Re: EFF Defends Liberties in High-Tech World

Today, after expanding into such areas as intellectual property and

> moving its headquarters twice along with its focus, the EFF is > re-emphasizing its roots of trying to limit government surveillance of > electronic communications, while keeping a lookout for emerging > threats even as the Internet and digital technologies become > mainstream.

As a citizen, I have mixed feelings about the work of both the ACLU and EFF.

We must remember that Constitutional and legal rights are relative. My right to do something might impact your rights of protection. In short, we don't have the "free speech right" to yell fire in a crowded theatre and there are many examples of that.

When it comes to gray areas of rights, I think the public interest must be carefully considered. I value my privacy and naturally and I don't want the govt listening in to my telephone calls or Internet activity. But on the other hand, I don't want terrorists blowing up a building or transport that I or my loved ones happen to be in.

During WW II the U.S. Government locked up Japanese-Americans in California out of fear for sabotage and espionage. In hindsight most see that as a big mistake, because those people were loyal Americans (and many were citizens) and because the lockup was motiviated for selfish reasons -- other California farmers disliked the Japanese and wanted to get rid of them.

However, Japanese in Hawaii -- who ironically were not interned -- had supplied vital information to Japan that assisted with the Pearl Harbor attack.

In the newsgroup, many people cite EFF concernrs for new security controls in entertainment media and are very upset about such new controls. In reading the comments, it seems to be they're upset since they won't be able to copy freely anymore rather than the controls themselves. I don't like controls either but I can understand the desire of the entertainment industry to stop the massive piracy that is going on and stealing legitimate revenue from them. (That people dislike the industry is not a valid reason to deny them revenue by illegal piracy.)

I frankly don't know what the balance should be. It's a tough decision. The U.S. and other countries DO have bitter enemies out to murder us; that's a fact. Our very open country allows enemies to come in easily or even be home grown. Now, I don't want school officials reading every kid's personal email and diary to see if another Columbine is in the making, but I don't want another Columbine either. I don't want the Feds reading our remails, but I don't want another 9/11 either.

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