EFF in the News
"It's as though every time you pick up a magazine or a book or you browse a storefront, you might be reading the magazine, but it's reading you back, and the ads in the magazine are reading you," said Peter Eckersley, senior staff technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties organization that monitors the online world.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, the preeminent online rights organization, says although the bill "is ostensibly focused on copyright infringement, an enormous amount of noninfringing content, including political and other speech, could disappear off the Web if it passes."
Hari Prasad Vemuru, a jailed Indian e-voting researcher, is one of the four winners of the 2010 Pioneer Awards of San Francisco headquartered Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a leading civil liberties group.
"Any kind of technology that creates an automatic tracking system by default violates people's general expectation — not just of privacy but of the world," said Lee Tien, senior staff attorney for the pro-privacy Electronic Frontier Foundation. "You are not expecting to be tracked."
"In general, what's going to happen here is targeting of ads," said Kurt Opsahl, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to protect fundamental civil liberties. "The advertiser will be able to know a little bit more about you and target ads based on that knowledge.
Cindy Cohn, legal director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group for tech companies and Internet users, believes that this is the kind of veiled threat that makes these lawsuits much more like a "shakedown."
"People have a very good interest in not being sued but also in not having their name associated here if they've been wrongly accused," said Cohn, who has led EFF's opposition to the suits from Dunlap and porn studios. "The leverage to get people to pay to make it go away when what they are accused of having done, in cases of hard-core porn or gay porn, is much higher."
An unmistakable strain of compassion runs through Cindy Cohn's voice when she talks about the plight of Internet users she says are wrongly accused of copyright violations or tech companies she believes are being abused by large entertainment conglomerates.
Cindy Cohn, legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. She sounds like a nurse or an understanding second-grade teacher. But that's just one of her gears. Cohn, legal director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, likely the most recognized technology advocacy group, can throw it into high and become a skilled courtroom brawler.
EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl talks to reporter Allie Rasmus.
EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl talks to CBS 5 reporter Don Knapp.
“The thing that is perhaps surprising is how much of a privacy problem referers have turned out to be,” said Peter Eckersley, a senior staff technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy-advocacy group. “Advertisers could know you and your real-world identity.”