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Topic: Letter to the EFF (Read 46706 times)

donator
Activity: 1736
Merit: 1002
Let's talk governance, lipstick, and pigs.
June 24, 2011, 06:57:10 PM
"We understand that we cannot close the account that has been set up in EFF’s name and that returning the donations to the individual donors would be complex and difficult." ~ EFF

Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more EFF
hero member
Activity: 630
Merit: 500
June 24, 2011, 05:33:53 PM
I also found quite disappointing their decision. I know it is not as if there was a contract or anything, but people who donated to them did so in expectation they would use this money to support what they stand for.  And then they decide to drop the donations like that... shame on EFF.
full member
Activity: 215
Merit: 100
Shamantastic!
June 24, 2011, 04:25:14 PM
Does anyone know if Aaron Swartz still visits the forums?
He has extensive advocacy background and could possibly aid in preliminary ideas:
Quote
Aaron Swartz is the founder and director of Demand Progress, a nonprofit political action group with nearly half a million members. For the latest updates, visit the Demand Progress Blog.

He is the author of numerous articles on a variety of topics, especially the corrupting influence of big money on institutions including nonprofits, the media, politics, and public opinion. In conjunction with Shireen Barday, he downloaded and analyzed 441,170 law review articles to determine the source of their funding; the results were published in the Stanford Law Review. From 2010-11, he researched these topics as a Fellow at the Harvard Ethics Center Lab on Institutional Corruption.

He has also assisted many other researchers in collecting and analyzing large data sets with theinfo.org. His landmark analysis of Wikipedia, Who Writes Wikipedia?, has been widely cited. He helped develop standards and tutorials for Linked Open Data while serving on the W3C's RDF Core Working Group and helped popularize them as Metadata Advisor to the nonprofit Creative Commons and coauthor of the RSS 1.0 specification.

In 2008, he created the nonprofit site watchdog.net, making it easier for people to find and access government data. He also served on the board of Change Congress, a good government nonprofit.

In 2007, he led the development of the nonprofit Open Library, an ambitious project to collect information about every book ever published. He also cofounded the online news site Reddit, where he released as free software the web framework he developed, web.py.

[email protected]
- source from the website: http://www.aaronsw.com/

sr. member
Activity: 434
Merit: 250
youtube.com/ericfontainejazz now accepts bitcoin
June 24, 2011, 03:06:35 PM
The EFF is a defender of your digital rights.

They are preserving their ability to remain neutral, thus the ability to provide a unbiased defense if and when bitcoin litigation hits the courts.

The last thing they need is to be disqualified because of a conflict of interest in an important bitcoin case.



Bullshit...

They do not have to be neutral, the EFF is supposed to be an advocate.

+100.  The EFF used to be very bold.  Just read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Frontier_Foundation#History and you will read about how the EFF was formed in response to raids by the FBI and Secret Service upon many of the early great 'hackers' (using the positive connotation of hackers, that is) such as John Perry Barlow.

Quote
The creation of the organization was motivated by the massive search and seizure on Steve Jackson Games executed by the United States Secret Service early in 1990. Similar but officially unconnected law-enforcement raids were being conducted across the United States at about that time as part of a state-federal task force called Operation Sundevil. However, the Steve Jackson Games case, which became EFF's first high-profile case, was the major rallying point where EFF began promoting computer and Internet-related civil liberties.

And for those that aren't aware of Operation Sundevil (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Sundevil):
Quote
Operation Sundevil was a 1990 nation-wide United States Secret Service crackdown on "illegal computer hacking activities." It involved raids in approximately fifteen different cities and resulted in three arrests and the confiscation of computers, the contents of electronic bulletin board systems (BBSes), and floppy disks.

So yeah, EFF was taking some pretty bold positions at that time.

Quote
EFF's second big case was Bernstein v. United States led by Cindey Cohn, where programmer and professor Daniel J. Bernstein sued the government for permission to publish his encryption software, Snuffle, and a paper describing it.

So we might not have had public access to as much encryption software had it not been for early EFF activism.

