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Inside the Electronic Frontier Foundation

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the behind-the-scenes dept.

Electronic Frontier Foundation 98

First time accepted submitter qwerdf writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation's goal is 'defending your rights in the digital world', and its activities span the full gamut of freedom fighting: providing help with court cases; issuing white papers that explain current threats; running campaigns to spread awareness of various issues; and developing technologies that make our online activities safer from prying eyes. Here's a short history of how the EFF came together, what it has done so far, and how it's preparing for upcoming battles."

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Small factual error? (5, Informative)

angry tapir (1463043) | about a year ago | (#44213435)

Taking on the United States Secret Service is a pretty risky venture... But that’s exactly what the EFF did, shortly after it was founded in July 1990. The Secret Service had raided a small videogames book publisher, looking for a stolen technical document that might fall into the wrong hands.

If it's referring to the raid on Steve Jackson Games, SJG wasn't a 'videogames book publisher'.

Re:Small factual error? (5, Informative)

meerling (1487879) | about a year ago | (#44214003)

They actually tried to claim that SJG was making a handbook for hacking computers. They were referring to the (at that time) upcoming Cyberpunk setting book for G.U.R.P.S. . Yeah, last time I checked, the proper way to steal data was to take your cyberdeck, jack it into your brain, load some ICEbreakers, and cruise cyberspace battling ICE and cracking data nodes. Uh huh. Right up there with the AC unit cooling the room by using demons of perversity to kick the cold atoms into the room and the hot ones out.

I remember logging in the day after the raid. Strange message came up instead of their normal B.B.S. .
Then the stories from SJG about the raid. How the 'agents' ate the teams donuts, and broke open locks with the team standing there with the keys.
It was later found out that the warrant authorizing the raid really shouldn't have been granted in the first place, to put it mildly.

I know SJG has the story on their site. If you're interested, go check it out. I'm sure it's a lot better than my so called memory.
http://sjgames.com/SS/

Re:Small factual error? (4, Interesting)

angry tapir (1463043) | about a year ago | (#44214027)

I remember the story from Bruce Sterling's book [gutenberg.org] on Operation Sundevil. It's a great read and had a huge impact on me when I was young.

Re:Small factual error? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44227875)

We can reasonably assert the equivalent of the Nuremberg Precedent as being one of those rights "retained by the people" (9th Amendment) and "reserved to the people" (10th Amendment). As such, all government officials have an individual, personal, and immediate responsibility to refuse to obey any orders or carry out any actions resulting from illegal laws, precedents, warrants, court orders, or executive orders. As a fundamental right, no act of Congress is required for this right to exist, and no law need be passed by government at any level. Indeed, any law or precedent that might interfere with such a right is itself illegal.

We can also assert a similar right to the effect that neither pardon nor immunity can apply to government officials when they violate fundamental rights.

The SJG incident was a gross abuse of federal authority. The agents involved had an individual and personal responsibility to recognize SJG was acting in a reasonable manner under the 1st, 9th, and 10th Amendments. By executing this illegal warrant, they violated their oaths to uphold the Bill of Rights. There is no way to view their actions as resulting from anything other than gross incompetence or a lack of integrity (possibly both). The judge issuing the warrant violated his oath to uphold the Bill of Rights. The judge ruling on the case, in not bringing the hammer down on these idiots, violated his oath to uphold the Bill of Rights.

The Ramsey Electronics raid was just as illegal as the SJG raid, and again we see zero consequences for the federal officials engaging in illegal conduct.

The precedent set: ethical and legal responsibility is not a requirement for being part of the federal government. If you screw up, you'll be protected by the old-boy network unless you do something truly awful that can't be covered up. It's the same horrible precedent that exists in the legal profession and has turned the USA into the "Land of the Lawsuit". Neither the legal profession nor the federal government has any real interest in changing this situation, for obvious reasons. Many of the state and local governments are just as bad.

This is neither the first nor the last time this kind of thing has happened in US history, nor is it even the worst example of its kind. The "separate-but-not-actually-equal" system of racial discrimination was grossly illegal, violating all sorts of fundamental rights reasonably asserted under the 9th and 10th Amendments, but no government official or legal professional implementing those illegal laws ever came to trial. Similarly, the imprisonment during WW2 of Japanese-American civilians without evidence or due process was a gross violation of fundamental rights, but no official involved in implementing this ever came to trial.

