EFF in the News
Julie Samuels has a fantastic piece over at Wired using the Oracle v. Google case to explain why patents simply don't make any sense in the software world.
In an e-mail sent to Ars on Wednesday morning, Rebecca Jeschke, the EFF's spokesperson, said the group has looked at the Rogers amendment package, dismissing it as "a bandaid that does little to prevent widespread monitoring of sensitive communications and the unredacted transfer of sensitive personal information to the government. We are still looking at the other amendments."
We sat down with Rainey Reitman, Activism Director at the EFF, to discuss why digital privacy is important, why you should keep a skeptical eye to services that make promises of "free" services in exchange for tidbits of personal information, and why you should care about the privacy of others even if you're not concerned about your own data and how it may be used. All in all, the message is clear: It's tempting to throw up your hands and say "privacy is dead," but nothing could be further from the truth.
"This is unprecedented for them," says Jillian York, director for international freedom of expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a US digital rights group. "It is troubling because they had done a relatively good job at keeping the Internet open until now."
The list has been made public as a result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed in January.
The EFF points out that Ghalioun has been targeted by the Syrian Electronic Army for allegedly having a hand in leaking emails written by Syrian president Bashar Assad. The emails in question paint a picture of a flippant president who seems to be generally uninterested in events surrounding the civil unrest in his country.
On the northern side of the United States border, Katitza Rodriguez, the international rights director at the EFF, called the Mexican legal reforms a "time bomb for abuse."
"The Mexican Government knows what it's getting," she wrote in an e-mail sent to Ars on Tuesday. "This is sensitive information that reveals so much information about where people go. In an environment where it is dangerous for bloggers to report sensitive information about drug-related violence—especially since this information is rarely reported in local newspapers or on television. It is important that [the Mexican Government] protect the privacy and location of Mexicans by requiring a warrant under reasonable grounds prior to requesting the monitoring of the online information."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an organization dedicated to protecting civil liberties online, has been following this issue closely and blames the U.S. government's "piecemeal" approach to sanctions and licenses for causing confusion among companies about what is or isn't legal.
What about other countries like Bahrain? It is "ridiculous," says the EFF's Jillian York, that the executive order "only covers Syria and Iran and not Bahrain."
The Federal Aviation Administration released a list of 63 authorized launch sites last week after a Freedom of Information Act request was filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Using the information gathered from the FAA, the EFF put together a map that shows where authorized domestic unmanned aerial vehicles are being launched from.
"Right now, companies can only look at your communications in very specific, very narrow situations," says Trevor Timm, an activist with the group. "The government, if they want to read them, needs some sort of warrant and probable cause. This allows companies to read your communication as long as they can claim a cybersecurity purpose."