EFF in the News
Kit Walsh and Jeremy Malcolm of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a digital rights advocacy group, told us that Verizon's FreeBee Data program raises red flags in light of the FCC's stance on the Open Internet. Verizon did not respond to our request for more details about its new offering.
"Apple and Cook have been very strong on this issue," said Andrew Crocker, staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
"I think it's heartfelt on Cook's part -- he says he believes privacy is a human right, and Apple has introduced a number of features that support privacy and security," he told the E-Commerce Times.
I will be talking about the same material that I work on at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which relates to the way the old and fairly obscure copyright law has become more and more urgent not just in the realm of free software but in realm of software in general.
“Verizon’s version of ‘zero rating’ creates much more distortion in favor of big-pocketed content companies, and it much more likely to create competitive barriers for non-profit sources of content such as universities, community groups, fan clubs, self-help discussion groups, Wikipedia and so on,” Jeremy Malcolm, a senior global policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told Digiday.
"Right now, the statute allows the government to obtain private messages that are older than 180 days, including web-based emails, social media messages, text messages and voicemails, as well as private documents stored by 'cloud' service providers ... with an administrative subpoena," explained Sophia Cole of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“There are several things missing,” said Dave Maass of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco nonprofit group that has been monitoring mass-surveillance issues for years. The Union-Tribune asked the foundation to review the San Diego policy for compliance.
“The thing that’s most alarming is they have not explicitly stated the retention period for the data they collect,” Maass said. “The law says they need to say the length of time they will retain the information and what the process will be for determining when to destroy it.”
Jennifer Lynch Senior Staff Attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) told SCMagazine.com that if the law enforcement is using the tool to determine someone's risk level based on social media comments then it is a violation of the First Amendment.
Lynch went on to say that because the rating algorithm is kept secret there is no way to know if someone's rating could go up because they joked about the IRS auditing them or mentioning a video game "Rage."
The EFF isn't buying his argument.
"T-Mobile seems to be arguing that downgrading video quality is not actually throttling, but we disagree," says EFF Staff Technologist Jeremy Gillula. 'Throttling' means that when a video stream hits T-Mobile's network, its bandwidth is capped. If the video provider's server has the capability to adapt the quality of the video, then the server can do that — but it is the video provider that is using 'adaptive video technology,' not T-Mobile. In other words, T-Mobile just constrains the bandwidth, and it's up to video providers to make sure their videos stream smoothly.
'This isn't semantics — it's apples and oranges."
Cisco Systems built a security system for the Chinese government knowing it would be used to track and persecute members of the Falun Gong religious minority, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation technology rights group.
Falun Gong practitioners alleged the same thing in a lawsuit that a federal judge in Northern California dismissed in 2014. That case is being appealed, and on Monday the EFF, Privacy International and free-speech group Article 19 filed a brief that supports the appeal.
...Many U.S. and European companies sell technology to regimes that violate human rights, and if this case goes to trial and Cisco loses, they may think twice, said EFF Staff Attorney Sophia Cope.
"In a lot of instances, these companies are selling directly to the government, and they know exactly what is going to be happening," Cope said.