EFF in the News
We checked in with Electronic Frontier Foundation's Fred von Lohmann to see if he agreed with the music business legal position.
"Does it infringe US copyright law to download music without authorization from a P2P network?" he said. "It depends. If you're a teacher who needs a clip for use in a class presentation, I think there's a good chance it's a fair use. But if you're downloading just because you don't want to pay for the song, then you're probably an infringer. Intermediate cases can be imagined, but that gives a pretty good idea of the two poles."
(When it comes to appropriate penalty for infringement, though, von Lohmann parts ways with the record industry.)
Peter Eckersley, staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the government needs a better way to rate how sensitive and secure data is.
"What we'd really want to see is Apps.gov doing some kind of risk analysis for each of the services it offers: how much time would it cost a hacker to break into this service, how much data could they get out, how sensitive would that data be?" he said. "If the risk looks small, or lower than the in-house alternative, go ahead and use the service."
“Absent a warrant requirement, the police could track unlimited numbers of members of the public for days, weeks or months at a time, without ever leaving their desks,” the EFF’s brief argues. “No person could be confident that he or she was free from round-the-clock surveillance of his or her movements and associations by a network of satellites constantly feeding data to a remote computer ... .”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has scored a victory in its ongoing crusade to wrest information from telecoms about their involvement in the government's warrantless wiretapping program.
“We have a situation where the government is spending fairly large sums of money to use an unproven technology that has a possibility of false positives that would subject innocent Americans to unnecessary scrutiny and impinge on their freedom,” explained Kurt Opsahl, an attorney for the privacy watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). “Before the NSAC expands its mission, there must be strict oversight from Congress and the public.”
“We have a situation where the government is spending fairly large sums of money to use an unproven technology that has a possibility of false positives that would subject innocent Americans to unnecessary scrutiny and impinge on their freedom,” said Kurt Opsahl, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “Before the NSAC expands its mission, there must be strict oversight from Congress and the public.”
"If they're using the DMCA to control the platform rather than to prevent infringement, the courts and the Copyright Office have looked askance at that in the past," said Granick, who was responsible for winning the copyright exemption for unlocking cell phones so they can be used on unauthorized carrier networks. "Users have the right to modify their own devices and their own copies of software to make it work best for them."
Munroe, who just released xkcd: volume 0 last week, appeared at last night's Electronic Frontier Foundation's Geek Reading fundraiser. Munroe talked a bit about the experience of publishing the book, which contains strips from the site as well as annotations, the centerpiece of the event was a question and answer session.
“Even if you don’t affirmatively post revealing information, simply publishing your friends’ list may reveal sensitive information about you, or it may lead people to make assumptions about you that are incorrect,” said Kevin Bankston, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit digital rights organization in San Francisco. “Certainly if most or many of your friends are of a particular religious or political or sexual category, others may conclude you are part of the same category - even if you haven’t said so yourself.”
“People have the right to free speech,” explains Matt Zimmerman, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which defends digital rights. “But they’ve never had the right to defame someone. They still don’t.”