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The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is an international non-profit
digital rights Digital rights are those human rights and Natural and legal rights, legal rights that allow individuals to access, use, create, and publish digital media or to access and use computers, other Consumer electronics, electronic devices, and teleco ...
group based in
San Francisco, California San Francisco (; Spanish language, Spanish for "Francis of Assisi, Saint Francis"), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a cultural, commercial, and financial center in the U.S. state of California. Located in Northern Califo ...

San Francisco, California
. The foundation was formed on 10 July 1990 by John Gilmore,
John Perry Barlow John Perry Barlow (October 3, 1947February 7, 2018) was an American poet A poet is a person who creates poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetics, aest ...

John Perry Barlow
and
Mitch Kapor Mitchell David Kapor ( ; born November 1, 1950) is an American entrepreneur best known for his work as an application developer in the early days of the personal computer software industry, later founding Lotus Lotus may refer to: Plants *Lotu ...

Mitch Kapor
to promote
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
civil liberties Civil liberties are guarantees and freedoms that governments commit not to abridge, either by constitution, legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolled bill, enrolling, enactment of a bill, enacting, or promulgation, promulgat ...
. The EFF provides funds for legal defense in court, presents ''
amicus curiae An ''amicus curiae'' (literally, "friend of the court"; plural: ''amici curiae'') is someone who is not a party A party is a gathering of people who have been invited by a host A host is a person responsible for guests at an event ...
'' briefs, defends individuals and new
technologies Technology ("science of craft", from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. I ...

technologies
from what it considers abusive legal threats, works to expose
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...

government
malfeasance, provides guidance to the government and
court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''Sta ...

court
s, organizes political action and mass mailings, supports some new technologies which it believes preserve
personal freedoms
personal freedoms
and online civil liberties, maintains a
database In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and sof ...

database
and web sites of related news and information, monitors and challenges potential
legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolled bill, enrolling, enactment of a bill, enacting, or promulgation, promulgating law by a legislature, parliament, or analogous Government, governing body. Before an item of legislation becomes law ...
that it believes would infringe on
personal liberties
personal liberties
and
fair use Fair use is a doctrine Doctrine (from la, Wikt:doctrina, doctrina, meaning "teaching, instruction") is a codification (law), codification of beliefs or a body of teacher, teachings or instructions, taught Value (personal and cultural), prin ...
and solicits a list of what it considers abusive patents with intentions to defeat those that it considers without
merit Merit may refer to: Religion * Merit (Catholicism) * Merit (Buddhism) * Punya (Hinduism) * Imputed righteousness in Reformed Christianity Companies and brands * Merit (cigarette), a brand of cigarettes made by Altria * Merit Energy Company, an ...
.


History


Foundation

The Electronic Frontier Foundation was formed in July 1990 by John Gilmore,
John Perry Barlow John Perry Barlow (October 3, 1947February 7, 2018) was an American poet A poet is a person who creates poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetics, aest ...

John Perry Barlow
and
Mitch Kapor Mitchell David Kapor ( ; born November 1, 1950) is an American entrepreneur best known for his work as an application developer in the early days of the personal computer software industry, later founding Lotus Lotus may refer to: Plants *Lotu ...

Mitch Kapor
in response to a series of actions by law enforcement agencies that led them to conclude that the authorities were gravely uninformed about emerging forms of online communication, and that there was a need for increased protection for
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
civil liberties Civil liberties are guarantees and freedoms that governments commit not to abridge, either by constitution, legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolled bill, enrolling, enactment of a bill, enacting, or promulgation, promulgat ...
. In April 1990, Barlow had been visited by a U.S.
Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concept Conce ...

Federal Bureau of Investigation
agent in relation to the theft and distribution of the source code for a series of Macintosh ROMs. Barlow described the visit as "complicated by he agent'sfairly complete unfamiliarity with computer technology. I realized right away that before I could demonstrate my innocence, I would first have to explain to him what guilt might be." Barlow felt that his experience was symptomatic of a "great paroxysm of governmental confusion during which everyone's liberties would become at risk". Barlow posted an account of this experience to
The WELL The Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link, normally shortened to The WELL, is one of the oldest Virtual community, virtual communities in continuous operation. As of June 2012, it had 2,693 members. It is best known for its Internet forums, but also pro ...
online community and was contacted by Mitch Kapor, who had had a similar experience. The pair agreed that there was a need to defend civil liberties on the Internet. Kapor agreed to fund any legal fees associated with such a defense and the pair contacted New York lawyers Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky and Lieberman about defending several computer hackers from a ''Harper's'' magazine forum on computers and freedom who had been the target of
Secret Service A secret service is a government agency A government or state agency, sometimes an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government The machinery of government (sometimes abbreviated as MoG) ...
raids. This generated a large amount of publicity which led to offers of financial support from John Gilmore and
Steve Wozniak Stephen Gary Wozniak (; born August 11, 1950), also known by his nickname "Woz", is an American electronics engineer Image:Silego clock generator.JPG, Printed circuit board Electronic engineering (also called electronics and communications e ...