We really, seriously need to clean up the US legal system. It's not longer just a question of having a broken patent system, or broken copyright laws, or tort abuse: the problems are far more widespread than that. People are getting more and more disgusted with the way inability of government and the legal profession to act ethically and honestly and to respect fundamental rights. Fixing things will be a huge job, because problems resulting from ethical conflicts of interest are so prevalent that cleaning up the mess is like trying to stop a cancer that has metastasised. The root cause of these problems is tightly bound up with the willingness of government at all levels and of the legal profession to ignore ethical conflicts of interest, and taking a hard look at ethics is probably going to be a big part of fixing things. The alternative, of course, is revolution or civil war.

Re:Small factual error? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214257)

Then the EFF's own page is wrong:

https://www.eff.org/about/history

"One of the alleged recipients of the E911 document was the systems operator at a small games book publisher out of Austin, Texas, named Steve Jackson Games."

Re:Small factual error? (3, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44214653)

Then the EFF's own page is wrong:

https://www.eff.org/about/history

"One of the alleged recipients of the E911 document was the systems operator at a small games book publisher out of Austin, Texas, named Steve Jackson Games."

the point is that they didn't publish videogames..

sure, some videogames were published out of the material. but not the same thing.

Re:Small factual error? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214907)

Tabletop role playing game book publisher, not video game book publisher.

Re:Small factual error? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year ago | (#44217707)

No, EFF's own page is perfectly correct. Steve Jackson Games was (and is) a games book publisher. They are not, and have never been, a *video* games book publisher. Pen and paper, baby!

Re:Small factual error? (1)

Steve_Ussler (2941703) | about a year ago | (#44214979)

Sort of a big...so what....very minor error.

Re:Small factual error? (-1, Offtopic)

buzzfocus23 (2976439) | about a year ago | (#44215121)

what Marie responded I'm amazed that a person able to earn $5903 in a few weeks on the computer. did you read this web page http://www.wep6.com/ [wep6.com]

Re:Small factual error? (1)

Dabido (802599) | about a year ago | (#44233979)

Was the raid on SJG because the Illuminati game gave away state secrets of what was really happening in the world?

Now we just need (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213451)

... guns and money.

Re:Now we just need (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214629)

Or, to stop taking little risks while gambling in Havana.

Money well spent (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#44213467)

Send some dough to the EFF. Right this second. If there ever was a time we need those guys, it's now.

I'm a tightwad, and if I can buy some cheaper beer for a few weeks so I can send them a few bucks, so can you, goddamit.

This week, we found out that we've got a secret court that's acting as a "shadow Supreme Court" that's deciding the constitutionality of electronic snooping laws and then keeping their fucking rulings secret.

http://boingboing.net/2013/07/07/secret-rulings-from-americas.html [boingboing.net]

So before you curse the darkness, go light a fucking candle. Give to the EFF. I've got a paypal window open right now and am giving another twenty, which means I'll be drinking cheap beer for the rest of the month. But at least I'll know there's someone out there who's not completely focused on the reality tv show that is Edward Snowden instead of the fact that we've got a privatized police state that's grown up around us in only about a decade.

And make no mistake: it's too late to start loading your shootin' iron unless you've decided your solution is to eat it.

Re:Money well spent (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213493)

they aren't really bad guys

i just wonder if they dont suffer from cognitive dissonance from being such flaming libertarians
and appealing to the government at the same time

What's the matter? (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about a year ago | (#44213575)

If they are innocent then what to they have to hide? Funny how they don't like their own statements used against them.

Re:Money well spent (4, Informative)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#44214931)

Libertarians=/=Anarchists. Libertarians want government, they just want it limited.

Re:Money well spent (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44215725)

Yes, they want the police to protect them from their slaves

Re:Money well spent (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#44215865)

I believe you're thinking of plutocrats.

Re:Money well spent (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year ago | (#44217755)

I believe you're thinking of plutocrats.

Nah, they're a Mickey Mouse party.

Re:Money well spent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44216153)

Limited to making sure teh gays can't get married and pushing the LORD GOD OF CHRISTMAS AND ALL LIGHT AND ATHEISTS ARE MEAN doctrine on everyone. Sorry about the caps, I'm pretty sure that's the correct way to write that though. Seriously, I love the ideals of the Libertarians, too bad they only seem to follow them when it's convenient, like every other political party.

