General – Electronic Frontiers Australia Promoting and protecting digital rights in Australia since 1994. Fri, 13 Apr 2018 04:00:40 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 Human Rights Push into Digital Technology Mon, 12 Feb 2018 01:27:23 +0000 Continue reading ]]> A new project by the Australian Human Rights Commission puts the relationship between human rights and technology into focus.

Electronic Frontiers Australia welcomes this directive. EFA’s charter is the protecting and building awareness of civil liberties and ongoing campaigning of digital rights as a human right.

The opportunity that technology represents must be countered by the very real risks of the liberties and ways of life that could be given up. Technology moves fast, much faster than governments, regulators, and the community at large. This initiative is a positive sign that community standards and awareness is evolving and agencies and government must respond.

From the article:

“The aim of the project is to come up with ways that human rights can be prioritised in the design and regulation of new technologies.

The AHRC intends to hold a conference in the middle of the year that will bring together "leading thinkers, technology and human rights experts" to discuss the impact new technologies are having on human rights.

It will also publish an issues paper to kick off a consultation period in the middle of the year.”

Read the full article: Australian project to embed human rights in new technology via IT News online

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EFA elects first female leadership team Mon, 16 Oct 2017 04:52:14 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Electronic Frontiers Australia, the country’s leading digital rights organisation, is proud to announce that its Board has elected its first female leadership team.

Lyndsey Jackson was elected unopposed as the new Chair of EFA at a Board meeting held on Sunday 15th October. Katherine Phelps was elected as the new vice-Chair.

Lachlan Simpson was also elected as Secretary and Shaun Haddrill continues in the Treasurer’s position to which he was appointed in July 2017.

Ms Jackson said, “It is an honour, and it marks a significant point in the history of EFA to be the first woman to be elected to this role. To be supported in this role by new Vice-Chair Katherine Phelps is particularly gratifying, as we are both passionate about encouraging and supporting women to take on leadership roles in civil society.

“I look forward to working with the board and the EFA membership to ensure that EFA remains a champion of digital rights in our communities, both here in Australia and throughout the world.

“I would also like to note the significant contribution over many years of our outgoing Chair David Cake, as well as our other outgoing Board members and look forward to their continuing contribution to the organisation in a variety of contexts.”


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AGM 2017: documents published; Board election starts today. Wed, 04 Oct 2017 14:59:42 +0000 Continue reading ]]> All supporting documents for the 2017 AGM, including the Proxy Form, are now available on our 2017 AGM page.

The AGM will be held (on Internet Relay Chat) at 15:00 AEDT on Sunday 8th October 2017.

Proxy forms are due by 12:00 AEDT on Sunday 8th October 2017.

The voting period for the election of Board members will commence at 15:00 AEDT today (5th October). Eligible members should receive a voting email at this time, with the voting period to close at 15:30 AEDT on Sunday 8th October 2017 (30 minutes after the start of the AGM). Members who believe they are eligible but do not receive a voting email promptly should contact memberadmin[AT]

Eligible members may choose to participate in both the AGM (either in person, or by proxy) and the Board election, in either, or none, at their discretion.

Any queries about either process or about membership status should be directed to memberadmin[AT]

Reincorporation project Thu, 15 Jun 2017 01:10:08 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Members should be aware that a project is underway to reincorporate EFA as a Company Limited by Guarantee.

As part of this process, a consultation period on a new Draft Constitution is now underway.

Members are encouraged to review the Draft Constitution, along with detailed explanatory notes and the answers to questions already submitted on our New Constitution page.

Bytes & Rights 2017 - Perth Sat, 18 Mar 2017 00:20:43 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Bytes&Rights-logoThe Bytes and Rights 2017 conference is being held as part of the Festival of the Web, an 8-day series of international conferences in early April in Perth.

See the full program of Festival of the Web events.

Bytes and Rights is a conference focused on the many issues around how society responds to changing technology, especially technology related to the Internet.

