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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 this was first reported on by the press and discovered by the public in late...

Privacy Updates

Mandatory Student ID Cards Contain RFIDs

Parents and Civil Liberties Groups Urge School District to Terminate Use of Tracking Devices NOTE: This is a press release from the ACLU of Northern California that EFF is recirculating for your information. San Francisco - Parents in a northern California public school district and civil liberties groups are urging...

EFF Announces New Privacy Tool

Logfinder Helps Eliminate Unwanted Logging of Personal Data San Francisco, CA - Today the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released logfinder, a software tool to help people reduce the unnecessary collection of personal information about computer users. Often computer network servers automatically log information about who has visited a website and...

In a Nutshell (Again)

Nick Turse: "If you're reading this on the Internet, the FBI may be spying on you at this very moment. Under provisions of the USA Patriot Act, the Department of Justice has been collecting e-mail and IP (a computer's unique numeric identifier) addresses, without a warrant, using trap-and-trace surveillance...

Can the FBI Monitor Your Web Browsing Without a Warrant?

EFF Demands Answers from DOJ about PATRIOT Act Surveillance Washington, DC - Today the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the FBI and other offices of the US Department of Justice, seeking the release of documents that would reveal whether the...

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