2020 Annual Report


Cindy Cohn

2020 required EFF to go above and beyond. The global pandemic forced us to instantly become a distributed organization even as we pivoted to ensure your civil liberties online remained protected in a time of crisis, all while our core work continued without missing a beat. And thanks to the strong and unflagging support of members like you, we succeeded.

Milestones in Digital Rights

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We hosted more than a dozen online events and “At Home with EFF” panels, with topics including COVID-19 and digital rights, fighting stalkerware, and LGBTQ+ digital rights.

We significantly expanded and updated our Surveillance Self-Defense resources, with new information on student privacy, network censorship, attending protests, and mobile phone privacy.

We expanded our grassroots outreach and strengthened the Electronic Frontier Alliance, providing support to groups across the country as they adapted their advocacy activities to pandemic restrictions.

We launched the University App Mandate Pledge, urging campuses to embrace consent, transparency, and common-sense information security around COVID-related technology.

We advocated against invasive public-private surveillance partnerships, especially law enforcement’s misuse of expanding private camera networks like Amazon Ring.

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After contributing our expertise to the legal fight in three different courts, we celebrated the Supreme Court’s Oracle v. Google fair use decision that will shape the future of software development and copyright for years to come.

We filed amicus briefs to the Supreme Court in Van Buren v. United States, with an ultimate ruling that finally corrected some of the worst interpretations of the CFAA.

We won our appeal for access to wiretap application records in the Riverside County Superior Court, setting a new standard for transparency and accountability in California courts.

We set precedents around the U.S. that prosecution must disclose the source code for DNA analysis, giving defendants a crucial chance to challenge potentially biased and unsubstantiated conclusions.

We successfully forced the disclosure of records regarding the race and ethnicity of parole candidates in Voss v. CDCR, making it possible for researchers like the ones we represented to work toward identifying and correcting bias in the criminal justice system.

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We launched the Atlas of Surveillance, a searchable database of surveillance technologies deployed by law enforcement in communities across the U.S.

Thanks in large part to EFF’s leadership and continued work on HTTPS Everywhere and Certbot, we celebrated a once unimaginable milestone: over 95% of the web’s traffic is now encrypted.

We applied EFF’s public interest technologist expertise to COVID-19 phone tracking, exposure notification, “vaccine passport” credentials, and more.

We launched Am I FLoCed? to give users more visibility into Chrome’s latest adtech experiments.

COVID-19 and Digital Rights

illustration of people walking with cell phones, with a see-through view of their lungs

Location Tracking and Exposure Notification

Resisting Overbroad COVID Phone Tracking Apps
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Digital Identity and “Vaccine Bouncers”

Scrutinizing the Risks of Digital Health Credentials
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Securing COVID Data

Building Data Privacy Rules on Shifting Ground
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COVID-19 and the Digital Divide

Connecting Everyone to Fiber

Law Enforcement Surveillance

The fight against partnerships between law enforcement and big tech can only succeed when we focus on their disparate harm to marginalized communities.

illustration of shadow of police officer on a home's door camera

Amazon Ring

Working Together to Confront Public-Private Surveillance and Digital Over-Policing
illustration of surveillance cameras with images of Black Lives Matter protesters on the lenses

Williams v. San Francisco

Fighting Against the Surveillance of Protestors

Disciplinary Technology

From stalkerware to bossware to student surveillance, consumer and enterprise spyware is on the rise and must be addressed as a whole.

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A Theory of Disciplinary Tech

Pushing Back Against Normalized Surveillance
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Student Privacy

Protecting Students From Turbo-Charged Surveillance At School and At Home

Speech Hosted on Platforms

It’s past time for users to take back control of their internet experience and online speech from the dominant tech company intermediaries.

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YouTube Content ID

Championing Independent Creators’ Expression Online
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Pride and Online Expression

Uplifting LGBTQ Voices Online

Financial Report

Contributions from over 38,000 members around the world form the backbone of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.


EFF members around the world drive the movement for digital privacy, the free exchange of ideas, and an online world in which the public’s interests come before corporations and politicians. Because of you, our values live in the law, in code, and in the way we defeat threats and champion progress. We’re proud of and humbled by our members’ passion for ensuring that technology supports freedom, justice, and innovation for all the people of the world. Together, we make a better digital future possible.

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