EFF in the News
Fred von Lohmann, senior attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group for Internet users and technology firms, said late Tuesday evening that Patel's decision is a setback for innovators and consumers.
"This is yet another example of the way the DMCA harms innovation without doing anything to stop what the studios call piracy," von Lohmann said. "This enables the studios to take consumers' fair use rights and sell them back to them one DVD at a time.
As pointed out by the EFF, this doesn't spell good things for Real or anyone else looking to enter into the market, even if Real decides to appeal. "[G]iven the pace of the federal appeals process, this means that the RealDVD products will likely stay off the market for at least a year," wrote EFF staff attorney Fred von Lohmann.
Lethem is one of several authors — including Michael Chabon and Cory Doctorow — who have signed on to a campaign to pressure Google Books to offer greater privacy guarantees for its readers. The effort was organized by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
"They know which books you search for," says Cindy Cohn, legal director for the foundation. "They know which books you browse through; they know how long you spend on each page."
“These seem to be contradicting points,” said Fred von Lohmann, a copyright attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group based in San Francisco.
Cindy Cohn, the legal director at the online rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation, says: "It appears that these companies are forcing the government to lower the privacy protections that the government had promised the American people."
Meanwhile other privacy advocates, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Democracy and Technology, gave the proposed changes a warmer reception. In comments filed jointly, the two groups said that the principles proposed by the government “form a solid foundation to govern the use of tracking technologies.” But the groups also suggested various additions, including better disclosure of the mechanisms used to track individuals, to the proposed policies.
The EFF has weighed in on this trend with a timely whitepaper: On Location Privacy and How to Avoid Losing It Forever. The paper includes a number of scenarios with actionable solutions and a number of reason why companies should care.
Cindy Cohn, legal director for Electronic Frontier Foundation, called the contract "troubling."
"It appears that these companies are forcing the government to lower the privacy protections that the government had promised the American people," Cohn said. "The government should be requiring companies to raise the level of privacy protection if they want government contracts."
In a whitepaper, "On Locational Privacy, and How to Avoid Losing it Forever," Peter Eckersley, staff technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Andrew Blumberg, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, argue that modern cryptography allows data processing systems to be designed with privacy policies ranging from limited to complete anonymity.
Recommended reading for those taking up arms on behalf of the former might be the Electronic Frontier Foundation's "Practical Guide to Internet Technology for Political Activists in Repressive Regimes." Observing that "governments have also used the Internet to track, harass and undermine," the San Francisco organization warns activists to consider the risks as well as the rewards in using the enabling technologies.