Advancing Democratic Values in a Digital World: CDT Overview

The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) is a leading nonprofit advocacy organization that works to promote democratic values within the technology policy space. This document (and the text below) provides a short overview of CDT and our key policy areas.

At the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), we believe in the power of the Internet. Whether it’s creating a platform for free speech, facilitating entrepreneurial endeavors, or providing access to new markets and opportunities, the Internet empowers, emboldens, and equalizes people around the world.

A nonprofit advocacy organization, CDT works to promote democratic values by defining, shaping, and influencing Internet policy and architecture. We support laws, corporate policies, and technological tools that protect the privacy of Internet users, and we advocate for stronger legal controls on government surveillance.

Consumer Privacy

As innovative technologies emerge with new, sophisticated data collection capabilities, protecting users’ privacy and ensuring data security has become increasingly important. CDT works to develop privacy safeguards for consumers through a combination of legal, technical, and self-regulatory measures.

Free Expression

The Internet gives individuals the ability to publish and receive information, participate in political processes, and share knowledge. CDT fights to extend the highest level of free speech protections to the Internet, and to keep new technologies free of government censorship and content gatekeepers.

Global Internet Policy

Open, inclusive, and multistakeholder Internet governance is vital to ensuring innovation and a respect for human rights. CDT engages in a range of international governance processes that shape the policies and norms for information and communication technologies. We continuously seek to strengthen the voice of global civil society in governance debates.

Government Surveillance & Cybersecurity

Government surveillance and security programs and policies must be targeted, proportionate, and respectful of human rights worldwide. CDT advocates for greater transparency and accountability on government surveillance worldwide, and works to develop cross-sector solutions to mounting cybersecurity challenges.

Internet Architecture & Standards

For privacy, security, and free expression to flourish in the digital age, these values must be built into the infrastructure of the Internet. By engaging technical experts in policy issues and educating policymakers on technical matters, CDT helps bridge these worlds with our deep understanding of both.

Open Internet

Equal access to information and a level playing field online are essential to ensuring that everyone benefits from the innovative power of the Internet. CDT advocates for an open Internet, with efforts focusing on creating clear, strong net neutrality rules and finding workable solutions for digital copyright.


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