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EFF defends your ability to use the Internet as a platform for free expression through law, technology, and activism. The Internet has radically enhanced our access to information in countless ways, and empowered anyone to share ideas and connect with the entire world. Yet while speech is invited and empowered on the electronic frontier, it is also sometimes threatened.

Freed of the limitations inherent in traditional print or broadcast media created—and constrained—by corporate gatekeepers, speech thrives online. Social networking websites allow groups of a dozen friends to grow into massive communities that transcend national borders. Meanwhile, community journalists have used microblogging and video live-streaming to expose the world to stories that long went unheard. Websites like Wikipedia and the Internet Archive have pioneered an open-source model of sharing and preserving information.

On the other hand, speech is also threatened online. Coders and developers risk criminal penalties for practicing the kind of digital tinkering, repair, and exploration that enable innovation. Similarly, dissidents and activists, especially those whose opinions may be unpopular where they live, confront chilling effects imposed by government surveillance programs that constrain their freedom of expression. Journalists and researchers can also be stymied by government agencies that limit public access to certain information.

The technological capacity enabling even great wonders can mean little when users are denied legal protections for their creativity. Without sufficient legal protections for users and innovators, it's all too easy for governments and companies to undermine your rights. Learn more below and consider supporting our efforts.

Free Speech Highlights

Free Speech is Only as Strong as the Weakest Link

From Mubarak knocking a country offline by pressuring local ISPs to PayPal caving to political pressure to cut off funding to WikiLeaks, this year has brought us sobering examples of how online speech can be endangered. And it’s not only political speech that is threatened – in the United...

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

47 U.S.C. § 230, a Provision of the Communication Decency Act Tucked inside the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996 is one of the most valuable tools for protecting freedom of expression and innovation on the Internet: Section 230. This comes somewhat as a surprise, since the original purpose of...

Free Speech Updates

EFF Wins Apple Appeal

A California state appeals court ruled in favor of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF's) petition on behalf of three online journalists today, holding that the online journalists have the same right to protect the confidentiality of their sources as offline reporters do. Here's the Court's summary: Apple Computer...

Huge Win for Online Journalists' Source Protection

EFF Arguments Secure Reporters' Privilege for Internet News Gatherers San Jose - A California state appeals court ruled in favor of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF's) petition on behalf of three online journalists Friday, holding that the online journalists have the same right to protect the confidentiality of their sources...

AOL Starts Pay-to-Send Email Shakedown

"Certified Mail" Allows Mass Mailers to Bypass Spam Filters San Francisco - AOL has quietly flipped the switch on its "certified mail" service, delivering pay-to-send email to some of its millions of customers. The Goodmail CertifiedEmail service allows large mass-emailers to pay a fee to bypass AOL's spam filters and...

Listen To The Apple v. Does Oral Arguments

On April 20, EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl argued the critical issues in Apple v. Does before a San Jose, California appeals court, telling a panel of three judges that denying confidential source protection to journalists -- whether online or offline -- would deliver a dangerous blow to all...

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