Steve Wozniak
. Barlow and Kapor continued to research conflicts between the government and technology and in June 1990, Barlow posted online the influential article entitled "Crime & Puzzlement" in which Barlow announced his and Kapor's plans to create an organization to "raise and disburse funds for education, lobbying, and litigation in the areas relating to digital speech and the extension of the Constitution into Cyberspace." This generated further reaction and support for the ideas of Barlow and Kapor. In late June, Barlow held a series of dinners in
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (dis ...

San Francisco
with major figures in the computer industry to develop a coherent response to these perceived threats. Barlow considered that: "The actions of the FBI and Secret Service were symptoms of a growing social crisis: Future Shock. America was entering the Information Age with neither laws nor metaphors for the appropriate protection and conveyance of information itself." Barlow felt that to confront this a formal organization would be needed; he hired Cathy Cook as press coordinator, and began to set up what would become the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The Electronic Frontier Foundation was formally founded on July 10, 1990, by Kapor and Barlow, who very soon after elected Gilmore, Wozniak, and
Stewart Brand Stewart Brand (born December 14, 1938) is an American writer, best known as editor of the ''Whole Earth Catalog The ''Whole Earth Catalog'' (WEC) was an American counterculture of the 1960s, counterculture magazine and product catalog published ...
to join them on the Board of Directors. Initial funding was provided by Kapor, Wozniak, and an anonymous benefactor. In 1990,
Mike Godwin Michael Wayne Godwin (born October 26, 1956) is an American attorney and author. He was the first staff counsel of the Electronic Frontier Foundation The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is an international non-profit digital rights Dig ...
joined the organization as its first staff counsel. Then in 1991,
Esther Dyson Esther Dyson (born 14 July 1951) is a Swiss-born American investor, journalist, author, commentator and philanthropist. She is the executive founder of Wellville, a nonprofit project focused on improving equitable wellbeing. Dyson is a leading an ...

Esther Dyson
and Jerry Berman joined the EFF board of directors. By 1992, Cliff Figallo became the director of the original office, and in December 1992, Jerry Berman became the acting executive director of the organization as a whole, based in a new second office.


Early cases

The creation of the organization was motivated by the massive
search and seizure Search and seizure is a procedure used in many civil law Civil law may refer to: * Civil law (common law) Civil law is a major branch of the law.Glanville Williams. ''Learning the Law''. Eleventh Edition. Stevens. 1982. p. 2. In common law legal ...
on
Steve Jackson Games Steve Jackson Games (SJGames) is a game A game is a structured form of play Play most commonly refers to: * Play (activity), an activity done for enjoyment * Play (theatre), a work of drama Play may refer also to: Computers and techno ...
executed by the
United States Secret Service The United States Secret Service (USSS or Secret Service) is a Federal law enforcement in the United States, federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Homeland Security, Department of Homeland Security charged with con ...
early in 1990. Similar but officially unconnected law-enforcement raids were being conducted across the United States at about that time as part of a state–federal task force called
Operation Sundevil Operation Sundevil was a 1990 nationwide United States Secret Service crackdown on "illegal computer Hacker (computer security), hacking activities." It involved raids in approximately fifteen different cities and resulted in three arrests and the ...
. ''
GURPS Cyberpunk ''GURPS Cyberpunk'' is a genre toolkit for cyberpunk-themed role-playing games setting (fiction), set in a near-future dystopia, such as that envisioned by William Gibson in his influential novel ''Neuromancer''. It was published in 1990 after a s ...
'', one of the game company's projects, was mistakenly labeled as a handbook for computer crime, and the Secret Service raided the offices of Steve Jackson Games. The
search warrant A search warrant is a court order A court order is an official proclamation by a judge (or panel of judges) that defines the legal relationships between the parties to a Hearing (law), hearing, a lawsuit, trial, an appeal or other court procee ...
for the raid was deemed hastily issued, and the games company soon after claimed unauthorized access as well as tampering of their emails. While phone calls were protected by legislation, digital emails were an early concept and had not been considered to fall under the right to personal privacy. The Steve Jackson Games case was the EFF's first high-profile case, was the major rallying point around which the EFF began promoting computer- and Internet-related civil liberties. The EFF's second big case was '' Bernstein v. United States'' led by
Cindy Cohn Cindy Cohn is an Americans, American civil liberties Lawyer, attorney specializing in Internet law. She represented Daniel J. Bernstein and the Electronic Frontier Foundation in ''Bernstein v. United States''. Education She received her underg ...

