EFF in the News
This is not Google’s version of Siri. It’s a result of the company’s push to use data it collects from you in novel ways that could be helpful, or unsettling.
"That’s not something I want my computer telling me. It’s creepy,” said Kurt Opsahl, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit digital rights advocacy organization located in San Francisco.
“Google has always collected information. That hasn’t changed,” Opsahl said. “But information that was once siloed will now be co-mingled.”
Rebecca Jeshke, EFF's Media Relations Director, told Ars Technica that the EFF does want to hear from people who've been affected by the Megaupload shutdown. The Pirate Party has contacted the EFF, and the information sharing is part of EFF's efforts to learn more about how the Megaupload shutdown has affected legitmate users.
Jillian C. York, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's director of international freedom of expression, argued in a blog post defending the company that the move doesn't "represent a sea change in Twitter's policies."
"It's been difficult to comment on the move given the extreme reaction by Twitter's own community," York said. "Lots of 'I told you so' from the conspiracy theorists who think that this is because of Saudi Prince Alwaleed's stake in the company, compounded by the #occupy crowd continuing to claim their hashtag was censored in Twitter's trending topics made me want to avoid the subject entirely."
"This is one of the most poorly drafted pieces of data retention legislation we've ever seen," the EFF's activism director Rainey Reitman wrote in the blog.
...some advocates for Internet freedom described the change as modest. “This is not a major policy shift for Twitter,” Jillian C. York of the advocacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation posted on Friday, responding to a concerned Twitter user who wondered whether controversial hashtags like #WikiLeaks would be blocked in the future.
"Plaintiff's lawyer has not been shy about telling the press that he expects to get settlements precisely because many people who download pornography are unwilling to risk being publicly identified as having done so," wrote Matthew Zimmerman of EFF and Paul Levy of Public Citizen in a motion to preclude Stone from conducting discovery. "Moreover, the settlement amount is, we believe, carefully selected to be less than most defendants would have to spend to hire a lawyer to defend themselves, even though it is significantly more than the plaintiff stands to gain from an award of actual damages. ... Plaintiff's quest for identifying information in this case, therefore, appears to be nothing more than an effort to use the judicial process to extract settlements on a mass scale."
“There has never been another time in history where privacy was under the kind of assault it is today,” said Rainey Reitman, activism director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). “Consumers have increasingly digital lives and they are developing an unfathomably large data trail every day.”
Jennifer Lynch, from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told New Scientist that it could erode the sense of freedom provided by the internet. “These tools that mine open source data, and presumably store it for a very long time, do away with that kind of privacy. I worry about the effect of that on free speech in the US,” she said.
Julie Samuels, staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization founded in 1990 to confront issues related to free speech, privacy, and consumer rights, commented, "It's not just Hollywood versus the tech community; it's Hollywood versus Internet users, which is crazy, because Internet users could be everybody, including a lot of young tech-savvy voters."
However, as you can see below, the court isn't buying it (not one bit). Not only does the court order him to pay attorneys' fees to Public Citizen and EFF (basically the $22,000 the lawyers asked for, though the court gets there through very slightly different math), but even more interestingly, the court also finds Stone in contempt and is requiring that he pay $500 per day until he pays the attorneys' fees owed...