Today at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, we’re celebrating 32 years of fighting for technology users around the world. If you were online back in the 90s, you might remember that it was pretty wild. We had bulletin boards, FTP, Gopher, and, a few years later, homespun websites. You could glimpse a future where anyone, anywhere in the world could access information, float new ideas, and reach each other across vast distances. It was exciting and the possibilities seemed endless.
But the founders of EFF also knew that a better future wasn’t automatic. You don’t organize a team of lawyers, technologists, and activists because you think technology will magically fix everything—you do it because you expect a fight.
Three decades later, thanks to those battles, the internet does much of what it promised: it connects and lifts up major grassroots movements for equity, civil liberties, and human rights and allows people to connect and organize to counteract the ugliness of the world.
We work every day toward a future we want to live in, and we don't do it alone
But we haven’t yet won that future we envisioned. Just as the web connects us, it also serves as a hunting ground for those who want to surveil and control our actions, those who wish to harass and spread hate, as well as others who seek to monetize our every move and thought. Information collected for one purpose is freely repurposed in ways that oppress us, rather than lift us up. The truth is that digital tools allow those with horrible ideas to connect with each other just as it does those with beautiful, healing ones.
EFF has always seen both the beauty and destructive potential of the internet, and we’ve always put our marker down on the side of justice, freedom, and innovation.
We work every day toward a future we want to live in, and we don't do it alone. Support from the public makes every one of EFF’s activism campaigns, software projects, and court filings possible. Together, we anchor the movement for a better digital world, and ensure that technology supports freedom, justice, and innovation for all people of the world.
In fact, I invite every digital freedom supporter to join EFF during our summer membership drive. Right now, you can be a member for as little as $20, get some special new gear, and ensure that tech users always have a formidable defender in EFF.
So how does the EFF team celebrate this auspicious anniversary? EFF does what it does best: stand up for users and innovators in the courts, in the halls of power, in the public conversation. We build privacy-protecting tools, teach skills to community members, share knowledge with allies, and preserve the best aspects of the wild web.
In other words, we use every tool in our deep arsenal to fight for a better and brighter digital future for all. Thank you for standing with EFF when it counts.