Access Now Overview ‧ read
But what about people in countries where the internet is already censored? Who’s fighting for their cause?
Access Now, that’s who.
No Access back then: It started in Iran
The pair then began working with existing digital rights projects to create a new movement for digital freedom: Access Now.
The internet freedom movement grows
In 2015, Access Now received over $2 million in funding from its supporters, which included the Media Democracy Fund, Mozilla, Oxfam, and RightsCon.org.
But how does Access Now use its funds to fight for internet rights?
How Access Now defends and extends internet rights
Business and human rights: Access Now urges companies to make their “practices more transparent, accountable, and rights-respecting,” and has encouraged private citizens to get involved with internet policy. Access Now also speaks out when governments, such as Egypt and Morocco, shut down their internet services. Access Now also advocates net neutrality, especially when it is threatened by cable companies in the U.S. or Facebook in the developing world.
Digital security: The organization also works to ensure private citizens’ “online activities are private, safe, and secure” by providing security guides and a 24/7 Digital Security Helpline. Access Now’s 2016 campaign vowed to “fight for strong encryption, implementing a comprehensive plan to combat internet shutdowns.”
Freedom of expression: Access Now believes that free speech is “critical for demonstrating dissent, guaranteeing a free press, and defending human rights.” It has condemned censorship such as Brazil’s block on Whatsapp, Turkey’s YouTube ban, and the threat to Tor in France. Access Now also represents internet users at events like the Internet Governance Forum and has even addressed members of the UN on digital rights.
Net discrimination: Access Now wants a “free and open internet… without favoring certain websites, applications, or services.” Don’t we all? As such, the organization has challenged Facebook on its limiting “free” internet service in India. It also runs RightsCon, which “gathers digital rights activists, companies, government officials, technologists, and academics from all over the world” to forge the right path for an open internet.
Privacy: According to Access Now, privacy is “a cornerstone for human rights in the digital age.” And we couldn’t agree more. The organization is campaigning against privacy threats posed by drones and new legislation, like the European Data Protection Reform Package and U.S. Congress’s recent Cyber Surveillance Bill.
Join the fight at the Access Now Action Center
The Access Now Action Center is the place to go if you want to join the fight. The Action Center hosts all of Access Now’s live campaigns and activities and invites you to take part. Recent campaigns have invited internet users to demand stronger cryptography and stop France’s excessive surveillance methods.
You can also donate to help Access Now keep its 24/7 Digital Security Helpline running. This helpline provides support to organizers all around the world so they can enhance their digital security practices. The Helpline also provides emergency help to individuals under digital attack.
Be sure subscribe to Access Now’s “action alerts” to stay up to date on its causes.
We need Access Now now more than ever
The internet can be an incredibly powerful tool for fighting back. It gives ordinary people a voice that can be heard all around the world—but only if authorities don’t mess with it.
That’s why the work of Access Now is so important, and that’s why it has ExpressVPN’s full support.