Thursday, 28 November 2013

Open Society Foundations’ Grant for ‘Freedom of Communication in the Digital Environment Initiative’

The Open Society Foundations’ (OSF) Grant for ‘Freedom of Communication in the Digital Environment Initiative’ aims o advance policies that protect free expression, privacy and due process in the new communications environment. In 2013, the thematic priorities for this Initiative include:

    Privatization of law enforcement: Agreements between private parties (for example between ISPs and copyright holders) are increasingly encroaching upon free speech and privacy online. These private entities are not generally subject to the same constitutional restrictions as traditional governments and do not have the same obligations of disclosure, transparency, and public accountability. The initiative will support engagement with companies for better transparency but also include support to document, analyze and litigate these private agreements and practices where they violate human rights norms.
    Protection of privacy in an age of ubiquitous surveillance: Computational advancements, business models built on data capture, and direct government access to data held by companies providing communications and “cloud” services are conspiring to move day-to-day internet use toward an environment of routine and pervasive surveillance. Interventions by the initiative include support for efforts to document the trade of surveillance technologies by Western companies to repressive regimes and support for a campaign advocating for an export control regime over these technologies.

Although the nature of this funding grant is global, OSF can also support projects targeting Europe and influential governments in the Global South. But OSF does not fund advocacy targeting US domestic policies.

Under this grant program, new partners are invited to submit a one-page concept note outlining their project idea in line with the above stated priorities. For more information, visit this ink.

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