baltimore Buildings
baltimore Buildings
baltimore Buildings
20NTC Session

What Nonprofits Should Know About Online Censorship


When the Internet Society announced that it was selling the Public Interest Registry to private equity firm Ethos Capital, many NGO leaders worried that as a for-profit company, the registry might be susceptible to pressure by governments to censor nonprofits’ websites. In an increasingly global NGO sector, repressive governments have become ever savvier at exploiting the policies of online platforms, domain name registries, and other intermediaries to silence their critics.
Here in the US, new censorship laws can also bring challenges to nonprofits’ ability to work effectively. Recent legislation aimed at fighting human trafficking has thrown nonprofits’ harm reduction work into a legal gray area.
In this session, we will discuss the “weak links” that can be exploited by governments and other people in power to silence nonprofits’ work, and how nonprofits are working together to fight back.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the “weak links” where nonprofits’ speech online is vulnerable to censorship.
  • Learn stories of real nonprofits, NGOs, and activists who have faced censorship online.
  • Learn how the 2019 .ORG Registry Agreement puts nonprofits at risk of censorship.


Elliot Harmon

Activism Director

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Elliot is the activism director at EFF. He advocates for free speech and the right to innovate online, with particular emphases on intermediary liability, patents, copyright, and open access.

Before coming to EFF, Elliot served as director of communications at Creative Commons and as a writer for TechSoup.





March 24, 2020


10:30am – 11:45am

Collaborative Notes

Click here

Session Evaluation

Click here