EFF in the News
John Perry Barlow, the founder of a freedom of speech group called the Electronic Frontier Foundation, marked the beginning of the offensive by tweeting: “The first serious info war is now engaged. The field of battle is WikiLeaks. You are troops.”
The website, which releases leaked files online, can replicate its data if shut down and doesn’t need a high-profile leader like founder Julian Assange, said John Perry Barlow, co- founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which promotes freedom of information on the Internet.
“As much as I hate to say it, he may be more of a liability than asset at the moment,” Barlow said in an interview. “I am committed to seeing that he gets justice, but WikiLeaks cannot just be the extension of one person who can, as we see, be taken out.”
"Both Google and typical advertisers make fair use of Rosetta Stone's marks. Therefore, Google is not liable for trademark infringement," Public Knowledge and the Electronic Frontier Foundation argue in a friend-of-the-court brief filed Monday with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Do Not Track can also be easily adapted to smartphones, tablet PCs and other mobile devices, says Peter Eckersley, senior staff technologist for the non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation. "The technology is both technically very simple and very generalizable," he says.
Attorneys for Righthaven this week responded to one such challenge, which was posed by attorneys with the electronic privacy and freedom of speech group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on behalf of former federal prosecutor Thomas DiBiase.
The industry's report card on privacy appears to be a mixed bag. "The industry has failed dismally to self-regulate up until now," Rainey Reitman, an activist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, told the E-Commerce Times.
"It's theoretically possible that when faced with this report from the FTC, the industry will realize it needs to get its act together and try to come up with a more comprehensive solution," she conceded. "Most privacy advocates are very skeptical of that."
"We have a lot of sympathy for the fears and frustration of the entertainment industries," said Peter Eckersley, a senior technologist for the civil-liberties advocacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "But we think that COICA would have disastrous consequences, both in terms of the way that the Internet functions and damaging potential Internet infrastructure—and also in terms of being a genuine threat to freedom of speech and innovation."
This moves us toward a world where contracts of adhesion strip consumers of a whole host of important rights," says Corynne McSherry, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "This conflicts with the spirit of [the Supreme Court’s decision in] Bobbs-Merrill. Bobbs-Merrill stands for the principle that there is a limit on copyright. The 9th Circuit panel essentially says Bobbs-Merrill is controlling precedent, but you can get around that with magic words."
As Rebecca Jeschke, a spokeswoman for the Electronic Frontier Foundation put it:
"The documents that were released this week would not have been stopped by shutting down a website."
When it comes to device fingerprinting, “we have no convenient options for privacy,” said Peter Eckersley, staff scientist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy-advocacy group. “All the things we can do are inconvenient to the point of being really impractical.”
In a study this year, Mr. Eckersley found that about 91% of nearly 1 million computer users surveyed could be fingerprinted simply by visiting a website.