Every year, EFF invites the world to the Pioneer Award Ceremony to recognize leaders on the electronic frontier who are extending freedom and innovation in the realm of information technology. Beginning with nominations from the public, EFF awards Barlow statuettes to both luminary individuals and groups whose contributions may be technical, social, legal, academic, economic, or cultural. You can view more information on this year's winners here. During EFF’s 30th anniversary year—and an extraordinary time for humanity—our virtual celebration will stream live at 4:30 pm PT beginning with a DJ set from Redstickman. Join us!

Watch Livestream

We are proud to present the 2020 award recipients:

Joy Buolamwini, Dr. Timnit Gebru, Deborah Raji
Artificial Intelligence and Racial Bias Experts
Danielle Blunt
Sex Worker Activist & Tech Policy and Content Moderation Researcher
Open Technology Fund Community
The Community Fighting for Global Internet Freedom

And joining us as this year's keynote speaker, Cyrus Farivar!

EFF Livestream on Twitch
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Musical Introduction: 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm PT
Pioneer Award Ceremony: 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm PT


This event is live and free with an optional $10 donation!

Please RSVP to let us know you can make it. Want to support EFF's work? Pitch in an optional $10 donation when you register, or just check out brand new EFF30 gear and donate at eff.org/PAC-join.

EFF Livestream on Twitch (Twitch Privacy Policy)
Simulcasts: Facebook Live, Twitter, and YouTube Live.
A recording will be available after the program on YouTube.

Special thanks to our sponsors: Dropbox; No Starch Press; Ridder, Costa & Johnstone; and Ron Reed for supporting EFF and the 2020 Pioneer Award Ceremony. If you or your company are interested in learning more about sponsorship, please contact Nicole Puller.

EFF is dedicated to a harassment-free experience for everyone, and all participants are encouraged to view our full Event Expectations.

Questions? Email us at events@eff.org.

More About the 2020 Winners
& Keynote Speaker

Cyrus Farivar

The keynote speaker for this year’s ceremony will be Cyrus Farivar, a longtime technology investigative reporter, author, and radio producer.

Joy Buolamwini, Dr. Timnit Gebru, Deborah Raji

Joy Buolamwini, Dr. Timit Gebru, and Deborah Raji’s trailblazing academic research on race and gender bias in facial analysis technology laid the groundwork for a national movement—and a growing number of legislative victories—aimed at banning law enforcement’s use of flawed and overbroad face surveillance in American cities. The trio collaborated on the Gender Shades series of papers based on Buolamwini’s MIT thesis, revealing alarming bias in AI services from companies like Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon. Their subsequent internal and external advocacy spans Stanford, University of Toronto, Black in AI, Project Include, and the Algorithmic Justice League. Buolamwini, Gebru, and Raji are bringing light to the profound impact of face recognition technologies on communities of color, personal privacy and free expression, and the fundamental freedom to go about our lives without having our movements and associations covertly monitored and analyzed.

Danielle Blunt

Danielle Blunt is one of the co-founders of Hacking//Hustling, a collective of sex workers and accomplices working at the intersection of tech and social justice to interrupt state surveillance and violence facilitated by technology. A professional NYC-based Femdom and Dominatrix, Blunt researches sex work and equitable access to technology from a public health perspective. She is one of the lead researchers of Hacking//Hustling's “Erased: The Impact of FOSTA-SESTA and the Removal of Backpage” and “Posting to the Void: CDA 230, Censorship, and Content Moderation,” studying the impact of content moderation on the movement work of sex workers and activists. She is also leading organizing efforts around sex worker opposition to the EARN IT Act, which threatens access to encrypted communications, a tool that many in the sex industry rely on for harm reduction, and would also increase platform policing of sex workers and queer and trans youth. Blunt is on the advisory board of Berkman Klein's Initiative for a Representative First Amendment (IfRFA) and the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project in NYC. She enjoys redistributing money from institutions, watching her community thrive, and “making men cry.”

Open Technology Fund Community

The Open Technology Fund (OTF) has fostered a global community and provided support—both monetary and in-kind—to more than 400 projects that seek to combat censorship and repressive surveillance. The OTF community has helped more than two billion people in over 60 countries access the open Internet more safely and advocate for democracy. OTF earned trust and built community through its open source ethos, transparency, and a commitment to independence from its funder, the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), and helped fund several technical projects at EFF. However, President Trump recently installed a new CEO for USAGM, who immediately sought to replace OTF's leadership and board and to freeze the organization's funds—threatening to leave many well-established global freedom tools, their users, and their developers in the lurch. Since then, OTF has made some progress in regaining control, but it remains at risk and, as of this writing, USAGM is still withholding critical funding. With this award, EFF is honoring the entire OTF community for their hard work and dedication to global Internet freedom and recognizing the need to protect this community and ensure its survival despite the current political attacks.


Redstickman founded the infamous Ambient Mafia in November of 1999, and they’ve taken over chillrooms in the San Francisco Bay Area by storm with their chunky and funky downtempo beats. Known for his unconventionality as well as excellence in DJ ability, he can be found behind the decks in random clubs from San Francisco to Japan, Bangkok to Malaysia. He recently returned to the US from his 7 month Eastern European DJ tour.