EFF in the News
This week, a look at SOPA -- the Stop Online Piracy Act -- a controversial piece of US legislation that could have huge implications for Canadians and how we use the internet. Include an interview with Corynne McSherry of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Shortly after the PDF arrived in Eckhart’s email, legal consult at the Electronic Frontier Foundation responded on Mr. Eckhart’s behalf. The response letter explained clearly that Eckhart’s research was covered by his First Amendment right to free expression. Essentially, the CarrierIQ guys didn’t have a leg to stand on, but they decided it was worth trying to scare Eckhart into compliance.
On the EFF's website the group said, "Given the weakness of its legal position, we have to conclude that Carrier IQ's real goal is to suppress Eckhart's research and prevent others from verifying his findings."
EFF's "Sovereign Keys" (SK) specification is designed to give domain owners control over the link between their domain names and their certificates after recent Certificate Authority (CA) compromises raised serious questions about the security of the entire Internet Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).
Civil liberties groups abroad are more concerned. “The situation in Afghanistan is unprecedented, but I worry that we could move into that situation in the United States without even realizing we’re doing it,” said Jennifer Lynch, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco.
While pleased with the outcome in the case, the EFF was still miffed by Stephens' overall actions. "Stephens Media never should have authorized Righthaven to file this suit in the first place, and should never have wasted our client's and the court's time with its attempts to keep Righthaven's frivolous claim alive for the last year," Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl says in a statement.
"Tracking data can be used to figure out your political bent, religious beliefs, sexuality preferences, health issues or the fact that you're looking for a new job," said Peter Eckersley, projects director at Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights organization. "There are all sorts of ways to form wrong judgments about people."
The key Righthaven case, in which the details of the strategic agreement between Righthaven and Stephens Media were finally released, was Righthaven's lawsuit against the Democratic Underground. DU, with help from lawyers at the EFF and Fenwick and West, countersued Stephens Media, arguing that it, not Righthaven, was really behind the lawsuits.
However, the anti-SOPA and anti-PIPA movement gathered tremendous support, and that support may not be enough. Electronic Frontier Foundation, cornerstone of Internet freedom, DemandProgress, American Censorship and the White House in the form of U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden are attacking this law from all sides.
The EFF is taking a look at some websites that may face serious legal questions and liability should SOPA become law, specifically looking at Etsy, Flickr and Vimeo.