EFF Apology

[I was touched. And impressed.]
[posted with permission]

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 17:02:27 -0300
To: Seth Finkelstein <sethf[at-sign]MIT.EDU>
From: Shari Steele <ssteele[at-sign]eff.org>
Subject: Re: A request for a formal EFF apology

Hi Seth.
Let me start with a personal apology for not getting back to you sooner. My inbox is overwhelming, and notes requiring more than a cursory answer, like yours, too often get relegated to a back burner. That in combination with me changing computers helped me forget to get back to you until Stanton asked me about it this weekend.

Wow. There are so many things that seem to have been done so wrong here. EFF should have defended you and your work from the start. I'm very comfortable saying that publicly. Shedding a light on what these filtering programs actually do has been essential to fighting their widespread implementation. To the extent that anyone on staff here interfered with your efforts to provide the world with these blacklists, I offer a humble organizational apology.

I'm not sure where we go from here, though. You indicated that you're not doing this anymore. Why not? Is anyone doing it? You mentioned a DMCA lawsuit, but what about a lawsuit directly against the filtering companies for false advertising? I haven't researched this, but it seems to me that there's something sinister about what they represent to customers versus what they actually provide.

Anyway, my apologies. I consider what you did an heroic act, and EFF (and everyone else in the civlib community) should have always appreciated that.

Take care.

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