At EFF, we have long recognized both the opportunities and risks of a more online world, and so we were well positioned to envision a better future than the ones pushed by the government or giant corporations.
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EFF’s approach to privacy enables autonomy, anonymity, security, and the right to a life free from prying eyes. This allows for free association and expression—while also taking into account legitimate law enforcement concerns. National and local governments must put legal checks in place to prevent abuse of state powers, and international bodies should consider how a changing technological environment shapes security agencies’ best practices.
Computer security—and the lack of it—is a fundamental issue that underpins much of how the internet does (and doesn’t) function. EFF works directly on a wide range of security issues, including deployment of cryptographic protocols, like HTTPS Everywhere and Certbot; offering legal assistance to researchers through our Coders’ Rights Project; delivering practical security advice to activists through the Surveillance Self-Defense project; directly auditing open source codebases; and working on the development of new security standards.
EFF holds governments accountable to the public through federal and state freedom of information (FOIA) laws, the courtroom, and our megaphone. We showcase technologies and policies that help the transparency process, such as tools that make it easier to file and track FOIA requests, websites dedicated to whistleblowing, or open government initiatives to improve access to information.
EFF fights for free expression offered by new technology—overcoming the legal, structural, and corporate obstacles in the way of people around the world speaking their mind and accessing information and ideas. We should be able to use new technologies to publish our ideas; criticize those in power; gather and report the news; and make, adapt, and share creative works. This right is especially important for vulnerable communities, who must be able to safely meet, grow, and make themselves heard without being silenced or drowned out by the powerful.
EFF works to protect and strengthen fair use, innovation, open access, net neutrality, and your freedom to tinker. We challenge patent trolls in public and in court; argue in Congress for more balanced copyright and patent laws; and urge governments, funders, and educational institutions to adopt open access policies so established players do not silence the next generation of creators. Our digital future depends on our ability to access, use, and build on both information and technology.
EFF’s international team advocates for privacy, free speech, and an open internet in international venues and around the world. We expose mass and unwarranted surveillance, and educate unlawfully targeted users on how to protect themselves and their colleagues. EFF uses individual cases to highlight the effect of technology on human rights, and defend technologists from persecution and detention wherever they live.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. EFF is an essential champion of user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development, and has been since our founding in 1990. Our staff of nearly 100—including lawyers, activists and technologists—works to ensure that our rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our reliance on technology grows worldwide.
Our members around the globe drive the movement for digital privacy, the free exchange of ideas, and an online world in which the public’s interests come first. Because of our supporters, our values live in the law, in code, and in the way we defeat threats and champion progress. We’re proud of and humbled by our 39,000 members’ passion for ensuring that technology supports freedom, justice, and innovation for all the people of the world. Nearly 20% of EFF members in 2021 lived outside of the US. Thank you to all of our individual and organizational members!
EFF is grateful for the generous support of these public foundations in 2021 (partial list): Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web, Ford Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Kaphan Foundation, California Community Foundation, Swedish Postcode Foundation, Someland Foundation, and Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment.
Finally, EFF would like to thank and honor our co-workers and friends who have passed over the last year including Elliot Harmon, EFF activist for free speech and innovation, Peter Eckersley, former EFF Chief Computer Scientist who made the internet safer for everyone, Sherwin Siy, EFF friend, attorney and internet advocate, and Dan Kaminsky, EFF friend and computer security researcher. See EFF Annual Report 2021 PDF for more details.
EFF is not beholden to anyone but its members. Its staff is composed of legal, political and technical experts. EFF keeps me informed about issues important to me, and is, more than anything else, an organization that I trust." - 2021 member survey responses