EFF in the News
Our guy Bryan reported on the company already, as have numerous bloggers and news outlets the world over, but the EFF is the first powerful legal entity to speak up on what’s going down, and their quick support should be at least some comfort to affected developers while they wait for Apple’s response.
The nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation alleges that the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel violated federal open-records laws by refusing to release the memo.
One organization that's worked with them, and against them, is the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The two often agree on copyright and fair use issues, and frequently butt heads on privacy, according to EFF executive director Shari Steele.
The EFF warns that, while the legislation is a step in the right direction, it “isn’t absolutely free of problems. The bill “would also and unfortunately preserve the current statutory rule allowing the government to get historical records of your location without probable cause,” writes EFF legislative analyst Kevin Bankston in a blog post.
"Our reading habits online encompass everything we're thinking about, political and religious views, health and relationship problems," said Peter Eckersley, a senior technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy-advocacy group. "Do you want to have an invisible person peering over your shoulder as you walk through the library?"
Still, the new legislation is a first step toward online privacy reform, something such groups as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Democracy & Technology, and TechFreedom have all pushed for as an increasingly digital society learns to adapt to online security risks.
“It is not appropriate for the government to be able to get detailed information on everybody who you communicated with,” Kevin Bankston, a privacy lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said by telephone.
Meanwhile, Engadget offers their own analysis with the help of the EFF's Julie Samuels:
In March, 2006, Mark Klein, a retired A.T.&T. employee, gave a sworn statement to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which was filing a lawsuit against the company, describing a secret room in San Francisco where powerful Narus computers appeared to be sorting and copying all of the telecom's Internet traffic--both foreign and domestic...
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) staff attorney Julie Samuels says that Apple legal is likely hard at work reviewing the patent in question, however, and should be in touch soon. Though it's very unlikely that Cupertino won't offer assistance, devs will also be able to turn to EFF for advice, where they may even be paired with pro bono patent attorneys.