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Supporting Digital Freedom at the (Virtual) Summer Security Conferences

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During a typical year, EFF staff members would be headed to Las Vegas to present our latest work to the world and ensure legal support for computer security researchers at the long-running hacker events BSidesLV, Black Hat, and DEF CON. These summer security conferences are a natural opportunity for the curious and the professional to geek out on tech. Hackers, tinkerers, and reverse engineers were among the first to embrace the excitement and potential of their own imaginations in digital space. They have been a core part of EFF and the online freedom community since the beginning, and we relish thanking them face to face.

But this year, as we each grapple with a sobering pandemic, these conferences have had to undergo big changes and are all happening in virtual space. DEF CON is even free to attend. This pandemic, as well as far-reaching protests, have forced us to rethink much of our daily lives—and these questions can feel overwhelming.

EFF’s response is to double-down on the work we’ve done to protect the free expression rights that drive change, fight harder than ever against government attempts to break encryption, and push back against the pervasive surveillance that affects everyone. EFF’s mission has never been more important than in this moment, with the world thrust further online.

It’s no surprise that many EFF supporters renew their annual memberships in person at the Las Vegas summer security conferences. And even though the conferences have gone virtual need your help more than ever to keep up the fight.

EFF’s Error 2020 member t-shirt design for DEF CON 28

EFF’s t-shirt design for DEF CON Safe Mode

For the first time, EFF’s annual collector’s-edition DEF CON t-shirt (seen above) is available as a member gift online, but it won’t last long. Snag one and you may discover fuzzy riddles, mysteries, and sweet enigmas. Conference attendees and supporters gather the money to literally fund one EFF lawyer and one activist for the year during these few days each August. 2020 needs a reboot—will you help us?

Check out the EFF calendar to learn more about EFF’s talks this week at Black Hat and DEF CON Safe Mode. You can even play the live DEF CON Safe Mode edition of EFF Tech Trivia on Friday, August 7 at 5 pm PT. While we aren’t able to come together in person, cyberspace offers the next best thing.

EFF Going 30 for 30

It’s a strange coincidence that this year of adversity, where many things like conferences have been cancelled, is also EFF’s 30th anniversary. Thankfully, we’re still able to connect and rise from afar. Wherever you are in the world, EFF can use your help! To honor decades of EFF standing up for technology users, we’re issuing a challenge to 30,000 supporters to give.

For just a few more days, you can become an EFF member for only $19.90, in celebration of our founding year! And if you become a monthly or annual recurring member this week, you’ll receive an individually-numbered EFF challenge coin as a token of our appreciation. This is your last chance to get this one-of-a-kind memento. Current recurring donors can also get one by upgrading. Challenge coins follow a long tradition of offering a symbol of kinship and respect for great achievements. 

Limited edition EFF challenge coin

Anniversary Challenge Coins for new or upgrading recurring donors

At its core, hacking is about finding creative solutions to a problem. We’re proud of the way the hacker community has risen to the challenge of this pandemic, and continued to support digital freedom. For 30 years, EFF has used the law, activism, software, and every tool in our arsenal to overcome obstacles to your privacy, free expression, and online creativity. That mission empowers all of us through darkness, and with your help we can navigate toward a brighter digital future. With your help, EFF is here to stay another 30 years—and beyond. 

Support Online Rights!

Join EFF or Renew Your Membership Today

EFF is a U.S. 501(c)(3) nonprofit and contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Thanks for standing with us!


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About The Author

Aaron Jue

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. We work to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows. Visit https://www.eff.org

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