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History of the Electronic Frontier Foundation 92

Posted by michael
from the ancient-history-in-net-years dept.
Well, no one submitted it (guess no one reads the LA Times), but from the Red Rock Eater list we have a link to Freedom Fighters of the Digital World, a laudatory history of the EFF. Read it, live it, remember it when you think "I can't make a difference".
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History of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

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  • LA Time Magazine (Score:3, Informative)

    by richard-parker (260076) on Monday January 14, 2002 @07:20AM (#2835614)
    It isn't that no one reads the Los Angeles Times, it's that no one reads the Los Angeles Times Magazine [latimes.com].
  • Blast from the past. (Score:2, Informative)

    by KILNA (536949)
    EFF history eh? Makes me want to change my page background black to stop the Communications Decency Act, and put up a Blue Ribbon [eff.org]. I think it all started so people would have an excuse to use the Netscape-proprietary BGCOLOR attribute to the <BODY> tag, and the corresponding <FONT> tags, personally. Heck, I used server-push to make moving images before browsers supported animated GIFs, so I'd take any excuse to mangle a page. In all seriousness, folks... it IS a good idea to donate [eff.org]. They're doing the grunt work to protect our freedoms.
    • Yes, because changing your background colors always make the reader more sympathetic to a cause.

      For instance, just last week I changed my background to perriwinkle for the "Send the Webmaster Some Cash" cause, so the checks should start rolling in like hotcakes from all the awareness, right?
      • More sympathetic to the cause? Oh that's what it was for. I thought that if enough sites changed color it would somehow be impossible for the CDA to pass into law. Silly me! :)

        P.S.: That was sarscasm.
        P.P.S.: Yes, I know, pointing out my own sarscasm is pretty damn lame

  • by onion2k (203094) on Monday January 14, 2002 @07:29AM (#2835628) Homepage
    Airport security could employ advanced X-ray screening that looks through clothes

    *sound of 50000 nerds filling in application forms for 'airport security manager'*
    • Airport security could employ advanced X-ray screening that looks through clothes


      *sound of 50000 nerds filling in application forms for 'airport security manager'*
      Is that because most airport security 'specialists' are high school dropouts, and consequently, so are most Linux users?
  • by lcorc79 (549464) on Monday January 14, 2002 @07:31AM (#2835629) Homepage
    In this post 9/11 world, sure - we need to think about security. But we need to remember PRIVACY! and all other freedoms we too-often take for granted.

    If most of us addicted to /. would take less time reading and bitching about all of these issues and spent some time actually lobbying and petitioning and holding rational discussions/debates on all levels (from the neighborhood greasy spoon to Washington), we'd see more of a difference.

    Don't like the Rosens of this world? [MP|RI]AA got you down? Worried about Carnivore? Take this not just as a reminder of an important (and neglected/forgotten) part of the net's history, but as a battle call...

    Seriously. Let's do something, instead of bitching. Don't post a comment unless you're going to write a congressman/woman or sign a petition today. I'm going right now...

    Peace.
    • >If most of us ... spent some time actually lobbying and petitioning... (from the neighborhood greasy spoon to Washington), we'd see more of a difference.

      Most people don't differentiate between their desktop and the Internet. They don't know what an OS is. They have a hard time remembering a mildly complex password, or simply don't bother to even make the effort to remember their passwords. Email is a difficult thing for most people.

      Those that don't take the time to understand or care about these (tech)issues will never be persuaded, and will resist discussion. Their eyes will glaze over, and their attention will turn to Survivor 4.
      • Those that don't take the time to understand or care about these (tech)issues will never be persuaded, and will resist discussion. Their eyes will glaze over, and their attention will turn to Survivor 4.

        Valid point. However -- these are NOT just tech issues, although that's where a lot of our 'steam' lies. These are fundamental issues of privacy, freedom, and the Constitution and Bill of Rights -- as well as all applicable laws and documents in countries other than the United States (YES, we are not the only country -- and NO, we are not the only ones entitled to privacy).

