The Electronic Frontier Foundation, founded in 1990, is a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the digital technology rights of citizens. According to its web site, the EFF is composed of political analysts, lawyers and technological experts who represent the public in bringing digital rights cases to court.[1] Mitch Kapor, former president of Lotus Development Corporation, John Perry Barlow, Wyoming cattle rancher and lyricist for the Grateful Dead, and John Gilmore, an early employee of Sun Microsystems, founded the EFF after seeing a need to protect citizens’ intellectual property.

The founders were motivated to create the EFF after the U. S. Secret Service seized electronic equipment and copies of an upcoming game book from a publisher named Steve Jackson. According to a 1990 New York Times’ column, Jackson had to lay off eight of his 17 employees and the financial security of his company suffered substantial loss. [
2] The founders of EFF recognized Jackson’s First Amendment rights were violated and decided to represent him in a civil liberties case against the Secret Service. His case established a precedent for protection of electronic and intellectual property for future cases.

**Recent Cases:**

**EFF and technology-related news:**
November 17th, 2009
S.F. cops may have gone too far in seizing DJ gear at underground parties
Jennifer Maerz, SF Weekly
The EFF is playing a role in representing DJs whose laptops were confiscated by San Francisco police after breaking up their warehouse parties.[3] According to the EFF news article, Civil liberties Director Jennifer Granick in the San Francisco-based EFF organization says she is “concerned about the recent laptop grabs because they've apparently been done without arrests being made.” She points out that police can seize property of someone they are arresting him or her. "You can't just go to a party and say, 'You can't have a party because it's after hours and you don't have a permit,' and just take people's property," Granick adds.
Read more stories at the EFF website,

EFF Legal Victories:
Manalapan v. Moskovitz (2007): case about the anonymity of a blogger
Apples v. Does (2006): bloggers’ rights and free speech case
MGM v. Grokster (2005): the INDUCE Act
USA v. Pen Register (2005): Cell phone tracking cases
Bernstein v. United States (1995): Coders’ Rights project

Related external Links:
**EFF web site**
**Bloggers’ Legal Guide:**


[1] Electronic Frontier Foundation web site: Nov. 14, 2009.
[2] Lewis, Peter H. The Executive Computer; Can Invaders Be Stopped but Civil Liberties Upheld? New York Times Co. Sept. 9, 1990.

[3] Electronic Frontier Foundation. EFF-related News: 11/17/09,