EFF in the News
The Obama administration's promises to increase transparency in government gained strength during Sunshine Week in March when Attorney General Eric Holder issued a far-reaching memo for agencies on the Freedom of Information Act...
"The articulation of the policy has been fairly good, starting with the president, men fleshed out by the AG and then . . . with the OIP guidance," said David Sobel, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "All of which I diink are very positive."
A Bay Area think tank noted that the DTV transition arrived without the broadcast flag, a code embedded into HDTV content meant to prevent copyright violation...
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is one of the groups that fought the flag in court.
In an apparent acknowledgment of the concerns expressed by privacy advocates, YouTube has changed its use of tracking cookies for videos embedded on the Whitehouse.gov Web site...
YouTube has agreed to ditch its monitoring cookies for videos viewed on the official White House Web site, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
"This is a good step and we commend YouTube and the government for taking it," Cindy Cohn, legal director at EFF, wrote in a blog post. "It shows that they recognize that tracking the government videos that Americans view is creepy and wrong. It also shows that Google/YouTube technologists can build and offer clever, useful privacy-protective modifications to their standard software."
In the course of gathering electronic evidence in an investigation, apparently the Justice Department sometimes has trouble telling the difference between a subpoena of "stored communications" and warrantless wiretapping... So, the EFF filed an amicus brief in Warshak v. United States to help ensure that the DOJ's apparent confusion isn't transmitted to the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals.
Corryne McSherry, a staff attorney with the digital-rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the new defense team is taking a creative approach. She said it would have been interesting to see how all the cases that settled might have turned out if those defendants had free lawyers who were willing to push as hard.
"This case could end up being the tail end of a frankly shameful and certainly failed campaign to go after users," McSherry said. "Maybe this will be the coda to that long campaign."
In a replay of a court decision from two years ago, civil liberties groups are once again trying to persuade the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that e-mail messages deserve the same privacy protection as telephone calls...
In a statement, EFF senior staff attorney Kevin Bankston says that the Justice Department conducted what amounts to a "back-door wiretap" when it intercepted six months of Warshak's e-mail without a warrant. "Thankfully, this abuse has given the appeals court yet another opportunity to clarify that the Fourth Amendment protects the privacy of e-mail against secret government snooping, even when it's in the hands of an e-mail provider," he said.
The first celebrity lawsuit against Twitter came and went as fast as a tweet -- or did it?...
"It may be part of the calculus that they shouldn't fold now because others might make the same arguments against them," said Corynne McSherry, an Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyer who's following the case. "There is that risk if you settle right away."
It doesn't seem like it, but 20 years ago today, the dot-com era was born. On June 8, 1989, Brad Templeton, started Clarinet.com, an online newspaper business that many consider to be the company that started it all.
"ClariNet was the first company created to use the internet as its platform for business, and as such this event has a claim at being the birth of the 'dot-com' concept which so affected the world in the two intervening decades.," said Templeton, who for many years has been president and chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
It's difficult enough to parse a lengthy TOS for one web-based service, let alone for dozens, or to keep track of when and how they update them. It would be nice if some public-service website out there would keep track of this stuff for all of us, wouldn't it? Last week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) did just that with the launch of TOSBAck.org, "the terms-of-service tracker." It tracks TOS agreements for 44 different services, including Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, Twitter, and eBay.