Cindy Cohn
, in which programmer and professor Daniel J. Bernstein sued the government for permission to publish his
encryption In cryptography Cryptography, or cryptology (from grc, , translit=kryptós "hidden, secret"; and ''graphein'', "to write", or ''-logy, -logia'', "study", respectively), is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in ...

encryption
software, Snuffle, and a paper describing it. More recently, the organization has been involved in defending
Edward Felten Edward William Felten (born March 25, 1963) is the Robert E. Kahn Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs at Princeton University Princeton University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Privat ...
,
Jon Lech Johansen Jon Lech Johansen (born November 18, 1983 in Harstad ( se, Hárstták) is the second-most populated municipality in Troms og Finnmark county, Norway. It is mostly located on the large island of Hinnøya. The municipal center is the Harstad ( ...

Jon Lech Johansen
and
Dmitry Sklyarov ''United States v. ElcomSoft and Dmitry Sklyarov'' was a 2001–2002 criminal case in which Dmitry Sklyarov and his employer ElcomSoft were charged with alleged violation of the DMCA. The case raised some concerns of civil rights and legal proces ...
.


Expansion and development

The organization was originally located at Mitch Kapor's Kapor Enterprises offices. By the fall of 1993, the main EFF offices were consolidated into a single office, headed by Executive Director Jerry Berman. During this time, some of the EFF's attention focused on , to the dislike of some of the members of the organization. In 1994, Berman parted ways with the EFF and formed the
Center for Democracy and Technology Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit The Organization which focuses on topics such as the rights of individual users in relation to technology policy , with the potential to affect the architectu ...
, while Drew Taubman briefly took the reins as executive director. In 1995, under the auspices of Executive Director
Lori Fena Lori Fena (born 1961) is an American internet activist, entrepreneur, and author, best known as the former director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation from 1995–98 and author of "The Hundredth Window". Fena is currently the Co-Founder and VP o ...
, after some downsizing and in an effort to regroup and refocus on their base of support, the organization moved offices to San Francisco, California. There, it took up temporary residence at John Gilmore's Toad Hall, and soon afterward moved into the Hamm's Building at 1550 Bryant St. After Fena moved onto the EFF board of directors for a while, the organization was led briefly by Tara Lemmey, followed by Barry Steinhardt (who had come from the closely allied Technology and Liberty Program at the
American Civil Liberties Union The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for ...
(ACLU), and eventually returned to the ACLU). Not long before EFF's move into new offices at 454 Shotwell St. in SF's Mission District, Mike Godwin departed, long-time Legal Director
Shari Steele Shari Steele is a technologist, lawyer, and activist for Digital rights, digital freedom. She worked for the Electronic Frontier Foundation as the legal director and then executive director, as well as at The Tor Project as the executive director ...

Shari Steele
was appointed executive director, and staff attorney
Cindy Cohn Cindy Cohn is an Americans, American civil liberties Lawyer, attorney specializing in Internet law. She represented Daniel J. Bernstein and the Electronic Frontier Foundation in ''Bernstein v. United States''. Education She received her underg ...

Cindy Cohn
became the legal director. In the spring of 2006, the EFF announced the opening of an office again in Washington, D.C., with two new staff attorneys. In 2012, the EFF began a fundraising campaign for the renovation of a building located at 815 Eddy Street in San Francisco, to serve as its new headquarters. The move was completed in April 2013. On April 1, 2015, Shari Steele stepped down as executive director. Cindy Cohn became the new executive director, Corynne McSherry became the legal director, and Kurt Opsahl became the general counsel.