Re:Money well spent (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#44217395)

Limited to making sure teh gays can't get married

Except that the Libertarian Party supports gay marriage, and believes in marriage equality [lp.org] .

pushing the LORD GOD OF CHRISTMAS AND ALL LIGHT AND ATHEISTS ARE MEAN doctrine on everyone.

Except that many Libertarians are atheists, and Ayn Rand was an avowed and outspoken atheist.

Sorry about the caps

Maybe next time, before you start shouting, you should check to see if what you are about to shout has any connection to the truth.

Re:Money well spent (1)

Robb Swanson (1136519) | about a year ago | (#44227673)

Libertarians=/=Anarchists. Libertarians want government, they just want it limited.

Libertarians are to Anarchists what nudists are to naked people. Libertarians and nudists are both just middle-class and well organized.

Re:Money well spent (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#44227973)

Libertarians are to Anarchists what nudists are to naked people. Libertarians and nudists are both just middle-class and well organized.

Anarchists are to nudists what wild-men are to naked people. Anarchists are organized for the purpose of returning responsibility to the individual absolutely, as if everyone was growing up alone in the jungle like Tarzan or Mowgli
Libertarians are to swimsuit models as anarchists are to nudists. Neither wants a lot of government (clothes), but one group wants none whatsoever. Libertarians don't want to abolish Federal or State Constitutions. Anarchists do.

Re:Money well spent (5, Informative)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about a year ago | (#44213497)

Donate Here! [eff.org]

Re:Money well spent (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214029)

Donate Here! [eff.org]

Thanks. Done. They have some nice shirts you can get, and the credit card payment process was about as streamlined as I've seen (not even a confirmation page, or even button. Almost too almost to help them out!). Email updates opted out by default, very prompt payment processing, and their TLS settings selection is great.

Re:Money well spent (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a year ago | (#44214655)

I found it a little annoying that I had to scroll all the way down the page (offscreen) to deselect off the checkbox that enables download/install of the EFF/Stallman Browser toolbar, though.

j/k

Re:Money well spent (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214057)

Thanks for the link, I just completed my donation. After reading the EFF page with their accomplishments, this donation was a no brainer. Best $100 I have spent to protect all of our rights.

Re:Money well spent (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213633)

The Electronic Frontier Foundation promotes the viral GPL license, which makes them evil by definition. "Omitting" this fact and pretending they are simply a freedom-loving organisation that does general good things is deceitful and revisionist.

Re:Money well spent (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year ago | (#44213813)

You are free not to set off bombs in people's shops, and you are free not to use GPL.

Re:Money well spent (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213995)

Incorrect. You are free to not use GPL'ed products, if you use GPL'ed code all such freedoms end. Personally I never use GPL, much prefer an Open license such as Apache, but each to their own, those that are happy with a restrictive license like the GPL are welcome to it.

Re:Money well spent (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#44214161)

You are obviously a little insane. Did someone's GPL kill your mother?

Re:Money well spent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214165)

I am not the A/C, But what exactly is it he said that comes across as a little insane? The GPL is a restrictive license and was made to impose restrictions on its users, it was designed and implemented that way, this isn't a bad thing.

Re:Money well spent (2)

jma05 (897351) | about a year ago | (#44214391)

That AC is either a little insane or at least a major drama queen. The only freedom GPL takes away from him is his "freedom" to take away other people's freedom. If that does not suit him - fine. But calling that "evil by definition" or "all such freedoms end" is ridiculous.

Re:Money well spent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214405)

The one thing I never see answered by the more zealous libertarians in the crowd is this:

If it turns out that some regulation or restriction is required for a system or market to remain "free", which is the lesser evil? Ie. is breaking up a monopoly good or bad?

The US has a fairly heavy "nanny-state" system where the government favours big business more than little business. The EU actively regulates their markets to prevent anti-competitive behavior and remove cartels and collusion. Granted, it's not quite that simple but that's a general policy difference.

So which is worse? GPL restricting what you can and cannot do in order to better preserve everyone's freedoms or BSD-like, allowing larger entities to effectively remove freedoms?

Which is "more free" and why? Personally, I've always greatly preferred GPL just because it is parasitic. I don't think we'd have the vast ecosystem in FOSS that we have without it for the same reasons that laissez-faire capitalism always leads to collusion and cartels.

