EFF in the News
Cindy Cohn, legal director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group for tech companies and Internet users, believes that this is the kind of veiled threat that makes these lawsuits much more like a "shakedown."
"People have a very good interest in not being sued but also in not having their name associated here if they've been wrongly accused," said Cohn, who has led EFF's opposition to the suits from Dunlap and porn studios. "The leverage to get people to pay to make it go away when what they are accused of having done, in cases of hard-core porn or gay porn, is much higher."
An unmistakable strain of compassion runs through Cindy Cohn's voice when she talks about the plight of Internet users she says are wrongly accused of copyright violations or tech companies she believes are being abused by large entertainment conglomerates.
Cindy Cohn, legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. She sounds like a nurse or an understanding second-grade teacher. But that's just one of her gears. Cohn, legal director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, likely the most recognized technology advocacy group, can throw it into high and become a skilled courtroom brawler.
EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl talks to reporter Allie Rasmus.
EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl talks to CBS 5 reporter Don Knapp.
“The thing that is perhaps surprising is how much of a privacy problem referers have turned out to be,” said Peter Eckersley, a senior staff technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy-advocacy group. “Advertisers could know you and your real-world identity.”
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request by the advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation show immigration agents were instructed on how to "friend" applicants for citizenship on social networks such as Facebook in order to observe their lives and determine if their marriages are in fact valid.
Newly released documents show government agencies have engaged in domestic spying through popular social networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a 2008 memo from the US Citizenship and Immigration Service instructed agents to befriend petitioners on social networking sites to monitor them for unlawful activity.
You could be friends with government agents on Facebook, and not even know it. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has obtained documents that show two ways the government has been tracking people online to investigate citizenship petitions. Jennifer Lynch Staff Attorney for Electronic Frontier Foundation discusses the ethical issues involved if the government is creating fake profiles. She also says that the government memo opens the door to many questions.
“The time is now for Nokia to ‘be accountable’ for its role in the repression of Mr. Saharkhiz and likely thousands of others. And it must do so not just in the press room, but in the court case, dropping its cynical claims that corporations should never be held accountable for their role in human rights violations,” the EFF’s Eddan Katz writes in a statement.
As of Thursday morning, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and Digg had not commented on the report, which details the official government program to spy via social networking. Other websites the government is spying on include Twitter, MySpace, Craigslist and Wikipedia, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which filed the FOIA request.