EFF in the News
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published an Excel spreadsheet document listing recent dismissals of porn BitTorrent cases.
The spreadsheet lists all of the studios, movie titles, attorneys and number of dismissed and current John Does related to 36 mass defendant lawsuits in which judges dismissed more than 40,000 unnamed John Does accused of illegal file sharing.
However, the panel that was the most fascinating was later in the day with a panel called "Lawyers, Guns & Money," discussing questions around music file sharing and what should be done about it. The lineup of panelists included Rich Bengloff (who later told me that I should have the word "editor" stripped from my badge because it gave me too much credibility -- nice guy, that Rich) from A2IM (who represents independent music labels), Michael Petricone from the Consumer Electronics Association, Julie Samuels from the EFF, Mark Eisenberg who has worked at the major labels and is now a consultant, and Bryan Calhoun from SoundExchange. The whole thing was moderated by Jonathan Potter who certainly knows how to make a panel get... lively.
...these kinds of laws, Mr. Tien says, often also inspire new federal regulations that require communication providers to add “back doors” to their information architecture specifically so authorities can get at information when they need to.
Today, the EFF's Corynne McSherry, Intellectual Property Director at EFF, wrote the following commentary:
"First, as explained in more detail in a letter EFF sent today on behalf of three of the targets (Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen, authors of The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City, and their publisher, Process Media), the legal claims are baseless."
But apparently the changes aren't enough to appease Internet freedom and privacy advocates. CNET quotes the Electronic Frontier Foundation's senior staff attorney, Kevin Bankston, as follows:
"The president would have essentially unchecked power to determine what services can be connected to the Internet or even what content can pass over the Internet in a cybersecurity emergency."
As promised, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has thrown down the legal gauntlet. "The Dervaes Institute should recognize that this is one community that will not be intimidated, cease its heavy-handed tactics, and take steps to repair the damage it has caused," writes EFF intellectual-property director Corynne McSherry. Her legal letter to the Dervaeses minces no words, calling their campaign misguided and giving them until this Friday to demonstrate to the EFF that they have taken steps to right the wrongs they specifically committed against The Urban Homestead and Process Media.
At stake in the legal fight -- beyond placing criminal responsibility for thousands of classified U.S. documents being posted on the Internet -- is how much privacy Twitter and other social network users can expect or whether such messages are considered private at all.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation went to court in Alexandria, Va., last week to try to stop the government's acquisition of the Twitter messages.
Fortunately, some of the organizations they’ve sued have begun to fight back. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has offered to help a number of bloggers and businesses that have been sued. In fact they defended Democratic Underground from the suit brought against them and won. In December EFF asked a judge to force Righthaven to pay for the cost of the defense. Hopefully, this is the first of many failed suits which will make Righthaven’s business model ultimately unsustainable.
Government regulation, Harper argues, “will make consumers worse off than they could be. The better alternative is to get people educated and involved in their own privacy protection.”
To wit, the Electronic Frontier Foundation provides a list of the Top 12 ways to protect your privacy, itemized/condensed as follows:
While many tech groups have supported net neutrality and accuse Republicans of forwarding their big business agenda, civil rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation argues the FCC lacks the mandate to impose the regulation. Characterizing net neutrality as a possible FCC “Trojan horse,” EFF legal analyst Abigail Phillips said the basic premise wasn’t bad, but when factoring in ancillary jurisdiction, it sours quickly.
“It would give the FCC pretty much boundless authority to regulate the Internet for whatever it sees fit. And that kind of unrestrained authority makes us nervous,” Phillips wrote.