Posts Tagged ‘Electronic Frontier Foundation’

Dark Reading punts at PRISM-Don’t know much about illegal hacking?

June 27, 2013

I just discovered this article at a “Dark Reading” web site. Funny how an author for a dark-side security information web site does not know much about the dark-side surveillance program the entire world just found out about, now weeks ago, even though there have been whistleblowers telling us about it many years ago now, including in a New York Times article in 2009.

But then again, maybe the title is just the author’s way of saying she wants to stay out of prison, and uses a rhyme to kind of get oblique about it. With what they probably know at Dark Reading, maybe they just want to keep their head attached to their bodies?

Getting Out Of PRISM :

…Multiply that by thousands of employees, and it’s pretty clear that nobody’s marching in perfect lockstep. (By the way, this is also why grand conspiracy theories are bunk: Nobody’s that good.)

So entities aren’t monolithic, and there is always something going on behind the scenes that you don’t know about — and that might change your opinion on what you do know. For anything that sounds wrong, there is generally a reason behind it that made good sense at the time. This is why I’m not going to opine about the topic of national surveillance: I don’t have enough background information (and I probably never will).

“Nobody’s that good”, they always say. If there was such a massive conspiracy, they couldn’t hide it.

And they roll right over the contradiction without thinking. Hey, guys! They DIDN’T hide it, because now we KNOW about it, and they’re EXPOSED. You think talking about tin-foil hats says anything about anything? You trust a stranger to follow your young girl’s whereabouts and teen parties?

It’s simple. Even for a geek. You’ve got “nothing to hide”, but do you open your bedroom curtains and put a web cam to broadcast your nightly dalliances? Why not? It’s all legal activity, isn’t it? Or is it? And how much of what you do every day is illegal? How do you know, there are 100s of 1000s of pages of laws in this here land now. How can you know you never do anything illegal?

That’s a copout, not that I blame you. I do my own cautionary behaviors. The title says “Getting out of PRISM”, a very clever title, because everybody wants to “get out of PRISM”. We all want a get-out-of-jail (prison) free card too. But pleading ignorance will not save us from guilt.

You don’t have to be an expert to know what is already publicly known.

#1. We know what PRISM is. You know what it is. Your write for a technical web site that purports to be a source for information on exactly this kind of security topic. Besides, by now maybe even your grandmother knows what it is.

[Insert note: With what I saw in a video clip of interviews with
college kids, maybe you don’t know]

You could at least say you’re against it. How hard is that? “I am against universal national surveillance”. See? Or do you know something we don’t? A national surveillance state easily becomes a national police state. This is not “rocket science”, and it’s not even technical. It’s easy.

You could even reference the Electronic Freedom Foundation. They do have plenty of experts that have plenty of background information about this program and its army of cousins, and maybe some that did not get the attention that Snowden did.

And keep in mind there were several whistle-blowers before this one. Back in the day, the Establishment Press could not contain itself enough in praising Elsberg for the Pentagon Papers. My, how things have changed. At this stage, we can tell who is “Establishment Media” by how much they support the official line of the government, or cover up its secrets, or spin an unfortunate spill of secrets. Yep, applies to this UBM web site too I guess.

But the future is not written in stone. There are reasons they did not want this publicized, and there are reasons they want to track each and every one of us. Note the questions the Intelligence Committee in the House did NOT ask the NSA guys in the hearing the other day.

Even the purported maverick Michelle Bachman showed her timidity in her questions and carefully avoiding the hard-hitting followups that should have been asked. Do you listen on calls, she asked. The answer was that they do not “routinely” blah blah. And as to listening in on phone calls, he said, they have to get court orders before they can use the content of phone calls or emails in the courts. Give it a name: The D.C. Two-Step. Dodge to the right, dodge to the left. Shimmy right, shimmy left. Enough to make you dizzy.

The Fourth.


Help Save Podcasting! | Electronic Frontier Foundation

June 3, 2013
English: Logo for the Electronic Frontier Foun...

English: Logo for the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Patent Busting Project (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Help Save Podcasting!

We need your help to save podcasting. EFF is partnering with leading lawyers to bust a key patent being used to threaten podcasters. But we need your help to find prior art and cover the filing fees for a brand new patent busting procedure.

