Mission & Principles

CDT works to strengthen individual rights and freedoms by defining, promoting, and influencing technology policy and the architecture of the internet that impacts our daily lives.


  • Preserve the unique nature of the Internet.
  • Enhance freedom of expression globally.
  • Protect our fundamental right to privacy.
  • Limit government surveillance.
  • Define the boundaries of technology in our daily lives.


CDT brings together thought leaders to find innovative and practical solutions to the policy challenges surrounding the Internet. We provide leadership and advocacy to help shape public policy and industry best practices, while providing a forum for stakeholder dialogue. This dialogue doesn’t always lead to consensus, but it often helps lead to an understanding of contrary points of view, and the collaborative process helps to bring new solutions to the surface. Our current working groups focus on government privacy and security issues; consumer privacy; and free expression.


CDT has spent the last 20 years advocating for groundbreaking legislation, winning landmark court cases, building winning coalitions and promoting industry standards and practices.


CDT is governed by an independent Board of Directors. The Board is the sole entity with authority over CDT’s operations.

While CDT collaborates with a wide range of Internet stakeholders, it is neither a membership organization nor a trade association. CDT does not represent the interests or views of any company, industry segment, government or any other set of parties.


CDT receives support from a wide range of philanthropic foundations, companies, individuals, and court settlements (“cy pres” awards). Financial supporters have no role in decision-making regarding policy.