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POWER UP 2019

New technologies are radically advancing our freedoms, but they are also enabling unparalleled invasions of privacy. National and international laws have yet to catch up with the evolving need for privacy that comes with new digital technologies. Respect for individuals' autonomy, anonymous speech, and the right to free association must be balanced against legitimate concerns like law enforcement. EFF fights in the courts and Congress to maintain your privacy rights in the digital world, and works with partners around the globe to support the development of privacy-protecting technologies.

Your cell phone helps you keep in touch with friends and family, but it also makes it easier for the government to track your location.

Your Web searches about sensitive medical information might seem a secret between you and your search engine, but companies like Google are creating a treasure trove of personal information by logging your online activities, and making it potentially available to any party wielding enough cash or a subpoena.

And the next time you try to board a plane, watch out—you might be turned away after being mistakenly placed on a government watch list, or be forced to open your email in the security line.

Several governments have also chosen to use malware to engage in extra-legal spying or system sabotage for dissidents or non-citizens, all in the name of “national security.”

As privacy needs evolve, so too should our regulatory regimes. National governments must put legal checks in place to prevent abuse of state powers, and international bodies need to consider how a changing technological environment shapes security agencies’ best practices. Above all, we need to respect the rights of autonomy, anonymity, association, and expression that privacy makes possible, while also taking into account legitimate law enforcement concerns.

Read our work on privacy issues below, and join EFF to help support our efforts.

For information about the law and technology of government surveillance in the United States check out EFF's Surveillance Self-Defense project.

Privacy Highlights

NSA Spying

The US government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers including AT&T, has engaged in massive, illegal dragnet surveillance of the domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans since at least 2001. Since this was first reported on by the press and discovered by the public in late...

Privacy Updates

The Intelligence Community Took Months to Respond to a Key Question About Section 215, And It Still Doesn’t Have Any “Legal Conclusion”

Even with the looming expiration of Section 215 and other key provisions of the Patriot Act, it took the Intelligence Community almost four months to respond to a letter written by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) seeking clarification on how the Intelligence Community interprets the landmark Supreme Court decision in...
Image of the NSA Eagle listening to communications

House Lawmakers Extend Section 215 into Next Year Even Though They Had Years to Stop Illegal Overcollection of Americans’ Sensitive Data

With federal agencies set to run out of money this week, House lawmakers today passed a short-term funding bill that contained a nasty surprise. Tucked into the end of this must-pass legislation, in a section titled “Other Matters,” is language reauthorizing three Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorities currently...

EFF, Antivirus Companies, and Human Rights Groups Launch Coalition to Combat Stalkerware

San Francisco—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Kaspersky, Operation Safe Escape and seven other organizations today launched the Coalition Against Stalkerware to unite and mobilize security software companies and advocates for domestic abuse victims in actions to combat and shut down malicious stalkerware apps.Stalkerware, a type of commercially-available surveillance software...

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