Now it seems that all EFF does is battle patent and copyright trolls, which is a noble goal and important to the free exchange of information on the internet.  However, that is much more safe than promoting bitcoin.  Anyway, I wouldn't depend on EFF for too much defense of bitcoin users.  Sad
legendary
Activity: 3654
Merit: 1935
June 24, 2011, 02:33:09 PM
The EFF is a defender of your digital rights.

They are preserving their ability to remain neutral, thus the ability to provide a unbiased defense if and when bitcoin litigation hits the courts.

The last thing they need is to be disqualified because of a conflict of interest in an important bitcoin case.



They are already conflicted because they are accepting dirty, bloodied Federal Reserve Dollars.

Although it is good to know what side of the fence they are sitting on, for now.
vip
Activity: 1386
Merit: 1073
The Casascius 1oz 10BTC Silver Round (w/ Gold B)
June 24, 2011, 01:52:23 PM
The EFF is a defender of your digital rights.

They are preserving their ability to remain neutral, thus the ability to provide a unbiased defense if and when bitcoin litigation hits the courts.

The last thing they need is to be disqualified because of a conflict of interest in an important bitcoin case.



+100
sr. member
Activity: 385
Merit: 250
June 24, 2011, 01:41:27 PM
The EFF is a defender of your digital rights.

They are preserving their ability to remain neutral, thus the ability to provide a unbiased defense if and when bitcoin litigation hits the courts.

The last thing they need is to be disqualified because of a conflict of interest in an important bitcoin case.

full member
Activity: 185
Merit: 111
June 24, 2011, 12:55:56 PM
This is very disappointing indeed.  Sad I hope all the contributors to this effort and those who donated to the EFF, are not too disheartened though. Your efforts were noble and commendable. You can only lead a horse to water. I guess any friends the EFF might make, by deserting bitcoin after taking donations and then denouncing their endorsement (not to mention squandering those donations), will not be such trustworthy, honorable bedfellows. When I first saw this thread I thought about the FSF, as being an even better advocate and more deserving of donations too. I just checked and it seems they already came on board back in early May. I hope they will be more loyal, as I expect they will. We have to be thankful for small blessings I guess.
full member
Activity: 215
Merit: 100
Shamantastic!
June 24, 2011, 12:22:21 PM
EFF was founded to preserve the FOSS stance during the tumult of the late 90's and early century against a hegemony of Microsoft lawyers. They have not professed to be experts of finance. If Bitcoin was a simple software litigation issue then EFF would be the perfect candidate for our current woes. I think EFF is a formula that you take to ward off colds of the litigious nature. We have a severe case of fiscal cancer and no one is sure if Bitcoin is the cure or the disease. Either way, the remedy is a sister-style organization to the EFF that confronts the excesses and extremes within Bitcoin and the very certain attack from without.
The internal issues with Bitcoin and its offshoots are numerous but definable and therefor resolvable. The external issues will be multiplied by our success and unpredictable. We should ask for advice from EFF and other FOSS advocacy groups that are willing to guide us during this expansion phase.
Any thoughts from the grownups?
sr. member
Activity: 350
Merit: 250
June 24, 2011, 12:01:22 PM
The moment they decided to not support bitcoin, they proved to everyone that they are not who they claimed to be. Even if they were before, they obviously aren't anymore since. Probably in the pockets of someone else at this point. F*ckin useless.
sr. member
Activity: 434
Merit: 250
youtube.com/ericfontainejazz now accepts bitcoin
June 21, 2011, 11:43:40 AM
Here's The Inquieter's take on EFF's recent decision: "The EFF loses confidence in Bitcoin"
sr. member
Activity: 434
Merit: 250
youtube.com/ericfontainejazz now accepts bitcoin
June 21, 2011, 11:22:03 AM
Quote
Because of this, we’re giving the Bitcoins that have been accumulated, or that may accumulate in the future, in the account set up in our name to the Bitcoin faucet, so that they can continue to circulate in the community.

I didn't donate my bitcoins so you could put them in the fucking faucet, EFF. I donated so you could help defend against privacy rights. If I had known you were throwing my coins down the toilet, almost quite literally, I wouldn't have done so!

