EFF in the News
eWEEK reported Wednesday that antitrust investigators are looking into the strategy behind Apple's iTunes store to determine if the company has abused any monopoly power it might have in the digital music space to stifle competition. Not long before that, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice were rumored to be digging a little deeper into the terms of its iPhone developer agreement. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, among others, claimed the agreement was anti-competitive.
But is Apple, a secretive company at best, suited as an arbiter of what people can download onto their own devices?
‘No-one would be comfortable in a world where Microsoft had to "approve" every application on a Windows computer,' says Fred Von Lohmann, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Mozilla has been a vocal critic of Apple's ban of rival browsers. Last year, the company backed a request by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) for an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that would allow iPhone owners to "jailbreak" their phones without fear of copyright infringement penalties.
Orgs like Public Knowledge and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have been critical of industry motives on efforts like a proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement -- an international effort to boost enforcement of intellectual property laws as a backdoor way to dramatically change copyright infringement penalties. Among other things, such interest groups raise worries that the industry is seeking a requirement that Internet providers turn off customers' accounts when they are found to be illegally trading or viewing movies, but MPAA officials say that what they are pursuing is greater cooperation among providers.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) says that “more is needed” from Facebook to address privacy criticisms.
In a blog post, the civil liberties group praised Facebook for a “great first step” towards giving members of the site more control over their data.
However, it warned members against choosing the site’s recommended privacy control setting.
Especially for businesses, this generates security and privacy concerns. And Amazon is not the only e-book vendor whose licence allows it to monitor its readers. Privacy advocates from the Electronic Frontier Foundation have published a comparison of the privacy stances of several popular readers and e-book providers.
Facebook's half-billion users have entrusted it with an enormous responsibility. As Facebook says in its own "Principles" document, "People should have the freedom to decide with whom they will share their information, and to set privacy controls to protect those choices."
Here at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, we've gone a step further by creating a social networking Users' Bill of Privacy Rights.
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) spokesperson Rebecca Jeschke said Facebook is hard to quit for many users.
“People are in a spot here,” she said. “Facebook is trying to exploit them. Users should continue to put pressure on Facebook to be careful with their information.”
Startpage provides secure SSL encryption and offers a proxy service that allows users to anonymously visit the sites they find through the Startpage search engine. Startpage has been widely praised by the privacy community, receiving kudos from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, privacy regulators in Europe, and Internet users worldwide.
The EFF has the better argument. The most important priority should be ensuring that a government doesn't get its hands on users' communications, even if that makes it harder to hold Google accountable for having collected the data.