April 11, 2002

DeCSS authors among EFF Foundation's Pioneer Award winners

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
[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

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

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:

For this release:

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

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