A couple of months ago we wrote that podcasting was under threat from a patent troll. At that time, a patent troll named Personal Audio LLC had sued three podcasters and sent demand letters to a number of others. Since then, Personal Audio has filed two new lawsuits—this time against CBS and NBC. It has also sent additional demand letters to small podcasting operations. We’ve written often in the past about how patent trolls are a drain on innovation, and this latest troll is no exception. Since many podcasters barely make a profit, or simply do it for love, a shakedown from a patent troll threatens to shut down their program.

A couple of months ago we wrote that podcasting was under threat from a patent troll. At that time, a patent troll named Personal Audio LLC had sued three podcasters and sent demand letters to a number of others. Since then, Personal Audio has filed two new lawsuits—this time against CBS and NBC. It has also sent additional demand letters to small podcasting operations. We’ve written often in the past about how patent trolls are a drain on innovation, and this latest troll is no exception. Since many podcasters barely make a profit, or simply do it for love, a shakedown from a patent troll threatens to shut down their program.

As with so many patent troll cases, the troll is asking for money despite having contributed nothing to the industry. By its own admission, Personal Audio tried and failed at its attempt to make an audio player. Having failed at actually making something, it became a shell company that does nothing but sue on its patents. And now it wants a handout from those who worked hard to create popular podcasts.


God bless EFF for taking up causes like this. Some might ask like I did, if this patent troll is now suing CBS and NBC, why aren’t they and other big boys on the block joining in this cause?


My answer to myself is, (1) they’re bigger and slower, (2) maybe they haven’t had time for the decision-making apparatus to follow through, but also, (3) they may be considering other aspects, like the fact that their bigger pockets could handle some token payments while squeezing out the little guys that keep on pestering about the military-industrial complex (which network does GE own?) and embarrass the government-corporate complex…


I’ve noticed that there are a few news pieces out there making Obama out to be some kind of patent-troll-buster. Don’t believe it: EFF has the best possible track record historically on the issue of patents and copyrights and protecting the Internet and science as we know it.

Obama’s record is shoddy to say the least. Not so long ago, he joined the biggest companies in pushing through changes to patent law that were meant to make the world more favorable to those big companies.

Those changes, which I believe the EFF opposed, included proposals that would enforce recognition of patents only after they had been registered with the Patent Office, and would disregard prior art as irrelevant.

In other words, if a big corporation discovers an idea some guy in a garage has been working on, say a former employee, and his idea is a blockbuster invention or new contraption, then if the big guy on the block gets the patent submitted to the office first, the real McCoy is left out in the cold.

Removing the prior art basis to nullify a company’s claim seems a gift to make life easier for the biggest companies. After all, they have entire departments, legal staff, accounting staff, lobbyists, dedicated to patents. They rush to get patents all day long, every day of the year, and a lot of them are just obvious algorithms and device combinations that they know don’t really deserve it, but they get them to prevent patent troll attacks like from this latest one in podcasting, and believe it or not now, it seems, Oracle!


CISPA: FBI wants access to your Facebook

May 12, 2012

EFF_icon_priv (Photo credit: ElectronicFrontierFoundation)

There’s only one national political figure exposing this attack against us, and you know who it is.. Facebook and Google both have supported CISPA. Such hypocrites.

EFF condemns CISPA:

The NSA has been reading our emails for decades…:

Pro-SOPA congressmen should have lost their political careers over it, and CISPA is worse, because it’s more obviously directed to the police power they were looking for in the first place…

Watch for attacks supposedly by Anonymous and its allies. One must now wonder after Fast and Furious, for example, whether those attacks might be what are called “false flag” operations.

After all, the FBI has done a bang-up job at stopping its own terrorist plots lately…

January 18: Internet-Wide Protests Against the Blacklist Legislation | Electronic Frontier Foundation

January 18, 2012
Internet Explorer doesnt like the Conservatives

Image by Cyberslayer via Flickr

English: Logo of the Electronic Frontier Found...

Image via Wikipedia

This is NOT good.

They want to nibble away at the free exchange we have on the Internet.

Preemptive crime is itself a crime. These things have built-in slippery slopes. Shut down file-sharing sites instead of prosecuting actual violators is like putting you in jail because somebody committed murder on your front lawn.

