back to article Electronic Frontier Foundation ousts co-founder John Gilmore from its board

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) co-founder John Gilmore has been removed from any active role on the digital rights organisation's board but will continue to serve as emeritus member. "Since he helped found EFF 31 years ago, John Gilmore has provided leadership and guidance on many of the most important digital rights …

  1. jake Silver badge

    Clearly ...

    ... It's because his name is an anagram of "I'm ogler John", and we can't have that in this day of the hyper politically correct, now can we. Obviously, he has to go.

    1. trindflo
      Thumb Up

      Re: Clearly ...

      I love British wit. I feel I got smarter chasing this one down. So John Gilmore cracked the DES (and could have ogled our private bits), which ironically (given the anagram) got us off 56-bit to something more secure and less likely to be ogled.

      Then this sacking is payback for that revelation and probably other inconvenient views Gilmore had on things like privacy and liberty.

      Really witty joke/puzzle; thanks.

      What I don't get is all the downvotes; it doesn't seem that far-fetched he finally 'put it to the man' enough times to find out what happens when an elephant notices you are trying to irritate it with your spear.

      It does have a certain Hemlock feel to it. Happy Halloween.

      1. CRConrad

        Doesn't feel like it.

        The EFF has been such a stalwart against "The Man" that AFAICS the organisation as a whole would have stood against that, siding with Gilmore and not whoever wants to silence him.

        Then again, maybe you too were kidding; sorry if I missed that.

  2. pip25

    Sounds like something both the EFF and Gilmore would prefer not to elaborate upon

    If the quote from the man is to be taken seriously. Though that raises the question of why didn't he simply resign from the board then...?

    1. A nosy macro wound

      Re: Sounds like something both the EFF and Gilmore would prefer not to elaborate upon

      > why didn't he simply resign from the board then...?

      Presumably he had hoped/expected that (a majority of) the board were going to back him, and was either deaf or blind to the fact that they weren't. That, or his allies changed their minds at the last minute and screwed him over.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Sounds like something both the EFF and Gilmore would prefer not to elaborate upon

        I prefer the old days - when you simply had to battle Stallman in single combat, with Katanas

  3. Bartholomew Bronze badge
    Holmes

    curious

    So one has to wonder if the minutes from the last few board meetings involving John Gilmore are publicly available. And what was he blocking/endorsing that the rest of the board wanted/opposed. A quick search for "site:eff.org board meeting records minutes" did not help.

  4. eldakka Silver badge
    FAIL

    The EFF appears not to publish board minutes, nor to have posted its constitution or charter to its site (but does advocate for transparency)
    Do as I say, not as I do?

  5. DomDF
    Trollface

    Hypocrisy

    "The EFF appears not to publish board minutes, nor to have posted its constitution or charter to its site (but does advocate for transparency)"

    What hypocrisy, but hardly surprising from the EFF.

    1. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: Hypocrisy

      Wanna bet it was about money? We will have to look very carefully at what the EFF does from now on.

  6. Bartholomew Bronze badge

    The next two years of financial records may shine some light

    https://www.eff.org/about/annual-reports-and-financials

    If there is a massive jump in administration and fundraising costs (~33%) and a corresponding drop in programs funded (~66%).

    1. Notas Badoff

      Re: The next two years of financial records may shine some light

      And why do the books look good only because the US govt *gave* EFF $1.7 million.

      Payroll Protection payment April 2020, forgiven Feb 2021.

      And travel expenses went down only 30% in a pandemic? What would it take to decrease by half? Nuclear war?

      Event expenses were down over 50%, so who was travelling? It's like they didn't know how to use modern communications tools.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: The next two years of financial records may shine some light

        > And travel expenses went down only 30% in a pandemic? What would it take to decrease by half? Nuclear war?

        Maybe they were already having meetings remotely, so the pandemic didn't reduce them much ?

  7. HildyJ Silver badge
    Boffin

    Speculation

    I'm "Guardian" level contributor to EFF which gets me a newsletter (free on their website) and various tschotskes if I want them. But I am as much in the dark as everyone else.

    I can think of two possibly controversial recent actions that Williams may have disagreed with - EFF's support of Assange and their support of the Palestinian digital rights group 7amleh. I frankly can't see Williams objecting to either.

    But, I can think of one of Williams' positions that the EFF might have a problem with - his growing identification with drug law reform and marijuana legalization.

    I suspect it was the latter and the EFF wanted to distance itself from these issues (and the whole 'encryption helps drug gangs' narrative) but retain Williams as an advisor.

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Speculation

      “Williams”?

      Did you mean John Gilmore, the subject of the article?

  8. Danny 2 Silver badge

    John Gilmore as the next Man U manager

    A wee reminder. Privacy means you not releasing my personal details, not me having to release my personal details.

    Everyone knows who Banksy is, we just don't say, same as Santa.

    1. CRConrad

      Re: Everyone knows who Banksy is

      I don't.

  9. -v(o.o)v-

    My guess for the reason of the departure: woke dirtbags doing what they do best, a cancel circle-jerk.

  10. mty

    Honest question - is there still anybody on the EFF Board that actually did something groundbreaking like him? I herad of Bruce Schneider before, but the others are completely unknown to me.

    1. jake Silver badge

      That's pronounced "Bruce Schneier". He's a major force in cryptography.

      Vice Chair of the Board Brian Behlendorf worked on NCSA's https back in the day (so did I ...and hundreds of other people), and was part of the group that forked it into what became Apache. Was this "groundbreaking"? Not in my mind. He's an administrator, in the old meaning of the word.

      Board Member Brewster Kahle helped to invent WAIS. Groundbreaking? Not really. More of a logical necessity. Obsolete today, but brought us such charmers as Go ogle.

      Board Member Jonathan Zittrain did the first large-scale tests of Internet filtering in China and Saudi Arabia ... WTF? I thought this was the electronic FREEDOM foundation!

      And that's about it. Pretty much everybody else (board or everyday employee) identifies as a lawyer, an advocate, and/or an activist ... all of which are a dime a dozen in San Francisco, where they are located.

  11. phuzz Silver badge
    Joke

    we have not seen eye-to-eye on how to best communicate

    I like to think that this means he has decided he will only communicate in 40 column plainchant, written with sparrow's blood, on velum. Unfortunately the board wouldn't budge on less than 80 columns.

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