Skip to main content

EFF's international team advocates for privacy, free speech, and an open Internet in international venues and across the world. We expose mass and unwarranted surveillance, and educate unlawfully targeted users on how to protect themselves and their colleagues. We use individual cases globally to highlight the effect of technology on human rights, and defend technologists from persecution and detention wherever they live.

Ensuring users' voices are heard in global policymaking

Internet users are impacted not only by rules and policies made in their own country, but those made around the world. EFF's international team fights to make sure that Internet users are heard in these processes. They include copyright treaties developed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), trade agreements such as the now-defeated Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), domain name policies developed by ICANN, and increasingly, a shadowy web of cross-border industry agreements forged in corporate backrooms.

Where international bodies lack an adequate rights-based framework for their deliberations, EFF also works to fill the gap by developing global principles such as the Manila Principles for Intermediary Liability and the Necessary and Proportionate principles. We use these to promote users' rights on the global stage in bodies such as the United Nations General Assembly, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

Fighting unchecked surveillance laws and norms

We fight laws and treaties that seek to legitimize mass surveillance and weaken civil liberties and transparency. We work to spotlight privacy violations throughout the world and defend against influential governments seeking to increase law enforcement and intelligence agencies’ power. EFF fends off proposals for mandatory data retention, wiretapping-friendly legislation, national identity schemes, biometrics initiatives, and invasive location tracking. EFF works with digital rights organizations around the globe to fight for privacy, and  pressure telecommunications companies to protect the privacy of their customers.

Exposing Institutional Censorship

EFF recognizes that much of today’s free expression takes place on corporate platforms, which apply their own rules and are subject to the legal requirements of different jurisdictions. While in recent years most major companies have produced transparency reports that show content takedowns made at the behest of government actors, there is little to no transparency regarding takedowns made on the basis of terms of service. Furthermore, companies often prohibit certain legal content, such as nudity.

We encourage social media companies to operate with greater transparency and accountability. To that end, we partner with Visualizing Impact on, which collects reports from users in an effort to shine a light on content takedowns. We also regularly advocate for companies to make policy changes, particularly when their policies result in discriminatory practices.

Protecting vulnerable populations from digital attacks

EFF works to protect vulnerable populations from digital attacks. We seek to compensate for the asymmetry between powerful attackers and  targets who do not necessarily have a strong, technical understanding of digital security or a team of experts at their disposal. We research the threats that these populations face, such as state-sponsored malware.  We raise awareness of digital privacy and security issues through our Surveillance Self-Defense project and conduct security trainings based on these materials. We also defend the rights of security researchers through our work on export controls and EFF's Coders Rights Project. so that these researchers can continue to contribute to the safety and security of vulnerable populations.

Defending Technologists and Censored Voices Across The World

Throughout its history, EFF has defended those who have been unfairly targeted with prosecution and detention simply because they used technology to exercise their civil liberties. With our Offline project, EFF seeks to highlight the international cases of individuals who have used technology to speak out against abuse, or have built and shared technology that protects or extends human rights, and have been imprisoned as a result. We work with the communities that support these prisoners of conscience, draw attention to their predicament, and work for their release.

International Highlights

Shadow Regulation

Shadow Regulations are voluntary agreements between companies (sometimes described as codes, principles, standards, or guidelines) to regulate your use of the Internet, often without your knowledge.
Shadow Regulation has become increasingly popular after the monumental failure of restrictive Internet laws such as ACTA, SOPA and PIPA. This...

Banner Graphic: 

Digital Privacy at the U.S. Border: Protecting the Data On Your Devices and In the Cloud

Digital Privacy at the U.S. Border:Protecting the Data On Your Devices and In the Cloudby Sophia Cope, Amul Kalia, Seth Schoen, and Adam SchwartzDownload the report as a PDF.EXECUTIVE SUMMARYأفادت الحكومة الأمريكية أن عدد حالات تفحص المحتويات الالكترونية على الحدود قد إزداد بمقدار خمسة أضعاف خلال سنة واحدة فقط،...

