Twenty years of independence

Date: 2016-02-11 13:11
From: “Cindy Cohn
Electronic Frontier Foundation”

Dear Friend of Digital Freedom,
This week we celebrate 20 years since EFF’s co-founder John Perry Barlow issued A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. That influential document responded to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, a federal law that attempted to prevent people from using dirty words online. Revisiting it this week, he remarked upon what the digital world can become:

“…an Internet that will one day convey to every human mind the Right to Know, and all that curiosity might propel them toward a ‘world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.’”

That’s the vision that EFF was founded upon 25 years ago. In his inimitable style, Barlow recognized that the Internet was already fundamentally open and ripe with possibility:

“…Cyberspace, the fast-blooming organism of all connected thought, was already free and already independent. It was not a freedom we had to wrest from some King. It was a freedom we’d had all along, based on the simple lack of enforceable jurisdiction and the inherently open architectural design of the Internet.”

Barlow’s proclamation about the Internet of 1996 inspired people to take action. Whistleblowers, innovators, and technologists carry this legacy still, forging a world that embraces free expression as well as privacy. These words also resonate with individuals who finally found, online, a community that they simply couldn’t anywhere else.

That’s still our vision at EFF today. We know that an Internet that’s free as in speech won’t come without effort. It’s a responsibility that EFF’s members recognize and that we proudly shoulder in the courts, with technology, and through activism in communities around the world. We ask you to support this vital movement now and for the future to ensure that the expanding digital world has a formidable defender:

Thank you for being a part of this important work.


Cindy Cohn
EFF Executive Director

Electronic Frontier Foundation, 815 Eddy Street, San Francisco, CA 94109 USA
EFF appreciates your support and respects your privacy:


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