Talk:Electronic Frontier Foundation

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Global Network Initiative[edit]

Perhaps there should be a separate article about the Global Network Initiative. The section here could form a part of the start of it. Since lots of other groups seem to be involved, might make more sense than having it on this page (or is the EFF the primary force behind this). Main question I see is if there are enough sources to establish notability yet. Zodon (talk) 04:25, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Absolutely there should be a separate article, and I have started it at Global Network Initiative. The former redirect to the EFF article is inappropriate: the GNI is not a branch of the EFF, but rather an independent organization with many sponsors other than the EFF. Notability of the GNI is unquestionable: it is sponsored by many notable MNCs (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, etc.) as well as NGOs like the EFF and the HRW and universities like Berkeley and Harvard. Additionally, there are currently already 931,000 Google hits for "global network initiative". —Lowellian (reply) 07:17, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Criticism[edit]

Surprised to see there's nothing in this article criticizing the EFF, especially after seeing debate over the article's neutrality in the Talk archives. Looked back and saw there used to be a criticisms section but it was removed because of WP:NOR. I agree with its removal, as it was poorly written and some of it was irrelevant, but I'm sure at least some of it would be acceptable if proper sources were found. Here's the section before it was removed:

Criticisms
This article is written in the style of a debate rather than an encyclopedic summary. It may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards and make it more accessible to a general audience. Please discuss this issue on the talk page.
The EFF has a strong base of supporters who prioritize wholesale changes to law (including legalizing potentially unauthorized trading of copyrighted files over peer-to-peer networks, implying some change of the copyright laws) over stopping abuses of the law (such as stopping abusive patents and DMCA complaints). By the same token, the EFF does not officially condone the trading of copyrighted material. Likewise the EFF has helped defend Skylink and OPG against DMCA abuse. It also began its so-called Patent Busting Project.
The EFF has been criticized by anti-spam individuals and groups for its official opposition to certain anti-spam techniques that do not deliver all wanted messages to the end-user. The EFF argues that the decision as to what is spam and what is not resides with the recipient, not intermediaries such as ISPs, and that there are efficient spam filters available to the end-user. It further argues that the problem resides in those creating spam rather than the lack of effective filters.
Prior to the EFF's defense of 2600: The Hacker Quarterly magazine in 2001, the hacker community criticized EFF as "missing in action" with regards to their legal troubles.

The part about Hacker Quarterly is interesting, but I'm not sure how easy it'd be to verify. It did remind me of a jab someone took at the EFF in Freedom Downtime. Let me see if I can find it.

Here we go: (Regarding hackers cooperating with federal searches & seizures and pleading guilty to crimes they didn't commit because they don't have the resources to fight in court) "I think if people had the resources, or if there were an organization dedicated to helping people, to providing the resources,--something that's much more than just a dummy front such as the EFF--an organization that's actually truly willing to help in those matters, that we'd see a lot more progress." -Lewis DePayne, friend and co-defendant of Kevin Mitnick, Freedom Downtime (Starting around 0:50:40)

I'm not sure what the reasoning behind him saying that was, possibly because of the 2600 stuff or perhaps they sought their help in the Mitnick case. Interestingly, 2600 is the distributor for that documentary, which was filmed around the time of EFF's defense of 2600. OzW (talk) 18:47, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

There's a couple of issues here. To start, EFF has been through major management shifts, and there have been times in the past when it was more oriented to corporate-interest lobbying. I have an old law.com article which discusses this, that the "former chair and executive director, respectively -- wanted to forge ties with the business community. Such ties "are a way to ensure funding, but they make it hard to do civil liberties work for people who the business [community] doesn't approve of," Godwin said.". Plus, in general, civil-liberties organizations have very limited resources, so have to be very strategic about what cases they accept. It's interesting history. But I think it would be extremely difficult to write it according to Wikipedia's processes. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 02:26, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Interesting read. I understand EFF's need to pick and choose which battles are worth fighting with their limited resources, especially with the broad scope and rapidly changing issues in digital rights. I guess that brings up a bigger issue, that the article doesn't make any mention of the organization's focus past the early 90s. Timeline of Electronic Frontier Foundation actions is a decent outline, but this article could use a concise summary of their overall efforts past the "early cases" section. The article you linked would definitely help with the first 10 years. Though I'm not sure how to go about organizing the info. Maybe the leadership changes would be a good way to section it? Or should that be kept separate? OzW (talk) 20:02, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I think the natural way to organize broad shifts would be "eras" - founding, move to DC, move to SF, etc. These sometimes are connected to leadership changes, but not exclusively. For example, 9/11 had an effect by profoundly shifting the entire civil-liberties world. But I worry that Wikipedia writing constraints would frown on this as too much synthesis for an article -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 05:14, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Founders[edit]

On the right, there is an image collage of "founders Kapor, Gilmore and Barlow". In the article it says "formed in July 1990 by John Perry Barlow and Mitch Kapor" and "offers of financial support from John Gilmore and Steve Wozniak". So, shouldn't the image collage either include Wozniak or go without Gilmore? (I've barely read the article, this is just a quick comment, maybe I'm right and this comment it's useful in some way.) --82.171.13.139 (talk) 23:35, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Current intro reads like an ad for EFF[edit]

The current intro[1] is a copy and paste of EFF promotion material.

It should be shorter, mention their most prominent work, who pays the piper, etc. Gronky (talk) 04:13, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

I've deleted a chunk from the intro. Here's the page before my edit: [2]. It's was basically the EFF's manifesto, with a link to EFF's own website as a reference. Completely unencyclopaedic promotional material. Gronky (talk) 13:03, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Did EFF decline after 1992?[edit]

Here's a comment I read on Slashdot:

EFF sold out to corporate interests when Mitch Kapor lost interest (he was hoping for a Cabinet spot in the Clinton administration), and when Jerry Berman took over and moved them to Washington DC, where he promptly sold all their credibility for whatever money and resume fodder he could scrounge and got them to sign off on the "TeleCommunications (utter lack of ) Privacy Act". They've never completely recovered from that.

Completely unsubstantiated opinion which has no place in the article, but I thought I'd note it here just in case this opinion is actually common, in which case it might be worth investigating if people in the field concur that there was indeed a big change in EFF around 1992. Gronky (talk) 04:18, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Well, there have been tensions between corporate interests and civil-libertarian interests over EFF's history. That's absolutely true. See, for example, this article about one shift - "The new hires and change in strategy reflect a renewed focus on taking battles to court -- a decision that came after an internal struggle over the direction of the group and the subsequent departure of its executive director and board chairwoman.". Though it's difficult to write about this well on Wikipedia, since it requires expert knowledge and much of it is documented in primary sources (i.e. people's direct accounts). -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 04:34, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
There seem to be enough facts to add something about the change. My time's up though. Might be back next year. Thanks for the link. Gronky (talk) 13:02, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

In the news again[edit]

History of the organization and its advocacy efforts[edit]

If anyone has any sources which purport to document the history of the organization or tell any of its stories from start to end, then please share. I was looking for histories and found this, which has some parts of a story.

  • Lebkowsky, Jon (no date given). "TechnoPolitics". weblogsky.com. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 

Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:28, 12 December 2013 (UTC)