Thursday, September 20, 2012
@ Project One Gallery
251 Rhode Island Street San Francisco, CA 94103

6:00 p.m. VIP reception
6:45 p.m. General reception
7:45 p.m. Awards ceremony

Tickets available at the door!

We hope you will join us on September 20th to celebrate the work of this year’s winners. The celebration will include drinks, bytes, and excellent company. Online ticket sales have ended, but tickets are available at the door.

We will be proud to present awards to this year's winners:

Andrew (bunnie) Huang
Hardware Hacker and Activist

Jérémie Zimmermann
Anti-ACTA Activist and Co-Founder of La Quadrature du Net

The Tor project
Creators of the Groundbreaking Anonymity Tool, Tor.

EFF established the Pioneer Awards in 1992 to recognize leaders on the electronic frontier who are extending freedom and innovation in the realm of information technology. Public nominations for EFF’s 21st Annual Pioneer Awards closed on August 6th. Thank you to everyone who recommended people and organizations that have contributed substantially to the health, growth, accessibility, or freedom of computer-based communications. This year’s pioneers will join an esteemed group of past award winners that includes World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, security expert Bruce Schneier, open source advocate Mozilla Foundation, and privacy rights activist Beth Givens.

We are happy to welcome Matt Mullenweg as the keynote speaker for the 2012 Pioneer Awards. Matt is the founding developer of WordPress, the open source blogging software that runs millions of sites around the world. In 2005, he started Automattic, the company behind, Akismet, Gravatar, bbPress, IntenseDebate, and BuddyPress. Matt lives in San Francisco and has a crush on Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Tickets are $75 or $250 for VIP level.

More About the 2012 Pioneer Award Winners

Andrew (bunnie) Huang

Andrew (bunnie) Huang is an activist who takes a push-and-pull approach to open hardware: he contributes original open designs and also liberates closed designs. Huang's book on reverse engineering, "Hacking the Xbox," is a widely respected tool for hardware hackers. Huang has also released an open implementation of a man-in-the-middle attack on HDCP – enabling overlays on encrypted video without circumventing access controls. As part of his long-term advocacy for users' rights, Huang worked with EFF to help encourage more than 25,000 people to ask the Copyright Office for the right to install the software of their choice on their smartphones, tablets, and video game consoles. Huang serves as a Research Affiliate for the MIT Media Lab and a technical advisor for several hardware startups and MAKE magazine, and he shares his experiences manufacturing hardware in China through his blog.

Jérémie Zimmermann

Jérémie Zimmermann is the co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, an influential French advocacy group defending the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet. Zimmermann has been instrumental in the fight against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a far-reaching international treaty that would curtail many Internet freedoms in favor of extremist intellectual property protectionism. Zimmermann has worked tirelessly to spread the word about ACTA and the ways in which it would put a chokehold on Internet and digital rights. This July, after years of secretive negotiations, ACTA was defeated in the European Parliament. Zimmermann has also worked on numerous other technology policy topics, including freedom of expression, copyright, regulation of telecommunications, and online privacy.

The Tor project

The Tor project is the creator and and maintainers of Tor, free software that helps Internet users circumvent Internet censorship and protect their anonymity. Originally an onion routing project at the Naval Research Laboratory, the Tor project now comprises a wide collection of researchers, developers, educators, and advocates headed up by The Tor Project, Inc. Tor enables activists, journalists, and others to keep websites from tracking them and to connect to uncensored news sites and services. Tor's hidden services let users publish web sites and do other online work without needing to reveal their locations. Tor also enables software developers to create new communication tools with built-in privacy features. Ongoing global trends in law, policy, and technology threaten anonymity as never before and undermine our ability to speak and read freely online, but the groundbreaking work from the Tor project helps users everywhere improve the safety of their online communications.

Get your tickets at the door! For more information about the Pioneer Awards, please contact

EFF Would Like to Thank Our Sponsors, who make this event not only possible, but classy:

Broadband Sponsors

Dial-Up Sponsors

Past Pioneers

2011: Ron Wyden, Ian Goldberg, and
2010: Steven Aftergood, James Boyle, Pamela Jones and the Groklaw Website, and Hari Krishna Prasad Vemuru
2009: Limor "Ladyada" Fried, Harri Hursti, and Carl Malamud
2008: The Mozilla Foundation and its Chairman Mitchell Baker, Michael Geist, and Mark Klein
2007: Yochai Benkler, Cory Doctorow, and Bruce Schneier
2006: Craigslist, Gigi Sohn, and Jimmy Wales
2005: Mitch Kapor, Edward Felten, and Patrick Ball
2004: Kim Alexander, David Dill, and Aviel Rubin
2003: Amy Goodman, Eben Moglen, and David Sobel
2002: Jon Johansen and Writers of DeCSS, Dan Gillmor, and Beth Givens
2001: Bruce Ennis, Seth Finkelstein, and Stephanie Perrin
2000: "Librarians Everywhere", Tim Berners-Lee, and Phil Agre
1999: Jon Postel, Drazen Pantic, and Simon Davies
1998: Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, and Barbara Simons
1997: Hedy Lamarr, Johan Helsingius, and Marc Rotenberg
1996: Robert Metcalfe, Peter Neumann, and Shabbir Safdar and Matthew Blaze
1995: Philip Zimmermann, Anita Borg, and Willis Ware
1994: Ivan Sutherland, Bill Atkinson, Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman, Murray Turoff and Starr Roxanne Hiltz, Lee Felsenstein, and the WELL
1993: Paul Baran, Vinton Cerf, Ward Christensen, and Dave Hughes and the USENET software developers
1992: Douglas C. Engelbart, Robert Kahn, Jim Warren, Tom Jennings, and Andrzej Smereczynski

Photos from Past Pioneer Award Ceremonies

Ian Goldberg receing his award Malek Khadhraoui and Riadh Guerfali from Hardware hacker and 2009 award winner, Limor Freed (aka LadyAda), waits for the ceremony to begin. EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn interviews LinkedIn founder, Reid Hoffman, at the 2009 Pioneer Award ceremony. Famed author Cory Doctorow awards 2010 winner Steven Aftergood. Hari Prasad receives his Pioneer Award in 2010. EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards EFF Pioneer Awards The 2007 EFF Pioneer Awards The 2007 EFF Pioneer Awards The 2007 EFF Pioneer Awards The 2007 EFF Pioneer Awards The 2007 EFF Pioneer Awards The 2007 EFF Pioneer Awards

Photos by Quinn Norton and Amber Wolf.

EFF Presents the 20th Annual Pioneer Awards

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