EFF in the News
"There's really not much question that this bill is designed to do an end run around the DMCA," said Corynne McSherry, intellectual property director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group in San Francisco. "What has been affirmed by court after court is that service providers do not have to affirmatively police infringement. That's a good thing because it's a terrible burden to put on a service provider."
"People should take advantage of the time for curation to make sure their profiles look the way they want them to," says Rebecca Jeschke, a digital rights analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
People have shown that they really want privacy and transparency, Jeschke says. "It looks like these steps Facebook is taking with the Timeline are steps in the right direction."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has more information on Blue Coat, a US company whose "deep packet inspection" products are being used by the Syrian secret police with reportedly horrific consequences for Syrians who dare to express dissent online.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, in its initial review of the bill, determined the legislation would cause irreparable harm. "This bill cannot be fixed," the organization wrote on its Web site; "it must be killed."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) had some stronger words for the bill sponsors, arguing the SOPA would "break the Internet," kill jobs, and possibly stop the creation of the next Twitter or Tumblr.
"Let's make one thing clear from the get-go: despite all the talk about this bill being directed only toward 'rogue' foreign sites, there is no question that it targets U.S. companies as well," wrote EFF's Corynne McSherry.
"These Pioneer Award winners are all working to make sure that technology protects freedom instead of curtailing it," EFF Executive Director Shari Steele said.
It’s no surprise that the proposal by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) to boost the government’s authority to disrupt and shutter websites that hawk or host trademark- and copyright-infringing products would draw a harsh reaction from interest groups like Public Knowledge and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
"The problem with this kind of technology is that it means that the police and law enforcement do not have to go through a cell phone provider to gain access to information that can be obtained via someone's cell phone," said Jennifer Lynch, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that works to protect privacy rights in the Internet age. "The law enforcement agency controls access to the interception of the communication data."
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