EFF in the News
The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union filed the motion to challenge on Jan. 26, as well as a motion to unseal the filing, which was granted Tuesday. The groups have also sought to unseal the Justice Department’s application for the order it served on Twitter, which provides the government’s justification for demanding the information. The demand for the records is part of a grand jury investigation that’s believed to be probing WikiLeaks for its high-profile leaks of classified U.S. material.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Theresa C. Buchanan ordered the motions unsealed at the request of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed them on behalf of a member of Iceland's parliament whose Twitter records were among those sought, apparently as part of a criminal investigation into how secret U.S. documents allegedly downloaded by Army Pfc. Bradley Manning found their way to WikiLeaks. Two private law firms joined in the filing on behalf of the other two Twitter users.
Last week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released an explosive new report documenting the lawless, constitutional-free zone under construction in America for nearly a decade.
When it comes to the FBI, plenty of surveillance abuse has been documented. The EFF recently released a report that "FBI intelligence investigations have compromised the civil liberties of American citizens far more frequently, and to a greater extent, than was previously assumed." After analyzing about 2,500 pages of FBI documents, the EFF discovered it takes about 2.5 years after the FBI commits an intelligence violation before it is reported to the Intelligence Oversight Board. The EFF also reported on "serious misconduct by FBI agents including lying in declarations to courts, using improper evidence to obtain grand jury subpoenas, and accessing password-protected files without a warrant."
"We've seen in Egypt that that's a bad idea to give one person unilateral power to control how people in his or her country can communicate. And we don't want the president of the United States to have that and we don't want the leader of any country to have that," says Rebecca Jeschke from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
We've been pointing this out for years, but it seems that many of the "tech elite" are so focused on the phrase "net neutrality" that they're willing to jump on any sort of regulation that says it's "net neutrality." So, it's nice to see that the EFF is not following suit, but instead is warning that the FCC does not have the regulatory mandate to do what it's trying to do with net neutrality -- and if it is given that control, it will inevitably lead to much more internet regulation that we will all come to regret.
The number of defendants -- nearly 100,000 -- in P2P cases exceeds previous estimates. For example, in an amicus brief filed last month in support of 500 accused file sharers, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) estimated that roughly 75,000 people had been sued in 2010 for alleged copyright violations involving pornographic movies. It noted that nine lawsuits in the Northern District of Illinois alone had collectively involved 4,507 people, meaning that each lawsuit named about 500 defendants.
As mass revolt spreads across Egypt and the Middle East and citizens there demand jobs, civil liberties and an end to police state abuses from repressive, U.S.-backed torture regimes, the Obama administration and their congressional allies aim to expand one right here at home.
“In general, we think arguments that regulating the internet is ‘ancillary’ to some other regulatory authority that the FCC has been granted just don’t have sufficient limitations to stop bad FCC behavior in the future and create the ‘Trojan horse’ risk we have long warned about,” Phillips said.
As the article indicates, you can’t just assume it’s okay to post an image or other material just because you’re using it for noncommercial purposes, you’re giving credit, or you’ve asked for permission and haven’t heard back. The Bloggers’ Legal Guide, from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (see eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal/liability/IP), includes additional information on what’s permitted and delves into some of the subtleties of intellectual property law.