EFF in the News
With its Patent Busting Project, EFF is targeting patents that it claims are invalid and hurt ordinary people by threatening innovation. In this case, the patent affects a technology that has made voice calls more affordable and that depends partly on independent inventors for new advances, said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn.
"VoIP is one of these kinds of technologies that really frees people," Cohn said. EFF is worried that fear of lawsuits by C2 could inhibit developers from making new VoIP products available. Meanwhile, its patent is one that never should have been granted, Cohn said.
"This was actually a complete surprise to me," said EFF staff technologist Seth Schoen.
Schoen said copiers represent a major privacy loophole.
"Potentially all of that information is available to anyone who by chance buys the machine or wants to go looking for it. So that sounds like a pretty large scale problem to me," he said.
Hofmann is a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a public interest group focused on privacy issues. The Foundation sued the CIA, Justice and Defense Departments after reading reports that the CIA is monitoring social-media sites like Twitter. Hofmann says her group wants to find out if there are any rules in place. She says social networking is like a new frontier.
"It sounds very dangerous," says Lee Tien, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, referring to the police-only Web interface. "Let's assume you set this sort of thing up. What does that mean in terms of what the law enforcement officer be able to do? Would they be able to fish through transactional information for anyone? I don't understand how you create a system like this without it."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has listed seven Western companies responsible for selling censorship and surveillance technology to the Chinese.
The EFF compiled its "corporations of interest" list from published data on companies that have sold surveillance tools to the Chinese. In strongly worded language, the EFF's Danny O'Brien said the named companies are "fostering repression in China" because the Chinese use the technology for "rampant censorship, invasive data collection and intimidation."
"Things have changed slightly — for the worse," said Rebecca Jeschke from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
Warning of an FCC power grab, the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation says the commission lacks authority to impose regulations.
At a meeting last week in Mozilla's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., a few dozen attendees including representatives from the Federal Trade Commission began to sketch out how a standard for privacy icons would work. "They were thinking that you might have several icons in the address bar for each site," said Seth Schoen, staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Maybe they would be showing things that were good about that site's privacy practices, and maybe they would be showing things that were bad about that site's privacy practices."
"Of course, they would never charge a guy from Channel 4 news, but they arrested this guy," said Attorney Jennifer Granick, the Civil Liberties Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Certainly under federal law, you are allowed to make recordings of things that happen in public places. The intent of the [two-party] law is meant to protect private communication,but not to insulate public occurrences from being recorded. Can you imagine if a news reporter was not allowed to record a fire?"
"This goes to show that there's a problem with due process in these kinds of situations," said Fred von Lohmann, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which advocates for Internet users and technology companies. "If you're going to kick somebody off the Internet, there's a lot of procedures that need to be put in place to protect the innocent. It doesn't look like those were in place here."