European Digital Rights

The internet is changing our world. It has dramatically boosted our ability to communicate with each other – we can connect with everyone everywhere. However, companies and governments increasingly abuse technologies to restrict freedoms: from mass surveillance and violation of privacy rights to arbitrary censorship and blocking access to content. European Digital Rights (EDRi) works to defend rights and freedoms in the digital environment.

In simple terms, the complex tangle of challenges to civil rights in the digital environment can be traced to a single root – the fact that our public space, the environment where we interact with friends and family, read the news and organize our free time and our professional lives, has moved into a privately-owned, commercial space – the internet. This allows governments to circumvent their constitutions by censoring citizens using pressure on online companies to persuade them to restrict free speech outside an accountable and democratic framework. It also allows growing economic exploitation of personal data by online companies, both for advertising purposes and, increasingly, to buy political advantage in election campaigns. Overlapping with this core problem is excessive, dangerous and unchecked government surveillance exploiting, to a great extent, the same data and networks, stifling speech and undermining personal autonomy.

credits: Getty

EDRi works towards a world where everyone enjoys freedom of expression and privacy and is in control of their personal data. Privacy is indispensable for any democratic political system. Freedom from surveillance, whether public or private, lays the foundation for informed citizenship and dissent.

With more and more legislation regulating the digital space, there is a growing need for support for human rights in the digital environment. The contribution by the Adessium Foundation helps EDRi to fight for privacy rights and thereby transform Europe into an open society that fosters democracy and freedom of expression for everybody.

About this partner

European Digital Rights was founded in 2002. Today, EDRi is a coalition of 35 human rights organizations based in 19 countries. It is the biggest European network and thought leader defending rights and freedoms online and fights for a respect for human rights at the earliest possible stage of the decision-making processes in Europe, with a strong focus on empowering individuals.

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