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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 extend your privacy rights into 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 security agencies 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...

Privacy Updates

Have we seen the last of the All Writs Act in the encryption fight?

“I think the All Writs Act litigation is most likely over,” says Electronic Frontier Foundation staff attorney Nate Cardozo. “Nothing’s saying they can’t try it again, but they’ve been burned twice.” Instead, Cardozo and other civil liberties advocates think the fight will shift to Congress, where the government can argue...

Encryption Fight: How Many Times Can The Government Cry Wolf?

"My best guess is that after yet another eleventh-hour reversal, DOJ won't bring another of these All Writs Act cases," says Andrew Crocker, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Instead, I think we should expect to see even stronger efforts to pass some sort of anti-security bill in Congress—the...

U.S. v. Damian Patrick

The Milwaukee Police Department secretly used a Stingray to locate defendant Patrick through his cell phone without a warrant. As we’ve seen in other cases involving Stingrays, the government did everything it could in this case to hide the fact that it used the device—from the court that issued the...

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