[A2k] EFF Pioneer Awards

Asma Rehan asmarhn at googlemail.com
Thu Aug 22 23:22:57 PDT 2013


https://www.eff.org/press/releases/late-digital-rights-activist-international-access-knowledge-advocate-and-nsa-spying

*
**Late Digital Rights Activist, International Access to Knowledge Advocate,
and NSA Spying Journalists Win EFF Pioneer Awards*
*EFF to Honor Aaron Swartz, James Love, and Glenn Greenwald and Laura
Poitras Next Month in San Francisco Ceremony*

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is pleased to
announce the distinguished winners of the 2013 Pioneer Awards: late digital
rights activist Aaron Swartz, international access to knowledge advocate
James Love, and Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras – the journalists behind
the blockbuster stories detailing extensive spying by the U.S. National
Security Agency (NSA).

The award ceremony will be held the evening of September 19 at the Lodge at
the Regency Center in San Francisco. Renowned academic, author, and
activist Professor Lawrence Lessig will be the keynote speaker.

Pioneer award winners Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras brought the world
clear and credible news and analysis about the massive domestic
surveillance programs currently conducted by the NSA – transforming leaked
documents by whistleblower Edward Snowden into riveting narrative that
everyone could understand. These blockbuster stories exposed a web of
convoluted, invasive spying on phone call history, email connections, and
other communications data, sparking outrage across the globe and
unprecedented admissions by the U.S. government about the extent of the
surveillance. Greenwald worked as a constitutional and civil rights
litigator before turning to journalism. He was the first recipient of the
I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism and won the 2010 Online
Journalism Award. Poitras is a documentary filmmaker and has won a Peabody
Award for her work, as well as a 2012 MacArthur Fellowship. She has also
been nominated for both an Academy Award and an Emmy Award. Greenwald and
Poitras are both founding board members of the Freedom of the Press
Foundation, which supports and defends transparency journalism.

James Love is one of the leading champions in the international battle for
access to knowledge, defending everyone's right to free speech, privacy,
fair competition, and health across the globe for more than 20 years. As
the director of Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), Love was
instrumental in the adoption of a global intellectual property treaty for
people with reading and visual disabilities this year. Love tirelessly
fought strong resistance from the intellectual property rightsholder
community, and the result enshrines fair use rights – in this case, the
right to transform reading material into accessible formats – into an
international treaty for the first time in history. Love has been a crucial
defender of users' rights against trade agreements with restrictive
copyright provisions like TPP and ACTA, and is also fighting against the
content industry's efforts to expand new, copyright-like rights over
content to broadcasters. Additionally, as a civil society leader in
Washington, D.C., he advocates for open, transparent rulemaking.

Aaron Swartz's achievements and influence on the Internet and its activist
community are profound, despite his untimely death at age 26 earlier this
year. Swartz co-authored the RSS web feed format when he was 14 and was one
of the early architects of Creative Commons. He was a developer of the
Internet Archives' Open Library and one of the co-creators of the online
news site Reddit. Swartz founded the online activism group Demand Progress,
which was a critical part of the successful campaign blocking the SOPA and
PIPA Internet censorship bills. Swartz was also a committed activist for
the cause of open access to government and government-funded information.
In 2011, Swartz was accused of downloading millions of academic articles
from the online archive JSTOR, allegedly without "authorization" even
though his access to JSTOR through MIT's open network was authorized by
JSTOR's contract with MIT. He faced 13 felony counts of hacking and wire
fraud, including some under the draconian Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
(CFAA). After two years of fighting the charges, Swartz tragically took his
own life this past January.

"Aaron was nominated for a Pioneer Award regularly over the years, and we
always thought we'd have a long time to give it to him – he had done
amazing work so far, and we knew that over time he would continue to
contribute to building a better future for the Internet and digital
rights," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "All of EFF is heartbroken at
his passing and that we didn't seize the opportunity to give Aaron this
honor while he was still with us. But we'll do our best to celebrate his
life and do justice to his giant body of work."

"What all of this year's Pioneer Award winners have in common is the desire
to democratize the flow of information, and they have all made the world a
better, fairer place through their tireless efforts," said EFF Executive
Director Shari Steele. "We are so proud to be able to honor them and their
extraordinary achievements at the ceremony on September 19th."

Tickets to the Pioneer Awards are $65 for EFF members and $75 for
non-members. Also available are tickets to a special advance reception
featuring past and present Pioneer Award winners, special guests, and
keynoter Lawrence Lessig, who spent more than a decade leading the fight
for intellectual property reform and now is part of the campaign to reform
computer crime law in the wake of his friend Aaron Swartz's death.

Awarded every year since 1992, EFF's Pioneer Awards recognize the leaders
who are extending freedom and innovation on the electronic frontier.
Previous honorees include Tim Berners-Lee, the Tor Project, Limor "Ladyada"
Fried, Linus Torvalds, and Tunisian blogging collective Nawaat, among many
others. Sponsors of this year's Pioneer Awards include Automattic, Inc.,
Facebook, SaurikIT, JunkEmailFilter.com, JibJab, and Pinterest.



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