Defending Digital Voices

As activists and ordinary citizens around the world are increasingly making use of the Internet to express their opinions and connect with others, many governments are intensifying their surveillance and censorship capabilities and taking legal or extrajudicial actions against bloggers and social media users.

The number of individuals in prison around the world for raising their voices online is on the rise.  In 2013, the Committee to Protect Journalists found that nearly half of imprisoned journalists were arrested for activities conducted online.  In a 2013 report, Reporters Without Borders cited 149 incidents of imprisoned “netizens” in a just a selection of twelve countries. Though the motivations of governments vary from country to country, the goal—to silence “threatening” voices—is the same.  

EFF supports the principles of free expression laid out in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and believes that those principles must extend online.  To that end, we work with groups and individuals around the world to fight back against the legal and bodily harms that bloggers, activists, software developers, and other Internet users face worldwide.

Our international case advocacy is centered around awareness-raising. Over the years, we have often heard from bloggers and other individuals who have been released from detention that shining a spotlight on their case helped lead to better treatment in prison or a speedier release.  It is from this premise that we work, additionally ensuring that we have full support of an individual’s loved ones before we proceed with action.

We often collaborate with other organizations to assist individuals and their families in finding legal, financial, and other support.  We have worked with organizations such as the Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI) and Global Voices Advocacy to work within the UN human rights mechanisms, initiate creative campaigns for detained individuals, and shed light on this global phenomenon.

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NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

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As EU politicians debate proposals to limit the free use of hyperlinks, digital rights groups stand up and say no: https://eff.org/r.68mc

May 6 @ 10:03am

EFF and 50 other groups strongly oppose @McConnellPress plan to continue Section 215 mass spying through 2020. https://eff.org/r.vz3x

May 6 @ 9:53am

EFF and 50 other groups strongly opposes @McConnellPress plan to continue Section 215 mass spying through 2020 https://eff.org/r.vz3x

May 6 @ 9:48am
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