[ooni-talk] Urgent Request: We Need your Immediate Help to Save Internet Freedom

Maria Xynou maria at openobservatory.org
Fri Jun 19 11:10:01 UTC 2020

Hello friends,

Long story short, the Trump administration just appointed a new CEO to
USAGM, which is the US government’s global media agency which oversees
news broadcasters like Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, as well as a
key funder in the Internet Freedom field, Open Technology Fund (OTF).
FYI, this CEO, Michael Pack, is very close to Steve Bannon. The USAGM
news agencies, combined, reach millions if not billions of people
throughout the world.

There are folks lobbying hard to take away congressional-approved
funding going to Internet Freedom, of which a large chunk goes to OTF,
potentially impacting the 2020 budget. The strategy is to shift funding
to only a handful of commercial VPN services. This will be
catastrophically detrimental for Internet Freedom worldwide - It will
put human rights defenders, activists, and journalists in danger,
especially activists campaigning against highly sophisticated technical
adversaries like China, Russia, Iran and more.

What Can You Do:

1- We’re calling on your organization to sign a letter that is being
sent to Congress
You can read and sign for support here: https://saveinternetfreedom.tech/
Please share the website with your contacts.

2- Organizational statement
It would be incredibly helpful to have your organization put out a
statement in support of Internet Freedom and OTF. Here are some talking
points. https://frama.link/tp-saveinternetfreedom

3- Join the mailing list
Join the mailing list, where folks are coordinating efforts against
this: https://groups.io/g/sift-talk/

4- Press statements
If you work with groups that have benefited from OTF funding, and can
attest to how crucial it is in the fight for internet freedom, human
rights and against censorship, please let us know. We might use some of
these quotes for press statements.

5- Help us with Outreach & Public Support:

a) You can tweet about it using #saveinternetfreedom, and use any means
in your disposal to draw media attention to this.

Thank you!

Maria Xynou
Research & Partnerships Director
Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI)
PGP Key Fingerprint: 2DC8 AFB6 CA11 B552 1081 FBDE 2131 B3BE 70CA 417E

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