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Re: What is the EFF doing exactly?

ah, the quasi-yearly ranting on EFF has started up. what a great
opportunity for drop-down-drag-dead flamewar.

Black Unicorn: I resent your holier-than-thou moral posturing
over EFF, and am going to attack it as representative of other
criticism I have seen of EFF. 

EFF is an organization that is professional and has
worked toward improving cyberspace. it is easy for someone
such as yourself to criticize such an organization anonymously,
but what is the justification of your criticism? to me someone
who has tried and failed, yet is still trying, is better than 
someone who has never tried. what *constructive* 
alternative to EFF do you propose? if you have none, please shut up.
I am tired of people announcing loudly to the world, "well if EFF
doesn't support [insert my personal jihad here], then they're 
a bunch of losers who don't deserve anyone's money".

>Why am I any more mistaken  for pointing out that a single influential
>member of EFF's staff or board is anti-anonymity and yet remains with the
>organization than you are for pointing out that a single influential
>member who happened to be anti-anonymity has left?

get a clue. an organization does not have to officially espouse what
its members espouse. what an organization espouses should be carefully
crafted. if all members feel strongly about an issue, yet all also
feel that it should not be part of the official plank, then that may be
a wise decision to leave it out. what an organization does *not* do is as 
important as what it does do. EFF is learning, by trial and error and the
hard way, to "choose battles wisely".

I would love to see more info about EFF's new direction. but one
can ask for such clarification without a rabid style such as your own.

>In so far as an organization is much defined by those involved, I think it
>entirely right to wonder aloud about the personal motives of the staff and
>board.  I think this PARTICULARLY prudent given EFF's reputation and prior

blah, blah, blah. why should EFF give the slightest damn what you think
of them? if you were at the helm of a competing organization that
was doing superior work, or a privacy lobbyist with a track record,
maybe they should listen. as it stands I think they are giving you
far more respect than you deserve by even responding to your
various scurrilous insinuations.

why do I see so much of this in cyberspace and on the cpunks list:
gripes, gripes, gripes by people who have no record themselves of
doing anything constructive...? the difficulty of doing something
constructive is proven by the failures, it is not necessarily 
evidence of incompetence or conspiracies. perhaps you, Unicorn,
feel the cpunks have a greater track record than EFF? 

>I would be most happy to be proven wrong and see EFF suddenly, in a burst
>of impressive moral fiber, speak out publically and take some political
>action to assure anonymous communication.

I would like you to explain why you feel the need to criticize EFF
for not necessarily sharing your own agenda.

>Well, let's have a clear official position issued then to end all dispute.

again, you fail to grasp: EFF may justifiably not want to engage in that
fight. it might be a wise decision.  who are you to dictate EFF's
agenda? why are you picking a fight with someone who might be the
best ally?

>I'm hardly going to support an organization that proports to be
>pro-internet freedom and yet has no official position on anonyminity. 

perhaps you would be more influential if you learned to spell what
you are advocating. (hee, hee)

> Of
>course you should expect people to wonder about EFF when you have no
> official position and yet some staff and board members seem to have a
>statist bent.

and you, like many other cypherpunks and cyberspace weasels, 
have a whine-and-shriek-from-the-shadows bent.

BTW, I reject the claim by some here (e.g. TCM) that the supposed change in
direction at EFF implies that such an organization is inherently
top-heavy and will fail in comparison to cypherpunk guerilla-style
"technology deployment."  it seems to me both the cpunk philosophy
and the EFF philosophy can coexist, and I really get tired of people
who can't think past a "only one can exist" worldview.

I also don't understand the anonymity fight by cpunks. it's the
wrong battle imho. ask any remailer operators how their services
are panning out. they will complain of the incessant spam and
increasing litigious pressure. I don't see any technological 
solutions to these problems. if there were, they'd have been 
invented now. 

let's face it, anonymity is a pain in the ass
to support. maybe there are other goals that are more crucial
that lie at the heart of anonymity. what cpunks are really
seaking is  "assurance of freedom from retribution". when the
problem is phrased more openly like that, other solutions become
possible and worth consideration. anonymity is only one such
way to achieve this goal. I for one would like to see more
experimentation with reputation systems. "aw gee, nobody knows what
one would look like". well, that's the point.