EFF in the News
“It’s something that I think most people don’t even realize is going on, but those negotiations could have huge ramifications about whether future generations of Internet users can browse the web without being tracked everywhere they go,” said Rainey Reitman of the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is participating in the talks.
Article by EFF's Jillian York and Trevor Timm.
"I think this case raises pretty serious questions about what happens when you store your data in the cloud and for whatever reason the government or the company decides they're not going to store your data anymore," said EFF spokeswoman Rebecca Jeschke.
In its role as a digital rights advocate, EFF filed an amicus brief — an opinion volunteered by a party not involved in a legal case. In it, EFF argued that "turning mere violations of company policies into computer crimes could potentially create a massive expansion of the law — making millions of law-abiding workers criminals for innocent activities like sending a personal email or checking sports scores from a work computer, and leaving them vulnerable to prosecution at the government's whim."
A hearing is scheduled for Friday at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Va., where EFF staff attorney Julie Samuels will argue that Megaupload's customers deserve a court-approved procedure to retrieve property before it's permanently deleted and inaccessible.
A federal judge took that position last July, prompting a chorus of criticism. Two briefs—one by Google and Facebook, the other by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge—attacked the decision as contrary to past precedents and potentially disruptive to the Internet economy. They asked the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn it.
But the bill, which has 105 co-sponsors, has come under attack from groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which said in a blog post last month that the bill failed to use narrow enough language to define a cyber threat.
The group said the bill would give the government free rein to monitor communications, filter content from sites like WikiLeaks, or possibly shut down access to online services.
Instagram photographers seem very willing to include the location where their photos are taken, notes Parker Higgins, an activist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Location is a very big part of Instagram, and even though Facebook offers a location service, it's not essential to Facebook and it's never really taken off," he told msnbc.com. "Whether Instagram users will be willing to share their locations on Facebook remains to be seen."
Nosal's lawyers, backed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, argued that employees should not face criminal prosecution under anti-hacking statutes when they have a right to use their company computers, but violate corporate policy on the type of information accessed on those computers. They insisted such a broad reading of the law could expose employees to criminal investigations for routine violations of corporate policies.
Civil-liberties groups have raised concerns that overly broad language in the bill could effectively allow widespread government surveillance of private communications. Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Center for Democracy and Technology have launched a higher-profile effort to highlight their concerns.