EFF Announces Pioneer Award WinnersBy Chris Gonsalves Print
whistleblower, a Canadian copyright critic, and a pioneer of the open-source
movement are this year’s recipients of the annual Electronic
Frontier Foundation Pioneer Awards.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer Awards honor those that make “significant and influential contributions to the development of computer-mediated communications and to the empowerment of individuals in using computers and the Internet,” according to EFF officials.
This year’s winners are:
Mark Klein, the retired AT&T technician who exposed the federal government’s warrantless surveillance program.
When news reports of illegal government spying first surfaced in early 2005, Klein realized that he had unwittingly helped set up the systems that were “violating the rights of millions of Americans,” according to the EFF.
Klein turned over documents to the EFF showing how AT&T was diverting customers' communications to the National Security Agency. The EFF now represents AT&T customers in a class-action suit stemming from the domestic spying.
Michael Geist, the
Geist complained that the new law “would mirror the DMCA with strong anti-circumvention legislation, far beyond what is needed to comply with the WIPO Internet treaties,” and contained no protection for "flexible fair dealing. No parody exception. No time shifting exception. No device shifting exception. No expanded backup provision. Nothing.”
Widespread support for Geist’s protest, including a petition from
more than 30,000 Facebook users, led to the tabling of the copyright
Mitchell Baker, Chairman of the Mozilla Foundation and the former Netscape attorney responsible for all legal issues related to the pioneering browser’s product development and intellectual property protection.
During that time, Mitchell wrote the Netscape and Mozilla Public Licenses. Now known in the Mozilla organization as the “chief lizard wrangler,” Mitchell works as general troubleshooter, spokesperson and policy arbitrator for mozilla.org.
"The Pioneer Award winners this year show us how one person can truly make a difference in our digital world," said EFF Executive Director Shari Steele in a statement. "It's hard work to protect freedom, and we are so grateful for the invaluable contributions of Mitchell, Michael, and Mark."
EFF Pioneer Award winners
were nominated by the public and chosen by a panel of judges that included: Kim
Alexander, president and founder of the California Voter Foundation; Esther
Dyson, noted blogger and founding chairman of ICANN; Mitch Kapor, president of
Kapor Enterprises; Drazen Pantic, co-director of Location One; Barbara Simons,
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