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Press Room

Here you'll find the latest news about EFF, as well as our reactions to current events. Check back often for updates on our issues.

May 04, 2005

EFF Announces New Activism Coordinator

Writer Danny O'Brien Will Join Staff and Lead Grassroots Campaigns

San Francisco, CA - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is pleased to announce that Danny O'Brien will be joining the organization as its new Activism Coordinator. Current Activism Coordinator Ren Bucholz will be moving to Canada later this month and will work on international issues for EFF from his home base there.

O'Brien is a British writer with a long track record of campaigning on digital rights issues in the UK. He was a co-founder of STAND (, a UK grassroots network that helped successfully fight private key escrow in Britain, inspired a rare government apology for surveillance power excesses, and helped postpone a proposed national identity card scheme. He also helped devise and, two award-winning parliamentary oversight websites. He has lived in the United States since 2000.

"I've always been a great admirer of EFF's achievements," said O'Brien. "I'm looking forward to working not only with EFF's own incredible activist network, but also the many other groups that make up the growing movement for digital rights around the world."

O'Brien joins EFF's growing team of analysts with a background in powerful writing, including science fiction author Cory Doctorow, syndicated "Techsploitation" columnist Annalee Newitz, and Donna Wentworth, founding editor of the website, "Copyfight: The Politics of IP."

"EFF has a tradition of attracting some of the brightest, most talented minds in the technology world," said EFF Executive Director Shari Steele. "Danny will make a great addition to our team, as we work to protect civil liberties in the electronic age."


Shari Steele
Executive Director
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Danny O'Brien
Activism Coordinator
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Posted at 01:41 PM

May 03, 2005

EFF Event Focuses on Technical Ways to Protect Your Online Anonymity

Creators of Tor, an Anonymous Communication System, Discuss Their Work at May 10 BayFF

San Francisco, CA - On Tuesday, May 10, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will host another "BayFF," a free event series for the general public. This month, the subject is anonymous Internet communication. Roger Dingledine, principal system designer of the anonymous communication network Tor, will appear in person to discuss his work with Chris Palmer, EFF's Technology Manager.

Tor is a network-within-a-network that protects Internet communication from a form of surveillance known as "traffic analysis." Traffic analysis tracks where data goes and when, as well as how much is sent, rather than the content of communications. Knowing the source and destination of Internet traffic allows others to track a person's behavior and interests. The serious privacy implications of this type of surveillance will be discussed, as well as ways Tor helps to protect against it.

This free event is being held at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco, from 7:00-9:30 p.m. Refreshments will be provided. Because 111 Minna is a bar, attendees must be 21 or over.


Katina Bishop
Projects Coordinator
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Posted at 02:39 PM

April 22, 2005

EFF Responds to Apple's Arguments in Online Journalism Appeal

Santa Clara County, CA - Today the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) continued to support three online journalists in a fight to protect their anonymous sources. EFF, along with co-counsel Thomas Moore III and Richard Wiebe, filed a brief on behalf of the journalists, responding to Apple Computer Inc.'s opposition to the journalists' request for the California Appellate Court in Santa Clara to intervene.

Apple is suing several unnamed individuals, called "Does," who allegedly leaked information about an upcoming product code-named "Asteroid." Apple has subpoenaed Nfox, the ISP for publisher Jason O'Grady, demanding that the ISP turn over the communications and unpublished materials O'Grady obtained while he was gathering information for his articles about "Asteroid." Apple has also been granted permission to issue subpoenas directly to EFF clients PowerPage and AppleInsider for similar information.

EFF appealed the trial court decision which held that if a journalist publishes information a business deems to be a trade secret, this act destroys constitutional protection for the journalist's confidential sources and unpublished materials. EFF awaits word from the California Appellate Court as to whether the appeal will be granted.


Kevin Bankston
Attorney, Equal Justice Works / Bruce J. Ennis Fellow
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Kurt Opsahl
Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Posted at 03:21 PM

April 21, 2005

Law Firm Shows Ignorance of the Law in Anonymous Emailer Case

EFF Sends Letter of Protest to Shearman & Sterling Over Subpoena to Craigslist

San Francisco, CA - When an employee of San Francisco law firm Shearman & Sterling received an email from an anonymous person who seemed to be a disgruntled subordinate, he didn't hit the delete button. Instead, his firm subpoenaed craigslist, a community bulletin board where the email first appeared as a posting, in order to discover the identity of the "Jane Doe."

The firm justified its actions by arguing that the alleged employee's email was a form of "trespass" on Shearman's computer systems. The implication of this claim is far-reaching. Contradicting binding precedent, Shearman proposes a rule that would mean anyone who sends an email faces legal liability. It would allow email recipients to track down anonymous correspondents simply to punish them for being annoying or offensive.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has written an open letter to Shearman urging it to drop the subpoena. "The Constitution does not permit subpoenas for identity just because someone was upset," said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl. "While it is unfortunate that a Shearman employee received an offensive email message, Shearman cannot manufacture a cause of action out of thin air just so it can unmask an anonymous speaker."

In its letter, EFF reminds Shearman of the long tradition of US courts protecting anonymous speech, and argues that the law firm has demonstrated no legal cause of action because it did not show how receiving a single email message caused harm. Indeed, the California Supreme Court ruled two years ago that sending an email is not a form of trespass (see Intel v. Hamidi).


Kurt Opsahl
Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Posted at 02:12 PM