We will discuss legal, policy, regulatory and social responses to issues such as human rights, intellectual property enforcement, security and harassment. We aim to bring together experts including academics, lawyers, commercial practitioners, technologists, and civil society groups in a open dialog that cuts across specific disciplines.


Tuesday 4th April 2017



A variety of passes are available for just Bytes & Rights, or the entire Festival of the Web.

Please visit our registration page for more details and to register.


See the latest program.

“Everyone Made Themselves the Hero.” Remembering Aaron Swartz Thu, 12 Jan 2017 03:42:51 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Aaron Swartz photo

Ragesoss / CC BY-SA 3.0

On January 18, 2012, the Internet went dark. Hundreds of websites went black in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). The bills would have created a “blacklist” of censored websites based on accusations of copyright infringement. SOPA was en route to quietly passing. But when millions of Americans complained to their members of Congress, support for the bill quickly vanished. We called it the Internet at its best.

As we approach the fifth anniversary of the blackout, we also note a much sadder anniversary. A year after we beat SOPA, we lost one of the most active organizers behind the opposition. While being unfairly prosecuted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Aaron Swartz took his own life on January 11, 2013.

This post is by Elliot Harman and was originally published on EFF's Deeplinks blog. It has been edited slightly for local context. See the original article.

When you look around the digital rights community, it’s easy to find Aaron’s fingerprints all over it. He and his organization Demand Progress worked closely with EFF to stop SOPA. Long before that, he played key roles in the development of RSS, RDF, and Creative Commons. He railed hard against the idea of government-funded scientific research being unavailable to the public, and his passion continues to motivate the open access community. Aaron inspired Lawrence Lessig to fight corruption in politics, eventually fueling Lessig’s White House run.

There’s no better way to remember Aaron’s life and work than by hearing his words. And there’s no more inspiring account of the fight over SOPA than Aaron’s famous talk, “How We Stopped SOPA” (transcript).

Aaron warned that SOPA wouldn’t be the last time Hollywood attempted to use copyright law as an excuse to censor the Internet:

Sure, it will have yet another name, and maybe a different excuse, and probably do its damage in a different way. But make no mistake: The enemies of the freedom to connect have not disappeared. The fire in those politicians’ eyes hasn’t been put out. There are a lot of people, a lot of powerful people, who want to clamp down on the Internet. And to be honest, there aren’t a whole lot who have a vested interest in protecting it from all of that. Even some of the biggest companies, some of the biggest Internet companies, to put it frankly, would benefit from a world in which their little competitors could get censored.

Five years later, it’s clear that Aaron was right. In the courts, record labels are pushing for an interpretation of copyright law that would enable them to block entire websites because of their users’ activities, or force ISPs to cut off users’ Internet connections based on mere accusations of copyright infringement. Big content companies even wrote a memo to President-elect Trump calling for a new law that would require website owners to use copyright bots to censor their users’ activity. Threats to free speech online are on the horizon—and they’re going to come hitched to copyright law.

It’s tempting to become pessimistic in the face of countless threats to free speech and privacy. But the story of the SOPA protests demonstrates that we can win in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. In his talk, Aaron showed how all of us can become heroes in the fight for civil liberties:

I’ve told this as a personal story, partly because I think big stories like this one are just more interesting at human scale. The director J.D. Walsh says good stories should be like the poster for Transformers. There’s a huge evil robot on the left side of the poster and a huge, big army on the right side of the poster. And in the middle, at the bottom, there’s just a small family trapped in the middle. Big stories need human stakes. But mostly, it’s a personal story, because I didn’t have time to research any of the other part of it. But that’s kind of the point. We won this fight because everyone made themselves the hero of their own story. Everyone took it as their job to save this crucial freedom. They threw themselves into it. They did whatever they could think of to do.

As a president comes to power who’s promised to ratchet up surveillance and censorship, we need heroes more than ever. Whether it’s by calling your local MP or Senators to speak up for a free and open Internet, urging your company to protect its users’ data from government surveillance, or by joining Electronic Frontiers Australia to defend digital freedom in Australia, you can be the hero in the story of how we stopped the next big threat to your digital rights.