        Our challenge is to do what geeks aren't naturally adept at: communicating (in person .. not via e-mail or a weblog) and marketing. Yes, marketing - that's what this is all about, selling our ideas. We need to continue to go after our tech-related causes, but we need to organize and attack these problems from a logical standpoint. Tech issues need to be boiled down for our lawmakers to understand, our causes need to be Lowest-Common-Denominated for John Q Public to somewhat understand and support. Even if that means pitching the basic ideas -- that our freedoms are being taken away -- rather than the specific causes.

        I don't have all the answers on how to do this, but I'd love to see fellow readers respond and discuss this. In my opinion the best way to make a change is to support [eff.org] those who are already organizing and fighting (donate/join EFF for example). With combined resources we can do real lobbying, afford PR and marketing teams who might know how to pitch ideas, and get spokes-people who know how to talk rather than hide behind CRT's and LCD's.
    • Perhaps a lobbying HOW-TO is in order here. Since you seem to know so much about it, you can write it, add it to the LDP, and start mass-mailing it to everyone on /., MacSlash, Kuro5hin... etc. I'm not trolling, nor am I flaming. But just as I am sick of people bitching about how bad things are and not doing anything I am sick of people bitching about the bitchers who in turn don't do anything to help the bitchers. Add links to your sig, anything!
      BTW, if anyone out there is in Georgia... check this out: link [hayesforgovernor.com].
    • My Congressman Sucks (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I collared my Representative, Bob Goodlatte (R-Roanoke, VA) TWICE at functions and was told bluntly that nobody cared about the DMCA and copyright. Literally, he cut me off and said, "No one cares about that." I was stupified each time; I wish I had a good rejoinder or comment. And for what it's worth, both times I was in business casual and _polite_. (Both quite rare for me, btw.)

      So, whadda I do? I've thought about writing him, but wouldn't this be a wasted effort? In contrast, the Congressman in the next district over is Rick Boucher who is extremely clued in. I could probably give boucher time or money, but what do I do about my own Representative?
      • Mine sucks worse than yours. I've written to mine. He (Howard "Buck Mckeon R-CA) doesn't just blow me off with "nobody cares" but actively works for the other side. He could care less what I think. I didn't vote for him and he doesn't care about that, he has a safe seat. All I can do is work for whoever opposes him, even though they don't stand a chance against his campaign warchest.

        Could be worse, my sister and mother live in Mary Bono's (formerly Sonny's widow) district.

        the process isn't working and hasn't been for a long time
  • Verio has been censoring email [toad.com] from toad.com [toad.com], which is the venerable hoptoad Usenet relay, and the hub of the pioneering The Little Garden ISP [tlg.net]. It's is owned and operated by John Gilmore [toad.com], one of the original founders of EFF [eff.org].

    From http://www.toad.com/gnu/verio-censorship.html [toad.com]:

    Verio is censoring John Gilmore's email under pressure from anti-spammers.

    Update (5 August 2001): After some interaction among me, Verio, and lawyers from Stanford Law School's Internet and Society law clinic, Verio agreed to not immediately terminate my service if I modified my mailer software to avoid forwarding large quantities of email from single addresses over short periods of time. This mailer change permits ordinary users to send a backlog of queued email, such as after reconnecting a Eudora laptop after a few days, but doesn't permit mass spamming. Verio was unwilling to concede their 'right' to decide I'm a bad guy at any moment and terminate my service, but they're on notice that I have reputable and capable legal representation, and will not hesitate to make both a big legal issue and a big press issue out of their censorship campaign if they try to impose it on me again.

    Update (26 March 2001): The block against outgoing mail suddenly dissolved without warning at 12:47 PM Monday. I don't know why it disappeared, whether it will be back, or whether they still plan to terminate my entire Internet service as previously announced.

    Update (21 March 2001): Verio plans to TERMINATE my T1 service on April 4, ending not just my outgoing email, but this web site, my customers' Internet service, etc. If this site disappears, see the mirror at http://cryptome.org

    I am not a spammer, and have never sent any spam. I've had this same Internet connection since long before Verio even existed (they eventually acquired the ISP I cofounded). I've been paying them for the connection despite their billing department's incompetence about invoicing me for it. But under pressure from anti-spam organizations, Verio has blocked outgoing email from my machine. I am not able to send person-to-person email to my friends, my colleagues at EFF, or anyone else -- including you. Now they threaten to terminate my Internet service, which supplies not only me but my customers and users.

