TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: EFF Defends Liberties in High-Tech World

Re: EFF Defends Liberties in High-Tech World
8 Jul 2006 13:50:51 -0700

Anick Jesdanun wrote:

> Today, after expanding into such areas as intellectual property and
> moving its headquarters twice along with its focus, the EFF is
> re-emphasizing its roots of trying to limit government surveillance of
> electronic communications, while keeping a lookout for emerging
> threats even as the Internet and digital technologies become
> mainstream.

As a citizen, I have mixed feelings about the work of both the ACLU
and EFF.

We must remember that Constitutional and legal rights are relative.
My right to do something might impact your rights of protection. In
short, we don't have the "free speech right" to yell fire in a crowded
theatre and there are many examples of that.

When it comes to gray areas of rights, I think the public interest
must be carefully considered. I value my privacy and naturally and I
don't want the govt listening in to my telephone calls or Internet
activity. But on the other hand, I don't want terrorists blowing up a
building or transport that I or my loved ones happen to be in.

During WW II the U.S. Government locked up Japanese-Americans in
California out of fear for sabotage and espionage. In hindsight most
see that as a big mistake, because those people were loyal Americans
(and many were citizens) and because the lockup was motiviated for
selfish reasons -- other California farmers disliked the Japanese and
wanted to get rid of them.

However, Japanese in Hawaii -- who ironically were not interned -- had
supplied vital information to Japan that assisted with the Pearl
Harbor attack.

In the newsgroup, many people cite EFF concernrs for new
security controls in entertainment media and are very upset about such
new controls. In reading the comments, it seems to be they're upset
since they won't be able to copy freely anymore rather than the
controls themselves. I don't like controls either but I can
understand the desire of the entertainment industry to stop the
massive piracy that is going on and stealing legitimate revenue from
them. (That people dislike the industry is not a valid reason to deny
them revenue by illegal piracy.)

I frankly don't know what the balance should be. It's a tough
decision. The U.S. and other countries DO have bitter enemies out to
murder us; that's a fact. Our very open country allows enemies to
come in easily or even be home grown. Now, I don't want school
officials reading every kid's personal email and diary to see if
another Columbine is in the making, but I don't want another Columbine
either. I don't want the Feds reading our remails, but I don't want
another 9/11 either.

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