How You Can Support Privacy Organizations
We normally associate the word “charities” and “causes” with children, cancer, poverty, animals, education, and even world peace. The word “privacy” doesn’t even come to mind.
But believe it or not, there are organizations dedicated to protecting our freedom and right to privacy in this digital age and supporting them matters more to our way of life than you think.
Let’s get to know them.
EFF is the leading international non-profit digital-rights group, based in San Francisco, CA. In their own words, they “champion user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development.”
HTTPS Everywhere, Privacy Badger and Switzerland are some of the software programs EFF developed, in addition to providing tips, tools, how-to’s and tutorials for safer online communication. Charity Navigator has given the Electronic Frontier Foundation an overall rating of 4 out of 4 stars, including in the area of financial efficiency and capacity.
They are the creator of the anonymity software Tor, a privacy network that effectively hides not just the identity of the communicating parties, but also the content of the communication. Today, Tor is being integrated into more services, including apps like Onionshare and Ricochet, which allow for new forms of communication, as well as bypass censorship and surveillance.
Though largely funded by the U.S. government’s information freedom projects, the organization is looking for other funding sources, which is an important step in today’s political climate. Also, as Tor’s strength lies in the diversity of its group of volunteer-operated servers, the organization is asking people to consider running a relay or volunteering as a developer.
Fight for the Future is a non-profit organization that puts together high profile, web-based campaigns to “ensure that the web continues to hold freedom of expression and creativity at its core—free of interference or censorship and with full privacy”.
The success of Fight for the Future Foundation includes the largest online protest in history: an internet-wide strike against censorship that put an end to the SOPA and PIPA bills. More recently, its Battle for the Net campaign drove nearly 4 million people to contact the U.S. Federal Communication Commission, resulting in the passage of Net Neutrality rules, essentially a “First Amendment” for the Internet.
Privacy International (PI) is a London-based registered charity committed to fighting for people’s privacy worldwide. They investigate and challenge government surveillance, expose companies that enable it and advocate for strong laws that protect privacy. They also equip civil-society organizations around the world to raise public awareness about technologies and laws that place privacy at risk.
PI is continuing to build on the impact it has made the last 25 years and is always grateful for individual donations, as it doesn’t accept money from companies or other organizations that could jeopardize its independence.
This organization engages in educational initiatives to increase the public’s awareness of advances in technology, online privacy, and identity issues. It was originally formed by Privacy Vaults Online, Inc. (PRIVO), an FTC-approved, neutral third-party COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) Safe Harbor and identity and consent service provider, who wanted to have a positive impact in helping educate children and their families about online privacy.
Today, 92% of kids under the age of 2 have a digital footprint and 50% of kids between 6-9 years old regularly use social networks. Supporting this organization ensures that privacy becomes, and remains, a top priority for current and future generations.
Although described by news media outlets as a “nonprofit software group,” it’s not registered as a nonprofit organization. The group created and now maintains Signal, a private messenger app for iOS, Android and Chrome that’s used by millions of people for surveillance-resistant phone calls and text messages. It also developed Signal Protocol, an encryption protocol used by WhatsApp, Google’s Allo messenger and Facebook Messenger (opt-in).
OSW, whose products are published as free and open-source software, relies solely on a combination of grants and donations, as well as code contributions from a worldwide community of developers and users. You can donate via the Freedom of the Press Foundation.
EPIC is an independent, nonprofit, public-interest research center in Washington, DC. It routinely files amicus briefs, defends consumer privacy and speaks before Congress and judicial organizations about emerging privacy and civil liberty issues, among others. In addition to prevailing in significant Freedom of Information Act cases against the CIA, DHS, FBI, NSA, TSA, etc., it also successfully pursued complaints with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission concerning Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook Google, Microsoft and Choicepoint.
EPIC—which has no clients, customers or shareholders—relies on support from individual donors to pursue its work. It’s been awarded 4 out of 4 stars by Charity Navigator, and the Gold Seal of Transparency by GuideStar.
IFEA is a 30-member group composed of online publishers, free speech and journalistic organizations, academic groups and other privacy-centric institutions that oppose the adoption of techniques and standards that limit the internet as an open, diverse and democratic communication platform. They work to identify new threats on the internet to free expression and 1st Amendment values, whether legal or technological, and to oppose any governmental effort to promote, coerce or mandate the rating or filtering of online content.
Foundation for Applied Privacy is a nonprofit infrastructure provider based in Vienna, Austria, that provides privacy-enhancing services such as Tor Relays, DNS Privacy Services and Network Traffic Statistics to the general public free of charge.
The foundation hopes to raise 3,000 Euro by the end of 2019 to cover the operational costs (colocation, hardware and hosting) of providing their services and to continue their mission of helping protect privacy, freedom of expression and digital rights.
OWASP, as supported by the OWASP Foundation, is an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to web application security. It is an open community whose tools, documents, videos, forums and other materials are freely available and accessible on their website to anyone interested in improving application security.
The organization’s best-known project is perhaps the OWASP Top 10, a regularly updated “awareness document” focused on the 10 most critical vulnerabilities found in web applications, which attackers can easily exploit to plant malware, steal data or take over web servers.
Information Systems Audit and Control Association, also known as ISACA, is an independent, nonprofit, global association focused on IT governance. It is engaged in the development, adoption and use of industry-leading practices for information systems and serves more than 110,000 members in more than 180 countries.
The COBIT, Val IT and Risk IT frameworks are internationally recognized and used ISACA brands along with the CISA, CISM CGEIT and CRISC certifications. Its CSX-P certification is also one of the few certifications that require a person to work in a live environment.
TPRH is a nonprofit organization committed to advancing the innovative and ethical use of data while protecting individual privacy. It connects academics, industry leaders, policy advocates and universities in the North Carolina Research Triangle to generate independent research and practical recommendations related to emerging privacy issues in the fields of education, healthcare, media and national security. The scope of their work also includes research and advocacy for data access, transparency and accountability on specific legislations such as FERPA, COPPA, PPRA, HIPAA, GINA, ADA, and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Giving financial support is a sign of commitment, so the premise of this organization is simple: Protecting the right to privacy of every American to financially support causes or groups that he or she believes in without fear of reprisal from the government or people with opposing views as a byproduct of the government making the donation a matter of public record.
As you can see, you’re not alone when it comes to fighting for your privacy rights. If you want to join the cause, there are organizations eager gain your support.
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