New technologies are radically advancing our freedoms but they are also enabling unparalleled invasions of privacy.
Your cell phone helps you keep in touch with friends and families but it also makes it easier for security agencies to track your location.
Your Web searches about sensitive medical information might seem a secret between you and your search engine, but companies like Google are creating a treasure trove of personal information by logging your online activities, and making it potentially available to any party wielding enough cash or a subpoena.
And the next time you try to board a plane, watch out—you might be turned away after being mistakenly placed on a government watch list, or be forced to open your email in the security line.
National and international laws have yet to catch up with the evolving need for privacy that comes with new technology. Several governments have also chosen to use malware to engage in extra-legal spying or system sabotage for dissidents or non-citizens, all in the name of “national security.”
Respect for individuals’ autonomy, anonymous speech, and the right to free association must be balanced against legitimate concerns like law enforcement. National governments must put legal checks in place to prevent abuse of state powers, and international bodies need to consider how a changing technological environment shapes security agencies’ best practices.
EFF fights in the courts and Congress to extend your privacy rights into the digital world, and works with partners around the globe to support the development of privacy-protecting technologies. Read our work on privacy issues below, and join EFF to help support our efforts.
For information about the law and technology of government surveillance in the United States check out EFF’s Surveillance Self-Defense project.
- EFF – How to Protect Your Privacy from Facebook’s Graph Search (bespacific.com)
- EFF Says ‘Accidental’ Tracking Subjects Should Be Able To Challenge Surveillance (reason.com)
- Google Releases Transparency Report Showing US Surveillance Requests Up 33% in the Last Year (eff.org)
- A Year After SOPA: These Are the Next Five Battles For Internet Freedom (gizmodo.com)
- The secrecy surrounding the government’s illegal spying has grown to the point of complete absurdity (EndtheLie.com)
- Online Privacy Offenders List: Who’s Got Your Back? (beanstalk-inc.com)
- Slowing down the surveillance state: a guide to warrantless government spying (EndtheLie.com)
- Feds confirm: Military drones are watching you (wnd.com)
- Part 2: EFF’s Additional Improvements to Aaron’s Law (eff.org)
- 2012 in Review: EFF’s Fight Against Secret Surveillance Law (eff.org)