Re:Money well spent (1)

jma05 (897351) | about a year ago | (#44223317)

I wish people would stop using terms like "parasitic" and the more popular term... "viral".

Both connote that the GPL component got there without your intervention and parasitic implies that it is draining you without providing any benefits... like a tapeworm. The author explicitly chose to use GPL component because it had value and when the rules it sets forth presented an acceptable price or better, an alignment with one's own values. A GPL component is neither like a real virus nor a computer virus. It is entirely there by free and rational choice. Of course, you know all that.

Re:Money well spent (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#44222515)

The GPL is a restrictive license and was made to impose restrictions on its users,

Define "users". From the context, "publishers" is the only word that makes sense, but few would consider publishers to be users. I think that disconnect is where the rift is. What "harm" is pushed on the end user of a GPL'd software?

Re:Money well spent (1)

andy.ruddock (821066) | about a year ago | (#44214509)

Incorrect. GPL applies to distribution, not use.

Re:Money well spent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214727)

those that are happy with a restrictive license like the GPL are welcome to it.

That's quite a change from "evil by definition".

Re:Money well spent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214495)

You are confusing the EFF and the FSF.

Re:Money well spent (1)

TeXMaster (593524) | about a year ago | (#44215413)

He's trolling and a ridiculous amount of /. users fell for it.

Re:Money well spent (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214001)

'defending your rights in the digital world'

Please tell me your post is a bad joke!!! They stand up for assholes like Apple, Google, ect (big companies) yet when it comes to the little man they are no where to be found. And they call the "little man" a patent troll, when they have actual patents claims.. I have yet to hear the EFF say how fu***d up the patent system is in regards to the "big companies" pathetic attempts to patent something that an autistic kid could have thought out..

They can kiss my lily white ass, when they are begging for money. And while this post may be considered "trolling" by the EFF your post is an attempt to kiss there ass because of that coward Arron Swartz... And the idiots that modded this up...

Re:Money well spent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214021)

1. It's easy to malign the dead, isn't it.

2. You're factually incorrect. https://www.eff.org/patent [eff.org]

Re:Money well spent (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | about a year ago | (#44214339)

Multiple + to this... I automatically contribute to EFF every month.

Re:Money well spent (1)

bughunter (10093) | about a year ago | (#44217047)

Aye. Heartily seconded. See my sig.

A state wherein only the government is entitled to privacy is not a nation of free men.

EFFail (1, Informative)

russotto (537200) | about a year ago | (#44213479)

Unfortunately, as with all freedom-seeking organizations, the EFFs scorecard consists of losses which have already occurred, partial losses, and losses which will occur in the future. DMCA? Total loss. Copyright extensions? Total loss. CISPA? Stopped for now, we'll see it in the future. Broadcast flag? Delay, then loss -- the FCC now allows cable companies to encrypt everything, and the government is attempting to end TV broadcasting entirely to give the spectrum to cell phone companies. Surveillance? Total loss, as a Snowden has revealed. Lawsuits against corporate leakers? They may have won on paper, but the chilling effect appears to have ended the juicy leaks.

Not really their fault; it's just that the age of freedom is over. Few care, and those who do are mostly against it.

Re:EFFail (3, Interesting)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about a year ago | (#44213517)

Their failure is also the failure of the pro-freedom community. As a pro-2nd amendment guy, I'm glad that I've groups like the GOA [wikipedia.org] and NRA in my corner. I hope the EFF will receive similar support [eff.org] from those whose rights it defends.

Re:EFFail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213617)

I'd never even heard of GOA before reading your post. So the NRA are sellouts to those who believe in gun rights? In other words, not just NRA crazy, GOA is totally batshit everyone should be waving AK-47s in public crazy.

Re:EFFail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214325)

Maybe if you contards stop living in lies, wasting all your energy screaming about Bengazi and the IRS scandal, the remnant of the left that actually has a problem with PRISM would actually work WITH you to solve the problem instead of regarding you malice and extreme distrust.

From a tactical stand point, people who cannot recognize reality or the importance of honest are a NIGHTMARE to be allied with.

So we're all fucked.

Thanks idiots.

Re:EFFail (5, Insightful)

Aighearach (97333) | about a year ago | (#44213557)

Steve Jackson Games v. Secret Service Case Archive

"EFF set one of the first precedents protecting computer communications from unwarranted government invasion."

