EFF then (2008) and now (2016)

The EFF has published a full page ad in Wired, addressing the tech industry, saying:

Your threat model has just changed.

EFF’s full-page Wired ad: Dear tech, delete your logs before it’s too late.

Rather remarkable change in just eight years.

Although I can’t show you the EFF’s “amusing” video described in Wired as follows:

THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER Foundation is feeling a little jolly these days.

As part of its latest donor campaign, it’s created a brief, albeit humorous animated video espousing why it needs your cash.

Among other things, the video highlights the group’s fight for electronic rights, including its lawsuit challenging President Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping on Americans.

The lawsuit prompted Congress to immunize telecoms that freely gave your private data to the Bush administration — without warrants. (The EFF is now challenging that immunity legislation, which was supported by President-elect Barack Obama.)

What’s more, the EFF video, released Wednesday, reviews the group’s quest for fair use of copyrighted works, working electronic voting machines, and how it foiled wrongly issued patents.

It’s not on the EFF site, not available from the Wayback Machine, but it sounds very different from the once in a lifetime fund raising opportunity presented by President-elect Trump.

President Obama could have ended all of the surveillance apparatus that was in place when he took office. Dismantled it entirely. So that Trump would be starting over from scratch.

But no, the EFF has spent the last eight years working within the system in firm but polite disagreement.

The result of which is President-elect Trump has at his disposal a surveillance system second to none.

The question isn’t whether we should have more transparency for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court but to strike at its very reason for existence. The charade of international terrorism.

Have you ever heard the EFF argue that toddlers kill more Americans every year than terrorists? Or any of the other statistics that demonstrate the absurdity of US investment in stopping a non-problem?

If you are serious about stopping surveillance then we need to strike at its rationale for existence.

Tolerance of surveillance, the EFF position, is a guarantee that surveillance will continue.

PS: Cory Doctorow attempts to make the case that President-elect Trump will do worse than President Obama. It’s possible but considering what Obama has done, it’s too close to call at this point. (You do realize we already have databases of Muslims, yes? So playing the “Trump says he will build a database of Muslims” card, yes, he said that, is deceptive. It already exists.)

I agree we are in danger from the incoming administration but it’s a factual issue whether it will be any worse than the present one.

The distance between said and actual policy can be quite large. Recalling that Obama promised to close our illegal detention of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Yet, eight years later a number of them remain there still.

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