    I think this is wrong, and that the anti-spam pressure tactics behind it are wrong. Any measure for stopping spam should have as its first goal "Allow and assist every non-spam message to reach its recipients." No current anti-spam policy I know of, including Verio's, SpamCop's, or MAPS's, even views this as a desirable goal, let alone implements it.

    I'm pushing back by publicizing the problem, and meanwhile allowing their censorship to take effect. If you ever want to get an email from me again, it's time to speak up about this!

    If you send me email, don't expect an email reply. Include some contact information for an uncensored medium, where the providers are common carriers, take no notice of the content of messages, and don't put arbitrary restrictions on what their customers are permitted to communicate. Leave me a phone number and/or a postal address.

    The irony is that Verio now owns The Little Garden.

    From http://www.toad.com/gnu [toad.com]:

    The Little Garden (with John Romkey, David Henkel-Wallace, and Steve Crocker):
    A medium-sized Internet Service Provider in the San Francisco Bay Area. now merged into Verio. We mostly sold T1 and 56K Internet connections to businesses. We were distinguished from many other early commercial providers by our common-carrier attitude: "You are free to resell the service that we provide to you, and we will not censor it." This enabled a whole crop of smaller resellers in various locales to buy from us and offer other services to the public (like modem-based Internet connections). These resellers contributed to our volume of Internet traffic, and enabled us to provide higher quality service at lower prices. TLGnet was sold to Best Internet Communications in July, 1996, and my active involvement in it ended. (Best was then bought by Hiway Technologies, which was then bought by Verio.)

    From http://www.toad.com/gnu/verio-censorship.html [toad.com]:

    Here's a copy of the
    terms and conditions [toad.com] of The Little Garden (TLG), the ISP that I co-founded with Tom Jennings (creator of the FidoNet), and which I bought my T1 service from. (TLG was bought by Best, which was bought by Hiway, which was bought by Verio.) Here's an excerpt:

    TLG exercises no control whatsoever over the content of the information passing through TLG. You are free to communicate commercial, noncommercial, personal, questionable, obnoxious, annoying, or any other kind of information, misinformation, or disinformation through our service. You are fully responsible for the privacy of, content of, and liability for your own communications.

    -Don

    • This is nice, except that the man is living in a fantasy-land.

      ISP's are not common-carriers, and never will become common carriers, because they don't want the regulatory overhead that phone companies see.
      • He didn't say ISPs were common carriers. He (or whoever wrote the TLG blurb) said that TLG had a common carrier attitude. Sort of a "doctrine of first sale", that when they sold you connectivity, they didn't try to retain control over what you did with it.


        I'd say it's an admirable policy, though I'm not sure I totally agree with it (my perfect ISP would provide random outages, bounced mail, and data corruption to Republicans).

    • I've tried reading this to see if I could work out what John Gilmore's problem is. Apparently he maintained an open relay, and he thinks it's just fine and dandy to do so. His upstream disagrees and blocks the relay. Does it make any difference that he is John Gilmore rather than Cathy C? I must be missing something really important, somewhere....
      • John Gilmore's problem is censorship, and the difference between him and Cathy C is how much of his own energy, time and money he's put into practically and legally fighting it.

        He co-founded the internet service provider Little Garden, that he originally ran in his basement. The official policy of Little Garden was that they would not censor communications. Now that Verio owns it, they have reniged on that policy, and they are now blocking the email of Little Garden's original customers, including John Gilmore's.

        Other achievements that distinguish him are that he started the "alt" newsgroup hierarchy, and founded EFF. He consistently fights against censorship, investing millions of his own dollars to support free speech and fight government oppression.

        -Don

        • John Gilmore's problem is censorship, and the difference between him and Cathy C is how much of his own energy, time and money he's put into practically and legally fighting it.

          So apart from that, it seems that it's just like me or you complaining that we want to continue keeping an open relay, and whining that we're being censored when nobody, much less our ISP, wants to take our traffic.

          Isn't he able to shop around to find a provider who would be prepared to carry his traffic? And if so, why doesn't he do so? Why is it censorship when a company makes a commercial decision about what kinds of traffic it will carry on its network?

