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Re: What is the EFF doing exactly?

James A. Donald typed:
> At 12:53 PM 9/3/96 -0700, Stanton McCandlish wrote:
> > EFF in generally does not issue extremist position 
> > statements, but is careful to examine the risks as well as the benefits, 
> > and look for pro-liberty solutions to those risks. 
> If the right to speak anonymously is an "extremist" position in the eyes
> of the EFF, then they are no friends of liberty.

Recognition of the right to anything without recognition of the ethics 
that need to be observed in excerising that right, is an extremist 
position just as much as is a demand people give up liberty so that 
"responsibility" can be enforced. It's probably far less dangerous in 
most cases, but it's still rather indefensible.  That's all.  We 
certainly do NOT advocate what you may be misinterpreting as our 
position: that rights should or must be taken away when people behave 
unethically, or due to the fear that people will behave unethically. 
That's precisely the opposite of our opinion on everything we have an 
opinion on.  We hold that liberty must be preserved *in spite of* 
inevitable abuses.  But we also hold that it's important to know the 
ethics that come with rights, to adhere to them, to educate other people 
about them. Otherwise the rights aren't worth much.  What is the value of 
free speech if every message you receive is a threat, defamation, spam, 
or private information stolen from someone else? (to give a fairly 
extreme example).

> It is the overwhelmingly mainstream position, not just among netizens,
> but when last heard, amongst supreme court judges and ordinary people
> in the street.

I believe we are talking about precisely the same position, just in 
different terms.  Let's not argue. :)

<HTML><A HREF="http://www.eff.org/~mech/">    Stanton McCandlish
</A><HR><A HREF="mailto:[email protected]">        [email protected]
</A><P><A HREF="http://www.eff.org/">         Electronic Frontier Foundation
</A><P><A HREF="http://www.eff.org/A">        Online Activist    </A></HTML>