2018 Annual Report

Since 1990, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has led the charge to protect our basic rights to privacy and free expression in the burgeoning world of technology. Increasingly, tech and the Internet are part of life whether you are texting a friend, navigating to a restaurant for lunch, applying for a library card, checking out test results from your doctor, or commenting on a cat video. The way we interact with the world has changed, and that presents as many challenges as opportunities. But along with over 30,000 dues-paying members around the world, EFF stands with you.

The EFF team is tireless in applying its deep understanding of law and technology to debates about civil liberties. We’ve earned our trusted voice in policy and legal debates thanks to a combination of unique expertise and decades of experience fighting for the users. This annual report features reflections from several EFF staff members about some of our most significant efforts in 2018, as well as financial information for the fiscal year ending in June of that year.

To learn more, read our Year in Review series.


Cindy Cohn

Even in shifting political winds, our lawyers, technologists, and activists continue rising to the challenge with determination and unfailing dedication to preserving civil liberties. We have so much to be proud of, and I’m thrilled to share highlights from 2018 with you.

Milestones in Digital Rights

tech icon, a robot


We renewed our efforts to secure the email ecosystem with the relaunch of STARTTLS Everywhere, a project that enables email server-to-server certificate authentication.

We improved Privacy Badger to block new kinds of tracking, including link tracking on Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

We saw HTTPS support continue to rise, and had over a million daily active users and over five million downloads of HTTPS Everywhere just in 2018.

We helped expand Internet encryption with Let’s Encrypt, which is now trusted by all major computer programs.

activism icon, two people protesting


We led campaigns opposing the use of surveillance technologies on communities.

We launched Who Has Your Back: Censorship Edition, to shine a light on content moderation practices at social media platforms.

We continued our work to restore net neutrality protections and relaunched the Net Neutrality Defense Guide.

We expanded our grassroots outreach, working with local groups across the country to defend digital freedom.

law icon, scales


The U.S. Supreme Court cited EFF’s amicus brief in Carpenter v. United States, a landmark decision holding that the Fourth Amendment protects cell phone location information.

We achieved final victory in our efforts to invalidate bogus podcasting copyright claims.

We defeated the government’s attempts to dismiss our lawsuit challenging warrantless searches of electronic devices at the border and obtained discovery that bolstered our claims.

We continued to fight against Internet censorship and efforts to weaken innovation on the web.


EFF and the Carpenter Victory

Groundbreaking Ruling Recognizes Our Right to Privacy in Location Data

The Stranger Case

Shedding light upon law enforcement’s data access and surveillance capabilities

Free Expression

Santa Clara Principles

Keeping companies transparent and accountable for online censorship

PETA v. Texas A&M

Defending your right to question and criticize government entities


Securing Email Communications

Leveraging Our Web Encryption Success to Make Secure Email A Reality

Georgia Bill S.B. 315

Joining Forces with Dedicated Partners to Defeat a Dangerous Computer Crime Bill

Financial Report

Contributions from more than 30,000 dues-paying members from around the world form the backbone of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s financial support.


EFF members around the world drive the movement for Internet freedom, and ensure technology users everywhere have a seasoned advocate that is ready for action. Together we are standing up for online privacy, the free exchange of ideas, and a world in which the public’s interests come before corporations and politicians. A better digital future is possible with your help.