The Festival

The Internet Freedom Festival is one of the largest, most diverse and inclusive gatherings in the world. The festival brings together over 1,000 frontline activists, journalists, open source technologists, researchers, and human rights defenders from 100+ countries who gather for a week of sharing, learning, and building.

IFF participants come from over 100+ countries, disciplines, areas of focus, and backgrounds, and join forces together to fight censorship and surveillance.

  • Pioneering technologists, digital security experts, and FLOSS community leaders.
  • Researchers and industry leaders investigating the next frontier of technology ranging from Artificial Intelligence to the Internet’s infrastructure.
  • Award-winning journalists and grassroots activists working on issues ranging from LGBTQ to indigenous rights, civil society representatives, and human rights defenders.
  • Trailblazing policy advocates, lawyers, funders, and representatives from various governments, technology companies and multilateral organizations.

“The Internet Freedom Festival is, unlike any other conference focusing on the fight against censorship and surveillance due to its spotlight on diversity of ethnicity, region, gender, and thought that’s represented. The IFF is also probably one of the most inclusive and celebratory events in the space, raising up individuals and their various projects/disciplines.”

Matt Mitchell
Hacker, Operational Security Trainer, and Data Journalist. Ford Foundation

Leaders on Community Design & Secure Organizing

Made by the community, for the community, the IFF is known for creating a positive, secure, and safe environment for hands-on, multidisciplinary collaboration that breeds solidarity between the diverse groups that call the festival home. Considered a point-of-reference for their work in secure organizing, diversity and inclusion and code of conduct tools, the festival provides a space for the world’s digital defenders to collectively address the most pressing issues at the intersection of technology and human rights, particularly those affecting at-risk communities in the Global South.

The festival features over 220+ sessions and workshops on the official programming, various private and public side events created by partners and community members, social events, villages,and much more.

“Discussions at the Internet Freedom Festival include the full spectrum of issues that threaten freedom of expression online. By bringing civil society and technologists together, these discussions turn into action. The apps, software, and research projects incubated at the IFF have a lasting impact.”

Karen Reilly
Project and Infrastructure Manager, Social Justice

Partners & Solidarity, Core to Its Design

Partners are a crucial part of the IFF and support important community programs that help elevate diverse voices from around the world, while contributing towards the growth of strong collaborations and synergies. Festival partners are diverse and include well-known technology tools, civil society organizations, regional grassroots organizations, funders, collectives, NGOs, and many others. We rely on them to help us design a more robust festival, and ensure that the most important conversations are taking place. Our approach with partners is built on the belief that in social justice, solidarity is key. We are stronger together!

A sample of Partners side events and alternative programs:

“EFF is proud to be part of the Internet Freedom Festival community. The festival is invaluable for technologists whose work addresses privacy, security, and censorship. The IFF connects them directly with the global community of activists impacted by their work, sparking discussions, collaborations, and connections. Every year, our staffers come back from the IFF with new ideas and fresh passion for fighting for digital rights across the globe.” 

Rebecca Jeschke
Media Relations Director and Digital Rights Analyst

“The Internet Freedom Festival is truly an inspirational event, gathering together internet freedom fighters to join forces in the battle against censorship and surveillance. It provided us with an excellent opportunity to meet with diverse communities, learn from their experiences, and have a clearer understanding of the current digital rights situation form the activists’ point of view.”

Building Capacity & Elevating the Voices of the Most Affected Communities

We believe that by serving and putting the most vulnerable in the driver’s seat, everyone benefits. As a result, central to the IFF has been its Diversity and Inclusion Program (DIP), which has supported more than 220 individuals from 109 countries. This support has ranged from visa and psycho-social support, to financial assistance. Thanks to these efforts, women and gender non-conforming individuals make up more than 50% of participants and presenters, while Global South representation is around 60%. The DIP has also helped create the Emerging Leaders Program, a stand alone initiative that helps build capacity and innovation among at-risk groups throughout the world.

“At the Internet Freedom Festival, I have the support and can openly talk about challenges I am facing without being judged, humiliated, or blitzed for that. “

Arzu Geybullayeva
Journalist, blogger, and activist. Azerbaijan Internet Watch. 2019 Fellow

What People Have to Say About the Festival

“The IFF is one of the most diverse safe spaces I had the chance to be in. The stories of resilience and creativity you hear from people that you meet thanks to the IFF and the support you get from the community are priceless.” 

Yosr
Software Engineer and Digital Rights Researcher, 2020 CEP Fellow

“The Internet Freedom Festival is an amazing community filled with beautiful people committed to making the internet and virtual space editable and accessible to all folks across the world” 

Tamika Blu
Community Participatory, Research on Data and Surveillance, 2019 Fellow

 

“The IFF stands out for its open, dynamic and creative approach and for having the ability to make you feel part of a thriving interdisciplinary community regardless of the distance. Their activities and resources have helped and encouraged me to pursue this approach into my work promoting rights-based digital education policies and practices.” 

Elos
IFF Participant

“The IFF provides a safe community for a cross-pollination of ideas and tools necessary for Internet Freedoms. This is a contested space and it has been able to do this in a way that maintains autonomy and defends the work of frontliners. Internet Freedom extends to our lives offline, which is what makes the work of the IFF so invaluable. ” 

Esther Mwema
Founder of Digital Grassroots, 2019 Fellow

“The IFF is a unique space that is much more than an annual gathering of passionate and like-minded people. It is a community that fosters and celebrates solidarity, growth, and self-care. I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by such a special group of people who continue to help me be better in order to support the work done by activists, advocates and technologists around the world.” 

Don Le
Research, Advocacy and Communications, 2018 Fellow