Throughout the many years that EFF has been around, our goal has remained consistent: creating a future where you have your rights when you go online, and one where they are enhanced by new technologies. But our goal isn’t the only part of EFF that has remained consistent: for decades, the digital freedom supporters that lift our organization have been stalwart allies that help ensure we can continue fighting for privacy, free expression, and innovation online.
It’s because of these supporters that we can fight tough battles, but also take the time to celebrate our accomplishments and come together as a community. And we did celebrate and have fun together this year!
Starting off with our 7th annual Tech Trivia Night and 15th annual Cyberlaw Trivia Night—both filled with delicious food, drinks, and of course, a myriad of trivia questions to test the contestant’s tech and internet culture know-how. Both events boasted a full house, with Cyberlaw Trivia even selling out tickets. We of course had some very snazzy judges for the event—including our Cybertiger for Tech Trivia!
We didn’t want to stop there, so next up we hosted our Spring Members’ Speakeasy in Oakland. Attendees were invited to a super-secret location for drinks and a chance to meet EFF staff and other like-minded digital freedom supporters. Members even got a behind-the-scenes look into how we fight for encryption and oppose bad bills from Congress with EFF’s Director of Federal Affairs India McKinney.
Of course, we got to see EFF supporters in full force when we headed to Las Vegas for the summer security conferences—BSides Las Vegas, Black Hat USA, and DEF CON. This week, consisting of these extraordinary conferences, is always one of the busiest times of the year for EFF, and this year was no exception. Throughout the week, we had more than one thousand people either start or renew their EFF membership(!), raising enough money to fund a lawyer for a full year, and then some. It was great to see such strong support and a bunch of attendees walking around in new, and vintage, EFF swag!
You’d think we’d take a break and slow down after that hectic week in Las Vegas. But you’d be mistaken, because just a month after that we celebrated our second EFF Awards in San Francisco! This is always our most ambitious event, involving a ton of EFF staff, digital freedom supporters, past award winners, and of course, our new EFF Award winners. We were even able to record the event for folks to watch at home if they couldn’t attend—give it a watch if you couldn’t make it. The EFF Awards are a great opportunity for EFF to catch up with the community and shine light on others doing great work in this space.
To cap the year off, we wanted to focus on how widespread and diverse our membership base can be. So, we held our fall Members’ Speakeasy online, where attendees from around the world got a chance to hear about some of the work that EFF is doing in the states and in Europe regarding various “child safety” laws that would threaten privacy and encryption around the world.
With 2023 ending, it’s good to reflect on what happened over the last year. I think that it is safe to say that throughout EFF’s existence, particularly the last few years, EFF members have been one of the driving forces of the organization and are the reason we can continue working towards a better digital future.
Many thanks to all of the EFF members who joined forces with us this year! If you’ve been meaning to join, but haven’t yet, year-end is a great time to do so.
This blog is part of our Year in Review series. Read other articles about the fight for digital rights in 2023.