April 9, 2014 | By April Glaser

EFF is Expanding into Student and Community Organizing, and We Need Your Help

Recent events have shown us more than ever that the technologies we use and create every day have astonishing implications on our basic, most cherished rights. Tens of thousands more people have joined us in the past year alone—together, we're building a movement. But we need your help.

Today, we at EFF are unveiling new tools for student and community activists to engage in campaigns to defend our digital rights.

We want you to bring the fight to protect online civil liberties to cities, towns, and campuses across the country. We invite you—whether you're a newly minted activist or an experienced community organizer—to join our growing team of driven individuals and organizations actively working make sure that our rights are not left behind as we develop and adopt new technologies.

Interested? Join our mailing list for organizers today and check out our helpful resources.

I'm in. How can I help?

There are plenty of ways to take part, no matter how much organizing experience you have.

  • Start a group: Talk to friends and community members to gauge who else in your network is interested in digital freedom. Form a group that can discuss the issues and plan ways of advocating for your rights. For some tips on getting started, check out our guide on how to build a coalition on campus and in your community.
  • Bring digital rights to an existing group: These issues are everybody's issues, no matter where on the political spectrum you lie. You can work with existing political, civil liberties, activist, and computer-related groups and urge members to take on a digital rights campaign.
  • Organize an event: We have plenty of suggestions for events you can throw, from film screenings to rallies, parties to speaker series.
  • Let your voice be heard: We are all part of the digital rights movement together, and your voice is as important as ours. Learn how to coordinate with local and national campaigns, and amplify your message by reading our tips on engaging with the press.

While many student groups and local community organizations are working on surveillance reform in light of the recent disclosures about massive government spying, it’s not only the NSA that we’re fighting: we’re demanding open access to publicly funded research; we’re fighting to protect the future of innovation from patent trolls; we’re urging companies and institutions to deploy encryption; we're defending the rights of coders and protecting the free speech rights of bloggers worldwide—the list goes on.

We can’t do this by ourselves. That’s why we’re building a trusted team of activists and organizers across the country to spread the word and build momentum for political reform and technical tools to protect our rights.

Road trip!

EFF is also hitting the road. We're traveling to cities and towns across the country to speak to student groups, meet with community organizers, and host local events to share and broaden our vision of an Internet grounded in creativity, community, and civil rights. In March and April, we’re visiting Boston, Cambridge, New York City, Ames, Des Moines, Washington, D.C., New Haven, and Middletown.

If you’re interested in having someone from EFF come to your event, class, or campus or community group to speak and help you all organize, send an email to april@eff.org and join our community organizers mailing list. Let us know what you’re up to, and we’ll let you know when we’re in your area.

Campus activism: All the cool people are doing it

Many activists, lawyers, and technologists will tell you that they got their start as a student. That's why we're especially excited to work with students and professors.

You don’t have to be a lawyer or have a college degree to be a strong voice. There’s no prerequisite for setting up a meeting with your elected official, writing an op-ed, or growing a campus organization. All it takes is a vision for change. We’ve seen student activists and innovators drive reform by challenging poorly written policies and developing new technologies that bring us closer to our vision of a networked world that respects our rights and fosters creativity.

Not a student? No worries! If you’re a member of a community that wants to engage deeper in EFF’s work, you can still join our organizers mailing list. There’s so much to do on the community level, too. If you’re concerned about local law enforcement surveillance hubs, the use of license plate readers, domestic drones, or are in a community of artists stifled by oppressive copyright policies, now is the time to raise awareness, build a coalition, and organize to defend our digital rights. 

This is only the beginning. When we finally see meaningful reform of our broken intellectual property system and new bills passed that bring our national security programs back within the bounds of the Constitution—and we will—it won’t be due to the effort of a few policy wonks and privacy enthusiasts or a handful of lawyers in Washington, D.C. It will be because millions of people across the world fought for change, demanded meaningful reform, started using privacy enhancing technology, and held their elected officials accountable. Together, we’re going to make history

We hope to see you digital rights activists out there. Stay tuned. This is going to be huge.

 

 

 

 

 


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