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Podcast Episode - Securing the Vote

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 maintain your privacy rights in 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 the government 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 this was first reported on by the press and discovered by the public in late...

Privacy Updates

Necessary & Proportionate logo

Nearly 130 Public Interest Organizations and Experts Urge the United Nations to Include Human Rights Safeguards in Proposed UN Cybercrime Treaty

(UPDATE: Due to the ongoing situation concerning the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Ad Hoc Committee won't hold its first session from 17 to 28 January 2022 in New York, as planned. Further information will be provided in due course).EFF and Human Rights Watch, along with nearly 130 organizations and academics...

Livestreamed Hearing Moved to Jan. 21: EFF Will Ask Court to Issue Judgment Against SFPD for Illegally Spying on Protesters Marching in Support of Black Lives

Update: The hearing has been moved to January 21.San Francisco—On Friday, Jan. 21, at 9:30 am, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the ACLU of Northern California will ask a California state court to find that the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) violated city law when it used a network...

Podcast Episode: Algorithms for a Just Future

Episode 107 of EFF’s How to Fix the InternetModern life means leaving digital traces wherever we go. But those digital footprints can translate to real-world harms: the websites you visit can impact the mortgage offers, car loans and job options you see advertised. This surveillance-based, algorithmic decision-making can be difficult...

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