While I’m tweeting, Facebooking, and otherwise making an ass of myself all over the Internet, lots of folks aren’t able to do so, their speech limited by their governments either through network censorship or worse. Here are five great causes you can donate to to support free speech this holiday season:
- The Media Legal Defence Initiative is raising funds for their defense of Eskinder Nega and Reeyot Alemu, two Ethiopian journalists facing down long prison sentences for engaging in the act of journalism. Both were imprisoned on trumped-up terrorism charges; Alemu faces five years, and Nega twenty. They’ve already raised more than $12,000 of their $20,000 goal: Can you help them make it the rest of the way? Donate here.
- Comedy site FunnyOrDie might seem like an odd place to go to support free speech, but in fact some of the comic giants behind the site have taken on an important cause: Defending Shezanne Cassim, a US citizen unjustly imprisoned under the United Arab Emirates’ Cybercrime Law for posting a satirical video to YouTube. Want to help #FreeShez? Click here.
- When PayPal cut WikiLeaks off from using their services to receive donations, the Freedom of the Press Foundation was conceived. Since then, the organization has taken on a number of key projects, including SecureDrop, a secure whistleblowing platform. The causes on their front page are constantly rotating; right now, donations to FPF support a bundle of wonderful encryption tools, including Tor, the LEAP Access Encryption Project, and TextSecure/RedPhone. Donate here.
- PEN is an internationally known organization that defends the free speech writers, but this year they’ve delved into surveillance, creating a report that shows just how deep the impact of spying can be on free expression. Donations to PEN support a range of literary and free speech programs. Donate now.
- This year, my job got a lot easier, thanks to Edward Snowden. Now all I need to say when people ask about EFF is “we’re the folks suing the NSA!” If you follow me, you probably already know what I do, but if not, check out our website, and if you like what you see, donate here.