Thursday, September 19th, 2013
@ The Lodge at the Regency Center
1300 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94109

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

Tickets for the 2013 Pioneer Awards ceremony are sold out!

On September 19th in San Francisco, we will be celebrating the work of the 2013 Pioneer Award winners. The celebration will include drinks, bytes, and excellent company.

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

Aaron Swartz
Late Technologist and Digital Rights Activist

James Love
International Access to Knowledge Advocate

Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras
Journalists Chronicling NSA Spying


We are also happy to welcome renowned academic, author, and activist Lawrence Lessig as the keynote speaker. Professor Lessig spent more than a decade leading the fight for intellectual property reform and now is part of the campaign to reform computer crime law in the wake of his friend Aaron Swartz's death.

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. The awards celebrate those who have contributed substantially to the health, growth, accessibility, or freedom of computer-based communications. Their contributions may be technical, social, legal, academic, economic or cultural. This year’s pioneers will join an esteemed group of past award winners that includes Internet pioneer and inventor of the mouse Douglas Engelbart, science fiction author and activist Cory Doctorow, free software advocate Richard Stallman, privacy rights activist Beth Givens, and librarians everywhere.

Tickets are $65 for members and $75 for general admission. Also available are $250 tickets for an intimate advance reception featuring past and present Pioneer Award winners, keynoter Lawrence Lessig, and special guests.

More about the 2013 Pioneer Award winners

Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz's achievements and influence on the Internet and its activist community are profound, despite his untimely death at age 26 earlier this year. Swartz co-authored the RSS web feed format when he was 14 and was one of the early architects of Creative Commons. He was a developer of the Internet Archives' Open Library and one of the co-creators of the online news site Reddit. Swartz founded the online activism group Demand Progress, which was a critical part of the successful campaign blocking the SOPA and PIPA Internet censorship bills. Swartz was also a committed activist for the cause of open access to government and government-funded information. In 2011, Swartz was accused of downloading millions of academic articles from the online archive JSTOR, allegedly without "authorization" even though his access to JSTOR through MIT's open network was authorized by JSTOR's contract with MIT. He faced 13 felony counts of hacking and wire fraud, including some under the draconian Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). After two years of fighting the charges, Swartz tragically took his own life this past January.

James Love

James Love is one of the leading champions in the international battle for access to knowledge, defending everyone's right to free speech, privacy, fair competition, and health across the globe for more than 20 years. As the director of Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), Love was instrumental in the adoption of a global intellectual property treaty for people with reading and visual disabilities this year. Love tirelessly fought strong resistance from the intellectual property rightsholder community, and the result enshrines fair use rights – in this case, the right to transform reading material into accessible formats – into an international treaty for the first time in history. Love has been a crucial defender of users' rights against trade agreements with restrictive copyright provisions like TPP and ACTA, and is also fighting against the content industry's efforts to expand new, copyright-like rights over content to broadcasters. Additionally, as a civil society leader in Washington, D.C., he advocates for open, transparent rulemaking.

Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras

Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras brought the world clear and credible news and analysis about the massive domestic surveillance programs currently conducted by the NSA – transforming leaked documents by whistleblower Edward Snowden into riveting narrative that everyone could understand. These blockbuster stories exposed a web of convoluted, invasive spying on phone call history, email connections, and other communications data, sparking outrage across the globe and unprecedented admissions by the U.S. government about the extent of the surveillance. Greenwald worked as a constitutional and civil rights litigator before turning to journalism. He was the first recipient of the I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism and won the 2010 Online Journalism Award. Poitras is a documentary filmmaker and has won a Peabody Award for her work, as well as a 2012 MacArthur Fellowship. She has also been nominated for both an Academy Award and an Emmy Award. Greenwald and Poitras are both founding board members of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which supports and defends transparency journalism.

Get your tickets now! 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:

Subspace Sponors

Broadband Sponsors

Wireline Sponsors

Past Pioneers

2012: Andrew (bunnie) Huang, Jérémie Zimmerman, The Tor project
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 22nd Annual Pioneer Awards

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