EFF in the News
Matt Zimmerman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation says the U.S. shields Internet speech from government interference. In Europe -- not so much.
MATT ZIMMERMAN: The First Amendment provides much greater protection for free expression than do comparable laws in Europe.
"They are built into the cars," said Lee Tien, senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit digital rights advocacy group. "So the general idea is how much surveillance should you be subjected to? Depending on how they're configured, what you end up with is the possibility of the boxes recording the entire travel history of your car and therefore of you."
A lot and little has transpired following the Electronic Frontier Foundation asking the U.S. Copyright Office for an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for authorization to jailbreak an iPhone or any “wireless telephone handsets"...
“We limited it to phones. This was the only category of devices where this was a problem in 2008,” said Fred von Lohmann, the EFF attorney who wrote the DMCA phone exemption...
“It’s a very glacial process when compared to the pace of technology,” von Lohmann said. “Since it happens every three years, you’re always behind the technology curve.”
"I've always felt that one of the missed parts of this story is Google's early emphasis on the fact that human rights activists had been targeted" in the attacks, Danny O'Brien, international outreach coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the E-Commerce Times.
Not only was that fact emphasized as justification for the "very radical steps" Google took upon discovering the attacks, O'Brien said, but "it was also a major clue that this was an attack by a major state actor -- or someone who believed they could sell the information to a state actor."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which supports and defends freedom in the digital world, has listed 7 “corporations of interest” who are violating this call by selling surveillance technology to the Chinese government, Katz said. These corporations include: Cisco, Nortel, Oracle, Motorola, EMC, Sybase and L-1 Identity Solutions. It has also launched a “Surveillance Self-Defense” project detailing what kinds of surveillance are currently legal in the United States and providing practical data for protecting private information.
"It's unfortunate that the bill does not seem to recognize that identity management systems can in themselves be a threat to privacy and anonymity," Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told TechNewsWorld. "Given our constitutional commitment to civil liberties like freedom of speech, of religion, of the press, of association, and of course the right to privacy, there are obvious limits to how far identity management should and can lawfully go."
Who controls the internet? Well, at the moment a trade agreement known as ACTA is being negotiated by the U.S., Japan, the European Union, Canada and more than a dozen other countries, and, if ratified, would significantly regulate what you can and can’t do online. ACTA’s rules will supersede each country’s local laws. Oh, and the whole affair is secret. Danny O'Brien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation explains the possible impact on net users worldwide.
In the meantime, EFF and Public Knowledge have teamed up to ask the USTR to change the process and, at the very least, stop taking the word of industry lobbyists as if it were gospel. They also suggested that the USTR be more flexible in allowing countries to set their own IP policy -- noting, amusingly, that the US itself famously didn't implement its "international obligations" in the Berne Treaty for decades, because the country felt differently about certain aspects of copyright law.
The lawsuit speaks for itself, said Kevin Bankston, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "This is utterly shocking, and a blatant violation of [the students'] constitutional rights," Bankston said Thursday, citing the Fourth Amendment after reviewing the Robbins' complaint. "The school district would have no more right to [use the laptop's webcam] than to install secret listening devices in the textbooks that they issued students."
"I've never heard of anything this egregious," said Kevin Bankston, a senior staff attorney at the San Francisco-based group. "Nobody would have imagined that schools would peer into students' private homes and even bedrooms without any kind of justification."