+1.

Electronic Frontier Foundation => "Stone-Age" "Safe-Previously-Explored-Land" "Money-Dumper".  Yeah, I had trouble finding antonyms for those words.  Smiley

Anyway, looks like I'm going to have to peel my EFF bumper sticker off my car.  Sad
sr. member
Activity: 364
Merit: 250
June 21, 2011, 09:29:40 AM
Quote
Because of this, we’re giving the Bitcoins that have been accumulated, or that may accumulate in the future, in the account set up in our name to the Bitcoin faucet, so that they can continue to circulate in the community.

I didn't donate my bitcoins so you could put them in the fucking faucet, EFF. I donated so you could help defend against privacy rights. If I had known you were throwing my coins down the toilet, almost quite literally, I wouldn't have done so!

Why would a business like EFF accept bitcoins, and then months later ask their lawyers about the legalities? Shouldn't that have been discussed before, I don't know, thousands of dollars was wasted that came from those who donated and supported your cause?

"We've collected thousands of dollars in donations in order to secure your rights! Except we're not so sure we want to use your money anymore, so we're just going to walk down the road and hand it out to any stranger we see!"

Pathetic.



legendary
Activity: 1246
Merit: 1014
Strength in numbers
June 21, 2011, 02:33:54 AM
Fuck them. So are they endorsing VISA and MasterCard or not? Fuck them. Are they endorsing dollars used around the globe for terror, theft, and rape?
sr. member
Activity: 434
Merit: 250
youtube.com/ericfontainejazz now accepts bitcoin
June 21, 2011, 12:36:01 AM
tl;dr summary .... EFF lawyers soiled their corduroys at the "complex legal issues" surrounding bitcoin ... << bleeding edge lawyers, I guess.

Thanks!  I forgot about the tl;dr peeps out there...  I should have highlighted (bold+italics+underline) the one important sentence:

Quote
However, we’ve recently removed the Bitcoin donation option from the Other Ways to Help page on the EFF website, and we have decided to not accept Bitcoins.
legendary
Activity: 3654
Merit: 1935
June 21, 2011, 12:20:33 AM
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this just came across my news feed today, June 20th, 2011.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/06/eff-and-bitcoin

Quote
JUNE 20TH, 2011      
EFF and Bitcoin
Announcement by Cindy Cohn


For several months, EFF has been following the movement around Bitcoin, an electronic payment system that touts itself as "the first decentralized digital currency." We helped inform our members about this unique project through our blog and we experimented with accepting Bitcoin donations for several months in an account that was started by others.

However, we’ve recently removed the Bitcoin donation option from the Other Ways to Help page on the EFF website, and we have decided to not accept Bitcoins. We decided on this course of action for a few reasons:

1.   We don't fully understand the complex legal issues involved with creating a new currency system. Bitcoin raises untested legal concerns related to securities law, the Stamp Payments Act, tax evasion, consumer protection and money laundering, among others. And that’s just in the U.S. While EFF is often the defender of people ensnared in legal issues arising from new technologies, we try very hard to keep EFF from becoming the actual subject of those fights or issues. Since there is no caselaw on this topic, and the legal implications are still very unclear, we worry that our acceptance of Bitcoins may move us into the possible subject role.

2.   We don't want to mislead our donors. When people make a donation to a nonprofit like EFF, they expect us to use their donation to support our work. Because the legal territory around exchanging Bitcoins into cash is still uncertain, we are not comfortable spending the many Bitcoins we have accumulated. Because of this, we’re giving the Bitcoins that have been accumulated, or that may accumulate in the future, in the account set up in our name to the Bitcoin faucet, so that they can continue to circulate in the community.1

3.   People were misconstruing our acceptance of Bitcoins as an endorsement of Bitcoin. We were concerned that some people may have participated in the Bitcoin project specifically because EFF accepted Bitcoins, and perhaps they therefore believed the investment in Bitcoins was secure and risk-free. While we’ve been following the Bitcoin movement with a great degree of interest, EFF has never endorsed Bitcoin. In fact, we generally don’t endorse any type of product or service – and Bitcoin is no exception.

