EPIC Contributions FAQ
Q: Why should I contribute to EPIC?
EPIC is on the front lines of the major privacy and civil liberties debates. EPIC is an effective and innovative advocate for the public interest. EPIC builds on a strong reputation of success. EPIC has expertise in law, technology, and public policy. EPIC spends modestly but has an impact greater than much larger organizations.
Q: What is EPIC's mission?
EPIC works to protect privacy, freedom of expression, democratic values, and to promote the Public Voice in decisions concerning the future of the Internet.
Q: How can I find out more information about EPIC?
Our Web site is great. That is the place to start, and EPIC has an outstanding Board of Advisors.
Q: Who supports EPIC?
Most of our support comes from private foundations and individual donors. We also receive income from litigation and the sale of publications.
Q: Why does EPIC need my support?
EPIC is neither a trade group nor a membership association. We rely on support from foundations and individual donors to maintain our programs.
Q: Is my contribution to EPIC tax-deductible?
Yes, EPIC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible (our tax ID # is 52-2225921).
Q: Will you disclose my name and address to others?
Absolutely not. EPIC does not rent, loan, trade, release or otherwise make available the names of its individual contributors.
Q: What does EPIC do with the contributions it receives?
Glad you asked. We maintain one of the most extensive Web sites on privacy and free speech issues on the Internet. We litigate Freedom of Information Act, First Amendment, and privacy cases. We publish several of the leading books on open government and privacy. We train law school students about the Internet and the public interest. We testify frequently before Congress about emerging civil liberties issues. We publish an excellent online newsletter. We also help organize important privacy campaigns.
Q: Sounds like you make good use of contributions.
Q: Could you give a specific example?
Recently, EPIC wrote to Congress about the privacy office at the Department of Homeland Security and privacy. That office has an important responsibility to protect the privacy of Americans, But Homeland Security continues to push forward with new programs -- Fusion Centers, Whole Boding Imaging, and CCTV -- that lack adequate privacy safeguard. Twenty organizations endorsed the EPIC letter. And now Congress is investigating.
Q: Does anyone read your stuff?
According to search engines, EPIC maintains two of the top web sites for "privacy" (EPIC.ORG and PRIVACY.ORG) and many of EPICs other web pages are highly ranked.
Q: What are your other current projects?
EPIC is working to reform the airport body scanner program. We believe the devices are invasive, ineffective, and unconstitutional. In EPIC v. DHS, a federal court ruled that passengers have the right to opt-out and also that the agency must take comments from the public.
The EPIC Open Government Project is pursuing several cases against federal agencies, including the National Security Agency, to promote government accountability and transparency.
EPIC's Appellate Advocacy program identifies important opportunities for EPIC to file "friend of the court" briefs on emerging privacy and civil liberties issues. This past year we filed briefs in cases involving GPS tracking, privacy of educational records, enforcement of the Privacy Act, workplace privacy, and DNA data collection.
EPIC's Consumer Protection project is representing Internet users at the Federal Trade Commission and elsewhere. This past year we scored big victories with the FTC's settlements in Google Buzz and Facebook, two cases brought by EPIC.
EPIC's Public Voice project continues to promote civil society participation in decisions concerning the future of the Internet.
Q: What are your priorities for 2012?
EPIC will continue to focus on activities at the Department of Homeland Security because the agency is responsible for so many systems of mass surveillance. We believe stronger privacy safeguards should be established.
EPIC will push the Federal Trade Commission to establish a Comprehensive Privacy Program for Google and Facebook.
EPIC will build support for the Madrid Privacy Declaration, an important international statement that reaffirms basic privacy rights, identifies new challenges, and recommends concrete action.
We are also evaluating new biometric techniques for identification and authentication to determine how best to minimize risks to privacy.
Q: What else will you be doing in 2012?
EPIC will be expanding its litigation activities, filing more FOIA cases against the federal government and also pushing federal agencies to be more respectful of federal privacy laws.
Q: Does EPIC take contributions from private companies?
Yes, but we do not lobby for, consult or advise companies nor do we endorse products or services. Contributions from companies are only accepted for general support.
Q: Can I make a contribution by credit card?
Yes. You can donate online through Network for Good. There you can also get additional information about our programs and activities. You can also donate anonymously if you wish, or use Paypal.
Q: Can I send you a check?
Absolutely. Many of our contributors send personal checks. Checks should be made payable to "EPIC" and sent to EPIC, 1718 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20009.
Q: Can I wire money to EPIC?
A: Yes. Please contact us for details at 202-483-1140.
Q: How else can I help EPIC?
Please tell your friends about EPIC. Ask them to visit our site (epic.org), sign up for the EPIC Alert, and support the organization. Because we respect your privacy, we do not send you junk mail, call you at dinner, or sell your information to others. So, we need your help.
Q: Does that work?
EPIC has grown steadily since its founding in 1994. Today we are the top privacy resource on the Internet. Our supporters have made that possible.
Q: Anything else?
Yes. Thanks very much for your support.
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Machines of Loving Grace by John Markoff