an internationally renowned security technologist, called a “security guru” by The Economist. He is the author of 12 books — including "Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World" — as well as hundreds of articles, essays, and academic papers. His influential newsletter “Crypto-Gram” and blog “Schneier on Security” are read by over 250,000 people. Schneier is a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, a program fellow at the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and an Advisory Board member of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. He is also the Chief Technology Officer of Resilient Systems, Inc.
“They pose a different threat than the NSA. ... But they can reveal a much more invasive picture of a person’s life,” attorney Stephanie Lacambra of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a California-based digital-rights advocacy group, said in response to the newspaper’s findings. “The public should be concerned.”
"...truth is always a defense against defamation..." says Jaimie Williams, Staff Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation
A 2002 case — Veeck v. Southern Building Code Congress — would seem to have settled the issue. The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled, “Public ownership of the law means precisely that ‘the law’ is in the ‘public domain’ for whatever use citizens choose to make of it.” One of Public Resource’s pro bono lawyers, Corynne McSherry of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says there are also Supreme Court decisions that make it clear that publishing laws is a constitutional right. “Copyright does not trump the Constitution,” she says.
Janine Jackson interviewed Shahid Buttar on retaliation against copwatchers for the September 9, 2016, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.
"I really worry with this mass collection of biometric data that the government is not going to protect it appropriately and then all of a sudden we’ll see this information released and people’s identities will be stolen," said Jennifer Lynch, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
But modern technology has afforded them new, more private avenues for communication. Visitors and prison guards smuggle in cell phones, a brisk trade that prison authorities are constantly working on trying to stop or at least discourage by deadening phone signals. But those efforts haven’t worked. “Contraband cellphones make it into facilities all the time,” says Electronic Frontier Foundation investigative researcher Dave Maass.
Part 1: Our podcast czar Michael Catano speaks with the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s senior staff attorney, Mitch Stoltz, and learns why wireless earbuds are also a clever way to stop music piracy.