Friday, May 27, 2016

The EFF is Orwellian as fuck

As this blog has documented many times * * * *, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is exactly the populist demagogues that Orwell targets in his books 1984 and Animal Farm. Today, the EFF performed yet another amusingly Orwellian stunt. Urging the FCC to regulate cyberspace, it cites the exact law that it had previously repudiated.

Specifically, the EFF frequently champions the document Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace, written by one of its founders, John Perry Barlow. This document says:
"Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather."
Specifically, Barlow is talking about a then recent act of Congress:
In the United States, you have today created a law, the Telecommunications Reform Act, which repudiates your own Constitution and insults the dreams of Jefferson, Washington, Mill, Madison, DeToqueville, and Brandeis. These dreams must now be born anew in us.
That 1996 Act adds sections to the telcom laws, such as this portion:
Title II is amended by inserting after section 221 (47 U.S.C. 221) the following new section:
          `SEC. 222. PRIVACY OF CUSTOMER INFORMATION.
Today, though, the EFF cites this section as to why the FCC should regulation Internet privacy:
The  Commission has the Statutory Authority Under Both Section  222  and Section 705 to Protect Consumer Privacy.
So which is it? Does the EFF repudiate the law, and want government to avoid regulating cyberspace? Or does the EFF use that law to encourage government to regulate cyberspace? Both have their pros and cons, but you really can have only one.

Of course, EFF supporters claim both. It's fascinating watching their doublethink follow the precise lines described by Orwell. They have no problems believing both ideas simultaneously. This shows that the real danger of totalitarianism isn't the evil dictators who impose it from above, but the willing populace (like EFF supporters) who champion it from below.

In any case, it's JPBarlow's document that was correct. The world is rapidly moving to SSL by default, defeating broadband provider's ability to invade their customer's privacy. That broadband providers are invading customer privacy is mostly just a strawman argument by the EFF, fearmongering in an attempt to pass unneeded regulation.


7 comments:

Smith said...

I would venture to say that your thesis could be generalized to be 'The non-profit political organisations of the anglosphere are Orwellian as fuck'.

'Orwellian as fuck' could be generalized to 'Accepting all that implies their narrative as truth, in defiance of reality'. I use the word narrative to describe their convenient illusion that they believe to be reality.

pjz said...

One of the ways to highlight that a law is stupid or unjust is to enforce it, oruse or use it in ways not envisioned buy creators, against them. The GPL uses copyright law to help subvert copyright law.

pjz said...

One of the ways to highlight that a law is stupid or unjust is to enforce it, oruse or use it in ways not envisioned buy creators, against them. The GPL uses copyright law to help subvert copyright law.

Security Leaders Group said...

Here is how I think about it. There are two camps: the do-gooder camp and the leave-us-be camp. The do-gooders think "something should be done about..." and proceed to work towards fixing all the world's ills. The leave-us-be camp seriously want to get on with their lives and work around all the restrictions the do-gooders impose. The leave-us-be camp do not join movements, go to rallies, or form non-profits to support a cause.
All political parties rely on both camps to get elected. Libertarians of course appeal directly to the leave-us-be camp with Republicans right behind them. The Dems do too with: keep the government our of our bedrooms!
So every two/four years the leave-us-be camp elects a bunch of do-gooders to office, because there will never be a true leave-us-be politician.

Will Chatham said...

"The world is rapidly moving to SSL by default, defeating broadband provider's ability to invade their customer's privacy."

Until Symantec makes Bluecoat a trusted CA. Let's hope that never -- oh, wait. Oops.

Alex Trebek said...

like a socialist organization, the EFF only likes it when regulations help *them* not realizing when those who disagree get into office, obtain power, they will use said regulations to suppress *their* liberty also

the 2008 housing market crash was enabled by glass-steagle being repealed, but didnt get rid of the regulation stating teh banking industry shouldnt be bailed out with taxpayer funding. if that piece of regulation had been taken out also, then banks wouldnt have made risque decisions that would detrimentally affect us all

Tony Schwartz said...

So, I was going to give $1,500 a year to EFF. This seems to be a garbage idea. Who wants it? Or who should I give it to?