DES cracker

By the mid-1990s the EFF was becoming seriously concerned about the refusal of the US government to license any secure encryption product for export unless it utilized key recovery and claims that governments could not decrypt information when protected by
Data Encryption Standard The Data Encryption Standard (DES ) is a symmetric-key algorithm Symmetric-key algorithms are algorithm of an algorithm (Euclid's algorithm) for calculating the greatest common divisor (g.c.d.) of two numbers ''a'' and ''b'' in locations name ...
(DES), continuing even after the public breaking of the code in the first of the
DES Challenges The DES Challenges were a series of brute force attack contests created by RSA Security to highlight the lack of security provided by the Data Encryption Standard. The Contests The first challenge began in 1997 and was solved in 96 days by the DE ...
. They coordinated and supported the construction of the ''EFF DES cracker'' (nicknamed Deep Crack), using special purpose hardware and software and costing $210,000. This brought the record for breaking a message down to 56 hours on 17 July 1998 and to under 24 hours on 19 January 1999 (in conjunction with distributed.net). The EFF published the plans and source code for the cracker. Within four years the
Advanced Encryption Standard The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), also known by its original name Rijndael (), is a specification for the encryption In cryptography Cryptography, or cryptology (from grc, , translit=kryptós "hidden, secret"; and ''graphein'', ...
was standardized as a replacement for DES.


Activities


Legislative activity

The EFF is a leading supporter of the
Email Privacy ActThe Email Privacy Act is a Bill (law), bill introduced in the United States Congress. The Bipartisanship, bipartisan proposed United States federal law, federal law is sponsored by United States House of Representatives, Representative Kevin Yoder, a ...
.Sophia Cope
House Advances Email Privacy Act, Setting the Stage for Vital Privacy Reform
Electronic Frontier Foundation (April 27, 2016).


Litigation

The EFF regularly brings and defends lawsuits at all levels of the US legal system in pursuit of its goals and objectives. The EFF has long taken a stance against strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) as attempts to stymie free speech and advocated for effective anti-SLAPP legislation. Many of the most significant technology law cases have involved the EFF, including ''
MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. ''MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd.'', 545 U.S. 913 (2005), is a United States Supreme Court The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America The United ...
'', '' Apple v. Does'', and others.


Patent Busting Project

The
Patent Busting Project The Patent Busting Project is an Electronic Frontier Foundation The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is an international non-profit digital rights Digital rights are those human rights Human rights are moral principles or normsJ ...
is an Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) initiative challenging patents that the organization claims are illegitimate and suppress innovation or limit online expression. The initiative launched on April 19, 2004, and involves two phases: documenting the damage caused by these patents, and submitting challenges to the
United States Patent and Trademark Office The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is an agency in the U.S. Department of Commerce that issues patent A patent is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using ...
.


Enfranchisement activism

The EFF has long been an advocate of paper audit trails for voting machines and testified in support of them after the United States presidential election 2004. Later, it funded the research of Hariprasad Vemuru who exposed vulnerabilities in a particular model. Since 2008, the EFF has operated the ''Our Vote Live'' website and database. Staffed by hotline volunteers, it is designed to quickly document irregularities and instances of voter suppression as they occur on an election day. The EFF was active in the United States presidential election 2016 because of online
phishing Phishing is a type of social engineering where an attacker sends a fraudulent (e.g., spoofed, fake, or otherwise deceptive) message designed to trick a human victim into revealing sensitive information Information sensitivity is the control ...

phishing
related to the controversy over
fabrication Fabrication may refer to: * Manufacturing, specifically the crafting of individual parts as a solo product or as part of a larger combined product. Processes in arts, crafts and manufacturing *Semiconductor device fabrication, the process used to ...
of election results. J. Alex Halderman, a computer security professor at the
University of Michigan , mottoeng = "Arts, Knowledge, Truth" , former_names = Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania (1817–1821) , budget = $8.99 billion (2018) , endowment = $17 billion (2021)As of October 25, 2021. ...

University of Michigan
, wrote an article that was published in ''Medium'' in 2016 stating he thought it was advisable to have a recount on some of the election results from states like
Wisconsin Wisconsin () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Wisconsin
,
Michigan Michigan () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Michigan
, and
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania ( , elsewhere ; pdc, Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic basi ...

Pennsylvania
. In retaliation against Halderman, a hacker sent
anti-Semitic Antisemitism (also spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Jews. A person who holds such positions is called an antisemite. Antisemitism is generally considered to be a form of racism. A ...
and
racist Racism is the belief that groups of humans possess different behavioral traits corresponding to inherited attributes and can be divided based on the superiority Superior may refer to: *Superior (hierarchy), something which is higher in a hi ...

racist
emails to students at University of Michigan signed from Halderman. The EFF publicizes these controversies and promotes the reduction of online phishing.


