Bits of Freedom is the leading digital rights organization in the Netherlands, focusing on privacy and freedom of communication online. Working at the cutting edge of technology and law, we strive to influence legislation and self-regulation, and empower citizens and users by advancing the awareness, use, and development of freedom-enhancing technologies.
We focus on two basic rights essential to internet freedom: freedom of communication, and privacy. We do research and use our expertise to inform public, press, and politics. We do this to influence better policies, and to work towards a society that is free online.
Freedom and privacy require a healthy digital environment. At the moment, the internet is ruled by a number of large companies with extremely unhealthy revenue models. The results of these monopolies are felt by individual users but are also visible in the media landscape, in our economy, and they affect our democracies.
The increasing dependence on a small number of dominant platforms is very problematic. What is amplified is based on profitability, not on the public interest. Things that are in the public interest are silenced because they are not in the interest of the platform. This can have a huge influence on relations between different groups in society, on the course of elections, or on a country’s vaccination coverage, to name a few examples. Small entrepreneurs can easily become too dependent on huge companies that they can’t argue with, and that limit their space to innovate. Individuals have become the subject of an unprecedented system of surveillance.
‘I've got nothing to hide’
Fortunately, more and more people are starting to understand the nonsense of the “if you have nothing to hide, there is no problem”-argument. You might have nothing to hide, but you do have a lot to protect. From your credit card information to your medical data, and from your sex life to the photos of your children.
The need for a healthy digital environment, for people and companies as well as for society, is growing. We have made it our mission to advocate, campaign, and litigate for that health.