          • Because Verio is censoring many other people's email beside John Gilmore's, and he is going to bat for them and trying to solve the problem, instead of simply switching service providers and ignoring the censorship.

            -Don

            • Yes, I can see that he regards this as censorship, and I also see that he's making a stand on what he believes in, and doing so as much on behalf of his customers as himself.

              But from my point of view it just looks like he is asking Verio should cave in and give him something they don't want to do--the right to run an open relay on their service. I wouldn't do that for any customer of mine, and I cannot see why Verio should be expected to do so. He argues that anti-spammers should adopt the principle that all valid email should get through, but in my opinion that is simply not a realistic objective.

              Having said that, it probably isn't such a matter of principle for Verio as for John Gilmore, so I expect he'll prevail, one way or another, simply because Verio will blink first.

              And possibly some good will come of this outside the question of John Gilmore's customers, if only because Verio and others are given the opportunity to (or forced to) justify their antispam policies. I think they probably already have it about right, but I'm open to persuasion.

            • Because Verio is censoring many other people's email beside John Gilmore's, and he is going to bat for them and trying to solve the problem, instead of simply switching service providers and ignoring the censorship.

              By keeping an open relay, one of the most-used items for harassing or spamming other people. If open relays serve any other purpose anymore, I'd be curious to know what it is.

              Analogous situation: I believe that every adult with a clean criminal record should be able to carry a knife, handgun, or bazooka concealed. However, I'm firmly opposed to handing out weapons in prisons or day care centers, or just leaving them lying around where any child or criminal can pick one up.

              But Gilmore's open relay is 50% of why I no longer support the EFF. Brad Templeton's constant spam-apologetics on usenet (and here) are the other 50%. If the EFF is so concerned about privacy, then why can't they be concerned about my privacy?

          • If you read the rest of John Gilmore's web pages on toad.com, you'll find the answers to most of your questions. Assuming you're not blocked from reading toad.com's web pages by some service provider in between. That's why it's censorship.

            -Don

            • The following is from John's GNU page at toad.com [toad.com], under the heading "Things I've Said (That People Sometimes Remember)"

              "The Net treats censorship as damage and routes around it."

              I was quoted in Time Magazine in about December, 1993 as saying something very close to this ("a defect" rather than "damage"). It's been reprinted hundreds or thousands of times since then, including the NY Times on January 15, 1996, Scientific American of October 2000, and CACM 39(7):13.

              In its original form, it meant that the Usenet software (which moves messages around in newsgroups) was resistant to censorship because if a node drops certain messages because it doesn't like their subject, the messages find their way past that node anyway by some other route. This is also a reference to the packet-routing protocols that the Internet uses to direct packets around any broken wires or fiber connections or routers. (They don't redirect around selective censorship, but they do recover if an entire node is shut down to censor it.)

              The meaning of the phrase has grown through the years. Internet users have proven it time after time, by publicly replicating information that is threatened with destruction or censorship. If you now consider the Net to be not only the wires and machines, but the people and their social structures who use the machines, it is more true than ever.

        • John Gilmore's problem is not censorship. John Gilmore's problem is that he's breaking the agreement with his ISP. If he doesn't want to abide by their policies, then he should sign up for internet access elsewhere. The internet is not publicly owned and the providers are not "common carriers".

          As for not sending spam - that's just wrong. Plenty of people received plenty of spam through the open relay at toad.com - examples have been posted.

          Free speech is one thing, forcing others to pay for your speech is something else...
  • Opportunists (Score:4, Interesting)

    by guttentag (313541) on Monday January 14, 2002 @08:19AM (#2835738) Journal
    Says Brad Templeton, a 41-year-old Internet entrepreneur and the EFF's chairman: "I sit in fear of the next attack not only because of who it might hurt but because of where it will take this debate."

    The attacks themselves had limited effects on the economy and infrastructure of the U.S., but they empowered several monsters to wreak havoc. The consumer confidence boogey man came and went. And after the smoke cleared, Americans felt safer from physical danger because they thought they knew the score.

    "If I don't get on an airplane or work in a skyscraper, I'll be OK," they tell themselves. "If I don't open suspicious envelopes and if I don't question the Patriot act, I'll be OK."

