EFF in the News
The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge are two public interest groups leaving no stone unturned when it comes to trying to uncover details about the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.
Broadening its fight against the government's "unconstitutional and illegal dragnet surveillance" of millions of Americans, a watchdog group today filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency, the president, vice president and other government agencies and officials involved in the domestic surveillance program...
"The suit alleges that the spying violates the constitution, as well as a variety of federal privacy laws," Kevin Bankston, a senior attorney with the EFF, said on a conference call with reporters.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Bush administration on behalf of AT&T customers to halt what it called the "massively illegal" warrantless surveillance of Americans' Internet and telephone communications...
"For years, the NSA has been engaged in a massive and massively illegal fishing expedition through AT&T's domestic networks and databases of customer records," senior staff attorney Kevin Bankston said in a statement. "Our goal in this new case against the government, as in our case against AT&T, is to dismantle this dragnet surveillance program as soon as possible."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a California-based privacy group, filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency (NSA), President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and several other administration officials on behalf of AT&T customers in an effort to stop the government's warrantless wiretapping program.
The lawsuit "is aimed at ending the NSA's dragnet surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans and holding accountable the government officials who illegally authorized it," according to a statement from EFF.
A non-profit Internet rights group on Thursday filed a lawsuit against President George W. Bush and others in his administration for the "massively illegal" surveillance of emails and telephone calls without court warrants...
"Our goal in this new case against the government, as in our case against AT&T, is to dismantle this dragnet surveillance program as soon as possible," said EFF senior staff attorney Kevin Bankston.
After signing onto a letter earlier this week that demanded access to draft work being done by Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiators, the EFF and Public Knowledge took their complaints about the secret treaty a step further today and filed a lawsuit to gain access to negotiating materials.
The suit (PDF), filed in the DC federal court, uses the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) as the basis for its demands. After reading the leaked Wikileaks documents on the treaty, the EFF and Public Knowledge made a FOIA request to the US Trade Representative. In a letter dated June 11, the groups asked for a comprehensive list of materials dealing with ACTA, including participant lists, agendas, presentations, memoranda, and correspondence.
Perhaps no topic over the past year has been cause for more uneasy speculation within the intellectual property community than the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), primarily because the negotiating process for this treaty has been behind tightly closed doors. Now two US-based public interest organisations have filed suit against the US trade office in charge of the negotiations, in hopes of being able to gain access to the records currently under lock and key.
ACTA was announced in October 2007 as a partnership to combat counterfeiting and piracy that the US and several of its trading partners view as critical threats to their businesses and the cause of billions of dollars in lost revenue annually.
Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a California non-profit focussing on the defence of civil liberties in the digital age, and Public Knowledge, a Washington, DC non-profit engaged in consumer advocacy on issues of intellectual property law and technology have filed suit against the USTR to try and obtain the information.
A pair of public interest groups have filed suit against the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to force disclosure of details about a “secret intellectual property enforcement treaty” that the Bush administration is currently negotiating with numerous countries...
“ACTA raises serious concerns for citizens’ civil liberties and privacy rights,” EFF international policy director Gwen Hinze said in a statement. “This treaty could potentially change the way your computer is searched at the border or spark new invasive monitoring from your ISP. People need to see the full text of ACTA now so that they can evaluate its impact on their lives and express that opinion to their political leaders. Instead, the USTR is keeping us in the dark while talks go on behind closed doors.”
Remember the international trade proposal recently leaked to Wikileaks that aims to "criminalize the non-profit facilitation of unauthorized information exchange on the internet?" That proposal (The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA) already took aim at BitTorrent websites like the Pirate Bay, but also potentially whistleblowers, and even legit distribution systems like Tor. It's also believed that the global proposal, being hashed out in secret between governments and the entertainment industry, includes mandatory ISP piracy filters.
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the EFF and at least one-hundred different groups have written a letter demanding that the details of the agreement be made transparent to the general public. "Because the text of the treaty and relevant discussion documents remain secret, the public has no way of assessing whether and to what extent these and related concerns are merited," say the public interest groups in their letter. The ACTA is on the fast-track to being approved by year's end, according to the groups.
There's been speculation for months concerning the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. If ratified, many suggest it would criminalize peer-to-peer file sharing, subject iPods to border searches and allow internet service providers to monitor their customers' communications.
The groups include Consumers Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Essential Action, IP Justice, Knowledge Ecology International, Public Knowledge, Global Trade Watch, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, IP Left (Korea), Australian Digital Alliance, The Canadian Library Association, Consumers Union of Japan, National Consumer Council (UK) and Doctors without Borders' Campaign for Essential Medicines.