EFFin' Good

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The SF Chronicle profiles the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or more specifically, looks at how EFF's lawsuit over AT&T's "Collaboration with [the National Security Agency's] Illegal Domestic Spying Program" has moved this group of harmless manifesto writers and litigious cranks into the mainstream of American politics:

The AT&T case is a typical foundation suit in some respects. It pits the organization and its allies against the might of both the telecommunications industry and the federal government, which has intervened to seek dismissal of the case on the grounds that it would expose military secrets.

But in one sense, the case is unusual for the foundation, because it asserts rights that are familiar to ordinary Americans, like the right to keep Big Brother out of one's private conversations. More commonly, the organization has a hard time convincing the courts and the public that its clients represent essential freedoms.

Brian Doherty profiled The Coyote himself, John Perry Barlow, and reported on co-founder John Gilmore's quixotic struggle to fly on a passenger plane with a "Suspected Terrorist" button. Back in Old '96, Virginia Postrel interviewed Esther Dyson.

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  1. “like the right to keep Big Brother out of one’s private conversations”

    “555-1212” isn’t much of a conversation. I’ll save my outrage for now.

  2. You have to have standing to bring a lawsuit. None of the guys have ever had their phones listened in on or can present any evidence that there was any danger of this happening. They don’t stand a chance in court, although I am sure some of them are convinced that the CIA is listening in on their phone calls, but they no doubt have beleived that for years NSA program or no.

  3. Business Week is reporting that Snooping Goes Beyond Phone Calls.

    The Departments of Justice, State, and Homeland Security spend millions annually to buy commercial databases that track Americans’ finances, phone numbers, and biographical information, according to a report last month by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. Often, the agencies and their contractors don’t ensure the data’s accuracy, the GAO found…

    “Grabbing data wholesale from the private sector is the way agencies are getting around the requirements of the Privacy Act and the Fourth Amendment,” says Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington and a member of the Homeland Security Dept.’s Data Privacy & Integrity Advisory Committee.

  4. As of yet, I don’t think the “spying program” has been determined to be illegal. Useless, perhaps, but not illegal. I could be wrong, though.

  5. uh, yeah it hasnt been ‘determined’ to be illegal because no one has been allowed to make any determination at all, because there is no legal oversight at all at the moment, the simple state of which is in clear contravention of the FISA law…

    so in that sense, the argument that, “well, no, you cant say it’s wrong because we dont know if it’s illegal or not” has it exactly backward =
    the circumvention of FISA makes the activity de facto against the law in the first place – if and when someone amends FISA – ok, maybe then you can call it a tempest in a teacup. But this is a case of the executive arguing that existing law can be ignored indiscriminately in perpetuity…which, NSA or no NSA, is not the kind of thing i’d blow off as no big deal.

    The other John Gilmore

  6. “Effen”– It is a good vodka… but also read things on Catalina Island- the whole anti-monopoly case against Vons on the Island…

    Well there is a guy on the island named, Dave Lieberman, that started a scam company “Effen Ltd” and he uses it for some SCUBA thing on the island. But he hires SCUBA instructors (yes I was one that worked for this creep) and he takes FEDERAL TAX money from our paychecks when I wrote EXEMPT because I made UNDER 15,000 that year from him.

    So he has this other girl working there- and he was saying things like “give me a blowjob and I’ll let you work today…” And she just laughed!!! Then he said “It looks like I had cum all over your face” when she just put on sunblock while working in the water. She seems really shy and just laughs- but she is a SCUBA instructor and a PHD! So much for “smart women” .

    This guy is a REAL THIEF, LIAR and CHEAT — yeah he has a girlfriend on “mainland” that is an attorney in San Diego and he keeps going on and on about “Lainey” and how he is waiting for her to die of cancer (he told us all this story many times) and he can take her MILLIONS (she got some divorce settlement from her rich ex). And all the while we watch him pick up girls in bars and then sexually harass this other female instructor.

    I’d like to talk to the girl- Her name is Laura Derek or something close to that. I did a PADI search for SCUBA instructors- but I know she is a widow (she looks like she is 15 years old- but she is in her 30s I believe). So she may have her old last name or whatever—

    This guy- Dave Lieberman- the more research I did on him- he stole from SEVERAL people on the island has not ONE good word from anyone– not even Harbor Patrol out there… so I was hoping to win a lawsuit and take over HIS business in a DECENT way.. And have this Laura girl be one of my instructors.

    Effen- yeah- it is “f’in nuts” what people get away with. I know it is not on GRAND scale of the Bush adminstration.. but it starts with a village… 😉

    Please advise– and I apologize if I’ve offended anyone. Just trying to make things right on a small scale okay?

  7. “Effen”– It is a good vodka… but also read things on Catalina Island- the whole anti-monopoly case against Vons on the Island…here on this website/Hit and Run comments…

    Well there is a guy on the island named, Dave Lieberman, that started a scam company “Effen Ltd” and he uses it for some SCUBA thing on the island. But he hires SCUBA instructors (yes I was one that worked for this creep) and he takes FEDERAL TAX money from our paychecks when I wrote EXEMPT because I made UNDER 15,000 that year from him.

    So he has this other girl working there- and he was saying things like “give me a blowjob and I’ll let you work today…” And she just laughed!!! Then he said “It looks like I had cum all over your face” when she just put on sunblock while working in the water. She seems really shy and just laughs- but she is a SCUBA instructor and a PHD! So much for “smart women” .

    This guy is a REAL THIEF, LIAR and CHEAT — yeah he has a girlfriend on “mainland” that is an attorney in San Diego and he keeps going on and on about “Lainey” and how he is waiting for her to die of cancer (he told us all this story many times) and he can take her MILLIONS (she got some divorce settlement from her rich ex). And all the while we watch him pick up girls in bars and then sexually harass this other female instructor.

    I’d like to talk to the girl- Her name is Laura Derek or something close to that. I did a PADI search for SCUBA instructors- but I know she is a widow (she looks like she is 15 years old- but she is in her 30s I believe). So she may have her old last name or whatever—

    This guy- Dave Lieberman- the more research I did on him- he stole from SEVERAL people on the island has not ONE good word from anyone– not even Harbor Patrol out there… so I was hoping to win a lawsuit and take over HIS business in a DECENT way.. And have this Laura girl be one of my instructors.

    Effen- yeah- it is “f’in nuts” what people get away with. I know it is not on GRAND scale of the Bush adminstration.. but it starts with a village… 😉

    Please advise– and I apologize if I’ve offended anyone. Just trying to make things right on a small scale okay?

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