EFFin' Good


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.