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U.S. Senator, Encryption Innovator, and Tunisian Blogging Group Win EFF Pioneer Awards

October 31, 2011

U.S. Senator, Encryption Innovator, and Tunisian Blogging Group Win EFF Pioneer Awards

EFF to Honor Senator Ron Wyden, Technologist Ian Goldberg, and Blogging Collective Nawaat at San Francisco Ceremony

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is pleased to announce the winners of its 2011 Pioneer Awards: U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, encryption innovator Ian Goldberg, and Tunisian blogging collective Nawaat.

The award ceremony will be held on the evening of November 15 at the Children's Creativity Museum in San Francisco. Twitter co-founder Evan Williams will be the keynote speaker.

Few legislators have done more to promote and protect online speech, privacy rights and innovation than U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Most notably, he authored Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a law that helps make user-generated content and online services possible by protecting hosts from liability. Senator Wyden is currently the lone senator blocking passage of the PROTECT IP Act, legislation that attempts to safeguard intellectual property at the expense of free speech, technological innovation and the very foundation of the Internet. Most recently, Senator Wyden introduced legislation to create a legal framework for when and how location information derived from cell phones and other electronic devices can be accessed and used by both government agents and private entities.

Encryption innovator Ian Goldberg is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, where he is a founding member of the Cryptography, Security, and Privacy (CrySP) research group. Goldberg's research has helped expose design weaknesses in the encryption used to protect cell phone conversations and wifi networks, spurring improvements to these systems. Goldberg also co-invented the widely used Off-The-Record Messaging protocol, which makes secure instant messaging easy. Goldberg is a Senior Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and a winner of both the Early Researcher Award and the Outstanding Young Computer Science Researcher Award.

Created in 2004, Nawaat.org is an independent, award-winning, collective community blog operated by four Tunisian bloggers. Nawaat means "the core" in Arabic, and Nawaat.org played a crucial role in covering the social and political unrest in Tunisia last winter, which ended in the toppling of Ben Ali's regime. Nawaat disseminated day-by-day user-generated news about the uprising and helped bridge the gap between international mainstream media and citizen journalists and activists by aggregating and contextualizing information spread through social media. Nawaat has won the Reporters Without Borders Netizen Prize and the Index on Censorship Award for its work before and during the Tunisian revolution.

"The Internet and other electronic communication tools are deeply woven into today's global community, playing key roles in activism, dissent, and revolution," said EFF Executive Director Shari Steele. "These Pioneer Award winners are all working to make sure that technology protects freedom instead of curtailing it, and we're so proud to honor them for their invaluable contributions."

Tickets to the Pioneer Awards are $75 for regular admission, or $65 for EFF members. They are available online at https://www.eff.org/awards/pioneer along with more information about a special VIP event featuring the Pioneer Award winners and keynoter Evan Williams, an American entrepreneur who has co-founded several Internet companies, including Pyra Labs (creators of Blogger) and Twitter.

Awarded every year since 1992, EFF's Pioneer Awards recognize leaders who are extending freedom and innovation on the electronic frontier. Previous honorees include Tim Berners-Lee, Linus Torvalds, Amy Goodman, and Craigslist, among many others. Sponsors of this year's Pioneer Awards include Adobe, Facebook, JibJab, JunkEmailFilter, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Palantir Technologies, and Sonic.net.

For more information about the Pioneer Awards and to buy tickets:
https://www.eff.org/awards/pioneer

Contact:

Rebecca Jeschke
Media Relations Director
Electronic Frontier Foundation
press@eff.org

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