International Updates

Text reading "Pride 2023" over a pixel grid. "Pride" composed of a rainbow flag, 2023 composed of black brown trans and intersex flags.

Around the World, Threats to LGBTQ+ Speech Deepen

Globally, an increase in anti-LGBTQ+ intolerance is impacting individuals and communities both online and off. The digital rights community has observed an uptick in censorship of LGBTQ+ websites as well as troubling attempts by several countries to pass explicitly anti-LGBTQ+ bills restricting freedom of expression and privacy—bills that also fuel...

Necessary & Proportionate logo


过去十年,中国政府打压网络自由言论:阻止信息访问、筛选内容为控制社会而监视用户、对自己的人民过度释放恶意软件。对此,互联网上一直有一个匿名的声音,坚定地反对政府的审查制度,呼吁抗议,指导网民和活动家如何在网上保护自己。 这是一个名为“编程随想”的博客,作者身份不为公众所知。但其发表了精辟的政治评论和技术方法,坦率讨论 1989 年天安门广场抗议活动,倡导中国言论自由,因此触动了许多人。在本月纪念抗议活动 34 周年之际,我们呼吁大家关注“编程随想”,从 2009 年开始的 12 年里,它是中国境内少有的民主论坛,获得了数以万计的订阅者,同时躲避网络警察,并对其作者的真实姓名保密——这不是一件容易的事。就连他的妻子都不知道。 如今,“编程随想”背后的博主和网络安全专家阮晓寰在 2 月份因涉嫌煽动颠覆国家政权罪而被判处 7 年监禁。在出席了他的宣判庭审之后,他的妻子贝女士在 3 月透露了他的情况。2021 年 5 月,10 名中国官员出现在他们在上海的家中并带走了他,此后,贝女士就再也没有见过他,也没有再听到他的消息。他被秘密审判,他的妻子和家人根本不知道他的下落和他受到的指控。他的名字在中国的社交媒体平台上被禁。 贝女士聘请了两名人权律师代表 46 岁的阮晓寰进行上诉,但中国政府没有允许,而是指定了两名政府的法律援助律师。与此同时,贝女士四处发声,希望提高人们对该案的关注。她告诉《Vice》:“我们将尽我们所能确保二审的公正性,其中包括依靠舆论监督的力量。” 阮晓寰是专制政权的目标,这种政权压制言论自由,监禁那些敢于出声反对政府的人。中国政府多次利用“煽动颠覆国家政权”的罪名,将参与政治活动、人权倡导和表达不同意见的个人作为目标并加以监禁。这么做的不止是中国。令人遗憾的是,世界各地有很多国家都在对自己的人民滥用这种罪名和无数其他罪名。我们发现在中东越南埃塞俄比亚其他地方,也有博主和阮晓寰一样,被送进监狱,被判处令人发指的刑罚,或者遭到当局的人身暴力,这与迫害不同声音的做法并无二致,非常令人担忧。勇敢的博主、记者和作家因为保护和加强自由言论和隐私而被视同罪犯。 这完全是倒行逆施。EFF 与世界各地的言论自由倡导者一起,呼吁立即释放阮晓寰。各国有义务维护联合国《世界人权宣言》第 19 条所规定的言论自由权。 联合国人权理事会申明,人们在网络之外拥有的人权在网络上也应当得到保护,包括隐私权和言论自由权。“寻求、接受和传递消息”的权利包括设计和分享工具以实现和保护这些能力的权利。 阮晓寰已成为中国最知名和最勇敢的博主之一,这段旅程从他还是一名成功的网络安全专家时开始。作为对计算机科学充满热情的大学辍学生,阮晓寰曾在多家网络安全公司工作,后来在政府工作中担任 2008 年北京夏季奥运会信息安全系统总工程师。之后他继续在行业内工作,但最终决定从事开源软件的开发。2009...


Back to top

JavaScript license information