San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is proud to announce its latest grant from Craig Newmark Philanthropies: $300,000 to help protect journalists and fight consumer spyware.
“This donation will help us to develop tools and training for both working journalists and student journalists, preparing them to protect themselves and their sources. We also help journalists learn to research the ways in which local law enforcement is using surveillance tech in its day-to-day work so that, ultimately, communities can better exercise local control,” said EFF Cybersecurity Director Eva Galperin. “Additionally, EFF is launching a public education campaign about what we are calling ‘disciplinary technologies.’ These are tools that are ostensibly for monitoring work or school performance, or ensuring the safety of a family member. But often they result in non-consensual surveillance and data-gathering, and often disproportionately punish BIPOC.”
A prime example of disciplinary technologies is test-proctoring software. Recently, Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine charged 17 students with cheating after misreading software activity during remote exams. After a media firestorm, the school later dropped all of the charges and apologized. Other disciplinary technologies include employee-monitoring bossware, and consumer spyware that is often used to monitor and control household members or intimate partners. Spyware, often based upon similar technologies, is also regularly used on journalists across the globe.
“We need to make sure that technology works for us, not against us,” said EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn. “We are so pleased that Craig Newmark Philanthropies has continued to support EFF in this important work for protecting journalists and people all over the world.”