I guess you're too young to remember that, or to have had all your friends whining they aren't getting their game updates because the Secret Service thought role playing games were real.

Plus grokster, broadcast flag, etc

Re:EFFail (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#44213613)

They won the case, but looking at the current state of computer communications and unwarranted government invasion, they've lost the war.

Did SJG ever get back their seized hardware?

Re:EFFail (3, Informative)

Aighearach (97333) | about a year ago | (#44214181)

Most of it, and they got paid too.

EFF you (5, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44213641)

Jesus, don't call it in the fucking air. At the very least, don't call it FOR THE OTHER SIDE. Cynicism here does nothing but rationalize not doing anything to stop it. "losses which will occur in the future" if everyone who should be standing up to it says "Ah, it's going to happen eventually, fuck it."

CISPA was a big win. No, they didn't stop it forever, but if you expected that to happen you're an idiot. What was the EFF supposed to do? Murder every CEO who wanted something similar to it, murder every lobbyist who would take their money, and murder every legislator who would take their meetings? Maintaining freedom is an active process, not a one time thing.

You list about four other losses. Summarize their full list of litigation [wikipedia.org] if you're going to say they do nothing but lose.

This is not me shooting the messenger either. What you're doing is more akin to a football player in a close game screaming "We're going to lose! Repent! Defeat is inevitable! We can't win, they're going to hurt us, we may as well forfeit because our QB sucks!!!"

(Note that I never played football, but I'm pretty sure that's a good way to help the other team win)

Re:EFF you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213771)

"Cynicism here does nothing but rationalize not doing anything to stop it."

The problem is with the masses, just look at DRM like steam. People CONTINUE to buy products from corporations they KNOW are screwing them, even when THEY HAVE A CHOICE. So if people choose to feed EA's and VALVES of the world money, just how are you to stop any modern entertainment corporation from confiscating works from the public domain? And that's just one single area of the economy, lord knows what bs goes on in other industries preventing honest people from inventing/making/sharing and developing stuff without law.

The whole entire system is fucked, capitalism beats everything. Once you have money you are king and can reshape the world to your liking and their are enough dumb people to keep you king for a long long time while honest and just people are pushed out. If you have no money you can't play and the masses are too stupid and believe in the voting system. We've long since passed the time for revolt (aka the bank bailouts). If the electorate had any intelligence at all it would have voted for an entirely new party instead of voting vanilla adn chocolate (the one party corporate state) back into office. With that level of ignorance and un-intelligence in the population good luck with your crusade.

Re:EFF you (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213805)

You're one of those folks who complains that his friends have terrible politics but can't manage to persuade them, who is confident about the power of money in politics but never donates to the causes he favors himself, who complains that the world doesn't boycott antisocial companies but doesn't boycott them himself, who complains that the people never rise up but never rises up himself, who complains that politicians are corrupt but never runs for office, and who complains that the masses believe in the voting system yet whose only concrete participation in politics is by ticking the box next to his favored third-party candidate, aren't you?

Re:EFF you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44216235)

I'd been on the fence for a bit, but I think you've just convinced me that I need to freaking run for office. now to get my people skills working...man I suck at small talk.

Re:EFF you (0)

theNAM666 (179776) | about a year ago | (#44213797)

Mod parent up.

Re:EFF you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215769)

What was the EFF supposed to do? Murder every CEO who wanted something similar to it, murder every lobbyist who would take their money, and murder every legislator who would take their meetings?

It would be a good start.... You know, return the favor?

Re:EFF you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44218245)

What was the EFF supposed to do? Murder every CEO who wanted something similar to it, murder every lobbyist who would take their money, and murder every legislator who would take their meetings?

yes.

Re:EFFail (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213653)

Not really their fault; it's just that the age of freedom is over. Few care, and those who do are mostly against it.

No, it's our fault -- the fault of the people who know why freedom is worth something.

We haven't made the case for freedom. We've been content to sit back and wring our hands as it dribbles away while complaining to each other that "the age of freedom is over", as though that were something that had just happened by itself. On the rare occasions where we actually try to convince people that freedom is worth keeping, we overuse platitudes (like "those who would give up liberty for a little temporary security deserve neither") with no persuasive value, instead of showing people why freedom matters in their lives.

Re:EFFail (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213675)

we overuse platitudes (like "those who would give up liberty for a little temporary security deserve neither") with no persuasive value, instead of showing people why freedom matters in their lives.

