Want to see the Electronic Frontier Foundation at the annual SXSW conference and festival in 2019? Help us get there by voting for our panels in the SXSW Panel Picker!

Every year, the Internet has a chance to choose what panels will be featured at the event. We’re asking friends and fans to take a moment to vote for us.

Here's how you can help EFF:

  1. Visit the Panel Picker site and login or register for a new account.
  2. Click each of the links below.
  3. Click the “Vote up” button on the left of the page, next to the panel description.
  4. Share this blog post!
    Suggested tweet: Help @EFF get to SXSW! You can vote in SXSW's Panel Picker: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/08/help-send-eff-sxsw-2019

Here are the panels with EFF staff members—please upvote!

With four exciting panel proposals on subjects from combating misinformation on the web to a discussion of whether or not science-fiction is doing a good job at talking about AI, you can help us keep SXSW as an incubator of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity, and also as a place where experts discuss what those technologies mean for digital rights.

Here is more info on the panels we’re hoping to join:

8-Bit Policies in a 4K World: Adapting Law to Tech

The speed at which technology is developing is unprecedented in our history, yet politicians are as jammed up and at loggerheads as ever. The Senate hearing with Mark Zuckerberg revealed how little our political leaders actually understand what's going on, but we're still bound by the decisions they make regarding the technology we use on a daily basis. SOPA, PIPA, and the FCC's vote against Net Neutrality are specific instances of politicians being at odds with public opinion, where technology enthusiasts feel the constant struggle to stem the tide of harmful legislation, and many may be left wondering - where is this going?


  • Alex Shahrestani, Board Member, EFF-Austin, Digital Arts Coalition 
  • Shahid Buttar, Director of Grassroots Advocacy, Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Jan Gerlach, Public Policy Manager, Wikimedia Foundation

Join us as we discuss how to engage with our representatives and help them craft flexible policies that address the ever-changing tech landscape.

Fighting Misinformation and Defending the Open Web

The spread of misinformation is becoming an increasing problem in countries around the world. In particular during election times, social media platforms have been used to strategically to influence public opinion – from the Philippines, to Kenya, from Germany to the USA. Lack of net neutrality and the dominance of platforms like Facebook with its zero rating services are contributing to this becoming an increasing problem for democracy.

Internet activists from Africa, Europe and the USA will give insights into different government attempts to introduce new legislation combating the spread of misinformation as well as civil society strategies to defend freedom of speech and promote access to pluralistic information sources.


  • Geraldine de Bastion, Founder / International Executive Director, Global Innovation Gathering
  • Nanjira Sambuli, Consultant , Web Foundation
  • Markus Beckedahl, Founder, Netzpolitik
  • Jillian York, Director for International Freedom of Expression, EFF

Beyond the Surveillance Business Model: Why & How

It’s time to talk about the future – how technology developers and companies can successfully move beyond the surveillance business model.

Trump, Cambridge Analytica and the growing scope of cybersecurity crises have been a wake-up call to the public, tech employees, and investors about the high price of the collect-it-all business model and the grave impact it can have on society. New comprehensive European and California privacy law have changed the landscape and the risk for surveillance business models.

Get the inside track from Silicon Valley journalist and author Brad Stone, Duck Duck Go Founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg, EFF’s Executive Director Cindy Cohn, and the ACLU’s Nicole Ozer on why and how to build a successful business model beyond surveillance.


  • Nicole Ozer, Technology & Civil Liberties Director, ACLU of California
  • Gabriel Weinberg, Founder and CEO, Duck Duck Go
  • Brad Stone, Senior Executive Editor, Bloomberg Technology
  • Cindy Cohn, Executive Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Untold AI: Is Sci-Fi Telling Us the Right Stories?

How do depictions of Artificial Intelligence in popular science fiction affect how we think about real AI and its future? How has fiction about AI influenced the development of AI technology and policy in the real world? (And do we really have to talk about Terminator’s Skynet or 2001’s Hal 9000 every damned time we talk about the risks of AI?) Join bestselling sci-fi authors Cory Doctorow and Malka Older, scifiinterfaces.com editor Chris Noessel, along with futurism and AI policy experts as they examine what TV, movies, games, and sci-fi literature are telling us about AI, compare those lessons to real-world AI tech & policy, and identify the stories that we should be telling ourselves about AI, but aren’t.


  • Christopher Noessel, Designer, IBM
  • Cory Doctorow, Apollo 1201, Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Malka Older, Author, Self-employed
  • Rashida Richardson, Director of Policy Research, AI Now Institute

Thanks for your help!