This week we conclude our discussion of The Hacker Crackdown with the final chapter, which covers the rise of the EFF. In early 1990, the idea of civil liberties online was little more than a notion in [John Barlow’s] head, but by the end of the same year, the EFF had formed to not only keep Phrack editor [Knight Lightning] out of prison, but to also successfully challenge the Secret Service on behalf on Steve Jackson Games.
[Sterling] details [Knight Lightning’s] trial in this chapter and it’s worth reading. Had the EFF lost the case, online publications would have suffered serious setbacks in terms of freedom of speech, and sites like ours would likely be considered illegal. Read on, dear reader.