    But the opportunists still run amok.

    opportunist
    An opportunist is one who tailors his or her beliefs or actions to circumstances in order to advance his or her interests, without regard to principle. ( The Washington Post Deskbook on Style [amazon.com] )

    It is unfortunate that there are opportunists in Congress who present a greater "threat to freedom" than Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden presented them with the opportunity to seize power, and they grabbed it.

    The ACLU [aclu.org] and EFF [eff.org] are the police and FBI that protect us from opportunists. Please familiarize yourself with their activities and support them.

    • 'limited effect' depends on your definition of limited.

      The destruction of the World Trade Center and surrounding buildings is resulting in a $5 billion tax shortfall annually for New York state alone.

      Consider the econonomic impact of that. 50,000 people were once employed in those buildings. There was as much office space in the WTC as there is in most mid-size to large cities.

      Americans feel safer because we are actively pursuing our enemies.
      • Re:Opportunists (Score:5, Insightful)

        by KjetilK (186133) <kjetil@NOSPaM.kjernsmo.net> on Monday January 14, 2002 @10:56AM (#2836336) Homepage Journal

        Americans feel safer because we are actively pursuing our enemies.

        But does it have any effect? Do you really think what you do has any effect on their abilities? I seriously doubt it.

        Also, just think about the numbers: Salon had an article about a twelve year-old kid who had his entire family killed. Now, the only thing he wants to do with his life is kill as many americans as he possibly can. One thing you've got to ask yourself: Do you blame him? You killed his family, do you blame him for wanting to kill you? There is a lot of wisdom in "If we hate them, we will become them."

        While his ability to do so is small, there are thousands like him. If any of them can succeed in their life project, this is not the only time you're going to get hit. Yeah, and it doesn't really take that much to set off a nuclear bomb.

        Actually, what I find most discomforting about this whole matter is how surprised everyone seems to be. That the US would be attacked with a Hollywood-style terrorist attack is hardly surprising, terrorists have always wanted to do things like that. There was a really good cartoon about that in Ernie [piranhaclub.com], I guess about 1993-1994, where terrorists wanted to buy Sid's vacuum cleaner to suck up NYC. That they would use planes to crash into buildings, well, novels have been written on the topic. That the US would move to attack somebody is not surprising at all, we all knew that would happen. I've been predicting for years that the US would eventually move to complete what the Russians didn't do in Afghanistan, namely insert the regime they wanted in Kabul. But I must admit that I am slightly surprised it went that fast.

        Nor is it surprising to note that civil liberties are attacked, there are strong forces who always wanted that, and they only needed the public's attention.

        Finally, the public opinion engineering that has been going on, wow, it's just like in Wag The Dog... What a prescient movie.

        You know, most people haven't cared about cryptography at all, so policy has been a tradeoff between the wishes of the hawks and the rational arguments of cryptologists. Of course crypotologists knew perfectly well that crypto can be used by terrorists, but the argument remains: Crypto is making society stronger against attacks, not weaker.

        Now, the hawks pretend that something fundamental changed, and so they are getting the public up against crypto. There are no new arguments, there has not been any surprises, it is just that the hawks has got the uninformed public behind them, whereas previously, the public didn't care.

    • Re:Opportunists (Score:2, Interesting)

      by revscat (35618)

      It is unfortunate that there are opportunists in Congress who present a greater "threat to freedom" than Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden presented them with the opportunity to seize power, and they grabbed it.

      If I didn't know any better I'd say you're talking about either Tom DeLay. Or maybe that's just me.

      The biggest power grab has come from the Administration though, not from Congress. What with Ridge, Ashcroft, and the other right-wing crazies doing their best to toss out every Amendment that isn't the 2nd, it seems that they are trying to raise Bush up to the level of a Napoleon (without the brilliant military mind, of course.).

      Probably just me, though. Anyone who has that much money is trustworthy. Free market, HOOOO!

  • remember it when you think "I can't make a difference".

    I've heard that this is on a poster on the wall of an Afgan salted snack factory..
    • No, what's on the wall in that little run-down factory is "I can make a difference". And that, pal, is where we stand: America must work on its image to keep every would-be terrorist from picking up some C4 and getting on a flight.
    • [blockquote previous post]
      remember it when you think "I can't make a difference".

