Skip to main content

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

Free Speech banner, an colorful graphic representation of a megaphone

Between Friends: The Perils of Centralized Blogging

One of the paradoxes of current social software is how many of your closely-guarded secrets you are obliged to entrust to a third party. Take the social blogging site LiveJournal: its centralized server allows you to set blog posts to "friends only" or "private". To use this feature, you post...

Blogger Fights for Free Speech in New Jersey

Manalapan, NJ - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asked a Superior Court judge in New Jersey today to preserve the free speech rights of an anonymous blogger facing legal threats from local government officials. The blogger, writing as "daTruthSquad" on a site hosted on Google's Blogspot service, has criticized a...

EFF Wins Fast-Track Release of Telecom Lobbying Records

San Francisco - Late Tuesday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) won the speedy release of telecom lobbying records from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). The agency was ordered to comply with a new December 10 deadline -- in time for the documents to play a role...

Congress Keeps Telecoms on the Hook for Illegal Spying

Washington, D.C. - Both the full House of Representatives and the Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to keep telecommunications companies on the hook for their role in illegal government spying on millions of ordinary Americans -- at least for now. The bills each make changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance...

Pages

Back to top

JavaScript license information