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Re: What is the EFF doing exactly?

[This will be my last comment on this thread.]

On Tue, 3 Sep 1996, Vladimir Z. Nuri wrote:

> >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
> is.

If you're going to ask me for money and support, you damn well better
produce unadulterated success.

> 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.

Awww, poor EFF.  It just needs a little love and attention.
It's trying to be the best compromising entity it can be.  It's not fair
to criticize it.  We don't want to frighten it or anything, it might be
stunted for life.

> whenever you criticize something, please keep in mind the basic
> qualification: what is a better alternative?

Sometimes nothing at all can be 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

Again, I'm sure every violin in the place is playing for EFF and it the
powerful traumas it has to endure.  What do you think this is?  The
olympics?  I don't CARE how hard the job is.  You don't get things done by
being sympathetic in politics.  Maybe, Lance, that's how it works in
Colorado, but not in D.C.  Take the hearts and flowers crap elsewhere.  IF
they are asking for money I don't think that excuses are a luxury they can
indulge in.

> 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.

If EFF is so sensitive that my comments will cause them to close their
ears to their potentially most interested constituancy, well, EFF is an
organization that needs to die and be replaced.

> >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?

As I said before, you know nothing of what I am doing.  I don't buy the
"well then you do it" crap.  They are taking other people's money.  Do it
right because that is their JOB.  I don't have time to play about with
net politics in D.C. right now.  Nor, frankly, do I think my resources in
that area would do much good.  Maybe EFF can't do the job, which is the
position you seem to be taking, then maybe no one can and resources should
be allocated elsewhere.  Just don't come whining to me about how life is
so hard on EFF.  Deal.

 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.

Yadda Yadda Yadda and life is so hard isn't it a shame?

> >In short, an organization that had even one of the needed elements of
> >legislative influence.  (Cohesive, directed, persistent, and
> >uncompromising).
> our congress does not have this property after centuries of trying.

You confuse legislation with legislative influence.  Advocacy with
concensus building.

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

I can, but I happen to believe that they are.  Look at the slips.  A
political action organization cannot afford to have their primary members
spouting off like that.  It kills the organization.  It has, in my view.

Perhaps EFF has an important function.  Lobbying is not it.

> > 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.

What's their anonymous poster agenda then?

> >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.

When people are asking for money and promising results, I expect results.
If this makes me a sourpuss, fine, I'm a sourpuss.  As for who I am,
it is and shall be none of your business.  I understand that there is a
dtendency here to get flaky and passive.  "So what, they are trying."
Hey, life is hard.  Sometimes people aren't up to the task.  Fine, admit
it rather than dragging it on for years and move on.

If EFF ranting is periodic perhaps EFF should take a hint?

> >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.

Anonymity is currently the status quo.  Tell me, what exactly, if someone
takes the position that it is too hard to support, are they going to do
to, for example, prevent what I'm doing?

Will you be required to register with your ISP?  Provide credit references
to be permitted on the net?  Use a smart card with fingerprint checking to
log on?

Anonymity is the key.  Period.  Your failure to see this simply destroys
your argument.  Look Lance, just because you have not been able to keep
from being outted doesn't mean that some others don't benefit from

> 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.

If I haven't heard of EFF's accomplishments then they aren't doing their

> >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
> >EFF.
> 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.

So trying hard is the measure of success?

"But he was trying SO hard to get the gold medal, let's just give it to


> 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. 

Wait, wait.  Wasn't it you who just said "ah, the fundamental illusion
that is going on here. discussion alone is WORTHLESS in changing the
world."  How are pamphlets any different?

> is there anything like that in the cpunk area? frankly I think your
> comparing cpunks to EFF is really laughable.

I take that almost as a compliment.

> they are not even in the same ballpark.

Oh, I agree.

> >Well what, EFF, have you done for us LATELY?
> EFF hasn't done much for anyone who hasn't paid their dues..

So keep paying Lance.  At least you're getting some satisfaction out of

> >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.

If it's too hot...

> >> 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.

By your logic you're not in much of a position to commend EFF or
criticise me for that matter then, "Vlad."

> >This is EFF talking.  "The situation is hopeless, bail now to preserve
> >image."
> EFF has changed its direction from working in washington.


I hate lightning - finger for public key - Vote Monarchist
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