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The Electronic Frontier Foundation is, in my opinion, one of the best tech non-profits out there today. For those who are unfamiliar with the EFF, they were founded in 1990 when the Secret Service conducted a series of raids looking for the distribution of a document regarding the 911 system which had been copied illegally from Bell South computers. Where the Secret Service got themselves a lot of unwanted attention, was when they raided the offices of Steve Jackson Games, they confiscated a huge amount of computer equipment and media from Jackson's company (even better, a large impetus for the raid was that SJGames was working on a Cyberpunk GURPS book), including deleting postings from the SJ Games BBS they were running in those days. The founding members of the EFF (Mitch Kapor, John Perry Barlow, and John Gilmore) got together and formed the EFF, with the intent of providing pro bono legal work in defense of civil liberties issues as they relate to online activity.

I am not a financially contributing member of the EFF...yet. I plan to correct that, and I'm discussing with my wife each of us choosing a charity to donate to each year, as I do feel that it's important to contribute, particularly since we are able. For me, the EFF is the easy choice, as while I'm not a member, I have donated my time to call and write my congressmen for issues like telecom immunity, free speech rights for security researchers and so on. In fact, there is nothing that the EFF is working on right now (that I'm aware of at least) that I disagree with.

But, like every charity, volunteers are highly important to their operations, but so are your funds. For me, the one-time donation makes the most sense, and I'm considering a $100 donation this year, but any amount of money would be appreciated. The EFF supports what I feel are some of the most important issues around, and I'm glad to finally find myself in a position where I can donate financially.

If you want to support the EFF, it's easy. If you don't want to support the EFF, and you have the means (and I suspect many still do), donate something to charity this year. I sincerely doubt that most people's finances are so stretched (even with current economic trends) to donate $25 to a charity. If you can't do money, take some of your stuff to the Goodwill, or Salvation Army, most people have a lot of stuff they just don't need it anymore. Can't do that? Try to donate some time. Every charity needs volunteers.