Welcome to the Internet Freedom Festival

By November 24, 2015Blog

Jillian-C.-York,-Director-for-International-Freedom-of-Expression-at-EFF

Guest Author: Jillian C. York, Director for International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation | @jilliancyork@EFF

We are a group of individuals from all over the world who come together once a year to tackle the difficult problems facing the open Internet.

Welcome to the Internet Freedom Festival!  If this is your first time hearing about it, allow me to introduce you to our diverse community: we are designers, developers, researchers, coders, hackers, social scientists, and more. We come from different backgrounds and with different approaches, but share the common belief that by working together, we can fight back against the increasing restrictions facing the open Web.

We operate from the premise, backed by the UN, that Internet access is a human right. We believe in the right to privacy and to freedom of expression and, to that end, we build tools, create campaigns, put forth research, and train people on how to use the Internet more safely and how to ensure that it remains free and open.

Personally, this is my second time attending the festival, and my first time in a leadership role. I’ve been tasked with helping with community and outreach, which is why I’m writing this: Because I want you to join us in Valencia in March!

One thing that impressed me most about last year’s festival was the diversity that I encountered. The festival’s attendees came from 43 countries and 78 cities. We were 35% women (let’s make that even more, please!). We had lots of folks from LGBTQ communities, folks who brought along their children, and even a couple people who brought their pets! I had the opportunity to talk with people of varying skill sets and interests, people new to the community as well as those who’ve been around forever, and most importantly, so many people that I have so much to learn from.

internet-freedom-festival-2015-numbers

Internet Freedom Festival 2015 Numbers

So, join us. Bring your A-game. Bring your design eye, your experience in communications, your hacker cred, your translation skills, your willingness to learn and contribute, and your positive attitude! Don’t worry if you’re new to digital rights; what matters most is your passion.

– Jillian C. York, Director for International Freedom of Expression at EFF