EFF in the News
In this episode of the Hardware podcast, we talk with writer and digital rights activist Cory Doctorow. He’s recently rejoined the Electronic Frontier Foundation to fight a World Wide Web Consortium proposal that would add DRM to the core specification for HTML. When we recorded this episode with Cory, the W3C had just overruled the EFF’s objection. The result, he says, is that “we are locking innovation out of the Web.”
“It is illegal to report security vulnerabilities in a DRM,” Doctorow says. “[DRM] is making it illegal to tell people when the devices they depend upon for their very lives are unsuited for that purpose.”
In our “Tools” segment, Doctorow tells us about tools that can be used for privacy and encryption, including the EFF surveillance self-defense kit, and Wickr, an encrypted messaging service that allows for an expiration date on shared messages and photos. “We need a tool that’s so easy your boss can use it,” he says.
Jennifer Lynch, of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, did not know of any cases in which local police had uncovered terrorism using their cell site simulators.
“I don’t think it’s happened at all,” she said.
Moreover, "That is really going to create a radical shift in how software is developed worldwide," Mitch Stoltz, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation who's been following the case, said in an interview. "If it requires permission each time APIs are used and code calls other code, then you've upended the economics of software.
“If the agency doesn’t have a policy in place to delete that data, who knows what they’re doing with it?” said Jennifer Lynch, a senior staff attorney with the non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation.
How can startups best lock down customer data? By not having access to it in the first place, suggested Nate Cardozo, senior staff attorney for digital rights organization the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Asked whether the EFF is seeing more willingness among companies to view the government specifically as an oppositional force, Cardozo said this is especially true for messaging companies, given how much user data these companies can hold.
Wo liegt der Unterschied zwischen Nudes und NooDZ, Nacktheit in der analogen und in der digitalen Welt? Das wollen Jillian York und Addie Wagenknecht bei der re:publica in Berlin besprechen. WIRED hat die beiden Feministinnen vorab getroffen und mit ihnen über Kunst, Zensur, Brüste und den weißen Mann des Silicon Valley gesprochen.
Die Frage, warum Facebook so vorgeht, wie es vorgeht, können die beiden nicht vollumfänglich beantworten - sie haben aber Vermutungen: Neben dem Faktor, dass Facebook ein US-Unternehmen ist - in den USA ist Sex ein größerer Aufreger als etwa Gewaltdarstellungen -, könnte die Regelformulierung auch den Betrieb des Netzwerks erleichtern. Wenn man gar nicht erst zwischen Nacktheit und Pornografie unterscheide, helfe das den Inhalte-Moderatoren, sagt Jillian York, "weil sie diese Unterscheidung nicht mehr vornehmen müssen".
Mark Rumold, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, called the pushback in those 80 cases "a large and promising increase."
For Rumold, the court's approval rate for targeted wiretaps isn't as troubling as the combination of its secrecy and its judges' legal reasoning.
"What does worry me—and what Americans and foreigners alike should be worried about—is when the FISC approves of surveillance programs that authorize new or particularly intrusive or broad techniques in secret, and by only hearing from one side—the government," he said.
Noting that Congress had introduced some FISC reforms in the 2015 law, he added, "I think the jury's still out on whether those provisions will work effectively, but in principle, they should address some of the biggest concerns I've had with the FISC over the years."
“Net neutrality has been opposed by the same parties who pushed this bill since the beginning,” said Ernesto Falcon, a legislative counsel at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “This is just the newest vehicle.”
“It meant that there was one person in Washington who had a clue about [encryption], which previously it looked like there were zero people in Washington who had a clue about this,” John Gilmore, the founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and one of the leaders of the Cypherpunks group, told Motherboard.