Why I Donated to the Electronic Frontier Foundation

I just signed up for a monthly cash donation to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), increasing my support of that organization.

I want to share a little about why.

I’m not expecting anyone who reads this to follow suit … though of course, it’d be great if you did. What am expecting is that if you’ve read this far you’re open to thinking about the issues at hand, and taking action that you feel is appropriate in the face of changes in the current political climate.

My greatest concern is that our digital rights are at risk.

Digital rights boil down to human rights. Rights you and I take for granted. Rights that, when threatened, put us all at risk.

Granted, we were already at risk, but with a more conservative-leaning government in the wings, I view the risk as only increasing, and perhaps dramatically.

From the EFF about page:

Today, EFF uses the unique expertise of leading technologists, activists, and attorneys in our efforts to defend free speech online, fight illegal surveillance, advocate for users and innovators, and support freedom-enhancing technologies.

In recent months free speech has been explicitly threatened. In recent years agencies have been lobbying for blatantly unconstitutional forms of surveillance in the name of the war against terrorism. It seems more likely that these request will be granted – either explicitly, or by tacitly ignoring their use.

It’s also been quite clear that government officials – the very officials making the decisions we’re concerned about – don’t understand technology. That was true for the previous administration, and apparently more so with the new. Making policy decisions, or even enacting legislation, that doesn’t consider both the actual capabilities and the limitations of technology is a path to disaster.

EFF advocates for both protection of basic rights, as well as understanding exactly what can be expected of technology and technology-related legislation.

As I said, I’m not necessarily expecting you to support the EFF, though, again, it’d be great if you did.

What I would hope, though, is that you seriously think about what rights our new government might threaten. Then consider deeply which organizations you might support, or what other steps you might take, to ensure that those rights are not trampled.

And for the record, I would absolutely love to be wrong about the threat. If you know me at all I’m not one to cry that the sky is falling.

But I am concerned.