In January, we noted that Congress included a large budget increase for Internet freedom. In 2013, the overall Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Internet freedom program received $9.1 million. In 2014, Congress increased that amount to $25.5 million. Since that time the BBG deliberated on the appropriate strategy to dispense with those funds.
On April 11th, 2014, the BBG held an open meeting to vote on how the Internet freedom funds will be allocated. The Board voted to split the funds between OTF and the BBG”s Internet Anti-Censorship program (IAC). This results in OTF receiving $12.75 million, a nearly 3x increase of 2013 funding levels. OTF subsequently gave a presentation on our efforts to date. You can find that presentation here. In addition, Radio Free Asia, the Mothership, gave a detailed presentation of their journalism efforts at the request of the Board. We encourage you to watch their impressive presentation here.
We are very thankful for this vote of confidence from the Board and look forward to building on our success to date. Our next concept note deadline is in two weeks (May 1), we encourage all those with a great idea on how to help citizens in repressive countries exercise their right to freedom of speech to apply.