The Internet is global, and so are threats to digital freedom. EFF's international team fights to defend privacy, free expression, digital consumer rights, creativity, and innovation throughout the world. We fight against legislative proposals that are anathema to users’ rights in many venues. We combat ill-conceived Internet treaties and agreements created obscurely and outside democratic processes. When the U.S. attempts to launder its anti-privacy, anti-free expression, and anti-innovation proposals in international organizations, we educate all governments, the media, and the public on the detrimental impacts of those initiatives on human rights. We also pressure large corporations and governments to take a stand in upholding human rights standards and the rule of law.
Protecting Freedom of Expression Worldwide
EFF works with organizations, individuals, and companies around the globe to encourage governments and Internet intermediaries to take a stand against the increasing threat of online censorship. We educate our members and readers about online censorship throughout the world through our Deeplinks blog.
Our research has also found that authoritarian regimes are increasingly relying on mass surveillance technologies to spy on activists and dissidents in their state. We publicize cross-state dealings through blogging and Twitter and help vulnerable populations understand how to maintain their privacy and security despite threats from hostile governments. We also pressure governments and those companies that develop surveillance tools to halt their censorship practices by administering campaigns, often in concert with fellow free speech and civil liberties organizations.
Securing Privacy and Civil Liberties Worldwide
EFF fights national and international laws that weaken civil liberties, trample coders’ rights and fail to address real security problems. Alongside our fellow travellers, we fight laws and Treaties legitimizing mass surveillance, and spotlight privacy violations throughout the world. We fight back when influential governments seek to increase law enforcement and intelligence agencies’ power while weakening civil liberties safeguards, transparency and the rule of law. EFF fends off proposals for mandatory data retention, wiretapping friendly legislation, National ID schemes, biometrics initiatives, and location tracking. We uphold legal safeguards protecting innocent users’ data from being shared across borders for law enforcement purposes by countering treaties, regional and global initiatives that would weaken these protections. We also push back against international and national “cybersecurity” proposals that impact privacy rights of Internet users worldwide and leverage Internet companies to act as agents of the State. Most of our work is focused on global initiatives and Treaties, or national legislation and privacy violations, in democratic countries and countries in transition.
Advocating for Balanced Intellectual Property Laws
Overbroad enforcement of intellectual property rights can harm online freedom of expression, privacy, due process, and innovation. EFF's international program focuses on educating global policy-makers about the need for balanced intellectual property laws and policies that protect creators, preserve access to knowledge, foster technological innovation, and empower digital consumers. EFF fights to protect Internet users’ rights and the free and open Internet from threats posed by secretive, multi-nation trade agreements that would extend restrictive intellectual property laws across the globe, such as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).
As international policy-making institutions such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the European Commission, and national governments consider proposals to turn Internet intermediaries into copyright police, we work to ensure that Internet users’ rights are respected, and that content is not removed, filtered, or blocked without judicial review or appropriate due process. We work with our global network to strengthen advocacy against both governmental efforts to justify online censorship under the guise of copyright enforcement and voluntary agreements by ISPs to block content and terminate Internet access through our Global Chokepoints coalition website. To facilitate citizens’ ability to communicate, create, collaborate, and educate across national borders, we work with libraries, archives, educators, academics, the free software community, technology and telecommunications companies, and national policymakers, to advocate for robust copyright exceptions and limitations in national laws, plurilateral agreements and international treaties.