      I've heard that this is on a poster on the wall of an Afgan salted snack factory..
      ----
      To the darling moderator who modded that down:
      Don't moderate it down because you don't get it!

      (moderating it down cos it isn't funny is ok - but this was hilarious!)
  • from the article (Score:4, Insightful)

    by truesaer (135079) on Monday January 14, 2002 @08:22AM (#2835746) Homepage
    It is not a large operation, with an annual budget of less than $2 million, 15 employees and dozens of volunteers and interns, supported by 5,000 members.


    I'm hardly in a financial position to do so, but this has finally convinced me to join [eff.org] the EFF. With all the old cases, plus everything new the USA PATRIOT act put into place, they need all the help they can get....


    Please consider doing so as well.

  • Access denied (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Chelloveck (14643) on Monday January 14, 2002 @08:39AM (#2835798) Homepage

    http://www.eff.org/ [eff.org]

    Error
    FW-1 at mxwzeb01f: Access denied.

    My company's proxy blocks access to the EFF web site. They also block access to the ACLU's [aclu.org] site. I'm sure this says something. (Most likely that our IT department never bothered to change the default filter list from the vendor.)

    • Do you get any help using an anonymiser?
      http://www.blibbleblobble.co.uk/Links/Dir/Privacy/ Anonymisers/ [blibbleblobble.co.uk]

      • Actually, I keep an SSH connection open to my home machine, using port forwarding to a Squid proxy running there. When I need access to a blacklisted site I just point my browser's proxy settings to the appropriate port and I'm free to go where I want. My sysadmin (who has no control over the company's firewall settings) is cool with this. I just keep telling her, "Be glad I'm one of the good guys!"

    • Why would the EFF or the ACLU be on anyone's default filter list? Or is it just filtering out all websites that haven't been manually added?

      Kind of strange that they do that and not filter Slashdot.

    • Re:Access denied (Score:3, Interesting)

      by arkanes (521690)
      I think it says even more about the vendor, that they would include those sites in the default filter....
    • Re:Access denied (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Many censorware vendors have block-lists specifically made up of "activist" organizations, e.g. WebSense. Of course, the exact composition of the block list is proprietary.

      See, for example: http://www.websense.com/products/about/datasheets/ pdfs/websenseoverview.pdf
  • by isa-kuruption (317695) <kuruption@kuru[ ]on.net ['pti' in gap]> on Monday January 14, 2002 @08:59AM (#2835875) Homepage
    For those of us who work for companies which match finantial donations to non-profits, please feel free as I shall, to (ab)use this privaledge in having your company donate your matching donation to the EFF.

    Go ahead! Put your fortune 500 in a tight spot!
  • by Seth Finkelstein (90154) on Monday January 14, 2002 @10:00AM (#2836099) Homepage Journal
    It's one of the high points of my life that The Electronic Frontier Foundation honored me with a 2001 Pioneer Award [eff.org]
    (even if my former colleague Michael Sims did later publicly proclaim he regretted nominating me, and my award probably didn't get any Slashdot coverage because of What Happened To The Censorware Project (censorware.org) [sethf.com])

    It's possible to make a difference. Though it's a lot of work, sometimes a lot of risk, and it isn't easy. EFF has made a difference in my life, and in many other people's lives.

    • Making a difference is always possible one way or another.
    • Of course I regretted nominating you. You're a certifibly insane nutcase who split apart a group of people working for free speech because of your paranoia and ego. You've been called insane by essentially everyone who has ever associated with you.

      Last year, you amused yourself by spamming slashdot's comment forums with accusations against me with a handy perl script. Before that, you enjoyed yourself by accusing Mike Godwin, who had annoyed you, of sexual harassment. You've also harassed Declan McCullagh and Eric Grimm, two other pro-free-speech individuals who crossed your path. I've heard a nice account of the meeting between you, Godwin and Grimm at the CFP conference which pretty well cemented any doubt I might have had about lack of sanity.

      Nut-Case.

      It's a shame that people like you have keyboards. You've done far more harm than good to the free speech community, and it's a good thing that your reputation is finally preceding you, so that no one else will make the mistake of trying to work with you like I did.