Content moderation reform

In the spring of 2018, the EFF joined the Open Technology Institute (OTI), the
Center for Democracy & Technology Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit The Organization which focuses on topics such as the rights of individual users in relation to technology policy , with the potential to affect the architectu ...
, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California and four academics in writing ''The Santa Clara Principles: On Transparency and Accountability in Content Moderation''. The document sets out the following guidelines for social networks. * Statistics on removed posts should be publicly available. * Banned users or users who have had posts deleted should be notified with clear reasons. * Such users should have the opportunity to appeal and have that appeal read by a human. Six months later, the same organizations sought the support of roughly 80 others, including Article 19, in calling for Facebook to adopt the Santa Clara Principles. This was later updated with a request for Facebook to warn users who have interacted with sock puppet law enforcement accounts. In 2019, the EFF and OTI delivered testimony about the
Online Harms White Paper The Online Harms White Paper is a white paper produced by the Government of the United Kingdom, British government in April 2019. It lays out the government's proposals on dealing with "online harms", which it defines as "online content or activit ...
in the United Kingdom. They commented that several proposals to increase the amount of regulation on social media were open to abuse. Also in 2019, the EFF launched the website " TOSsed out" to document cases of moderation rules being applied inconsistently.
Cindy Cohn Cindy Cohn is an Americans, American civil liberties Lawyer, attorney specializing in Internet law. She represented Daniel J. Bernstein and the Electronic Frontier Foundation in ''Bernstein v. United States''. Education She received her underg ...

Cindy Cohn
underscored their commitment to upholding free speech online, writing that "once you’ve turned it on, whether through pressure or threats of lawsuits, the power to silence people doesn’t just go in one direction."


Awards

The EFF organizes two sets of awards to promote work in accordance with its goals and objectives: The
EFF Pioneer Award The EFF Pioneer Award is an annual prize by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) for people who have made significant contributions to the empowerment of individuals in using computers. Until 1998 it was presented at a ceremony in Washington, D ...
s are awarded annually to recognize individuals who in its opinion are "leaders who are extending freedom and innovation on the electronic frontier." In 2017, the honorees were
Chelsea Manning Chelsea Elizabeth Manning (born Bradley Edward Manning, December 17, 1987) is an American activist and whistleblower A whistleblower (also written as whistle-blower or whistle blower) is a person, usually an employee, who exposes informati ...

Chelsea Manning
,
Mike Masnick Techdirt is an American Internet blog that reports on technology's legal challenges and related business and economic policy issues, in context of the digital revolution. It focuses on intellectual property, patent, information privacy and copyr ...

Mike Masnick
and Annie Game. The EFF Cooperative Computing Awards are a series of four awards meant "to encourage ordinary Internet users to contribute to solving huge scientific problems," to be awarded to the first individual or group who discovers a prime number with a significant record number of decimal digits. The awards are funded by an anonymous donor. The awards are: * $50,000 to the first individual or group who discovers a prime number with at least 1,000,000 decimal digits – Awarded April 6, 2000 * $100,000 to the first individual or group who discovers a prime number with at least 10,000,000 decimal digits – Awarded October 14, 2009 * $150,000 to the first individual or group who discovers a prime number with at least 100,000,000 decimal digits * $250,000 to the first individual or group who discovers a prime number with at least 1,000,000,000 decimal digits.


