Open Tech Fund

The communication of people in more than 60 countries around the world are regularly censored, surveilled, and blocked. These restrictions and failures to protect fundamental human rights deny millions of people access to a democratic way of life and positive social change. This daily suppression of free expression and information limits everyone's ability to take full advantage of the powerful communications platform that the internet has become. OTF strives to support technology-centric solutions for anyone affected by these challenges.

Supported Effort Types
The projects and people we support all fall into one or more of the following categories: research, development, and implementation. Some straddle the line between two of these categories, and some even touch on all three.

  • Research: Threats to Internet freedom are constantly evolving. OTF-supported research projects are advancing research into repressive Internet interference on modern communication networks and/or the methodologies and technologies that can best circumvent that interference. Research should be applied - that is, with direct feedback, insight, or applicability to the technology development process.
  • Development: Technology development. OTF-supported development efforts are building a tool, whether it’s in alpha, beta, or live form. The tool should enable those in repressive environments to circumvent censorship, avoid surveillance, or otherwise increase users’ capacity to access information and communicate safety in some way.
  • Implementation: Getting Internet freedom tools into the hands of those who need them most. OTF-supported implementation efforts are enabling the widespread adoption and use of these tools among target audiences - those living in repressive environments and/or experiencing invasive censorship and surveillance.

Target Beneficiaries
Our goal is to support efforts that aim to advance Internet freedom in the world’s most repressive environments. Ideally, this means we support organizations and individuals that are:
  • Working on projects that will directly benefit those living in the world’s most oppressive censorship and surveillance environments;
  • Located in or have direct experience with communities in the Global South;
  • Come from or have direct experience with repressive censorship and surveillance environments;
  • Come from or have direct experience with underrepresented and/or targeted minority groups, including those with a focus on human rights, LGBT, journalism, media, or activism.

OTF welcomes all types of projects ideas. We also identify and publish requests for specific kinds of challenges or we would like solved or types of projects of would like to support. These address obvious gaps and our priorities in the internet freedom space, ones that require creative thought and diligent effort. Explore, and if one feels right or interesting to you, let us know your idea by applying.

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