A message to our community: save internet freedom tech
Our request to Congress to continue the fight to protect internet freedom worldwide - and how you can help.
Since our inception, the Simply Secure team has been committed to supporting people impacted by threats to privacy and safety through usability and design support. For several years, we have worked alongside the Open Technology Fund, and its support and funding have allowed us to collaborate with many internet freedom projects. We have seen first hand how these resources have contributed to a stronger, safer, healthier, freer, and more open internet.
This week, alongside more than 350 public interest and human rights organizations, we’ve called on Congress to show real support to that same cause by committing to the protection of the Open Technology Fund and the crucial part it plays in defending global internet freedom.
What is the Open Technology Fund?
In the past eight years, the Open Technology Fund (OTF) and the projects it supports have allowed more than 2 billion people in over 60 countries to safely access the internet, free of censorship and surveillance. Through the development of open-source technologies and wider networks, the fund is one of the most prominent protectors of democracy and freedom of speech online. Until recently, the fund has also experienced widespread bipartisan support for its innovation, efficiency, and leadership.
So why does it need help?
Despite this track record of success, Michael Pack - newly appointed head of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) - has this week dismissed the leadership and dissolved the board of the OTF alongside a number of other well-regarded institutions. USAGM spending has also been frozen, sparking concerns that the agency plans to reallocate all government funding for the OTF.
These drastic moves have also raised alarm bells around the chances of success for the proposed “Open Technology Fund Authorization Act”, which would establish the Open Technology Fund (OTF) as an independent grantee of the US Agency for Global Media. The act has long been supported across party lines, but now stands under threat.
What can we do?
As one of many organizations supported by the vital work of the OTF, the team at Simply Secure are dedicated to building a democratic online world. Please join us in requesting that congress continue to protect freedom of speech, thought, and education online. Sign the letter - and explore other ways you can help - at saveinternetfreedom.tech.