Hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals across the globe - including prominent politicians on both sides of the aisle - have spoken out in support of the Open Technology Fund. But the fight ahead isn't going to be easy. To convince Congress to step in and protect internet freedom, OTF needs your help, too!
Follow these three steps today and join the movement to help #SaveInternetFreedom #SaveOTF
Step One: Sign the Letter & Encourage Others to Sign
Sign - Sign the letter urging Congress to protect OTF and ensure people around the world are still able to speak, think, and worship freely online. To learn more about the issue before signing, click here. After signing, please reach out to your friends, family, and colleagues and ask them to sign, too. Each person's voice matters!
Encourage - If you are part of an organization, please work to get them to sign the letter. Hundreds of organizations have already done so, including Mozilla, Human Rights Watch, GitHub, Reddit, Freedom House, TunnelBear, Civil Rights Defenders, Tor Project, and many, many more.
Translate - If you want to help translate the letter, please contact us [email protected] (we currently have translated versions in Arabic, Burmese, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Vietnamese, and Traditional Chinese).
Step Two: Join the Movement on Social Media
Start Tweeting - Being part of this movement means making sure your voice is heard! This is your chance to speak up for the millions of people across the planet who are being negatively impacted by the dismantling of OTF. Weakening the organization's independence and limiting its funding jeopardizes the lives and freedom of human rights defenders, political dissidents, and members of vulnerable communities. So, take a look at what people are saying online. Then lend your voice and let Congressional committee members know why this issue matters to you!
Some sample tweets:
We need your urgent help save internet freedom. Please stop USAGM's takeover of OTF and help protect internet freedom @OpenTechFund #SaveInternetFreedom https://saveinternetfreedom.tech
Please take a stand to #SaveInternetFreedom today. The @OpenTechFund helps human rights defenders in the face of authoritarian regimes, and we need to safeguard the Internet as a democratic space. https://saveinternetfreedom.tech
The @OpenTechFund has always been a long-standing bipartisan org. Defending internet freedom. Congress must act immediately to ensure that it's protected. #SaveInternetFreedom https://saveinternetfreedom.tech
Human rights defenders all over the world rely on internet freedom tools for their work and lives. We need to save @OpenTechFund. Please take a stand to #SaveInternetFreedom. https://saveinternetfreedom.tech
The @OpenTechFund will always defend internet freedom, even in DC court! Lawsuit filed against Trump political appointee, @USAGMgov CEO Michael Pack. #SaveInternetFreedom https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/23/us/politics/michael-pack-global-media.html
The only firewall @OpenTechFund supports is maintaining our independence from government interference. Lawsuit filed against Trump political appointee, @USAGMgov CEO Michael Pack #SaveInternetFreedom https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/23/us/politics/michael-pack-global-media.html
Start Tagging - To maximize the impact of your tweets, tag members of Congress to get their attention! These individuals are on key committees:
Senate Foreign Relations
House Foreign Affairs Committee
House Appropriations Committee - Foreign Affairs
Senate Appropriations Committee - Foreign Affairs
CECC Congressional-Executive Commission on China
Step Three: Write and Share Statements
Many organizations have chosen to put out independent statements emphasizing the importance of this situation and the need for Congress to act. If possible, have your organization publish a statement like one of these:
Other Ways to Help:
If you've already completed Steps 1-3 and you would like to do more, check out these other impactful options!
Contact Members of the Press
Are you in touch with the press? Reach out to them and let them know why this matters. If you'd like, you can connect them with our team by emailing [email protected]
Contact your Members of Congress
Tell your elected officials to support OTF by:
- Releasing a statement in support of OTF and internet freedom technologies
- Co-sponsoring the House and Senate bills that authorizes OTF as an independent agency Supporting the authorization of OTF is an important step in a bipartisan effort to ensure that OTF is able to further advance internet freedom globally.
Need help? Here are some tools to assist:
Dear Rep/Sen xxxxxxxx,
The Open Technology Fund have enabled more than 2 billion people in over 60 countries to safely access the internet free from censorship and repressive surveillance. Following recent changes at the U.S. Agency for Global Media, the organization's funding and independence is in danger.
If you support Internet freedom, I ask that you publicly support OTF with a statement and co-sponsor HR 6621 / S 3820. [HR = if you contact a House rep; S = if you contact a Senator]
Sincerely, [Your Name]
"Hi, I'm (name) from (city) and I would like Representative _____ to co-sponsor [say slowly] H.R. 6621 to make sure that the Open Technology Fund can continue to support journalists in repressive countries."
"Hi, I'm (name) from (city) and I would like Senator _____ to co-sponsor [say slowly] Senate bill 3820 to make sure that the Open Technology Fund can continue to support journalists in repressive countries."
Donate or Volunteer
Support the #SaveInternetFreedom effort by donating to our OpenCollective: https://opencollective.com/saveinternetfreedomfund/
Reach out to [email protected] if you'd like to volunteer in another way. Please tell us what you are interested in helping with and we'll figure out how to get you involved.