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Recently I was reviewing the financial records for everybody's favorite internet libertarian organization, @EFF. My goodness, I was surprised to see $3million (about 25% of their annual expenses) came from cy pres settlement awards in 2017. #Thread
"Cy pres" is a frequent device in class action lawsuits. When there are a lot of potential plaintiffs (including people who don't even know they're eligible for $$) who could all get a relatively small amount of money. So instead of locating the correct people to pay,
the court instead awards $ to organizations or institutions deemed worthy on the theory that paying these entities comes "as close as possible" to giving the money to the actual people who suffered whatever harm.
In 2017, @EFF was awarded:
1) $1,726379 in a Capital One Suit b/c a man "received upward of a dozen" unwanted phone calls over a short period of time which were w/o consent;
2) $846,771 in Fraley v Facebook when FB users' names and likenesses were used in sponsored stories;
3) $187,212 in a Bank of America suit b/c BOA sent text messages and robocalls to cell phones w/o prior consent;
4) $125,870 in McCabe et al, v Six Continents when hotel group didn't tell callers to its call centers that call may be recorded;
5) $83,559 in Stanley Nader v Capital One when Capital One recorded outbound calls with customers w/o informing them calls were recorded;
6) $82,550 Chapa v TrueGreen when a lawn care company made calls to cell phone users w/o prior written consent ;
7) $9413 Wheelock v Hyundai

Now, I worked at nonprofits for 16 years and I know funding is ALWAYS a hustle to get. Largely b/c of these enormous cy pres settlements, they ended 2017 with a $5.4m surplus!!!
So, in 2018, you might wonder what EFF did with all that money from cy pres awards. if you think they used it to help folks who suffered from privacy invasions like in the cases that resulted in their awards, you'd be DEAD wrong. Just the opposite.
Instead, EFF filed court papers AGAINST. people who suffered some of the most heinous tech-facilitated crimes in history.
-- Filed papers in NY against a victim of child pornography who was seeking information about the people who shared and "liked" her underage images
on Tumbler
-- Filed papers urging the court to rule against a man who suedGrindr for allowing a stalker to continuously use its product to send strangers (1200 + in total) to the man's home and job to fulfill his "rape fantasies"
-- Filed papers against a family whose daughter
was brutally murdered because a website trafficking in illegal gun sales allowed this man (who had an outstanding restraining order) to purchase a gun.

So, to go over this, EFF collected $1.7m in other people's settlement money for a case
where a guy got a dozen annoying robocalls. That, EFF, says is a legit type of legal case to bring (especially if EFF gets the money!!). Yet, EFF used that money to intervene in lawsuits protecting corporate defendants being sued by folks whose lives were RUINED.
It boils down to this: EFF is a hypocritcal astroturfing nonprofit. EFF must return the cy pres settlement money and give it to orgs that actually help people -- not corps. Courts should NOT give EFF cy pres settlement funds in the future. @TorEkelandPLLC @MatthewSHerrick #END
EFF's annual report for 2017: eff.org/files/annual-r…

Also, I didn't mention all the word EFF does throughout the year around the country to block revenge porn criminal laws too.

[p.s. this is what folks like me do when the rest of the world is watching GoT]
The three cases I mentioned in which EFF intervened either in amicus or as non-party this past year:
Herrick v Grindr (2nd Cir)
Daniel v Armslist (Wisc Ct of Appeals)
Cooper v Broems et al. (Supreme Ct NY)
For further reading, see @yashalevine 's excellent piece about @eff in @thebafflermag thebaffler.com/salvos/all-eff…
Correction: the Tumblr case I meant to mention is DOE v Tumblr. (Not Cooper v Broems)
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