Killswitch: the battle to control the Internet

EFA is organising a series of exclusive screenings around the country of the award-winning documentary, Killswitch: the battle to control the Internet, which tells the story of Aaron Swartz and Edward Snowden.

See the Killswitch trailer



OpenMedia supports the Digital Rights 2016 campaign Tue, 16 Feb 2016 00:40:06 +0000 Continue reading ]]> OpenMedia logo
OpenMedia, a Vancouver, Canada-based digital rights advocacy organisation that utilises creative community-driven campaigns to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free is supporting the Digital Rights 2016 campaign.

Co-ordinated by Electronic Frontiers Australia, Digital Rights 2016 is a non-partisan awareness-raising campaign intended to raise the profile of the whole range of digital rights issues in the mainstream political discussion in Australia into the 2016 federal election and beyond.

OpenMedia ran the Our Digital Future campaign during the 2015 Canadian federal election which was successful in ensuring digital rights issues received serious attention.

EFA Executive Officer Jon Lawrence said today, “I’m delighted that OpenMedia are bringing the benefit of their campaigning experience during last year’s remarkable Canadian election to the Digital Rights 2016 campaign. EFA has worked with OpenMedia on a number of campaigns in the past and I’m certain they will be an invaluable supporter of this campaign.”

OpenMedia Communications Manager, David Christopher, had this to say about the partnership: “As an international organisation, OpenMedia looks for opportunities to ensure that the digital rights of all global citizens are protected. This project is a step towards ensuring those rights are both respected and promoted by national decision-makers, and we’ve very excited to see EFA leading on this important work in Australia.”

The Digital Rights 2016 campaign utilises the domain name as well as a dedicated Facebook page and Twitter account.

Linux Conference - EFA hosting post-event drinks Tue, 02 Feb 2016 03:53:32 +0000 Continue reading ]]> LCA2016 logoEFA is proud to be hosting the post-conference social event for the 2016 Linux Conference Australia.

Twitter LogoWe've secured some sponsorship from Twitter Australia for this event.


Edge Bar, 6-8 Eastern Beach Rd, Geelong - just 100 metres southeast of Deakin Uni's Waterfront Campus. Edge Bar on Google Maps

We'll be in the Pool Room, and if the weather holds, on the outside deck as well.


Friday, 5th February, 6pm till late.


All Linux Conference delegates and their friends are welcome to attend. EFA Members and other friends of digital rights are also most welcome.


We'll be talking about our campaigns to promote digital rights in this election year and to wind back the worst parts of the mandatory data retention regime.

We'll also be running a number of competitions, with some cool prizes.

There'll be food provided and we'll cover as many drinks as we can. Come early and bring your conference ID to make sure you don't miss out.


Please vote in these Twitter polls:

Shop against warrantless mass surveillance Sun, 06 Dec 2015 09:56:31 +0000

Related Items:

We're particularly taken with these throw pillows.

But there's a whole range of great gift ideas available right now at our new RedBubble shop.


We're getting local - come along Wed, 18 Nov 2015 00:26:02 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Think Global Act Local

Jagz Mario CC-BY-SA

We're launching a series of chapters around the country and would love you to come along to our launch events. These chapters will provide a forum for members and supporters to discuss issues, hear from some great speakers and to undertake fundraising and campaigning activities.

Subscribe here to receive updates on your local chapter.


Launching tonight - 18th November
Details about Perth launch


Launching 25th November.
Details about Melbourne launch.


Launching 1st December - featuring Crikey's political editor Bernard Keane
Details about Canberra launch.


Launching 2nd December (date to be confirmed)
Details about Sydney launch will be posted here.


Launching 15th December - featuring Griffith Federal MP Terri Butler
Details about Brisbane launch.


Launching December
Details about Adelaide launch will be posted here.

Chapters need not be geographically-based, and can be formed around specific issues or communities of interest. If you're interested in starting a chapter in your area, or for a specific area of interest, or if you want to help run an existing chapter, please contact us.