EFF Director Cindy Cohn On Why You Should Support Techdirt's Encryption Crowdfunding Campaign

from the it's-important dept

With our ongoing crowdfunding campaign concerning our coverage of the encryption fight, EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn kindly offered to write a plea on our behalf as to why you should fund our efforts.

Help Techdirt Cut Through The Confusion In The Crypto Fight

Techdirt is a key part of the digital revolution. They cover our work at EFF, of course, but more importantly, their original reporting and in-depth research help us nail down facts across our issues, and their analysis is strong. The clear way in which Techdirt's reporters lay out both technical and non-technical aspects of their stories provides an example for everyone looking to speak to many audiences at once.

I was so happy to hear that Techdirt is planning to gear up its coverage of the current fight to protect strong security and privacy in our digital world. We sometimes call this Crypto Wars Part Deux here at EFF. The FBI's efforts to undermine and compromise the tools we all increasingly rely upon and trust with our most intimate communications, information and plans create risks us all. EFF has been down this road before. We were leaders in the first Crypto Wars in the 1990s; I personally handled the Bernstein v. DOJ case that first freed encryption from government export controls and established that the First Amendment applied to the act of writing code. We thought we won that battle, but the FBI is back again (and the NSA apparently continued all along) seeking in various ways to undermine our security. We've stepped up again to protect our privacy and push for the common sense notion that we need to be able to trust the digital tools that hold, carry and store an increasing amount of our most sensitive information.

I was excited to have Techdirt focus on this because of Techdirt's long track record of trustworthy reporting. Techdirt's coverage of copyright issues, for instance, has resonated with musicians and technologists alike. During the height of the battle over music file sharing, Techdirt picked apart music industry "solutions" to show they weren't as attractive as they may have sounded. Nor is Techdirt afraid to take a stand. On top of their informative reporting on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA), Techdirt actively participated in a coalition, along with EFF, that organized a massive Twitter protest campaign against the privacy-invasive bill. Already, as the debate over iPhone security has brought encryption to broad public attention, Techdirt has done amazing work separating what people are saying from what their words actually mean, as well as providing the underlying legal documents so people can read them for themselves.

This time around the issues surrounding encryption are much bigger than they were 20 years ago and reach far beyond the technical community. More than ever we need media and analysis that won't be confused or misled, that will follow stories past the headlines and scare tactics and that will help the much wider range of people affected by this debate understand what's at stake. Luckily, Techdirt is up for the task and all they need is a little help from their audience to get there. I hope you will help.

Help Techdirt Cut Through The Confusion In The Crypto Fight

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