We appreciate the outpouring of support we have received from the Bitcoin community and we share that community's commitment to privacy and innovation. We also appreciate their frustration with the privacy problems posed by existing on-line payment systems. However, EFF will no longer be accepting or spending Bitcoins.

[1] We understand that we cannot close the account that has been set up in EFF’s name and that returning the donations to the individual donors would be complex and difficult.




tl;dr summary .... EFF lawyers soiled their corduroys at the "complex legal issues" surrounding bitcoin ... << bleeding edge lawyers, I guess.
sr. member
Activity: 434
Merit: 250
youtube.com/ericfontainejazz now accepts bitcoin
June 20, 2011, 10:29:16 PM
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this just came across my news feed today, June 20th, 2011.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/06/eff-and-bitcoin

Quote
JUNE 20TH, 2011       
EFF and Bitcoin
Announcement by Cindy Cohn


For several months, EFF has been following the movement around Bitcoin, an electronic payment system that touts itself as "the first decentralized digital currency." We helped inform our members about this unique project through our blog and we experimented with accepting Bitcoin donations for several months in an account that was started by others.

However, we’ve recently removed the Bitcoin donation option from the Other Ways to Help page on the EFF website, and we have decided to not accept Bitcoins. We decided on this course of action for a few reasons:

1.   We don't fully understand the complex legal issues involved with creating a new currency system. Bitcoin raises untested legal concerns related to securities law, the Stamp Payments Act, tax evasion, consumer protection and money laundering, among others. And that’s just in the U.S. While EFF is often the defender of people ensnared in legal issues arising from new technologies, we try very hard to keep EFF from becoming the actual subject of those fights or issues. Since there is no caselaw on this topic, and the legal implications are still very unclear, we worry that our acceptance of Bitcoins may move us into the possible subject role.

2.   We don't want to mislead our donors. When people make a donation to a nonprofit like EFF, they expect us to use their donation to support our work. Because the legal territory around exchanging Bitcoins into cash is still uncertain, we are not comfortable spending the many Bitcoins we have accumulated. Because of this, we’re giving the Bitcoins that have been accumulated, or that may accumulate in the future, in the account set up in our name to the Bitcoin faucet, so that they can continue to circulate in the community.1

3.   People were misconstruing our acceptance of Bitcoins as an endorsement of Bitcoin. We were concerned that some people may have participated in the Bitcoin project specifically because EFF accepted Bitcoins, and perhaps they therefore believed the investment in Bitcoins was secure and risk-free. While we’ve been following the Bitcoin movement with a great degree of interest, EFF has never endorsed Bitcoin. In fact, we generally don’t endorse any type of product or service – and Bitcoin is no exception.

We appreciate the outpouring of support we have received from the Bitcoin community and we share that community's commitment to privacy and innovation. We also appreciate their frustration with the privacy problems posed by existing on-line payment systems. However, EFF will no longer be accepting or spending Bitcoins.

[1] We understand that we cannot close the account that has been set up in EFF’s name and that returning the donations to the individual donors would be complex and difficult.


legendary
Activity: 826
Merit: 1001
rippleFanatic
June 06, 2011, 02:34:42 PM
There's also the issue that the EFF will probably be defending Bitcoin in the near future.
Possessing an income stream in Bitcoin would be a bit of a conflict of interest.


This is a good point.

If they want to redeem themselves, they should make clear their where they stand regarding bitcoin.

I'll understand if they don't want to accept donations because of potential conflict of interest.  But they could state that they will defend the freedom of individuals to use bitcoin.  If they do, I'll be more than willing to donate some bitcoin profits to them in US dollars.

legendary
Activity: 2100
Merit: 1000
June 06, 2011, 02:14:27 PM

They should send their coins to the bitcoin faucet if they do not want them.



+1 this would be exactly the right action from the EFF
legendary
Activity: 3654
Merit: 1935
June 06, 2011, 06:55:18 AM

They should send their coins to the bitcoin faucet if they do not want them.

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