EFF in the News
Last year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge sued to force the trade representative to disclose documents relating to the treaty. But the digital rights groups withdrew their lawsuit last month, after the Obama Administration told the court the documents should remain classified.
This is precisely what the EFF, the Center for Democracy & Technology, Public Knowledge, and the American Library Association fear. In most respects, they don't oppose the idea of ACTA. "Rather, we believe the [US Trade Representative] also should be pursuing this objective in a manner that benefits, rather than harms, US technology companies and consumers," they wrote in a letter (PDF) this week to the US Trade Rep., Ron Kirk.
The gallery threatened legal action against Mr. Coetzee, saying that while the painted portraits may be old and thus beyond copyright protection, the photographs are new and therefore copyrighted work. The gallery is demanding a response by Monday from Mr. Coetzee, who is being represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In an e-mail message on Friday a gallery spokeswoman, Eleanor Macnair, wrote that “contact has now been made” with the Wikimedia Foundation and “we remain hopeful that a dialogue will be possible.”
Wikimedia Foundation did not respond to the NPG's original takedown request in April 2009, so the NPG is pursuing Coetzee directly. Coetzee is now being represented pro bono by attorney Fred von Lohmann of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Amazingly, however, nobody wanted to hear his story. In his book he talks about meetings with reporters and privacy groups that went nowhere until a fateful January 20, 2006, meeting with Kevin Bankston of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Bankston was preparing a lawsuit that he hoped would put a stop to the wiretap program, and Klein was just the kind of witness the EFF was looking for.
California's revised Pay-As-You-Drive auto insurance proposal has drawn fire from the EFF, which hailed the amended bill as an improvement over the original, but voiced substantially the same privacy complaints.
"The irony that the two books involved were 'Animal Farm' and '1984' is just too much," said Fred Von Lohmann, staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Although both the Bush and Obama administrations have refused to discuss the extent of phone company participation, several members of Congress have confirmed that the government obtained records from phone companies, the plaintiffs' lawyer, Kevin Bankston of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told Walker.
After the nearly two hours of arguments ended in court Wednesday, EFF lawyers said Obama had reneged on campaign promises by continuing to support the program. "It's not surprising; it is disappointing," said Kevin Bankston, an EFF attorney.
“What the government is arguing is that the president decides what is legal or not,” EFF legal director Cindy Cohn told Judge Walker at the end of the hearing.