Even someone with a minuscule amount of intelligence would figure out why freedom is important soon after thinking about it. What does that say about the population in general? That they're worthless imbeciles.

Don't get me wrong; worthless imbeciles need to be 'persuaded' with emotional arguments and led like the inferior cattle they are. So I don't think we should give up, but we just have to manipulate the cattle like the filthy pieces of trash they are.

Re:EFFail (1)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about a year ago | (#44213739)

Don't get me wrong; worthless imbeciles need to be 'persuaded' with emotional arguments and led like the inferior cattle they are. So I don't think we should give up, but we just have to manipulate the cattle like the filthy pieces of trash they are.

By the Dog Gorgias (for Gorgias is what I shall call you, AC), you must be on to something! And clearly, you're the 'persuasive' fellow to do it, with your emotionally 'appealing' arguments and clear 'thinking'. But tell me, if people are 'worthless', as you say, why must they be persuaded? What is it worth to worthies such as yourself to convince the 'worthless' of anything?

Re:EFFail (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213905)

Oh, I was merely exaggerating. They're not totally worthless; like cattle, they have some amount of value. And no, it wouldn't be a good idea to reveal to them what they truly are (as I did) when trying to persuade them; that would be foolish.

Re:EFFail (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213767)

Don't be too dramatic. People do not care because they have a good life. Wait till that ends, unless they have killbots handy, and a lot of them, what was known as the French Revolution will seem like a Sunday afternoon picnic. The information out there is on everyone, including those who will get the blame. I know this first hand, I used such information, available from commercial sources, to do background investigations on the 1% for a huge bank. And this was a decade ago. The amount of info that there was on those guys was ridiculous compared to Joe Six-Pack. We are talking about property records galore, court records (when you have money you seem to be in those a lot), hunting permits (I guess they enjoy outdoors), car registrations (multitudes), company records, gun permits, and of course the news. While the amount of info may now be even, their information doesn't go away. When people get pissed and start looking up who owns how many yachts, that information will be very hard to hide.

Re:EFFail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44215373)

The French revolution is completely irrelevant. The French nobles didn't have helicopters, nor the pick of the litter of the best sell-swords the world has to offer.

Knowing what they have is one thing. Getting past the local police, and their armed bodyguards, much less even knowing where they are is another.

Should they fear anything in the US, they just take their jets to another friendly nation, and that's that.

Re:EFFail (1)

westlake (615356) | about a year ago | (#44214621)

Unfortunately, as with all freedom-seeking organizations, the EFFs scorecard consists of losses which have already occurred, partial losses, and losses which will occur in the future.

The EFF is also given to inane publicity stunts that divert resources and make it look faintly ridiculous. Windows 7 Sins [youtube.com]

Re:EFFail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44216647)

That's the Free Software Foundation, not the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Are you trolling or just a moron?

Different focus these days (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213501)

The EFF seems to be more interested in defending copyright cases than defending other civil liberties. Almost completely silent on tracking and surveillance - but if some 30 year old is seeding copies of the latest Pixar movie off his work computer and gets fired, the EFF will be in there faster than you can say Stallman. At least the ACLU gives a shit. The EFF has just become a Google trade group.

Re:Different focus these days (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44213647)

If some 30 year old is seeding copies of the latest Pixar movie off his work computer and gets fired, the EFF will be in there faster than you can say Stallman.

In what universe is that not a civil liberties case?

Re:Different focus these days (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213911)

Quite possibly in the one in which you didn't miss the words "work computer".

Re:Different focus these days (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214425)

You really are american, aren't you?

And you wonder why your economy is in the shitter with that kind of servile attitude.

Re:Different focus these days (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44217467)

And you wonder why your economy is in the shitter with that kind of servile attitude.

What attitude, you mean "you shouldn't use someone else's property and resources to break the law"?

Re:Different focus these days (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213705)

Are you insane? EFF has been at the *forefront* of the tracking/surveillance issue. Who did AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein choose to receive his inside information about how his employer was colluding with the NSA to spy on Americans? Why, that would be the EFF, who then proceeded to bring it to public attention and sue both AT&T (Hepting v. AT&T) and the NSA (Jewel v. NSA), beginning SEVEN YEARS AGO in 2006. Fuck, read a single webpage [eff.org] and learn something, instead of ignorantly trashing one of the biggest forces for good that we have.

