Skip to main content

Free Expression Activist and Poet Birgitta Jónsdóttir Joins EFF’s Advisory Board

DEEPLINKS BLOG
August 17, 2018

Free Expression Activist and Poet Birgitta Jónsdóttir Joins EFF’s Advisory Board

EFF is thrilled to welcome Birgitta Jónsdóttir as a Technical Advisor on our Advisory Board. The founder of Iceland’s Pirate Party and a former member of Iceland’s Parliament, Birgitta is a poet, artist, and free expression and digital rights activist who is one of the world’s most inspiring voices for the possibility of the Internet as force for freedom.

Birgitta’s activism has been an inspiration to many, including EFF. In 2010, she worked with WikiLeaks to release a video of a U.S. helicopter gunning down a group of civilians and journalists in Baghdad. That put her on the radar screen of U.S. Justice Department, which sought to obtain her Twitter account records in an investigation of Wikileaks.

When Twitter notified Birgitta and others about the government request, EFF stepped in to ask a court to block the government from forcing Twitter to turn over Birgitta’s records. We sought to encourage other companies to follow Twitter and notify customers when law enforcement demands user data, which led to the creation of our annual “Who Has Your Back” report examining tech companys’ policies for protecting their users from the government.

 In 2008, EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow proposed in a speech that Iceland become a “Switzerland of bits,” where data gathered by whistleblowers, bloggers, and journalists could be safely stored in the public domain and remain online. Barlow’s proposal helped lead Birgitta to start the International Modern Media Institute, better known as IMMI, a nonprofit that seeks ways to enhance and empower freedom of expression, freedom of speech, dissemination of information and publication within Iceland as well as ensuring source protection and whistleblower protection. Iceland’s parliament unanimously voted in 2010 to make the proposals into law; Birgitta is now part of a steering committee group working to finalize all IMMI measures into law. In 2016 Fortune magazine named Birgitta as one of the World’s Most Powerful Women.

 Birgitta brings exceptional experience as a trailblazer on international issues concerning privacy, transparency, and free expression. We’re honored to have her as a technical advisor.

Back to top

JavaScript license information