SAN FRANCISCO, January 12, 1998 -- The Electronic Frontier Foundation
(EFF) today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Barry
Steinhardt to President and Chief Executive Officer. Steinhardt is
currently the Associate Director of the American Civil Liberties Union.
The appointment was made at an EFF Board meeting held today in San
He replaces Lori Fena, who has been elected Chairman of the Board of
EFF. Resigning Chairman Esther Dyson remains an active, enthusiastic
member of the Board.
"We are very pleased to appoint Barry Steinhardt as our new President,"
said Esther Dyson, former Chairman of the EFF Board of Directors.
"Steinhardt has a wealth of experience with both our issues and the
operation of non-profit organizations."
"Barry's background is exactly what we were looking for," Dyson
continued. "We expect him to be able to help us continue to build EFF as
a premier organization that can take on the daunting challenge of
defending and defining civil liberties and structures to protect them in
the electronic world."
As Associate Director of the ACLU, Steinhardt formed and chaired its
Cyber-liberties Task Force, which coordinates the ACLU's extensive
program on information technology issues. He was a co-founder of the
Global Internet Liberty Campaign (GILC), the world's first international
coalition of on-line rights groups and one of the originators of the
Internet Free Expression Alliance (IFEA), which was recently formed to
monitor issues related to Internet content rating and filtering.
Steinhardt has spoken and written widely on cyber-liberties issues.
Most recently he was the co-author of "Fahrenheit 451.2 - Is Cyberspace
Burning?", the ACLU White paper on Internet content rating and blocking.
He is currently at work on the ACLU handbook on "The Rights of Persons
In addition to his cyber-liberties work, Steinhardt has coordinated the
ACLU policy development process and efforts to strengthen structure and
management of the ACLU's 53 state affiliates. He has been with the ACLU
for 17 years and previously served as Executive Director of its
Pennsylvania and Vermont affiliates.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for Barry, who has shown talent and
imagination in the cyber-liberties arena," said ACLU Executive Director
Ira Glasser. "It is also an opportunity for the ACLU to work even more
closely than we have with EFF on many issues where we share common goals
Steinhardt succeeds outgoing EFF Executive Director Lori Fena, who will
become Chairman of EFF's Board of Directors, and will resume her career
in private industry as a venture investment advisor and consultant.
"Lori Fena has done a superb job of building EFF over the past two
years," Dyson said. "She demonstrated great vision in her stewardship of
TRUSTe and a host of other projects and is an excellent choice as
incoming Chairman. The Board of Directors is very grateful for her
leadership and looks forward to working with Lori in her new capacity,"
Fena noted that EFF and ACLU have a long history of cooperative action
that has ranged from the successful challenge to the Communications
Decency Act in the 1997 Supreme Court decision in Reno v. ACLU, to
ongoing efforts to promote the privacy of communications through the use
of strong encryption.
Most recently, the two organizations joined together to support
legislation to remove the restrictions on the use of encryption. They
also have cooperated in Bernstein v. Department of State, in which EFF
is challenging the constitutionality of the US Government's restrictions
on the export of encryption technology. Fena further noted that EFF and
ACLU have been regular coalition partners, including common membership
in the GILC and IFEA coalitions.
"Hiring Barry is a natural step for EFF," Fena said. "It will strengthen
the bond between two dedicated civil liberties organizations. We expect
the two groups to work together even more closely to leverage our
respective strengths to protect free speech and privacy in the
Steinhardt said he is "grateful for the opportunity to play a leadership
role in the next phase of EFF's development."
"EFF was the pioneer defender of the rights of on-line users," he
continued. "With the explosive growth of the Internet and other
information technologies, the need for a strong and vibrant EFF is
greater than ever."
Steinhardt said that he expected to concentrate his efforts on expanding
EFF's membership and financial resources, maximizing EFF's already
strong public presence, organizing grassroots support for cyber rights,
enlarging EFF's role in the global movement for on-line rights and
providing support for EFF's pioneering work to adapt traditional
concepts of civil liberties for new mediums.
Steinhardt will formally assume his new role on February 2.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (http://www.eff.org/) is a non-profit
civil liberties organization working in the public interest to promote
privacy, free expression, and social responsibility in new media.