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Re: What is the EFF doing exactly?

>I would put forth that you know nothing of my efforts, and therefore are
>in no position to judge me.  I would also put forth that the efforts of
>EFF, or lack thereof, are quite public.

that's my point. an entity that is willing to put its
reputation on the line is inherently more valuable than one that
is not, imho. all the EFF members have good public track records.
what EFF has accomplished is checkered, like any battle-scarred
infrantry will experience. if you expect unadulterated success,
you're not living in the same reality everyone else around here

granted, EFF has made some serious compromises in their agenda.
they're finding their identity. but it doesn't help to have people
rant at them and ignore their notable successes, and tend to criticize
them merely because they're a public target.

whenever you criticize something, please keep in mind the basic
qualification: what is a better alternative? sure, EFF hasn't had
stellar success, but then, who has in the agenda they are pursuing?
their goals are extremely ambitious and difficult in the current
climate. lack of success is proof of the difficulty, not of any
incompetence, as I wrote. when you begin to understand this, you
won't alienate those you are critical of. EFF members are *tremendously*
open to positive comments. instead you harangue them and lose their
good will to the point that they may tend to ignore cpunk comments
entirely because of your very poor example.

>I think any organization that would apply political pressure rather than
>bow to it would be an alternative.  I think an organization in touch
>enough with its own policy to prevent its staff and board from making
>embarassing big brother type proposals to curtail the ability of any of us
>to post without attributation would be an alternative.  I think an
>organization without the internal conflict and strife that has clearly
>marred EFF in past and made it a laughable attempt at cohesive political
>persuasion would be an alternative.  I think an organization that had
>official policies on the core issues which it proposes to influence would
>be an alternative.

why don't you start one then? what you seem to fail to adequately
understand is that there is virtually no organization in the world
that is free from the difficulties you describe. whenever you have
multiple people working together, you aren't going to have clear-cut
successes. cpunks are always yelling at anything resembling organization,
which really annoys me. EFF has had tremendous powerful successes in
areas you are conveniently overlooking, in areas that are hard
to measure, such as increasing public awareness. can you make a good
case that EFF has had no positive effect? we may be living in a much
darker reality without them.

>In short, an organization that had even one of the needed elements of
>legislative influence.  (Cohesive, directed, persistent, and

our congress does not have this property after centuries of trying.
why should a private organization totally transcend it? face it,
getting things done in this world can be awfully tricky at times.
you make it sound like attacking Clipper or stopping any of the
legislation that has made its way into congress is a trivial 
endeavor. go ahead, please create a counterexample.

> What is so shocking about announcing that a
>given organization does not support my interests and therefore calling on
>others who share my interests not to make financial donations to said

you can criticize an organization without implying the people who contribute
to it are incompetent, a distinction that has subtly eluded you so far.

> Is there something EFF fears in free speech and political
>consensus building?  Perhaps if they had a straightforward policy....

no matter what they decide, they will be flamed by someone such as
yourself. they do have an agenda.

>Phrased another way, who cares what you are tired of hearing?

the EFF ranting is periodic, and your own sour comments are 
a repeated feature of this list. who *are* you? why are you so
critical of everything in existence? based on previous rants,
you're a habitual sourpuss.

>No, but when an organization espouses nothing on a given subject key to
>its mission, what does that say?  What about when its members espouse
>entirely different and even counter productive beliefs? 

again, you are presuming that anonymity is key to their mission.
that's a big leap of faith. there is room for honest disagreement.
you haven't heard of their agenda personally, so you are assuming 
there is none. from what I have seen, there is a reasonably 
cohesive agenda going on, and I'm not, like yourself, assuming
that it doesn't exist merely because I haven't seen it blared in
a noisy advertisement somewhere.

I agree with some of the EFF member's comments: anonymity could
be a very serious quagmire to support. there are probably better
trees to bark up.

>I thought its point was to protect cyberspace? 

of course, the interpretation of what is a threat is subjective.

>There aren't many battles to choose.  Let's seem some action. 

EFF has lobbied against many of the bills you mention. again, I think
you're being unfair in assuming merely because you haven't heard
of them accomplishing anything, they haven't.

>I do infact feel the cpunks have a greater track record than EFF.  Tell
>me, what has EFF done?  The list of "cypherpunk" accomplishments in terms
>of making the net a better place to be is, in my view, significant.
>Certainly the discussion here is livelier than anything I've seen from

ah, the fundamental illusion that is going on here. discussion alone
is WORTHLESS in changing the world. yet we have REAMS of it on the
cpunk list. I'd say EFF has *acted* and put enormous effort into
its agenda. but it is invisible because its not easily quantified.
ask them how many pamphlets they have printed for the public, how
much mail they have sent out to members informing them of
developments, etc.  consider the high-quality EFF newsletter. 
is there anything like that in the cpunk area? frankly I think your
comparing cpunks to EFF is really laughable. they are not even in
the same ballpark. it only shows how warped your concept is of what
an "accomplishment" is.

>You reveal here the basic character of your objection.  You don't like
>the fact that I criticized EFF. 

no, as I stated, criticism is great, but yours is written in such a
way as to imply your target is incompetent. your tone has changed
significantly in your letter now that I have challenged you on it.

>Well what, EFF, have you done for us LATELY?

EFF hasn't done much for anyone who hasn't paid their dues..

>English is not my first language.  Start paying my hourly rate to type in
>the thousands of words and dozens of legal summaries I send to this list
>every month and I will begin to proof read carefully.

your legal summaries are impressive. your rabid criticisms leave
a sour taste in my mouth. measured criticism, I can deal with.

>> and you, like many other cypherpunks and cyberspace weasels, 
>> have a whine-and-shriek-from-the-shadows bent.
>And your point is?
>You'd like the shadows lifted?  Speaking without a true name attached is
>somehow evil?

really, an opinion without attribution is not worth as much as
one with it. there's no escaping this simple concept. I agree that
a pseudonym can gain a reputation, but yours has very little
associated with it to qualify criticism of EFF imho. so you have
posted regularly to the cpunk list. big deal.

>This is EFF talking.  "The situation is hopeless, bail now to preserve

EFF has changed its direction from working in washington. a straw man
statement if I ever heard one.