NSA already knows (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213571)

NSA already knows their plans, they're already flagged as domestic extremists. Already has the power and technical ability to watch every URL they research, every article of law they read online.

Having that power means they can practice arguments against those laws, and fashion evidence to back their case prior to the hearing.

I bet the NSA goes further, I bet they even has the secrets of the judges that will hear the cases, and dirt on the lawyers involved. Because lying to Congress is nothing to them, so a Judge is nickle and dime stuff.

Thanks Snowden, we owe you.

Firearms (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213579)

During the past year Google censored firearms and related products from their Shopping feed. Nothing was said by EFF or anyone else. No outrage from the usual civil libertarians that had spent the previous decade apoplectic about any perceived censorship.

And no, claiming Google et al. must do this for liability reasons does not fly; that cop-out never held when it came to copyright or DMCA issues.

It won't be long before firearms are censored out of general search results as well. There will be no response from EFF or anyone else. One more loop in the noose.

I don't indulge selective outrage.

Re:Firearms (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44213665)

Are you putting "The NSA spying on everything you type into a computer" and "SOPA and other attempts to kill off the internet" in the same league as "Google not showing guns in their online store?"

Am I missing something here? Did google become the only way to buy guns? Do you have a constitutional right to get the most relevant search results from every search engine out there when it comes to guns? Was the NSA right the first time when they promised they don't do any spying ever and were SOPA's proponents right when they said they thought no, it would never cause slashdot, reddit, and basically every other internet site out there to shut down?

You're not indulging in selective outrage, you're just a moron.

Re:Firearms (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213703)

Thanks for exemplifying the mindsets of those defending the EFF, worthless and idiotic fuckwit.

Re:Firearms (1)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about a year ago | (#44213783)

You're right. It was kind of him/her to give an example of someone thoughtfully questioning a rather confused, groundless, and scurrilous attack. It's a credit to those defending the EFF if he/she exemplifies the type. But, I must ask, concerning the use of ad hominem attacks such as you've appended to your words of thanks: Of what mindset is this exemplary?

Re:Firearms (4, Insightful)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about a year ago | (#44213691)

You do know it's possible for an interest group to focus on an interest, don't you? I'm pro-2nd amendment and pro-freedom on the internet (and elsewhere). I do not, however, expect the NRA to expend a large amount of its resources defending the 4th amendment, the ACLU to devote itself to the 2nd amendment, and the EFF to be crying "State's rights!" at every violation of the 10th amendment. There're simply too many violations of the Bill of Rights for any one of these organizations with their limited resources and dependence on donations to focus on them all.

Besides, you make a significant category error when you equate the actions of Google to those of the government. Google may be a monopolistic pain in the ass from time to time, but they haven't the monopoly on force the government has. If you can't distinguish between the two, then you don't understand what we civil libertarians are worked up about (and this is coming from a guy who won't be shopping with Cheaper-Than-Dirt in the future on account of their cowardice in the wake of this gun business).

Re:Firearms (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44215869)

...they haven't the monopoly on force the government has.

Yes they do, through copyrights and patents they are renting a piece of that government force. A monopoly no, they share this force with other corporations like Facebook, Disney, etc. But overall they do have a monopoly in that they are the few that have the resources to pay the 'rent'.

That's why I stopped supporting the EFF also (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213861)

I used to donate to the EFF also, but that issue you mention and a couple of other obviously partisan bents put me right off helping them.

Now I support FIRE [thefire.org] , which is more narrow in scope but at least not partisan. I hope to find other groups that can take up the role of the EFF in a more even-handed way.

Slashvertisement (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213621)

Advertising an organisation is no less advertisement.

Valid (1)

cyberzephyr (705742) | about a year ago | (#44213751)

But Scary.

'defending your rights in the digital world' (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year ago | (#44213857)

Let's review.

The government is monitoring my every digital footprint whilst advertising companies are gathering more data about me than I knew existed. Google is constantly pushing me to drop my anonymity, sites like Facebook are rampantly collecting my private information and claiming ownership over it (without recourse) then on-selling that information with blatant disregard for personal privacy. Minors are being cajoled into legal agreements which are illegal without any parental oversight. Software patents are choking free software to death. Companies regularly disregard basic security and have no respect for my credit card details, personal details etc. Governments are passing privacy legislation which blatently supports all of this.

What would the EFF consider to be an epic fail of their stated goal?

