You can save the future! EFF pays a competitive wage and offers moving assistance and help with home-buying for its new hires, too.
EFF works on privacy, fair use, free speech, innovation, transparency, and other fundamental rights, in the USA and all over the world. Its goal is to see to it that the freedoms that are crucial to our offline lives make the transition to the digital world. EFF activists work on legal cases, on legislation, regulation, standards, and global treaties. It's a job I started doing nearly 15 years ago, and that I'm doing still.
1. We win through words. The single most important part of an EFF activist’s job is writing. We blog about tech policy, craft mailings, engineer activism campaigns, unleash the power of social media, and work on longer-form documents, like whitepapers, coalition letters, and formal comments to rule-making bodies. We also do a fair amount of public speaking, whether that’s presenting to a packed house at a major tech conference, giving an interview to a national cable TV show, or engaging with a dozen EFF members at a small hacker space.
Suffice to say, being an activist means producing a lot of high-quality writing on tight deadlines and being able to set aside your ego to work collaboratively with attorneys, computer scientists, and folks at other organizations. The job also involves diving headfirst into new, difficult policy issues and conceptualizing fresh ways to have an impact. This job requires someone whose analytical skills are as strong as their imagination. Former journalists tend to thrive in these positions, as do creative writing majors. However, you don’t need to be formally trained in writing. We are considering a wide range of experience level to find the right person to join our team. What's important is that you have a passion for writing and that you write often. A personal blog and Twitter account are often great ways to showcase writing talent.
2. You’ll be obsessed with software patents before you know it. The specific position we’re hiring will work closely with the patent reform team, pushing for strong legislation in Washington and showcasing horrible trolls. Patents are a hot topic with huge implications on speech, innovation, education, and businesses big and small. We realize that many people applying to the job won’t have a background in patent reform. So don’t stress about that. If you care about civil liberties online and you’re excited about technology policy, then we can teach you about software patents.
3. San Francisco is actually really great. I often hear from people who’d love to work at EFF, but want to know why they can’t work remotely from Austin or Amsterdam or someplace else. The short answer is: we are an organization of very opinionated people trying to use consensus-driven conversations to craft policy positions. In many years of doing this work, we’ve learned time and again that having people in one room together helps us reach consensus faster and more efficiently (and with good will intact!).
We also find that we’re able to create a community by having people work together from the same office, and that’s something we value tremendously. Everybody at EFF feels connected both to each other and the mission, and we like that we can meet in the halls, have spontaneous conversations, and connect outside of the workplace. While we continue to experiment with people working remotely, this is a position that involves stopping by somebody’s office almost as often as it necessitates sending an email.
The Bay Area is a truly amazing place, packed with culture, diversity, acceptance, and innovation. And, yes, it’s true that San Francisco is expensive. We work to help make the city affordable for everyone at EFF by offering help with student loans, rental assistance and home-buying programs. We also cover the cost of moves for out-of-town new employees.
The Best Job Ever? What Life Is Like As An EFF Activist