"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"
"Who watches the watchmen?"
- Juvenal, Satires, VI, 347
To contact EFA, please go to our Contact Us page.
Frequently Asked Questions
For answers to a range of frequently asked questions, please see our FAQ page.
Who We Are
Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc. (EFA) is a non-profit national organisation that has been promoting digital freedom, access and privacy in Australia since 1994.
EFA is independent of government and commerce and is funded by membership subscriptions and donations from individuals and organisations with an altruistic interest in promoting online civil liberties.
Our major objectives are to protect and promote the civil liberties of users and operators of computer based communications systems such as the Internet, to advocate the amendment of laws and regulations in Australia and elsewhere (both current and proposed) which restrict free speech and to educate the community at large about the social, political, and civil liberties issues involved in the use of computer based communications systems.
EFA members and supporters come from all parts of Australia and from diverse backgrounds. They are people who recognise that preserving freedoms and rights always depends on the willingness of people to defend them and that combatting the threats posed by the anti-civil libertarian forces, the radical right agenda and ill-informed reports in the media requires constant vigilance and support.
What We Do
EFA has the honour of serving as an aspiration both timeless and immediate in working for online freedoms and rights. It is a timeless aspiration because the defence of liberty is a daily endeavour, history demonstrating that freedoms and rights lost are hard to regain. It is an immediate aspiration because the global Internet offers all people the right to communicate without interference, and governments have the chance to embody Internet freedoms and rights into law, custom and practice for generations to come.
Since 1994, on a shoestring budget and without business premises, EFA has led campaigns within Australia and overseas. Each year EFA spokespersons respond to hundreds of media and public enquiries about Internet regulation. They present oral testimony to Parliamentary Committees; attend meetings with members of Parliament and political staffers to explain the need for policy reform and have been keynote speakers and lecturers in Australia and overseas. Given the limited understanding of politicians and bureaucrats regarding Internet issues when EFA was formed in 1994, EFA can be justifiably proud of achieving a change in Government opinion in relation to censorship, ISP liability and telecommunications policies, and widespread support for EFA's views among key stakeholders and the general public.
EFA policy formulation, decision making and oversight of organisational activities are the responsibility of EFA's Board of Management.
Elected Board Members act in a voluntary capacity; they are not remunerated for time spent on EFA projects. Board Members are subject to compliance with a Board Code of Conduct approved by the members-at-large which ensures, in addition to the provisions of the Associations Incorporations Act (S.A.), that in the event of any Board Member having a conflict of interest in relation to any matter under consideration by the EFA Board, they are not entitled to vote in relation to that matter.
As mentioned above, EFA funding is provided by membership subscriptions and donations from individuals and organisations with an altruistic interest in promoting online civil liberties. Although two Australian Senators and some members of radical religious right organisations have made claims to the effect that EFA is primarily funded by the "pornography industry", such allegations are not and never have been true. Moreover even if, unbeknownst to the EFA Board, any donors are involved in the adult industry, they do not affect EFA policy positions or organisational activities. As the management committee of an incorporated association, the Board is required to act in the best interests of the members as a whole in accord with the objectives of the association. The Board therefore does not accept donations from sectional interests wishing to influence EFA policy or activities. Since EFA was formed in 1994, the Board has only accepted donations on the basis that the donation does not entitle the donor to vote in relation to EFA policy formulation, or any other aspect of the Board's decision making or organisational activities.
Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) is also completely independent from the USA's Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). EFA is not (and never has been) a subsidiary or affiliate of the USA EFF, although the two separate organisations share a number of goals. EFA is focused on issues directly affecting Australians, whereas EFF has an American focus. EFF's role in the establishment of EFA was solely that of an advisory ally. We continue to liaise with EFF, and many other online civil liberties organisations around the world, on issues of mutual interest and potential benefit. EFA is a founding member of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign (GILC).
In the interests of promoting more efficient management and oversight of the organisation, and to continue building capacity for future work, the EFA Board has established a number of Standing Committees (SCs).
For more information, please see our Standing Committees page.