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Annual Report Bits of Freedom 2017

Our Annual Report over 2017 has been published. It contains an overview of our highlights of the year, gives you insight into our financial situation, and allows you to review some of the more interesting press moments. We would love to hear your comments and feedback.

Where do you draw the line? That is the question we posed to our followers at the end of 2017. If we don't draw the line at an untargeted, large scale, mass surveillance dragnet, then where will we?

When it comes to the legislative process of laws as the aforementioned dragnet law, the role of Bits of Freedom is indispensable. From consultation to the moment the law first enters the Senate (and beyond), we'll be keeping a sharp eye on the proceedings, preparing alternative plans, investigating the potential consequences, and coordinating—if necessary—the resistance. This critical stance isn't based upon mistrust of the government. On the contrary, it's based on the belief that a democracy can only function properly when the three powers are properly held to account. 2017 proved once more that our contribution actively improves new laws.

For years now, we've been making purposeful investments in the establishment of a far-reaching digital rights movement. We enjoyed the fruits of that labor in 2017. The local branch of Bits of Groningen had its most active year to date, and we were able to establish Bits of Eindhoven. Our volunteer translators went full steam ahead to ensure that our work was translated swiftly into English and available to the rest of Europe. We've also made many investments in that European community as well. For example, we organized the yearly conference that saw almost 30 digital rights organizations join together in order to discuss and plot out the strategy for the coming years.

The past year saw the first fulltime campaigner join our ranks. This enabled us to generate awareness for our work in new ways. Take the Day of Internet Freedom we organized, for example, where we ran a twelve hour web-in, during which we hosted dozens of guests from our bed in the Volkshotel, and live streamed it on the Internet: “Web Peace, Bed Peace!” 20,000 people also found a letter on their doormat, sent by the National Security Service, which we had devised. The recipients were asked to book an appointment with the service in order to have a 'relay' installed in their home network to enable eavesdropping. As soon as they attempted to do so, they were redirected to our voting guide for the new dragnet law.

The highlights of 2017 are front and center in this annual report. They are our greatest points of pride, and the activities that have had the greatest impact. We hope you'll enjoy the read and look forward to the support of our donors, volunteers, and broader constituency, to ensure that 2018 also experiences many highlights. If you'd like to lend a hand, then of course we'd love to hear from you!

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