Publications

EFF publishes through several outlets such as the online periodical ''EFFector'', as well as its websites, blogs, and on social networking services. EFF's first book was published in 1993 as ''The Big Dummy's Guide to the Internet'', a beginners' how-to manual by contracted
technical writer A technical writer is a professional information communicator whose task is to transfer information between two or more parties, through any medium that best facilitates the transfer and comprehension of the information. Technical writers researc ...
Adam Gaffin, and made available for free download in many formats.
MIT Press The MIT Press is a university press A university press is an academic publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the ...
published it in paperback form in 1994 as ''Everybody's Guide to the Internet'' (). The online edition was updated regularly throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, and translated into dozens of languages. The organization's second book, ''Protecting Yourself Online'' (), an overview of digital civil liberties, was written in 1998 by technical writer Robert B. Gelman and EFF Communications Director Stanton McCandlish, and published by
HarperCollins HarperCollins Publishers LLC is one of the Big FiveBig Five may refer to: Animals * the Big five game, Big Five, large African wild animals said to be most difficult to hunt: lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and Cape buffalo * Big Five an ...
. A third book, ''Cracking DES: Secrets of Encryption Research, Wiretap Politics & Chip Design'' (), focusing on EFF's DES Cracker project, was published the same year by
O'Reilly Media O'Reilly Media (formerly O'Reilly & Associates) is an American learning company established by Tim O'Reilly Tim O'Reilly (born 6 June 1954) is the founder of O'Reilly Media O'Reilly Media (formerly O'Reilly & Associates) is an American l ...
. A digital book, ''
Pwn Leet (or "1337"), also known as eleet or leetspeak, is a system of modified spellings used primarily on the Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol ...
ing Tomorrow'', an
anthology In book publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the distribution of printed works, such as books ...
of
speculative fiction Speculative fiction is a broad category of fiction encompassing genres with elements that do not exist in reality, recorded history, nature, or the present universe. Such fiction covers various themes in the context of supernatural The sup ...
, was produced in 2015 as part of EFF's 25th anniversary activities, and includes contributions from 22 writers, including
Charlie Jane Anders Charlie Jane Anders is an American writer and commentator. She has written several novels, published magazines and websites, and hosted podcasts. In 2005, she received the Lambda Literary Award Lambda Literary Awards, also known as the "Lammys", ...
,
Paolo Bacigalupi Paolo Tadini Bacigalupi (born August 6, 1972 in Paonia, Colorado Paonia is a Colorado municipalities#Statutory town, statutory town in Delta County, Colorado, Delta County, Colorado, United States. The population was 1,451 at the 2010 United ...

Paolo Bacigalupi
,
Lauren Beukes Lauren Beukes (born 5 June 1976) is a South African novelist, short story writer, journalist and television scriptwriter. Early life Lauren Beukes was born 5 June 1976. She grew up in Johannesburg Johannesburg (, also ; ; Zulu language, ...

Lauren Beukes
,
David Brin Glen David Brin (born October 6, 1950) is an American scientist and author of science fiction Science fiction (sometimes shortened to sci-fi or SF) is a genre of speculative fiction which typically deals with imagination, imaginative and ...
,
Pat Cadigan Pat Cadigan (born September 10, 1953) is a British-American science fiction author, whose work is most often identified with the cyberpunk movement. Her novels and short stories often explore the relationship between the human mind and technolo ...

Pat Cadigan
,
Cory Doctorow Cory Efram Doctorow (; born July 17, 1971) is a Canadian-British blog A blog (a truncation In mathematics and computer science, truncation is limiting the number of numerical digit, digits right of the decimal point. Truncation and fl ...

Cory Doctorow
,
Neil Gaiman Neil Richard MacKinnon GaimanBorn as Neil Richard Gaiman, with "MacKinnon" added on the occasion of his marriage to Amanda Palmer Amanda MacKinnon Gaiman Palmer (born April 30, 1976) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and performa ...
,
Eileen Gunn Eileen Gunn (born June 23, 1945, Dorchester, Massachusetts Dorchester (colloquially referred to as Dot) is a Boston neighborhood comprising more than in the City of Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Originally, Dorchester was a separate to ...

Eileen Gunn
, Kameron Hurley,
James Patrick Kelly James Patrick Kelly (born April 11, 1951 in Mineola, New York) is an American science fiction author who has won both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award. Biography Kelly made his first fiction sale in 1975. He graduated magna cum laude fro ...

James Patrick Kelly
, Ramez Naam,
Annalee Newitz Annalee Newitz (born May 7, 1969) is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly know ...

Annalee Newitz
,
Hannu Rajaniemi Hannu Rajaniemi (born 9 March 1978) is a Finnish Americans, Finnish American author of science fiction and fantasy, who writes in both English and Finnish language, Finnish. He lives in Oakland, California, and was a founding director of a comme ...

Hannu Rajaniemi
,
Rudy Rucker Rudolf von Bitter Rucker (; born March 22, 1946) is an American mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic ...
,
Lewis Shiner Lewis Shiner (born December 30, 1950 in Eugene, Oregon Eugene ( ) is a city in the U.S. state of Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest. It is at the southern end of the Willamette Valley, near the confluence of the McKenzie River (Oregon), McKenzie ...
,
Bruce Sterling Michael Bruce Sterling (born April 14, 1954) is an American science fiction author known for his novels and short fiction and editorship of the ''Mirrorshades'' anthology. Sterling's first science fiction story, ''Man-Made Self'', was sold in 19 ...

