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trevorEFF471 karma

There will probably be more fights about Internet freedom — whether it's privacy, patents, copyright, free speech, or computer crime law — in 2013 than there ever has been. We just published a blog post a few minutes ago that answers this question and identifies the top 5 issues SOPA activists should focus their attention on this year.

trevorEFF317 karma

The old adage 'if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear,' was originally coined by Richard Nixon's attorney general John Mitchell, who notoriously allowed rampant domestic spying, and later went to jail during Watergate.

This is one of the best article ever written on the FISA Amendments Act and warrantless wiretapping, and it explains how that phrase is meaningless in this context: http://balkin.blogspot.com/2008/07/al-qaeda-on-speed-dial.html

Two more things:

  1. Anyone who says 'if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear,' doesn't really believe it if you press them on it. Just ask them to turn over their email passwords to you so you can publish their emails on the Internet. They'll naturally recoil in horror.

  2. Luckily, this country was founded on the opposite principle. The Fourth Amendment puts the burden on the government to show why they can invade our privacy, not the other way around. We shouldn't have to prove that we're not breaking the law, the government has to prove that they have a reason collect our data. That's why this NSA spying scandal is so outrageous.

trevorEFF288 karma

Does everyone know Nick? He is a hero. He was the first person to challenge a National Security Letter in court, despite the fact he was breaking the (unconstitutional) gag order, just by telling his lawyer he received one.

Read more about his story here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/09/AR2010080906252.html

More good news: A judge in California just ruled all National Security Letters unconstitutional in an EFF case a month ago. The case is on appeal and the ruling is on hold until the Court of Appeals hears the case.

trevorEFF283 karma

We've long been concerned that the seizures, done mainly by ICE (not the FBI), are a violation of free speech and otherwise problematic. That's easily seen in Megaupload, as so many ordinary, noninfringing users of the system had their speech removed.

But the existence of these seizure powers also demonstrates that the main RIAA/MPAA claims about SOPA and PIPA are unfounded. Megaupload was once held up as an example of why SOPA and PIPA were necessary, yet less than 24 hours after it was indefinitely shelved, the government was able to seize Megaupload's domains and arrest its owners. Remember, they arrested a German and Finnish citizen, in New Zealand, whose company was incorporated in Hong Kong. The U.S. government doesn't need any new laws; they have too much power as it is.

trevorEFF206 karma

This guy is legit ⇧