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Impacts and Outcomes

A selection of key results from OTF's work to advance internet freedom

Nearly 2 billion people regularly use OTF-supported technologies right now to circumvent online censorship and increase their digital security

They are:

  • Netizens leaping over China’s Great Firewall
  • Cubans accessing alternative media on the island
  • Activists avoiding repressive surveillance in Iran
  • Protesters circumventing internet shutdowns in Turkey
  • Journalists staying safe online in Russia

Demand is growing as internet censorship worsens globally

  • Since our start in 2012, OTF has reviewed and responded to over 3,300 requests for support totaling more than $415 million
  • In 2017 alone, OTF reviewed and responded to over 750 requests for support totaling over $100 million, a 15% increase in support requests and a 27% increase in monetary amount requestedfrom 2016
  • In 2016 alone, OTF reviewed and responded to over 650 requests for support totaling nearly $85 million, a 43% increase in support requests and an 87% increase in monetary amount requestedfrom the year prior

OTF has provided Rapid Response assistance for digital emergencies in places including

  • Iran
  • Azerbaijan
  • Vietnam
  • Uganda
  • Bahrain
  • Myanmar
  • Sudan
  • Mexico
  • Rwanda
  • Thailand
  • Pakistan
  • The Gambia
  • Tibet

Supporting research, development, and implementation projects that advance a free and open internet

OTF supports efforts that focus on
1. enabling circumvention of a restricted internet;
2. increasing awareness of access, privacy, or security threats;
3. enhancing privacy for at-risk users; and
4. improving security against threats to internet safety

Building a foundation in priority regions

OTF fellows have fostered in-country civil society technology expertise in Nigeria, Venezuela, Indonesia, Colombia, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, and Ukraine, among other locales

Expanding a global user base

OTF’s Localization Lab is translating 75 projects through the collaboration of over 6,500 volunteers contributing to the submission and verification of more than a million translated words into nearly 240 languages and dialects

Prioritizing strong digital security

OTF has supported more than 85 security audits for internet freedom projects, identifying and patching nearly 2,000 privacy and security vulnerabilities in total

Understanding and overcoming censorship

OTF fellows and projects are conducting research and measurement of censorship mechanisms and events, informing the development of more effective circumvention tools

Leveraging funds

OTF has formally or informally directed nearly $40m of non-public funds into the internet freedom space

Expert Collaboration and Oversight

OTF leverages an advisory council of global representatives from academia, industry, and civil societywho bring with them deep knowledge of both technology development and human rights to identify and support innovative techniques that ensure unfettered access to the internet and mobile communications