Access (also known as AccessNow.org) is an international non-profit, human rights, public policy and advocacy group dedicated to an open and free Internet. Access works by offering direct technical support to activists on the ground, writing and advocating for Internet governance policy that keeps the Internet and telecommunications networks safe and private, and organizing social media campaigns to further these goals. Access was a finalist for the European Union's 2010 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
Founded in reaction to the contested Iranian elections in 2009, Access has organized numerous social media campaigns to protect Internet freedoms and the use of the Internet as a tool for political organization. In lieu of being on the ground with activists, Access seeks to protect their community and communications online.
"Access defends and extends the digital rights of users at risk around the world. By combining innovative policy, user engagement, and direct technical support, we fight for open and secure communications for all."
Among the members of the International Advisory Board:
- Lawrence Lessig, professor of law at Harvard Law School
- Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist
- Chris Hughes, editor-in-chief of The New Republic and co-founder of Facebook
- Peter Gabriel, co-founder of WITNESS
Access’ International Advisory Board is a collection of experts from across the human rights and technology sectors that provide advice to the organization. International Advisory Board members support the growth of Access’ network of grassroots partners, civil society organizations and organizational funders and provide perspective and counsel as issues arise.
As of 2012, Access received $1.2 million in funding.
Access was founded by Brett Solomon and Cameran Ashraf in 2009, after the contested Iranian presidential election of that year. During the protests that followed this election, Access played a noted role in disseminating the video footage which came out of Iran.
- Sakharov Prize 2010 - 9 nominations, retrieved 2015-04-30
- Access Campaign Page, retrieved 2013-01-07
- Amos, Deborah (June 9, 2010). "1 Year Later, Iran's Opposition Still Relies On Internet". NPR. Retrieved 2011-06-16.
- "Access Now About". Access Now. Retrieved 2013-05-18.
- "990 form" (PDF). Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "#iranelection: The digital media response to the 2009 Iranian election". Retrieved 2013-05-18.