      • I don't exactly want to "take sides" in this issue, and FWIW I happen to know of some of Michael's opinions and actions that I don't agree with. (I've never met him. For all I know he's a really nice guy.)

        But Seth really is an odious creature. Michael's description of his loopy behavior is perfectly fair. Seth also comes across as obsessive; once he finds an enemy, he sometimes makes a point of finding that person and fighting with him as often as possible. And when he's proven completely wrong, he doesn't acknowledge it, as someone arguing in good faith might. I've only seen a small glimpse of Seth's "handiwork" and he is someone I wouldn't want to meet, much less work together with.

        Surely what Michael did with censorware.org was rash, and it makes him look bad to outsiders. And for all I know Michael is a complete asshole (I've never met him). But nobody should be held accountable for failing to get along with Seth. Seth is an intelligent man who has a strange attraction to using his wit to stir up shit. He has no scruples. I, too, would feel bad about helping him win an award from an otherwise honorable organization.

  • You could be arrested at any time. You are always breaking some law. An opportunity by police to make a detailed analisys of any persons life will turn up enough evidance of broken laws to send them to jail. If they are still making trouble for powerful people when they get out, rinse lather, repeat.

    How long can a capitalist country remain a police state before is becomes a fascist state?

    I wonder if the next Einstein has already fled the country? I wonder what "disruptive" science he will be/is master of?

  • EFF personel (Score:3, Informative)

    by thumbtack (445103) <thumbtack@ j u n o . com> on Monday January 14, 2002 @11:22AM (#2836446)
    At the Future of Music Conference in Washington DC I had the opportunity and privilage to meet both Robin Gross and Fred Von Lohmann, two of the EFF's lawyers. Both asked tough questions during the Copyright Panel which featured Bruce Lehman (the guy from the Clinton Administration that was responsible for writing the infamous "white paper" that the DMCA was derived from.) Both have razor sharp minds, think outside of the proverbial box, and are extremely passionate about their work. My $100 donation was well spent, but they always need more to fight the deep pocketed corporations that are constantly assailing your online rights. Put up a blue ribbon, and donate..It's worth it.
  • Sharp question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bythescruff (522831)

    "...all those people, then numbering about 500, who have been rounded up in the terrorism investigation. Who are they? Why are they being held? Does anybody know anything? "Who's representing these people and trying to get them out?"

    The panelists' silence leaves Gilmore exasperated."

    It's interesting to see such a simple and straightforward question having that kind of effect, effectively stumping a respectable panel of experts.

    To give credit where it's due, the question is probably only obvious with hindsight, and kudos to John Gilmore for asking it.

  • (guess no one reads the LA Times)

    Well, let's see... most /.'ers probably live outside the greater L.A. area, and would read other papers. Me, I read the LA Times, but it's the dead tree version, and their website doesn't make it easy to find the corresponding article at times...
  • by 3seas (184403) on Monday January 14, 2002 @11:45AM (#2836569) Journal
    Using 9/11 as an excuse is like addressing the symptoms, not the cause.

    access the links you find here [matrixcommunity.org] And the links you find at those links.

    What you will find is that there was alot of reason for 9/11 to have happen and even the education and seeding needed for it to happen.
    A great deal of everything from motive to do, to education on how to do it was supplied by the US.

    These are FACTS, not my opinion, follow the links and see how deep that rabbit hole really goes.

    I seem to preceive the EFF as having become a political legal manipulation machine that can easily become out of touch with the individual human party of us all that they are claiming to represent.

    The ACLU ignores any case that doesn't present them with some self promotion mechanism. In fact they dismiss even simple request for simple legal referal with their mass produced post card stating they are not currently interested in the case. (which has nothing to do with responding to a simple legal referal request)

    I suspect the EFF is following such a direction.
    Sorry, I really wish I was wrong about this but I don't think I am.

    Concider "To high-tech pros and policy wonks, the EFF is well-known for its opposition to the regulation of encryption. Hollywood and the publishing industry know it as the loyal opposition in battles over digital copy law, which the EFF believes is so restrictive that it frustrates innovation."

    LOYAL OPPOSITION??? does this mean the EFF would fumble the ball intentionally under the right conditions?

    A flag with stars of company logos? Like Time Warner?

    What's real on the Electronic Frontier?

