2017 Annual Report

Electronic Frontier Foundation was founded in 1990 to protect the rights of technology users, a mission that expands dramatically as digital devices and networks transform modern life and culture. With nearly 40,000 dues-paying members around the world and a social media reach of well over 1 million followers across different social networks, EFF engages directly with digital users worldwide and provides leadership on cutting-edge issues of free expression, privacy, and human rights.

Our annual report features reflections from several EFF staff members about some of our most significant efforts, as well as financial information for the fiscal year ending June 2017.

To learn more, read our Year in Review series.


Cindy Cohn

The pace of the news last year felt unprecedented, but it wasn't EFF's first rodeo. Our team of lawyers, technologists, and activists have been poised and ready at the forefront of every critical battle in digital rights for 28 years and counting. In the following report, you will see why I have immense pride in our team.

Milestones in Digital Rights

tech icon, a robot


We brought together engineers and Internet pioneers to help restore net neutrality protections.

We released Privacy Badger 2.0 which currently has over 2 million active users.

We broadened Internet encryption through HTTPS Everywhere and Certbot.

We debuted our new, more accessible website which now features a Tech Tools section featuring projects like Panopticlick and Surveillance Self-Defense.

activism icon, two people protesting


We launched the Security Education Companion, empowering new audiences to train their communities.

We expanded Who Has Your Back with our partners globally.

Onlinecensorship.org launched a resource toolkit for journalists and expanded its reach on content moderation policy.

The Electronic Frontier Alliance grew to include 81 grassroots organizations in 27 states.

law icon, scales


We battled against illegal search and seizure of digital devices.

We fought against industry groups who were abusing copyright law to control public access to laws and standards.

We exposed secretive government spying and surveillance programs.

With 59 amicus briefs, we weighed in on free speech and privacy issues, advocated for fair use and consumer rights, and championed the public interest in many other critical battles.

Privacy at the Border

Alasaad v. Nielsen

Our groundbreaking lawsuit challenges invasive border searches of electronic devices.

Slippery Slope of Surveillance Tech

The increased use of biometric surveillance of travelers threatens privacy at mass scale.

Protecting Innovation

Net Neutrality

Schooling the FCC on how the Internet works.

Saved by Alice

Gallant tales: how small businesses and innovators defeat patent trolls.

Strengthening our Community

Security Education Companion

Keeping pace with the security needs of growing communities.


Around the world, bloggers and technologists are targeted and imprisoned.

Financial Report

Contributions from more than 40,000 dues-paying members from around the world form the backbone of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s financial support.


For 28 years, members have joined EFF to defend freedom of expression, protect encryption, battle with patent trolls, stand up for the freedom to tinker, empower users with technical tools and knowledge, and so much more. Because of you, our values live in the law, in code, and in the way we defeat threats and champion progress. Whether in the courts, in the streets, or appearing before Congress, we’re proud and humbled by our members’ passion for freedom and for the future that ought to be. Thank you.

Powerful fist holding lightning bolts with the words Electronic Frontier Foundation