CDT’S 2016 ANNUAL REPORT
LETTER FROM OUR CEO
The role that technology and the internet play in our daily lives and our democracy was profoundly illuminated this year. It began with the public defense of strong encryption waged by Apple and ended with a U.S. presidential election that shocked many, while elevating in the public conscious issues around cybersecurity, online harassment, “fake news,” and free speech. The importance of shaping sound tech policy has never been more important, and the Center for Democracy & Technology will continue to lead the way.
At CDT, we know that the best policy outcomes are achieved when diverse parties come together to seek genuine progress. We engage partners across political divides and across sectors. And while there are times different sides disagree, we continue to find that there is more that unites us than divides us, especially when we have an honest, respectful dialogue that is grounded in our shared values.
We always start with the fundamental belief that every person has the right to live with dignity. In the digital age, this means that you have the right to privacy, the right to freely express yourself online and off, and the right to live without the cloud of government surveillance looming over you. We believe that all these rights can be fully realized and that technology can be a positive force in making this happen. To achieve this vision, we must ensure that technological innovation addresses our biggest societal challenges, such as growing inequality among races, classes, and genders, and the weakening of core democratic institutions worldwide.
As you will see in this report, CDT’s team contributed to so many of the critical tech and internet policy debates and advancements in 2016. We could not do this without the support of individuals, foundations, and businesses, as well as our trusted allies in the civil liberties community. We look forward to working with you to shape a world where technology advances democratic values and empowers us all to enjoy our fundamental rights.