EFF in the News
“I think of HIPAA like Swiss cheese: it’s full of holes everywhere,” Rainey Reitman with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the Investigative Unit.
Reitman serves as the director of the Activism Team for the non-profit. EFF’s website states its mission as “defending civil liberties in the digital world.”
Reitman says HIPAA does not apply in these types of cases.
“A lot of people think of HIPAA as this very strong law that is going to make sure that their medical information doesn’t get out there, but HIPAA actually doesn’t work like that at all. In fact it doesn’t really cover workers comp people at all,” Reitman said.
“This is how we hold countries accountable for action … Governments behave better when they know they’re being watched and tracked,” said Eva Galperin of the EFF in an interview last year.
"As human beings, we shed hundreds of thousands of skin and hair cells daily, with each cell containing information about who we are, where we come from, and who we will be," said Jennifer Lynch, a senior EFF staff attorney. "The court must recognize that allowing police the limitless ability to collect and search genetic material will usher in a future where DNA may be collected from any person at any time, entered into and checked against DNA databases, and used to conduct pervasive surveillance."
Issues of what workers can do while off duty, like attend rallies and work for political candidates, have raised questions in the past, but the spotlight of the Internet has amplified the conversation, Mr. Tien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation said.
Post a photo of yourself at a rally or write an online opinion piece and your boss can easily see it. “We get calls on our complaint line about someone getting into trouble — not usually fired, but spoken to — about writing a blog” that could be seen as controversial, Mr. Tien said.
In addition, questions of when someone is actually off duty arise now more than ever, he said. “I’m talking to you from a personal iPhone from home, but I’m checking my company email on my laptop.”
"Right now, we're really just having to trust the companies to tell us how they share the information," Jennifer Lynch, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said.
Lynch is a privacy expert for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is located in San Francisco. She's concerned how private investigators might use this information.
Lynch told 7 On Your Side, "That would mean that, for example, divorce attorneys could have access to it, people who are trying to stalk people from prior relationships could have access to it."
However, no LEARN-related contracts or agreements are publicly available, and the existence of the program has, until now, gone unreported in the news. That kind of secrecy is not unusual: A LEARN contract obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation prohibits users from doing any publicity around the program without written consent from Vigilant. The provision, Vigilant says, is “specifically intended to prohibit users from cooperating with any media outlet to bring attention to LEARN.”
But some critics blasted Lenovo for acting irresponsibly by installing the software. "Lenovo has not just injected ads in a wildly inappropriate manner, but engineered a massive security catastrophe for its users," said the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an Internet advocacy group, in a blog post Thursday.
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) lawyer Daniel Nazer's Sisyphean task is right in his job title: he's the Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents.
So when Nazer says he's seen one of the all-time dumbest patents, that's saying a lot. Yesterday, Nazer and his fellow EFF lawyer Vera Ranieri filed court papers seeking to invalidate a patent on photo competitions. US Patent No. 8,209,618, owned by a little-known video website called Garfum.com, was used to sue four small photo websites last September that dared to ask people about their favorite photos.
"A 'general conduct rule,' applied on a case-by-case basis with the only touchstone being whether a given practice 'harms' consumers or edge providers, may lead to years of expensive litigation to determine the meaning of 'harm' (for those who can afford to engage in it)," the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a net neutrality advocate, said in a filing submitted on Thursday.
And they do more than that. As Parker Higgins, an activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who first highlighted the discrepancy, writes, pictures of space get kids interested in science. Space photographs, whether of our home planet or home galaxy, just look cool. They reveal the massive structures that undergird every moment of our lives.
They say, and the picture above says: You inhabit a planet that orbits around a star, and you have for every moment of your life.