Save Internet Freedom: Support the Open Technology Fund

UPDATE: #SaveOTF Campaign Success!

In the face of an unprecedented attack on the Open Technology Fund (OTF), the internet freedom community united to achieve a seemingly impossible victory.

THANK YOU to all those who participated. None of this would have been possible without your tireless support and remarkable work to #SaveOTF. Your resolve was nothing short of extraordinary. In the midst of an evolving and never-before-seen global health crisis, countless individuals and organizations leapt into action to do whatever they could to help ensure the OTF they knew and loved survived.

Campaign overview

OTF – the most effective tool the U.S. Congress has in the fight to safeguard the internet as a secure democratic space – serves as a critical funder in the global fight for internet freedom. Today, more than two billion people around the world rely on technologies supported by the non-profit’s work to communicate securely, circumvent censorship, and combat authoritarianism. Yet when controversial political appointee Michael Pack took over OTF’s primary funding agency in June 2020, he inexplicably attacked the bipartisan organization – attempting to fire its Board of Directors and key officers, and cripple its essential projects by denying them their Congressionally allocated internet freedom funds. These brazen, unilateral moves jeopardized the lives of millions of people around the world.

But thanks to the unwavering support of the internet freedom community, OTF fought back and refused to be dismantled or co-opted for partisan purposes. In the months that followed, over 500 organizations and thousands of individuals united under the #SaveInternetFreedom banner and signed a letter demanding Congress intervene to protect OTF. In Washington, key politicians on both sides of the aisle spoke out in defense of the organization. And as the movement gained momentum, a multi-pronged legal battle ensued to save OTF, restore its Board and key officers, and unlock the unjustly withheld Congressional funds.

This hard work paid off. On January 20, 2021, Pack submitted his resignation in the wake of mounting legal losses and scathing publicity, and OTF's independence, operations, and funding were quickly restored by USAGM's new leadership.

With its bipartisan Board and expert leadership restored, OTF today continues on in its vital role as a key funding partner in the global fight for internet freedom. Most importantly, all of the organization’s critical Funds and Labs are once again open and accepting applications. OTF’s Funds are the primary way the organization supports specific project ideas, and include the Internet Freedom Fund, the Rapid Response Fund, and the Technology at Scale Fund. By contrast, Labs are services offered to bolster the robustness of internet freedom via narrow, cost-effective interventions. These services are provided to both OTF-funded projects as well as other significant internet freedom efforts. Current Labs include the Localization Lab, the Red Team Lab, the Usability Lab, the Learning Lab, the Engineering Lab, and the Legal Lab. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply now!

Read more about the remarkable #SaveOTF campaign here.

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Supporting Allies


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  • Mykola Kostynyan

    FreeNet Ukraine Coalition

  • Abdallah Alsalmi


  • Libby Liu

    Open Technology Fund

  • Marianne Díaz Hernandez

    Derechos Digitales

  • Josh Levy

    Center for Digital Resilience

  • Kendra Albert

    Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society

  • Mario Hoffmann

    HTW Berlin

  • Jonathan Nelson

  • Tessa Menatian

    Media Democracy Fund

  • Yen-Tung Lin

    UC Berkeley

  • Arthit Suriyawongkul

    Thai Netizen Network

  • Paul Dourish

    University of California, Irvine

  • Meghan McDermott

    CUNY Law

  • Lobsang Gyatso Sither

    Tibet Action Institute

  • Harley Balzer

    Professor Emeritus, Georgetown University

  • Juan Rivera Palomino

    Universidad de San Marcos-Lima-Peru

  • Jennifer Brody

    Access Now

  • Alexei Abrahams

    Citizen Lab

  • Valerie Frissen

    SIDN fund/Leiden university

  • Mehrad Sheida

  • Nicole Leaver

    Tufts University

  • John Hering

    Lookout & The Hering Foundation

  • Lex Gill

    Citizen Lab

  • Alexander Howard

    Digital Democracy Project, Demand Progress Education Fund

  • Salil Vadhan

    Harvard University

  • Jessica Fjeld

    Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society

  • Alexandre Franke


  • Mike Linksvayer


  • Mutale Nkonde

    Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society

  • Vivian Zuniga

    Internet Freedom Festival Advisory Board

  • Rebecca MacKinnon

  • Riana Pfefferkorn

    Stanford Center for Internet and Society

  • Miguel De icaza


  • Dr Clara Brekke

    Durham University

  • Javier Garza

    Freelance journalist

  • David Weinberger

  • Bernard Tyers

    OTF Advisory Council

  • Marina Fedorova


  • Qiang Xiao

    China Digital Times

  • Dan Gillmor

    Arizona State University

  • Allison McDonald

    University of Michigan

  • Luke Stark

    Microsoft Research

  • Psi Vesely

    UC Berkeley, cLabs

  • SC Leung

    ISOC Hong Kong

  • Judith Olson

    University of California Irvine

  • Emmanuele Somma

    Partito Pirata in Italia (President of the Permanent Congress)

