Electronic Frontier Foundation Honors Pioneer Award Winners: San Francisco Ceremony for Gillmor, Givens, DeCSS Writers

San Francisco - The ceremony for the Electronic Frontier Foundation's 11th Annual Pioneer Awards will take place at the Cathedral Hill Hotel on April 17, 2002, in conjunction with the Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference in San Francisco.

San Francisco - The ceremony for the Electronic Frontier Foundation's 11th Annual Pioneer Awards will take place at the Cathedral Hill Hotel on April 17, 2002, in conjunction with the Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference in San Francisco.

[Media professionals are invited to attend the ceremony at 8:00pm on April 17, 2002, at the Japanese Pavilion at the Cathedral Hill Hotel, 1101 Van Ness Ave., at Geary Boulevard in San Francisco. Please contact Katina Bishop at katina@eff.org if you would like to attend.]

The online civil liberties group chose to honor Dan Gillmor for his commitment to accurate and cutting edge reporting on cybertech issues; Beth Givens for her dedicated work in fighting for consumers' privacy rights and in raising public awareness on privacy issues; and the DeCSS Writers, to be accepted by Jon Johansen, for their pioneering work on the pivotal program that enabled the development of a DVD player that runs on the Linux operating system.

Since 1991, the EFF Pioneer Awards have recognized individuals who have made significant and influential contributions to the development of computer-mediated communications or to the empowerment of individuals in using computers and the Internet.

Dan Gillmor

Dan Gillmor is a technology columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, Silicon Valley's daily newspaper. His column runs in many U.S. newspapers, and he appears regularly on radio and television, including National Public Radio's Morning Edition and CNN. He has been listed by industry publications as among the most influential journalists in his field. Gillmor is a reporter on the bleeding edge of cyber-technology issues. He has been known to spot a story and begin to cover it weeks before other reporters see its importance. He often educates his colleagues as well as the public and writes clearly about the intricacies of the complex and often esoteric conflicts facing cyberspace today.

Beth Givens

Beth Givens is founder and director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit advocacy, research, and consumer education program located in San Diego, California. Established in 1992, The Clearinghouse maintains a complaint/information hotline on informational privacy issues - the only one of its kind in the country - and publishes a series of guides on a variety of informational privacy issues. Givens has been fighting for consumers' privacy rights long before the mainstream world recognized a problem. She frequently speaks and conducts workshops on the issue of privacy and has often testified on privacy-related public policy concerns. In addition, Givens has been a member of several task forces studying the privacy impacts of technology on society. She is the author of The Privacy Rights Handbook: How to Take Control of Your Personal Information (Avon Books, 1997). She is co-author of Privacy Piracy: A Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft. Preferring to focus on her work rather than her reputation, Givens keeps a low profile and just gets things done, day after day, year after year. She is a committed and pioneering activist.

Jon Johansen and Writers of DeCSS

In 1999, while on vacation in France, Norwegian teenager Jon Johansen bought a DVD-ROM and DVD movies. Frustrated by having to run Windows in order to watch his movies when he brought them back to his own country, he joined forces with two other programmers that he met online and together they created the proof-of-concept DeCSS application. The source code for DeCSS made it possible to play encrypted DVD movies on a Linux machine. The program spread quickly among Linux developers who were eager to create a DVD player for the Linux operating system.

Jon received a national student merit award in Norway for his work on DeCSS. He was also included as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by the DVD CCA in California. The MPAA recently filed a complaint leading to charges in Norway, and Jon was indicted on criminal hacker charges. The trial is scheduled to take place in the beginning of June 2002. EFF recognizes the entire DeCSS team for their pioneering work on the program. As the rest of the DeCSS writers have decided to remain anonymous after witnessing the action against Jon, he has been chosen to accept the award as the public face of the work. He has willingly put himself at great risk to defend the rights of all of us, and EFF applauds his courage.

"We, as a community of people respecting rights in technology, do not take enough opportunity to honor our own," stated Shari Steele, Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Dan, Beth and Jon are shining examples of the spirit and energy that make the Internet great. We're proud to present them with this year's Pioneer Awards."

The judges for this year's EFF Pioneer Awards were: Herb Brody (Deputy Editor, Technology Review), Moira Gunn (Host, "Tech Nation", National Public Radio), Donna L. Hoffman (Professor of Management and Co-Director, eLab, Vanderbilt University), Peter G. Neumann (Principal Scientist, SRI Intl.; Moderator, ACM Risks Forum), Drazen Pantic (Media & Tech. Director, NYU Center for War, Peace, & the News Media), Barbara Simons (past President, Association for Computing Machinery, & U.C. Berkeley Distinguished Alumnus), Karen G. Schneider (Coordinator of Librarians' Index to the Internet).

The 11th Annual EFF Pioneer Awards ceremony will be held on the evening of April 17th, 2002, at the Cathedral Hill Hotel in the Japanese Pavilion. The ceremony and reception are made possible by contributions from the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology.

For more information on the EFF Pioneer Awards, see: http://www.eff.org/awards/pioneer.html

For this release: http://w2.eff.org/awards/20020411_eff_pioneer_pr.html 

About EFF:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil liberties organization working to protect rights in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF actively encourages and challenges industry and government to support free expression, privacy, and openness in the information society. EFF is a member-supported organization and maintains one of the most-linked-to websites in the world at http://www.eff.org/