Internet Freedom Funding Opportunity: State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL)

Long-term support available for anti-censorship technologies
Thu, 2016-06-23 19:16

The US Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) recently announced two exciting Internet freedom funding opportunities: one in support of censorship circumvention technologies, and the other in support of a range of potential activities and projects including anti-censorship technology development and support, digital security, policy and advocacy, and research.

Funding Opportunity #1: Long-term censorship circumvention support

DRL is interested in supporting anti-censorship tools that “provide civil society actors and marginalized populations around the world with long-term, reliable, uncensored access to the global Internet.”

Looking to support relatively established tools, DRL seeks those with a “significant existing global user-base” which have exhibited a “proven track record of successfully circumventing online censorship in highly restricted environments.”

Emphasizing sustainability, a performance period of “between two and four years” is anticipated, with the expectation that projects also have a plan for “long-term sustainability beyond the life of the grant.”

DRL is looking to support “one to two successful applications” with an anticipated available support pool of “approximately $5,000,000.”

The deadline for this request is August 26, 2016.

For a more detailed description and instructions on how to apply, check out the full “Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): Internet Freedom Core Support for Anti-Censorship Technology” at

Funding Opportunity #2: Tools, digital security, policy and advocacy, research

A diverse range of possible projects fall under this request. Though not mandatory, projects may address:

  • anti-censorship technology development and support;
  • digital security training, support, and resource development;
  • policy and advocacy efforts to “counter restrictive Internet laws” and support Internet freedom-friendly policies; and
  • research efforts that include “real-time monitoring and analysis” of censorship events and “global assessments of Internet freedom threats, opportunities, and trends.”

There are two deadlines for this request: August 26, 2016 and February 10, 2017.

For a more detailed description and instructions on how to apply, check out the full “Request for Statements of Interest: DRL Internet Freedom Annual Program Statement” at


For a full list of Internet freedom-relevant funding opportunities, see our list of alternative sources of support.