  • Arzu Geybulla

    Azerbaijan Internet Watch

  • Ivan Sigal

    Global Voices

  • Miller Michelle


  • Chad Sansing

    Mozilla Foundation

  • Julia Kloiber


  • Britt Paris

    Rutgers University

  • Cole Gleason

    Carnegie Mellon University

  • Barbie Zelizer

    Center for Media at Risk at the University of Pennsylvania

  • Luis Villa

    Co-founder, Tidelift; board member emeritus, Open Source Initiative

  • Catherine Liu

    UC Irvine

  • Bill Marczak

    Citizen Lab

  • Peter Micek

    Access Now

  • Wojtek Bogusz

    Front Line Defenders

  • Samaneh Tajalizadeh


  • Julia Reda

    Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society

  • Baobao Zhang

    Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society

  • Craig Aaron

    Free Press Action

  • Alexey Rusakov

    Red Hat

  • Joshua Shepperd

    University of Colorado at Boulder

  • Paola Ricaurte

    Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society

  • Mallory Knodel

    Center for Democracy & Technology

  • Sofia Arroyo

    EDGE Funders Alliance

  • Nathalie Marechal

    Ranking Digital Rights

  • Irene Poetranto

    The Citizen Lab, University of Toronto

  • Keri Lloyd

    Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs

  • Francesca Musiani

    National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)

  • Danny O'Brien

  • Maksym Lunochkin

    Digital Security Lab Ukraine

  • Mishi Choudhary

    Software Freedom Law Center

  • Iryna Chulivska

    Digital Security Lab Ukraine

  • Mohamad Najem


  • Ron Deibert

    Citizen Lab

  • Nicholas Doiron

    Tufts University

  • Todd Davies

    Stanford University

  • Andrea Lampros

    UC Berkeley Human Rights Center

  • Masashi Nishihata

  • Myra Abdallah

    Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality

  • Linghao Zhang

    ETH Zurich

  • Ivan Sigal

    Global Voices

  • Mohammad Ghaffarian

    United for Iran

  • Pia Mancini

    Open Collective

  • Felicia Anthonio

    Access Now

  • Al Smith

    The Tor Project

  • Ken Montenegro

    National Lawyers Guild

  • Alexa Koenig

    UC Berkeley Human Rights Center

  • Javier Cavanilles


  • Antonela Debiasi

    The Tor Project

  • Belen Febres

    Simon Fraser University

  • Xavier Canal Masjuan

    Red Hat

  • Chris Lawrence

    Grant for the Web

  • Pierce Stanley

    Council on Foreign Relations

  • Bo-Xiang You

    National Taiwan University

  • Diep Dao

    SaveNET - Internet Freedom for Vietnam

  • Emma Hornick

    University of Iowa

  • Jana Wichmann

    Board member Open Knowledge Foundation Germany

  • Ming-Syuan Ho

    Taiwan Association for Human Rights

  • Allen Gunn

    Aspiration Tech

  • Sarah Morris

    Open Technology Institute

  • Ben Cheng

    Internet Society Hong Kong

  • Niels ten Oever

    DATACTIVE Research Group at University of Amsterdam

  • Nehalenniæ OUDIN

    Sorbonne Université, LIP6

  • Nedal Alsalman

    Bahrain rights

  • Clinton Gibson

    University of California Davis

  • Lulu Keng

    Open Culture Foundation

  • Susan Landau

    Tufts University

  • Wendy Hanamura

    Internet Archive

  • Shariya Algama

    Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

  • John Sarapata


  • Daniel Kahn Gillmor

  • Laura Moy

    Georgetown University Law Center

  • Maame Akua Marfo

    Young Feminist Fund (FRIDA), Young Feminist Collective (Ghana)

  • Claire Vergerio

    Princeton University

  • Kevin Wed


  • Max Hunter

    Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

  • Harlo Holmes

    Freedom of the Press Foundation

  • Lauren Bridges

    Annenberg School for Communication

  • Qiang Xiao

    School of Information, UC Berkeley

  • Michael J. Oghia

    Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD)

  • Bryan Nunez

  • Lotus R

    Citizen Lab

  • Stephanie Taylor

    Progressive Change Institute

  • Rachael Jolley

    Index on Censorship

  • Daniel Mahoney

    Internet Systems Consortium

  • Wendy Seltzer

  • Kat Duffy

  • Christopher Coleman

    University of Denver

  • Eileen Donahoe

    Stanford Global Digital Policy Incubator

  • Michael Dessen

    Professor, University of California, Irvine

  • Marcus Michaelsen

    Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

  • Caroline Sinders

    Harvard Kennedy School

  • Lucy Bernholz

  • Rebecca MacKinnon

  • Me Me Thein

    Myanmar People Alliance (Shan State)

  • Emma Humphries


  • Emma Prest


  • Jillian York

    Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

  • Li-Lun Wang


  • Raquel Renno

    ARTICLE 19

  • Zachary Weinberg


  • Katherine Maher

    Wikimedia Foundation, CEO

  • Dongfang Han

    China Labour Bulletin

  • Lokman Tsui

    The Chinese University of Hong Kong

  • Ben Scott


  • Michael Meehan

    Former BBG Governor

  • Amar Ashar

    Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society

  • Mila Salahuddin

    My future

  • Jonathan Penn

    University of Cambridge

  • and 1241 Anonymous signatories.

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