Re:'defending your rights in the digital world' (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214411)

At least they do something..

What have YOU done to stop this?

The EFF (-1, Flamebait)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#44213895)

constantly begging for money and attention without doing much of anything that matters

send in your 10$ now

Re:The EFF (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214281)

They do do something. They stand up with high publicity cases (your fucked if it isn't big in the press, they won't want to know about you then) to get their name attached to it and then try to claim credit for defending your rights regardless of how little their efforts contributed.

Mobile App Development (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44213947)

Here elaborates the matter not only extensively but also detailly. I support the write's unique point. It is useful and benefit to your daily life.

http://www.defuzed.in

Shame that Slashdot blocks Tor (4, Insightful)

andrew3 (2250992) | about a year ago | (#44214225)

If Slashdot wants to promote and help EFF, they should stop censoring users from reading news on their own website.

At the moment, many attempts to access Slashdot via Tor give a blocked IP address message. So many Tor users can't read Slashdot at all.

I might be a little bit sympathetic if Slashdot temporarily banned IPs from posting when abuse is detected, but it's a real shame that IPs blocked by Slashdot can't read the news at all.

Https too (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214423)

They should be https SSL encrypted traffic too. How can we be free to comment if the NSA records everything we say for later use against us?
The whole anonymous coward system is under threat if you can't post anonymously.

To be safe https with a non-USA and non-UK certification authority, as grimoire points out there's some serious issues with SSL if the malicious actor is a rogue faction of any government:
https://we.riseup.net/debian/what-is-wrong-with-ssl-certificates

How about CACert?
https://www.cacert.org/

Re:Https too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44216321)

This. Right here. Vote up plz.

Re:Shame that Slashdot blocks Tor (3, Interesting)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44215915)

It would help a little if the use of TOR wasn't so obvious. TOR needs to do something to disguise itself a bit better. Slashdot (or anybody else) shouldn't know when you're using it.

Re:Shame that Slashdot blocks Tor (1)

steelfood (895457) | about a year ago | (#44217193)

How much you wanna bet the NSA and FBI have their fingers all over this site and its logs? This place is a hotbed of independent thinkers (relatively speaking, if 1 in 100 was the norm, it'd be 1 in 10 here), and we all know that independent thoughts are dangerous and must be monitored closely.

Underpands (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44214485)

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is made up of superheroes who wear their underpands on the outside of their trousers.

Interesting. I've been looking for some underpands. Are they available at WalMart?

captcha: colors

EFF is a mixed bag (1)

SSpade (549608) | about a year ago | (#44214657)

The EFF want to ban your spam filters - they consider them to be "censorship", and unacceptable (unless there's never, ever a legitimate email accidentally blocked for any user - which isn't possibly, even theoretically).

http://w2.eff.org/spam/position_on_junk_email.php [eff.org]

(Old document, but still their current position).

Re:EFF is a mixed bag (3, Informative)

Jawnn (445279) | about a year ago | (#44214981)

The EFF want to ban your spam filters - they consider them to be "censorship", and unacceptable (unless there's never, ever a legitimate email accidentally blocked for any user - which isn't possibly, even theoretically).

http://w2.eff.org/spam/position_on_junk_email.php [eff.org]

(Old document, but still their current position).

Now that is a very creative (i.e. totally fucked up) interpretation of the EFF's clearly stated stance on spam. In point of fact, the EFF explicitly supports "your spam filters". To wit, "On a larger scale, EFF supports combatting spam by providing end-users with adequate tools to filter unwanted messages on the receiving end."

Re:EFF is a mixed bag (1)

SSpade (549608) | about a year ago | (#44215471)

"Executive Summary: Any measure for stopping spam must ensure that all non-spam messages reach their intended recipients."

That's impossible to do, other than by delivering all messages to their intended recipients - whether that be spam, malware, or legitimate email.

no - it is different ! (0)

dschinn1001 (2857521) | about a year ago | (#44227695)

In 2008 the EFF has once announced a competition with a prize for the person, who calculates the biggest prime number. I have participated but until today I have not got any letter about my second place. My calculation ( was sent as fax ) instead was handed out to a group of scientists in Los Alamos - and they made the first place then ?! - then the hobby math from Germany in Northrhine-Westfalia ( me myself ) made the second place, but has up to today not got a letter, because I lost my flat during the assessment of this competition.
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