All EFF'd UP

Surveillance Valley author Yasha Levine has a piece in the Baffler this week about the Electronic Frontier Foundation, titled All EFF'd Up. He wonders why this advocacy group has been largely silent regarding the Facebook (lack of) privacy scandal, which blew up after the so-called Cambridge Analytica revelations (so-called because everyone already knew Facebook was a privacy ogre). He concludes that EFF (i) isn't really an advocacy group but simply a Silicon Valley lobbyist and (ii) is more concerned with government bad behavior than corporate. He contrasts the zeal with which EFF pursued the SOPA/PIPA anti-copyright legislation (which threatened to hurt the business model of the big search and social companies) and its lackadaisical efforts re: consumer privacy. Noting that EFF is heavily funded by tech giants, he adds that:

[t]he reason for EFF’s silence on the Facebook surveillance and influence scandal goes deeper -- into the business model of the internet itself, which from the outset has framed user privacy as being threatened by ever-imminent government censorship, as opposed to the protection of users and their data from wanton commercial intrusion and exploitation. Put simply, the lords of the internet care very little about user privacy -- what they want to preserve, at the end of the day, is their own commercial license against the specter of government regulation of any kind.

EFF wasn't always silent on Facebook (lack of) privacy. See for example, an article on Facebook's Eroding Privacy Policy: A Timeline. But that was eight years ago.