From ICANNWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Type: Non-Profit
Industry: Internet, Legal
Founded: 1994
Founder(s): Jerry Berman
Headquarters: Washington, D.C.
Country: USA
Key People
Leslie Harris, President and CEO

The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., established in the interest of the public with a view of keeping the Internet innovative, open, and free. It is a civil expertise group specializing in law, policy and technology, which works to improve the privacy in communications technologies by inventing innovative, practical solutions for dealing with the challenges in protecting the liberty of the people and improving freedom of expression over the Internet.

The CDT is committed to building up a consensus among all parties who are interested in securing the future of the Internet and other emerging communications mediums.[1]

History of CDT

The Center for Democracy and Technology has been assisting the United States government in formulating policies related to issues about the Internet for the last 15 years, appealing to such policies as the First Amendment's free speech rights to Fourth Amendment's search and seizure protection, as they relate to ensuring top-level security encryption and providing online privacy for consumers.

Jerry Berman, current President and Chair of Internet Education Foundation (IEF), founded CDT on December 1994.

Mission of CDT

The CDT is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization established on public interest and is committed toward promoting the democratic potential of the Internet's decentralized nature. The main mission of the CDT is to define, create, and implement policies that will help sustain the openness of the Internet and will keep it free and innovative.

The CDT deals with the following issues:

  • Free Expression
  • Health Privacy Security and Surveillance
  • Digital Copyright
  • Global Internet Freedom
  • Open Government
  • Internet Openness and Standards[2]


CDT has been openly advocating policy makers to ensure that ICANN remains independent from any government agency and should not be involved in carrying out solutions in any legal disputes concerning individual web addresses.

The CDT had also opposed the involvement of ICANN in the ‘Spamhouse’ case, wherein a London-based anti-spam group Spamhaus was sued by an Illinois-based email-marketing company, e360 Insight LLC, in 2006. The e360 Insight LLC was keen on involving ICANN to bring about a suspension of Spamhaus’s domain name. The CDT issued a statement mentioning that ICANN was not a party to the case, as does not look after individual web addresses and as such should in no way should be involved in the case. [3]


CDT received the 2011 Privacy Leadership Award from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) in March 10, 2011, in recognition for their on-going efforts in implementing internet innovation and their advocacy in online privacy.

The IAPP President and CEO Trevor Hughes cited that the organization has been "consistently and effectively been a leading voice for free expression and privacy, and its tremendous work in building consensus among stakeholders and finding innovative solutions to guide online privacy policy.[4]