Bruce Sterling
, and
Charles Yu Charles Yu (born Charles Chowkai Yu; January 3, 1976) is an American writer. He is the author of the novels ''How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe'' and ''Interior Chinatown'' (National Book Award winner) as well as the short-story ...
. The Electronic Frontier Foundation's
blog A blog (a truncation In mathematics and computer science, truncation is limiting the number of numerical digit, digits right of the decimal point. Truncation and floor function Truncation of positive real numbers can be done using the f ...
, ''DeepLinks'', is a major section of its main website at EFF.org. The EFF sent a video message of support to global grassroots movement
CryptoParty CryptoParty (Cryptography, Crypto-Party) is a grassroots global endeavour to introduce the basics of practical cryptography such as the Tor (anonymity network), Tor anonymity network, I2P, Freenet, key signing party, key signing parties, disk encryp ...
.


Software

The EFF has developed some software and browser add-ons, including
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...
,
HTTPS Everywhere HTTPS Everywhere is a free and open-source Free and open-source software (FOSS) is software Software is a collection of instructions Instruction or instructions may refer to: Computing * Instruction, one operation of a processor withi ...
, and Privacy Badger.


Secure Messaging Scorecard

The EFF conducted a project named Secure Messaging Scorecard which "evaluated apps and tools based on a set of seven specific criteria ranging from whether messages were encrypted in transit to whether or not the code had been recently audited." , a revised version is under development.


Support

As of 2021,
Charity Navigator Charity Navigator is a charity assessment organization that evaluates hundreds of thousands of charitable organization A charitable organization or charity is an organization whose primary objectives are philanthropy Philanthropy consis ...
has given the EFF an overall rating of four out of four stars, including four stars for its financial efficiency and capacity.


Financial

EFF had $23 million in assets, having received multiple grants or donations above 1 million dollars in its history. On February 18, 2004, the EFF announced that it had received a
bequest A bequest is property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property may have the right to con ...
of
US$ The United States dollar (symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragma ...
1.2 million from the estate of EFF member Leonard Zubkoff, a software developer and entrepreneur. It used $1 million of this money to establish the EFF Endowment Fund for Digital Civil Liberties. Beginning in 2010, the EFF began regularly receiving income from the
Humble Indie Bundle Humble Bundle, Inc. is a online distribution, digital storefront for video games, which grew out of its original offering of Humble Bundles, collections of games sold at a Pay what you want, price determined by the purchaser and with a portion of ...
. In 2010, these donations made up 14% of EFF's total revenue. Between 2011 and 2014, the amount received from
Humble Bundle Humble Bundle, Inc. is a digital storefront for video games, which grew out of its original offering of Humble Bundles, collections of games sold at a price determined by the purchaser and with a portion of the price going towards charity and t ...
reached $7.5 million or 23% of the EFF total revenues. In 2011, the EFF received $1 million from
Google Google LLC is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational stat ...

Google
as part of a settlement of a class action related to privacy issues involving
Google Buzz Google Buzz was a social networking A social networking service (also social networking site or social media) is an online platform which people use to build social networks or social relationships with other people who share similar person ...
. The
Electronic Privacy Information Center Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is an independent nonprofit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated fo ...
and seven other privacy-focused nonprofits protested that the plaintiffs' lawyers and Google had, in effect, arranged to give the majority of those funds "to organizations that are currently paid by Google to lobby for or to consult for the company". An additional $1 million was obtained from
Facebook Facebook is an American online social media and social networking service owned by Meta Platforms. Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, an ...

Facebook
in a similar settlement. In December 2014, the Adams Charitable Foundation granted EFF a $3 million endowment to fund the new Adams Chair for Internet Rights.


Other

The
agitprop Agitprop (; from rus, агитпроп, r=Agitpróp, portmanteau of ''agitatsiya'', "agitation" and ''propaganda'', "propaganda") is the promulgation of ideas (in Russian, "propaganda" does not have the pejorative connotation that it has acquired ...
art group Psychological Industries has independently issued buttons with
pop culture Pop or POP may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Music * Pop music Pop is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms a ...
tropes Trope or tropes may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Trope (cinema) In cinema Cinema may refer to: Film * Cinematography Cinematography (from ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ...
such as the logo of the Laughing Man from the
anime is hand-drawn and computer animation " technique Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animated images. The more general term computer-generated imagery Computer-generated imagery (CGI) is the application of ...

anime
series '' Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex'' (with the original ''
The Catcher in the Rye ''The Catcher in the Rye'' is a novel by J. D. Salinger Jerome David Salinger (; January 1, 1919 January 27, 2010) was an American writer best known for his 1951 novel ''The Catcher in the Rye ''The Catcher in the Rye'' is a novel by J. D ...
'' quotation replaced with the slogan of
Anonymous Anonymous may refer to: * Anonymity, the state of an individual's identity, or personally identifiable information, being publicly unknown ** Anonymous work, a work of art or literature that has an unnamed or unknown creator or author Organiza ...
), a bleeding roller derby jammer, and the "" woman (often misidentified as
Rosie the Riveter Rosie the Riveter was an allegorical cultural icon A cultural icon is a person or an artifactArtifact, or artefact, may refer to: Science and technology *Artifact (error) In natural science Natural science is a branch of science ...

