Ask EFF: The Year in Digital Civil Liberties

Presented at DEF CON 17 (2009), July 31, 2009, 4 p.m. (110 minutes)

Get the latest information about how the law is racing to catch up with technological change from staffers at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the nation's premiere digital civil liberties group fighting for freedom and privacy in the computer age. This session will include updates on current EFF issues such as NSA wiretapping and fighting efforts to use intellectual property claims to shut down free speech and halt innovation, highlighting our open government efforts with documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act on government surveillance efforts, introducing the Coder's Rights Project, and much more. Half the session will be given over to question-and-answer, so it's your chance to ask EFF questions about the law and technology issues that are important to you.

Presenters:

  • Marcia Hofmann - EFF Staff Attorney
    Marcia Hofmann is an EFF Staff Attorney focusing on government transparency and civil liberties issues. Along with her colleague David Sobel, she established EFF's FOIA Litigation for Accountable Government (FLAG) Project. Prior to joining EFF, Marcia was Director of the Open Government Project at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), where she spearheaded EPIC's efforts to learn about emerging policies in the post-9/11 era and was lead counsel in several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits. Documents made public though her work have been reported by the New York Times, Washington Post, National Public Radio, Fox News, and CNN, among others. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and Mount Holyoke College.
  • Peter Eckersley - EFF Staff Technologist
    Peter Eckersley is a Staff Technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He keeps his eyes peeled for technologies that, by accident or design, pose a risk to computer users' Freedoms and then looks for ways to fix them. He explains gadgets to lawyers, and lawyers to gadgets. Peter is currently putting the finishing touches to a PhD on digital copyright policy with the Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia and the computer science department at the University of Melbourne. His doctoral research focused on the practicality and desirability of using "virtual market" public funding systems to legalize P2P file sharing and similar distribution tools while still paying authors and artists for their work.
  • Fred von Lohmann - EFF Senior Staff Attorney
    Fred von Lohmann is a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, specializing in intellectual property matters. In that role, he has represented programmers, technology innovators, and individuals in a variety of copyright and trademark litigation, including MGM v. Grokster, decided by the Supreme Court in 2005. He is also involved in EFF's efforts to educate policy-makers regarding the proper balance between intellectual property protection and the public interest in fair use, free expression, and innovation. Before joining EFF, Fred was a visiting researcher with the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology and an associate with the international law firm of Morrison & Foerster LLP. He has appeared on CNN, CNBC, ABC's Good Morning America, and Fox News O'Reilly Factor and has been widely quoted in a variety of national publications. Fred has an A.B. from Stanford University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.
  • Kevin Bankston - EFF Senior Staff Attorney
    Kevin Bankston, an EFF Senior Staff Attorney specializing in free speech and privacy law, was EFF's Equal Justice Works/Bruce J. Ennis Fellow for 2003-05. His fellowship project focused on the impact of post-9/11 anti-terrorism laws and surveillance initiatives on online privacy and free expression. Before joining EFF, Kevin was the Justice William J. Brennan First Amendment Fellow for the American Civil Liberties Union in New York City. At the ACLU, Kevin litigated Internet-related free speech cases, including First Amendment challenges to both the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Edelman v. N2H2, Inc.) and a federal statute regulating Internet speech in public libraries (American Library Association v. U.S.). Kevin received his J.D. in 2001 from the University of Southern California Law Center, and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas in Austin.
  • Jennifer S. Granick - EFF Civil Liberties Director   as Jennifer Granick
    Jennifer Granick is the Civil Liberties Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Before EFF, Granick was a Lecturer in Law and Executive Director of the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School where she taught Cyber law and Computer Crime Law. She practices in the full spectrum of Internet law issues including computer crime and security, national security, constitutional rights, and electronic surveillance, areas in which her expertise is recognized nationally. Before teaching at Stanford, Jennifer spent almost a decade practicing criminal defense law in California. She was selected by Information Security magazine in 2003 as one of 20 "Women of Vision" in the computer security field. She earned her law degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law and her undergraduate degree from the New College of the University of South Florida.
  • Kurt Opsahl - Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation
    Kurt Opsahl is a Senior Staff Attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation focusing on civil liberties, free speech and privacy law. Before joining EFF, Opsahl worked at Perkins Coie, where he represented technology clients with respect to intellectual property, privacy, defamation, and other online liability matters, including working on Kelly v. Arribasoft, MGM v. Grokster and CoStar v. LoopNet. For his work responding to government subpoenas, Opsahl is proud to have been called a "rabid dog" by the Department of Justice. Prior to Perkins, Opsahl was a research fellow to Professor Pamela Samuelson at the U.C. Berkeley School of Information Management & Systems. Opsahl received his law degree from Boalt Hall, and undergraduate degree from U.C. Santa Cruz. Opsahl co-authored "Electronic Media and Privacy Law Handbook." In 2007, Opsahl was named as one of the "Attorneys of the Year" by California Lawyer magazine for his work on the O'Grady v. Superior Court appeal, which established the reporter's privilege for online journalists.

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