San Francisco - Digital-rights activist Danny O'Brien is back at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), rejoining the organization as its new International Director.
O'Brien will head up global strategy at EFF at a time when digital rights and freedoms are under attack across the globe. O'Brien said he's seen the effects of many of EFF's traditional concerns in privacy, free speech, and innovation play out around the world – from Internet kill switches and targeted malware aimed at vulnerable users, to privacy-invasive biometric tracking, to damaging international treaties that quash free expression.
"The last few years have been incredibly transformative for international digital rights. They've gone from theoretical threats to practical realities," O'Brien said. "The policy issues EFF works on are becoming day-to-day issues for everyone around the world."
O'Brien has a particular interest in the rights of Internet users in repressive regimes, where governments are using the rise of trackable mobile devices and a filtered Internet to control their citizens, not empower them.
"What I really don't want to happen is for people to look back at this time as the 'Golden Age' of Internet freedom because in the future we failed to stand up against a new world of threats to civil liberties," he said.
O'Brien has spent the last three years defending at-risk online reporters as the Internet advocacy coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists. From 2005 to 2007, O'Brien served as an EFF activist before becoming the organization's international outreach coordinator, a position he held until 2009. He is also a co-founder of the Open Rights Group, which advocates for digital civil liberties in his native Britain.
"Protecting digital rights is a global effort in our interconnected world," said EFF Executive Director Shari Steele. "We are so pleased that Danny has brought his wealth of talent and experience back to EFF to help with this important work."
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Electronic Frontier Foundation