Here’s an activist platform from the Electronic Freedom Foundation:

nymwars: Google blinked, Unthink and Diaspora to the rescue, blows against the Police State

November 8, 2011

Okay people, it’s time to make common cause against private sector complicity with police state requirements, and that includes the “real names” policies at surveillance-compliant organizations like Facebook and apparently now Google.

See this from LaGringa, innocently expecting Facebook to have a reasonable policy requirement to click on when she first got on Facebook:

Facebook and Google+ identities: online, real, common, fake | La Gringa’s Blogicito

I never heard of her before, and it seems her blog material is the kind of stuff I avoid, but Violet Blue is her real name, and Google stupidly without warning shot down her Google+ account:

It’s a policy we associate with Nazi-type regimes, encapsulated in the phrase “Your papers, please”:
What happens when Google+ cuts you off? | Deep Tech – CNET News

And get this strange take-down at flickr, where Violet Blue was nixed but then users were then able to see the ones she had blocked from public access:
Flickr blocked and Flickr blocks? | News Blogs – CNET News:

Google has surrendered in the nymwars, so says EFF, which is a source I trust much more than Google or Facebook…:

Victory! Google Surrenders in the Nymwars | Electronic Frontier Foundation

The Anti-Facebook League of Intelligentsia”

And I am seriously thinking about hitching up with the new anti-Facebook:

New social network Unthink says ‘FU’ to Facebook and Google+

One reason my blog is at is because I keep all the copyrights on everything I write and they have provision for downloading all my material to my own private system with the software, and from the beginning they let me use a pseudonym.

In an era where Karol Cabrera, reporter in Honduras who blasted Manuel Zelaya for his dictatorship, and what I call an outright auto-coup, was almost killed twice in professional hits that did succeed in killing a fellow reporter and a daughter. She finally took refuge in the only place she felt protected, the middle of a military base.

(What else do you call a president but dictator running a coup-installed government who overthrows his own government and starts ruling instead by giving orders and issuing decrees and cutting off towns’ electric supply who protest his regime?)

I use wordpress also because anybody can subscribe. As much as an audience FB has, if I ever go there again, I am putting NONE of my own writing there anymore. But I don’t think so. My Dad taught me never say never, but it’s as close as I can get.

And now, here’s another anti-Facebook:
Diaspora Project: Building the Anti-Facebook

The four guys in the diaspora team are here:

And here’s another few ideas about privacy and trust and names:
Snarkyxanf – Privacy is not Trust

More on the subject, with some things I disagree with, but much I agree with:
NetPolitik: Internet Under Fire

And a twitter collection of comments about google’s flirt with banning pseudonyms:!/search/%23nymwars

Google is trying to redeem itself with Good to Know, looks like:
Google steps up its privacy game, launches Good To Know | ZDNet

Excuse me while I continue to be skeptical. I just don’t like monopolies. Support your local Number Two, Three, Four and so on… Question everything…

Another take:
Snarkyxanf – Privacy is not Trust”

Freedom Not Fear: Ending A Decade Long Legacy of International Privacy Erosion | Electronic Frontier Foundation

September 17, 2011

It’s about time we got some noise out of Europe about the police state, which is trying to consolidate its universal control policies in the build-up to the global dictatorship some Christians have warned about for 2,000 years already, in fact foretold in the book of Daniel for more like three millenia:

Freedom Not Fear: Ending A Decade Long Legacy of International Privacy Erosion | Electronic Frontier Foundation

This Saturday, September 17th, concerned European citizens with the Freedom not Fear movement have decided to take their protest to the capital of the European Union, Brussels. Their slogan: Stop the surveillance mania! For five years in a row, Freedom Not Fear has taken to the streets in several cities in Europe and beyond to demand an end to suspicion-less surveillance measures. These include mandatory data retention laws and other reactionary surveillance measures that have been justified by the rhetoric of fear. Their protest efforts have been among the most meaningful demonstrations for this cause. Previously, Freedom not Fear protests were spread out across various European towns. For the first time, protesters from throughout Europe are descending on Brussels to directly confront the European Union’s policies at its headquarters….

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