EFF in the News
Across the country, progressive nonprofits are reporting an unprecedented surge in donations, as disappointed Clinton voters channel their frustration into hard cash for the causes they support. One of the beneficiaries is Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on digital rights. Cindy Cohen is executive director. " We are seeing about four times as much financial support post election as in the days before it."
Facebook worked on special software so it could potentially accommodate censorship demands in China, according to a report in the New York Times. "Kudos to the Facebook employees who brought this to the attention of the New York Times," said the EFF's global policy analyst Eva Galperin."It's very nice to know there are some principled people still working there."
Jillian York is the director for international freedom of expression with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. She said a lot of the content takedowns they've seen involved nudity or sexual content, citing a couple of famous examples from earlier this year. "A photo of the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen was censored from Facebook. It's a mermaid, so not really human nudity," she noted.
It should bother anyone who believes in government transparency that MassIT is withholding records on the basis that they will alert the public to the existence of other records. Aaron Mackey, a legal fellow with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, agrees. He says that to safeguard personal privacy, the government should not be allowed to keep secret databases—whether for “benign or nefarious” purposes. He pointed to the ’60s and ’70s, when the government kept detailed dossiers on anti-Vietnam war activists. “The idea is that the public should know what type of information the government is maintaining about them,” he says. Releasing the list would actually be a “public service,” according to Mackey.
Section 230 of the Act guarantees that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” Judges have affirmed that Section 230 means online platforms cannot be held responsible for what is published by their users. So much of the law is so well established,” said David Greene, the civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation said, that “many cases are not even brought now.” The EFF often advises courts to broadly interpret Section 230 in defense of web publishers.
"No one knows what the heck that Trump is going to do," said Sophia Cope, a staff attorney on the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "To the extent that he feels that weakening encryption is an important policy goal for him, he's going to find a way to do that.
Cindy Cohn, Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is also calling for Trump to listen to security experts on encryption policy. "We desperately need leadership that recognizes that empowering users and companies to provide the strongest security and creating incentives for them to do so is the best way for us to actually be more secure," she says.
MTV music writer, Hazel Cills, asks Jillian C. York of the Electronic Frontier Foundation how we can protect our data and digital spaces from surveillance.
Silicon Valley should work with the US government in Washington to
arrive at a solution that gives law enforcement access to encrypted
comms, but that respects individual privacy. That's according to former White House
counterterrorism and cybersecurity official Daniel Rosenthal, who was
debating where the issue of encryption should go next. Nonsense, responded Cindy Cohn of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), on stage at the Versus
conference in San Francisco. If the tech sector offers some form of
compromise now, the government will only come asking for more later.
Apple may have refused to help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooter, but the tech industry is still better off working with the U.S. government on encryption issues than turning away, according to Daniel Rosenthal, who served as the counterterrorism director in the White House until January this year. However, Rosenthal’s comments were met with resistance from Cindy Cohn, executive director for Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy advocate. She also spoke at the talk and opposed government efforts to weaken encryption, saying it “dumbs down” security. “This idea of a middle ground that you can come up with an encryption strategy that only lets good guy into your data, and never lets a bad guy into your data, misunderstands how the math works,” she said.