    How about the fact that computer are all about automaion. The automaion of complexity that is made up of simpler things, so as to make reuse or use again easier for the party use it?

    The software industry can automate anything, includng human ability to balance and move (the Segway), but what's the deal with it' apparent inability to automate programing even in fundamental ways that the user can apply?

    If the Electronic Frontier Fondation is really about our freedoms in the electronic frontier, then where is the hardware and software components, the modularity and ease of use and creation (putting things together, automating) for the users, the consumer to apply as they see fit or need?

    Instead you have a flag with company logos for stars.

    Need to see more? try my journal here on slashdot as well as my recent posts here, or my web pages..

    Don't be fooled as to what freedom is in this electronic frontier, by those who present themselves as representing you. Instead make them represent you correctly.

    Get to the causes, stop treating the symptoms that will never go away untill to get to the cause.
  • by ancarett (221103) on Monday January 14, 2002 @12:52PM (#2836978)
    More details from one of the EFF co-founders: A Not Terribly Brief History of the Electronic Frontier Foundation [eff.org].

    In it you can read Barlow's firsthand account of his interview with that FBI agent which helped spark the creation of the EFF: He had been sent to find out if I might be a member of the NuPromtheus League, a dread band of info-terrorists (or maybe just a disaffected former Apple employee) who had stolen and wantonly distributed source code normally used in the Macintosh ROMs. Agent Baxter's errand was complicated by a fairly complete unfamiliarity with computer technology. I realized right away that before I could demonstrate my innocence, I would first have to explain to him what guilt might be.

    The last two sentences still ring true for technologists today!
  • by shomon2 (71232) on Monday January 14, 2002 @12:59PM (#2837018) Journal
    How can a society based on freedom protect itself by sacrificing liberties? But how can it protect itself without such sacrifices?


    This little quote stuck with me. The wisest answer would have been not to turn that corner. But maybe growth comes from going through this kind of problem too.

    I may be a troll in saying this, but I'm one of many chileans who left my home country through a coup organised for a different 11th of september, in part by the pentagon and the CIA, in part by lobbying organisations with lost interests in a left wing chile, and in part by chileans.

    What "freedom" were those organisations protecting? To what extent did they go?

    I don't have a problem with americans though. I think it's a nice, albeit twisted country, my life has taken me always closer to it, still trying to understand.I'd ask people who really believe in this "freedom" thing to read up a bit on history. Try latin american history for starters. The 70s, the "National Security Doctrine". Don't worry about chile. Try Guatemala and clinton's apology. Try argentina, cuba, panama. Then look up US interests in other parts of the world. Foreign Debt, the international criminal court and Bush's reasons for opposing it(monsanto?).

    The US doesn't bother me. You bring together the dreams of so many peoples. This small mindedness, ignorance, is the same as that of the british of the past few centuries, or any "empires" before. We all share those traits. It's just the same problems as ever, but maybe, the US will be the place where we, humanity, will finally solve these problems.

    As for sacrificing liberties, try cause and effect, or "do unto others" as the christian view of it is. It's a simple concept. Any power that lives in fear of the outside will not last.

    Bottom line is, this kind of thing is up to people. Individuals. Not agencies or organisations. If America is really free, then the agencies and corporations will listen to those like the EFF who apply their knowledge and their wisdom for the good of everyone, and to those who silently support them with votes, ethical choices, expressed opinions, and dialogue.
  • Five years before the ACLU handled its first Internet case, the EFF pioneered the field in a pair of landmark cases. The first involved Steve Jackson Games, a Texas-based company that had been raided by federal agents investigating hacking. The EFF brought a suit that established that e-mail is protected under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Law enforcement would be required to have a warrant describing each message or e-mail participant before the mail could be read.

    And this is a case I remember well, since it happened to a friend. Steve was a great guy, lending his computers and people when we had the Worldcon in NoLa and had to rewrite some dBase programs to get panel/author registration up, since the coders had not bothered testing it for large-scale use and it collapsed when we scaled up to the size of a Worldcon.

    And then they took his computers when he wrote a GAME about hackers, broke them into bits (literally) and "returned" the broken parts to him. Tens of thousands of dollars of equipment, destroyed. For no reason.

    -

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