Rosie the Riveter
) on a series of buttons on behalf of the EFF. In late June 2014 the EFF flew a GEFA-FLUG AS 105 GD/4
blimp A blimp, or non-rigid airship, is an airship An airship, dirigible balloon or blimp is a type of aerostat An aerostat (From greek language, Greek ἀήρ ''aer'' (air) + στατός ''statos'' (standing) through French) is a lighter t ...

blimp
owned by, and in conjunction with,
Greenpeace Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning network. The network comprises 26 independent national/regional organisations in over 55 countries across Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, as well as a co-ordinating body, Green ...

Greenpeace
over the
NSA The National Security Agency (NSA) is a national-level intelligence agency An intelligence agency is a government agency A government or state agency, sometimes an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the m ...

NSA
's Bluffdale-based
Utah Data Center The Utah Data Center (UDC), also known as the Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Data Center, is a Computer data storage, data storage facility for the United States Intelligence Community that is designed to st ...

Utah Data Center
in protest against its purported illegal spying.


See also

*
Clipper chip The Clipper chip was a chipset that was developed and promoted by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) as an encryption device that secured "voice and data messages" with a built-in Backdoor (computing), backdoor that was intended to " ...
*
Digital rights Digital rights are those human rights and Natural and legal rights, legal rights that allow individuals to access, use, create, and publish digital media or to access and use computers, other Consumer electronics, electronic devices, and teleco ...
*
European Digital Rights European Digital Rights (EDRi) is an international advocacy group Advocacy groups, also known as special interest groups, use various forms of advocacy Advocacy is an activity by an individual or group that aims to influence decisio ...
(EDRi) * Electronic Frontier Canada *
Electronic Frontiers Australia Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc. (EFA) is a Non profit, non-profit Australian national non-government organisation representing Internet users concerned with online Liberty, liberties and rights. It has been vocal on the issue of Internet cens ...
*
Freedom of the Press Foundation Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) is a non-profit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a ...
*
Hardware restriction A hardware restriction (sometimes called hardware DRM) is content protection Copy protection, also known as content protection, copy prevention and copy restriction, describes measures to enforce copyright Copyright is a type of intellec ...
s * Information freedom *
Internet censorship Internet censorship is the control or suppression of what can be accessed, published, or viewed on the Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite ...
*
League for Programming Freedom League for Programming Freedom (LPF) was founded in 1989 by Richard Stallman Richard Matthew Stallman (; born March 16, 1953), also known by his initials, rms, is an American free software movement The free software movement is a social m ...

League for Programming Freedom
* OpenMedia.ca *
Open Rights Group The Open Rights Group (ORG) is a UK-based organisation that works to preserve digital rights and freedoms by campaigning on digital rights issues and by fostering a community of grassroots activists. It campaigns on numerous issues including mas ...

Open Rights Group
, (UK-based) *
Protection of Broadcasts and Broadcasting Organizations Treaty The World Intellectual Property Organization's Protection of Broadcasts and Broadcasting Organizations Treaty or the Broadcast Treaty is a proposed treaty designed to afford broadcasters some control and copyright-like control over the content of ...
*
Reporters Without Borders Reporters Without Borders (french: Reporters sans frontières; RSF) is an international non-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entit ...

Reporters Without Borders


Notes


References

* * * * *


External links

* * * * * *
EFF's Secure Messaging Scorecard (version 1.0)
* ** * * also known by the titles: {{Portal bar, Freedom of speech, Internet, San Francisco Bay Area Access to Knowledge movement Articles containing video clips Charities based in California Civil liberties advocacy groups in the United States Computer law organizations Digital rights organizations Foundations based in the United States Freedom of expression organizations Humble Bundle Intellectual property activism Internet privacy organizations Internet-related activism Mission District, San Francisco Organizations based in San Francisco Organizations established in 1990 Politics and technology Privacy in the United States Privacy organizations