Center for Individual Freedom

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The Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) is an Alexandria, Virginia based U.S. nonprofit conservative policy advocacy and astroturfing[1][2] organization. It was founded in 1998 by former tobacco industry executives who sought to counter government restrictions on smoking.[3]

The Center for Individual Freedom has led efforts to defeat efforts to compel "dark money" groups like it from being forced to reveal their donors. It won a big victory in September 2012 when a U.S. appeals court overturned a lower court decision that increased disclosure requirements. Despite this, Mother Jones reported in April 2012 that the Center for Individual Freedom had been given $2.75 million from Crossroads GPS, the conservative non-profit started by Karl Rove.[4] Paul Ryan, an attorney with the Campaign Legal Center (a group in favor of campaign finance regulation), says CFIF's anti-disclosure cases are without merit but adds that challenging disclosure laws is a new attempt to deregulate campaign finance.[4]

In the 2010 elections CFIF spent $2.5 million supporting Republican candidates, and in the 2012 elections it spent $1.9 million.[5]

An investigation by Gizmodo found that CFIF was intimately involved in the communications industry's astroturfing campaign against net neutrality.[1][6]


  1. ^ a b Cameron, Dell (February 21, 2019). "How an Investigation of Fake FCC Comments Snared a Prominent D.C. Media Firm". Gizmodo.
  2. ^ Tony Mecia & Haley Byrd (September 21, 2018). "Off the Hook: How Organizations Are Using Telemarketing to Reach Congress". Weekly Standard.
  3. ^ Geiger, Kim; Hamburger, Tom (October 24, 2010). "Group funding GOP campaigns had its origins backing tobacco". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ a b Kroll, Andy (April 20, 2012). "It Takes Dark Money to Make Dark Money". Mother Jones.
  5. ^ Stein, Sam (September 19, 2012). "Center for Individual Freedom, Conservative Group, Spends Big Against House Dems". Huffington Post.
  6. ^ "Blockbuster Gizmodo investigation reveals probable masterminds of the massive anti-Net Neutrality identity theft/astroturf campaign". BoingBoing. February 22, 2019.

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Coordinates: 38°48′19″N 77°02′55″W / 38.8054°N 77.0486°W / 38.8054; -77.0486