EFF in the News
Lawyers for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which advocates for Internet users and tech companies, said it believes an independent entity should oversee a system whereby MegaUpload's users can retrieve legal content before it's too late. When the judge sounded skeptical that so much information could easily be handled in such a way, Julie Samuels, an EFF staff attorney, told the judge that she wasn't suggesting a solution would be easy as "flipping on a switch," but she implored him not to forget innocent third parties.
Critics like the the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Democracy & Technology say CISPA's crazily vague wording makes it possible for the US government to take extreme measures against sites like The Pirate Bay and Wikileaks, and could extend to sites that publish Wikileaks-like information such as Guardian UK or The New York Times.
The court case being heard in Virginia, US on Friday is being brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation which is acting on behalf of Megaupload user Kyle Goodwin.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation says CISPA could lead to "backdoor wiretaps" and would "give companies a free pass to monitor and collect communications … [and] ship that data wholesale to the government or anyone else provided they claim it was for 'cybersecurity purposes.'"
Now, Facebook is supporting the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which was written to “provide for the sharing of certain cyber threat intelligence and cyber threat information between the intelligence community and cybersecurity entities, and for other purposes.” CISPA isn’t exactly like SOPA or PIPA, but it’s still a cause for concern, according to activists like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
The EFF will head to court on Friday to push the federal government to create a process where Megaupload users can retrieve their files. Apple publicly acknowledged a malware campaign call Flashback.
The group is considering a number of proposals including one developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Mozilla, which makes the Firefox Internet browser, and another drafted by a group of online-ad industry representatives. The industry proposal includes more exceptions for tracking than the EFF/Mozilla plan by allowing for collection of information from Internet users for “product improvement” and “research & market analytics.”
And starting on Monday, a variety of organizations, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Democracy and Technology, The Constitution Project, Demand Progress, Engine Advocacy, Fight for the Future, Free Press, Reporters Without Borders, Techdirt, and TechFreedom plan to launch a “week of action” campaign against CISPA, a bill they believe remains dangerously broad in its language, which could result in abuse by the government, and damages to our civil liberties.
"Police shouldn't be able to gather this information on a whim, without a judge checking to make sure the tracking is justified," Hanni Fakhoury, staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said in a prepared statement. "Requiring a search warrant is an easy rule that balances the needs of law enforcement with the right to privacy inherent in the Constitution."
"I have no faith that this agreement will change the attitudes or behaviors of the UC Police or the FBI," he said in a statement with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "From kicking in the door and stealing our stuff, to the now-infamous UC Davis pepper spray incident, it is clear that the UC cops are at war with radicals, anarchists, and activists, and that will not change. I do, however, think it is important that when they attack us, we fight back."