Jillian York

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Jillian York
Jillian York.jpg
Born (1982-05-18) May 18, 1982 (age 40)[1]
Alma materBinghamton University Bachelor of Arts, Sociology; minored in theatre[2]
OccupationDirector of International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation
Board member ofIFEX[3]

Jillian C. York (born May 18, 1982)[1] is an American free-expression activist and author. She serves as Director of International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF),[4] and a founding member of Deep Lab. She is the author of Silicon Values: The Future of Free Speech Under Surveillance Capitalism and Morocco - Culture Smart!: the essential guide to customs & culture.


From 2004 to 2007, York spent considerable time in Morocco. In 2006, York authored Morocco – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture, a travel book on Morocco.[5] In an article written in 2011, York wrote about the function of blogs and social media sites such as Facebook providing Moroccans a forum for discussions and information deprived by the mainstream Moroccan media.[6]

In 2008, she joined the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, a research center at Harvard University that focuses on the study of cyberspace, where she worked on the OpenNet Initiative, a joint project whose goal is to monitor and report on internet filtering and surveillance practices by nations, and Herdict, and conducted research on distributed denial-of-service attacks.[7]

In 2011, she moved to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, where she is the director of international freedom of expression, where she works on onlinecensorship.org and her work focuses on platform censorship and accountability, state censorship, the impact of sanctions, and digital security.

She is a founding member of the feminist collective Deep Lab with Addie Wagenknecht.[8][9] She is the Deputy IFEX Convenor,[10] Sits on the Advisory Council for The Open Technology Fund[11] and the Advisory Board at SMEX.[12]

York has been called "one of the leading scholars on Internet control and censorship"[13] and a specialist on free expression and social media in the Arab world.[14] Her research[15] on the role of social media in the Arab Spring has been widely cited.[16] In June 2011, Foreign Policy named her one of the top-100 intellectuals discussing foreign policy on Twitter.[17]


York's writing has also been published at Motherboard,[18] Buzzfeed,[19] The Guardian,[20] Bloomberg,[21] Quartz,[22] The Washington Post,[23] and Foreign Policy.[24]

She is a regular columnist for Al Jazeera English[25] and writes for Global Voices Online,[26] where she is also on its board of directors as of 2011.[27] She also co-founded Talk Morocco, which won the 2010 Deutsche Welle Best of Blogs Award for Best English-language blog.[28]

In May 2014, she gave a talk with Jacob Appelbaum suggesting the safer sex and harm reduction movements could show advocates of liberty and privacy how their work can better reach mainstream audiences.[29]

York's commentary and opinions include statements against censorship by corporations and social media organizations at the request of state governments. York and EFF opposed the Philippines Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 because of provisions limiting online criticism in favor of a crowd sourced alternative, the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom which supports free expression and has less stringent limits on free expression online.[30]

Women in technology[edit]

In 2013, when Wired included few women in its first batch of Wired's 101 Signals, a list of best writers and thinkers on the internet, York was among critics who noted the lack of women on the list.[31] York thinks that women are sometimes given less recognition as technology intellectuals because they focus on topics less covered by popular tech magazines while in popular topics men can crowd out popular discourse with active self-promotion.[32]



  • "Silicon Values: The Future of Free Speech Under Surveillance Capitalism[35]" (Verso Press, 2021)
  • "Information Infrastructure and Social Control: Origins of the Tunisian Internet" (chapter, with Katherine Maher), State Power 2.0: Authoritarian Entrenchment and Political Engagement Worldwide (Ashgate Publishing, 2013)
  • "Der abschreckende Effekt von Überwachung" (chapter), "Überwachtes Netz" (NewThinking, 2014)
  • "The Internet and Transparency Beyond WikiLeaks" (chapter), "Beyond WikiLeaks: Implications for the Future of Communications, Journalism and Society" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)
  • "Culture Smart! Morocco: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture" (Random House, 2006)


  1. ^ a b "Goodreads Author Profile". Goodreads..
  2. ^ "About". jilliancyork.com. 22 February 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Jillian C. York". eff.org. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Jillian York". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved March 10, 2008.
  5. ^ York, Jillian. "Readable first-person bio". Retrieved 2015-11-09.
  6. ^ York, Jillian (2011). "The Revolutionary Force of Facebook and Twitter". Nieman Reports.
  7. ^ "Politically Charged Websites Face Frequent Attacks". New Scientist. December 21, 2010. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
  8. ^ "Jillian C. York". eff.org. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2016. ...a founding member of the Deep Lab collective.
  9. ^ Wendy Syfret (20 July 2015). "exploring feminist hacktivism with deep lab". i-d.vice.com. i-d Vice. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  10. ^ "Our Governance - What We Do". IFEX. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  11. ^ "Jillian C. York". Open Technology Fund. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  12. ^ "Jillian York". RightsCon Summit Series. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  13. ^ "Blogger Seeks Out the World From Cambridge". The Boston Globe. April 28, 2011.
  14. ^ "Social Media Plays Role in Toppling Tunisian President". ABC News. January 14, 2011.
  15. ^ "Policing Content in the Quasi-Public Sphere". OpenNet Initiative.
  16. ^ "Twitter and Facebook as Political Tools in the Arab World". NPR.
  17. ^ "The FP Twitterati 100". Foreign Policy.
  18. ^ "Jillian C. York". www.vice.com. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  19. ^ "Jillian York". www.buzzfeed.com. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  20. ^ Staff (n.d.). "Jillian C. York". The Guardian.
  21. ^ "When Social Networks Become Tools of Oppression". Bloomberg Views. July 6, 2011.
  22. ^ "Jillian York". Quartz. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  23. ^ York, Jillian (May 25, 2016). "Who Defines Pornography These Days, It's Facebook". Washington Post.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. ^ "Freedom #Fail". Foreign Policy. April 29, 2011.
  25. ^ "Jillian C. York profile". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
  26. ^ "Jillian C. York". Global Voices Online.
  27. ^ Staff (June 9, 2011). "Board of Directors". Global Voices Online. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
  28. ^ Press release (April 19, 2010). "The BOBs: Best Weblog Goes to 'Ushahidi' from Kenya". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
  29. ^ Appelbaum, Jacob; York, Jillian. "Let's talk about sex baby, Let's talk about PGP".
  30. ^ "A Brief Analysis of the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom". EFF.
  31. ^ Peterson, Andrea (Aug 16, 2013). "Wired can't find women on the Internet because it's not looking for them". The Washington Post.
  32. ^ York, Jillian (Winter 2014). "Closed Network". Democracy: A Journal of Ideas (31).
  33. ^ Deutsche Welle. "The BOBs: Best Weblog goes to 'Ushahidi' from Kenya". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  34. ^ Knight Foundation. "Knight News Challenge awards $3.4 million for ideas to strengthen the Internet". Knight Foundation. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  35. ^ "Verso". www.versobooks.com. Retrieved 2021-04-09.

External links[edit]