Marcia Clare Hofmann (/ /) is an American attorney known for her work as an advocate of electronic privacy and free expression, including defending individuals charged with high-profile computer crimes, such as Marcus Hutchins and Weev.
In 2006, Hofmann joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation as a staff attorney, where she continues to serve as special counsel. In addition to litigating many cases against federal agencies under the Freedom of Information Act, Hofmann is known for defending programmers and security researchers against charges related to security disclosures.
Hofmann left the EFF in 2013 to begin a private practice. Since then, she has helped represent Freedom of the Press Foundation in its ongoing lawsuits against the Justice Department, filed amicus briefs on behalf of several entities in Twitter's lawsuit against the Justice Department over the right to reveal surveillance requests, submitted comments on behalf of the EFF, Internet Archive, and Reddit to the New York State Department of Financial Services concerning its proposed BitLicense regulation, and commented to the United States Copyright Office on an exemption for security research to the prohibition of circumventing copyright protection systems in vehicles.
In 2020, Hofmann joined Twitter as product counsel.
Hofmann has taught as an adjunct professor at University of California Hastings College of the Law and has been a featured speaker at many electronic privacy-related conferences.
United States v. Auernheimer
Hofmann was part of the team that represented Andrew Auernheimer on appeal of his 2012 conviction for identity fraud and hacking conspiracy following his involvement in the exposure of a security flaw in an AT&T website. Among other issues, the defense argued that accessing a publicly available website does not constitute unauthorized access under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Auernheimer should not have been charged in New Jersey (he was in Arkansas, while AT&T's servers were in Georgia and Texas during the events described in the indictment). The appeal was successful: the Third Circuit held that bringing the case in New Jersey was improper, vacated his conviction, and ordered him released from prison.
United States v. Under Seal
Hofmann represented Lavabit, an e-mail service provider, and its founder, Ladar Levison, in their appeal of a contempt order for refusing to hand over the company's private encryption keys to the government. The target of the investigation was widely speculated to be Edward Snowden.
- Twitter, Inc. v. Holder, No. 14-cv-4480 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 11, 2015) (order), available via Leagle (headnotes listing Marcia Clare Hofmann).
- Defcon 19: Kurt Opsahl, Kevin Bankston, Marcia Hofmann, Hanni Fakhoury, Peter Eckersley & Rebecca Reagan. YouTube. 2012. Event occurs at 4:52.
- "Marcia Hofmann, EFF Special Counsel". EFF.org. Archived from the original on November 27, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- "Marcia Hofmann". UCHastings.edu. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015.
- Hofmann, Marcia. "Marcia Hofmann: Digital Rights Attorney". LinkedIn.com. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Marcia Hofmann". cyberlaw.stanford.edu. Archived from the original on July 26, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- @marciahofmann (October 9, 2012). "Thrilled to be named a non-residential fellow at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society for another two years. cyberlaw.stanford.edu/about/people" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Hofmann, Marcia (May 13, 2013). "Leaving EFF and Starting a Law Practice". MarciaHofmann.com. Archived from the original on February 7, 2016.
- Timm, Trevor (July 30, 2015). "We Just Sued the Justice Department Over the FBI's Secret Rules for Using National Security Letters on Journalists". Freedom of the Press Foundation. Archived from the original on December 23, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- Twitter, Inc. v. Holder, No. 14-cv-4480 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 11, 2015) (order), available via Leagle (headnotes showing CloudFlare, CREDO Mobile, A Medium Corporation, Wickr, Wikimedia Foundation, Automattic, and Sonic.net being represented as amicus curiae by Hofmann).
- Hofmann, Marcia (October 21, 2014). "Comments to the New York State Department of Financial Services on BitLicense: the Proposed Virtual Currency Regulatory Framework" (PDF). EFF.org. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 12, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- Hofmann, Marcia (February 2015). "Comment of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in re Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies Under 17 U.S.C. § 1201" (PDF). Copyright.gov.
- "Talks". MarciaHofmann.com. Archived from the original on October 19, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- See United States v. Auernheimer, 748 F.3d 525 (3d Cir. 2014) (headnotes listing Hofmann); id. at 529–531 (case background).
- Appellant's Opening Brief, United States v. Auernheimer, 748 F.3d 525, 529 (3d Cir. 2014), available via EFF (archived); Auernheimer, 748 F.3d at 531 (mentioning location of servers).
- See Auernheimer, 748 F.3d at 529.
- Fakhoury, Hanni (April 11, 2014). "Appeals Court Overturns Andrew "weev" Auernheimer Conviction". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Archived from the original on January 26, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- In re Under Seal, slip op. at 2; Brief of Appellant, In re Under Seal, Nos. 13-4625, 13-4626 (4th Cir. Apr. 16, 2014), available via TypePad (archived).
- Greenwald, Glenn (August 9, 2013). "Email Service Used by Snowden Shuts Itself Down, Warns Against Using US-based Companies". Opinion. The Guardian. Archived from the original on January 29, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.