The logo of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation in mid-July launched Democracy.io, a tool that lets Americans send an email to their congressional representatives, on any topic they wish, through one simple interface.
“There are many paid advocacy tools that professional activism organizations can use to make sure their members’ voices are heard in Congress. But what about everyday people? If an individual person is concerned about a bill, or wishes Congress would take up some issue, there aren’t many tools available to help them communicate that desire to lawmakers. Instead, they have to hunt down individual congressional websites and fill out three different forms (two for their senators, one for their representative),” wrote the EFF in its description of the new free service.
Democracy.io creates a simple way for users to input an address and contact the representative and senators for that location. “It’s built on the same free software that EFF uses for our own action center, and connects you to Congress through the open data set created by volunteer web developers across the world,” according to the description.
“It’s also our way of paying it forward. When EFF needed a new action center, we put out a request for help. Over 100 volunteer web developers stepped up to help us map congressional forms, especially these five heroes. So it seemed fitting that we give something back to the world in return,” according to the EFF announcement.
The EFF, which says it is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world, was founded in 1990. It says it champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. It says it works to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as use of technology grows.