The U.S. Agency for Global Media (USGM) recognized Ramy Raoof, Technologist at OTF, for the 22nd Burke Awards for excellence in providing safe and secure access to journalism content. Ramy’s accomplishments have demonstrated a commitment to making sure audiences can safely access news and content globally, helping to support human rights online.
In his role, Ramy helps to shape OTF’s efforts to support anti-censorship and secure communication technologies to advance Internet freedom globally. Over the past year at OTF, Ramy has helped lead efforts to better support the sustainability of critical free and open source Internet freedom technologies. For the past decade, OTF has helped people around the world exercise their fundamental rights online through innovative open source technologies. Today, many of these tools are the foundation of the free and open Internet, largely built around free and open source software (FOSS). FOSS software is a critical resource in nearly every industry, and ensuring the health and security of FOSS software is critical to Internet freedom and the modern economy. In fact, it is estimated that FOSS contributes at least 70% to any modern software solution.
Despite the crucial role that FOSS plays in the Internet freedom ecosystem, FOSS tools are perpetually under-funded and under-supported. In response to this crucial need, Ramy has spearheaded the creation of the FOSS Sustainability Fund, OTF’s newest mechanism to support the long-term maintenance of FOSS projects and the communities that sustain them. The FOSS Fund is part of OTF’s commitment to support a diverse, vibrant, and sustainable ecosystem for FOSS software. The first FOSS Fund solicitation will open in late Summer 2023.
Many of the tools used by USAGM and their audiences, along with many of the global tools used to combat repressive censorship and surveillance, rely on open-source technologies to safely access content. In addition, supporting the proper maintenance of FOSS ensures users have better access to privacy and security tools, contributing to a better internet experience for all.
OTF is thrilled to celebrate Ramy Raoof and his work supporting sustainable FOSS ecosystems, and congratulate him as a recipient of this year’s David Burke Distinguished Journalism Award from USAGM.