To the people of the world, digital freedom is a fundamental human right, and in recognition of this, FreeRossDAO is donating $6,391 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has a proven track record of protecting those rights.
The donation is part of FreeRossDAO’s Solidarity Network and the “Campaign for Digital Freedoms,” which seeks to support organizations involved in the struggle to protect civil liberties and effect criminal justice reform.
Digital freedom is a fundamental human right, and in recognition of this, FreeRossDAO is donating over $6,000 USDC ✨️to the @EFF which has a proven track record of protecting those rights. pic.twitter.com/yATm83JWR5
— FreeRossDAO.eth 🕊 (@FreeRossDAO) October 31, 2022
The EFF has been doing its work for the past three decades in the United States, defending individuals and new technologies from what it considers abusive legal threats and working to expose government malfeasance. As a result, it is getting this donation for its work to preserve digital freedoms and online civil liberties.
Governments restrict digital rights, curtail privacy to suppress freedoms, and spread tyranny over the human spirit. Technologies to be free from surveillance, such as cryptography, have been criminalized or controlled by governments because it makes it more difficult for the authorities to track criminals and oftentimes dissidents; it also criminalizes innocent peoples’ right to freely associate with one another, which is a fundamental liberty.
It is not uncommon for governments to penalize journalists and whistleblowers who catch them committing bad acts, especially, ironically, after using cryptography or other technologies to protect their secrets. Well-known examples include Julian Assange, who was targeted for publishing the leaked information from Chelsea Manning on Wikileaks, and Daniel Hale, an intelligence analyst and whistleblower who revealed information about civilian casualties from drone warfare.
Repressive government regimes control communication to stop free association between people. Right now, the Chinese government has the “Great Firewall,” launched under the auspice of national security, but its main goal has been to censor content that the prevailing party finds undesirable. Reporters, activists, developers, everyday people, and dissidents often find themselves at odds with the Great Firewall and its capabilities and must turn to technologies that allow them to circumvent it, including virtual private networking, the Tor project, and blockchain technologies.
In this month’s news, Iran cracked down on protests after Mahsa Amini died in custody after being arrested by the country’s moral police for not wearing her hijab per the country’s strict dress code. As part of that crackdown, Iran throttled internet access and blocked communication apps such as WhatsApp, Signal, Viber, Skype, and Instagram.
Recent US government actions have begun targeting innovators and first adopters, making it difficult to build decentralized technologies, especially in crypto. When governments target people like innovators and developers, especially when their activity is merely speech or the creation of protocols that enhance privacy, it threatens essential liberties.
Recent examples include targeting a software protocol for the first time by the US Treasury by adding the crypto mixing service Tornado Cash to an official sanctions list. This led to the arrest of Alexey Pertsev for simply being a developer of the service by Dutch authorities. He is currently being held without charges. Virgil Griffith, a developer who worked on Ethereum, was incarcerated for speaking at a blockchain conference in North Korea, which included information that could have been revealed in a YouTube video.
The Commodities and Futures Trading Commission recently filed a lawsuit against Ooki DAO after the commission fined the decentralized protocol bZeroX for violating digital asset laws. The CFTC claimed that the DAO violated the same laws as bZeroX because it had taken the protocol as the company’s successor and, in turn, could hold the members of the DAO accountable.
As part of the suit, the CFTC sought to claim that anyone who voted on group governance would be accountable for the group’s actions, even if it were as minor as choosing the logo’s color. This would certainly chill any future association or voting.
Speaking of early adopters, our own Mark Hopkins was sent to prison, convicted for simply selling bitcoin in over-the-counter trades. His story is similar to numerous first-movers who have fallen afoul of complex and confusing regulations.
FreeRossDAO is looking for volunteers and interested people to join in the fight for justice reform as part of the Campaign for Digital Freedoms and the Solidarity Network’s continuing campaigns. You can join by checking out Discord, watching Twitter for future events, or signing up for one of our workshops. Of course, you can also donate directly to the EFF to support digital civil rights.