[Fsfe-ie] EFF Tackles New Role in Europe

Teresa tmh1 at eircom.net
Wed Feb 7 17:55:43 CET 2007


EFF Tackles New Role in Europe

EFF Europe Office Opens in Brussels

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) opened a new office in Brussels
today to work with various institutions of the European Union (EU) on
innovation and digital rights, acting as a watchdog for the public
interest in intellectual property and civil liberties policy initiatives
that impact the European digital environment.

The new EFF Europe office, made possible by the generous support of the
Open Society Institute and Mr. Mark Shuttleworth of the Shuttleworth
Foundation, will allow EFF to have an increased focus on the development
of EU law. EFF also plans to expand its efforts in European digital
activism and looks forward to working with many groups and organizations
to fight effectively for consumers' and technologists' interests. EFF's
new European Affairs Coordinator, Erik Josefsson, will be an
on-the-ground analyst, activist, and educator about critical
intellectual property and civil liberties issues.

"In a networked world, protecting innovation and digital rights must be
a global effort," Josefsson said. "We hope this new office in Brussels
will increase awareness of European developments and enrich the policy

Josefsson was previously the president of the Swedish chapter of
Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII.se). FFII was
instrumental in defeating the proposed Software Patents Directive, which
would have brought an expanded software patent scheme to Europe.
Josefsson has also worked with European Digital Rights (EDRI) and other
European groups in fighting against the European Parliament's adoption
of the Data Retention Directive, which threatens to undo the existing
pro-consumer privacy protections in Europe. In recent months, Josefsson
has been part of a team of committed FFII activists opposing the
proposed second Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive
(IPRED2), which will impose harsh criminal sanctions and prison terms
for violation of intellectual property rights, stifling technical
innovation and imperiling consumers if not amended.

"Europe is at the forefront of policy developments that threaten
Internet users' freedom, from unwarranted copyright term extension to
mandatory data retention," said EFF International Affairs Director Gwen
Hinze. "We welcome the valuable European educational and activism
expertise that Erik brings to EFF Europe, and we are excited about this
new opportunity to represent the public interest in the formative stages
of European policy development."

Joseffson will be supported in EFF's San Francisco office by Danny
O'Brien, EFF's Activism Coordinator, whose past experience includes
digital rights work in the United Kingdom. Josefsson will be succeeded
as president of FFII Sweden by Jonas Bosson, who was one of the founders
of the organization and will continue to fight new attempts to make
software patents enforceable in Europe.

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