About Us

Access Now defends and extends the digital rights of people and communities at risk.

Here’s how


Our 24/7 Digital Security Helpline offers real-time, direct technical assistance and advice to civil society groups and activists, media organizations, journalists and bloggers, and human rights defenders. We help people and communities at risk to improve digital security practices, and provide rapid-response emergency assistance in nine languages.


RightsCon is the world’s leading summit on human rights in the digital age. A space for a global, multi-stakeholder community of activists, technologists, policymakers, business leaders, journalists, philanthropists, researchers, and artists to connect, collaborate, and drive change on the most pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and technology.


We provide flexible, grantee-driven funding to grassroots and frontline organizations to ensure that those working with people and communities most impacted by digital rights violations are resourced to defend and extend digital rights. Our intersectional approach addresses human rights risks that are compounded when they intersect with other abuses or discrimination.


We act quickly when people need it most, leveraging innovative campaign and digital engagement tactics, bold visual advocacy, legal know-how, and dynamic policy work. We build grassroots-to-global partnerships with civil society, journalists, technologists, and beyond. We educate, petition, and appeal to decision makers, and mobilize support to pressure the powerful.


To increase Access Now’s capacity, efficacy, and reach, our Operations arm works to ensure we continue creating a diverse, reflective, resilient, and trusted internal culture, and have the processes, tools, and resources to make a positive external impact. Our Operations arm consists of our HR/People, Finance, Development, Security, and Legal teams.


Our diverse range of supporters includes foundations, development agencies, companies, individuals, and civil society organizations. Their support helps us carry out our mission sustainably, and with independence and integrity. We advocate for and practice transparency, publishing the support we receive, independently audited financials, and tax filings accordingly.

Our work areas

From freedom of expression to digital identification systems, Access Now engages on a wide range of topics at the intersection of human rights and technology.

We’ve come a long way, and we’re going far


Every day we see the emergence of new technologies and digital tools with the potential to disrupt human rights. To mitigate these threats as they emerge, we have our eyes on the horizon, reacting to what we see, and anticipating what lies ahead. With the indispensable support of our partners, funders, and allies, we will continue fighting to defend inclusive democracies, to preserve spaces for civil society to flourish, and to empower individuals to control their own information and identities in data-driven economies.


We are a grassroots-to-global organization, and strong regional centers drive our regional work and priorities, feeding and shaping the direction of our cross-regional and international work. We have dedicated centers covering Africa, Asia Pacific, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and North America.

Keep it on campaign


Formed at RightsCon Silicon Valley in 2016 by Access Now and partners committed to standing up against the increasing threats posed by internet shutdowns, the #KeepItOn campaign helps unite and organize activists and organizations’ efforts across the world to end this dangerous form of digital authoritarianism. The coalition now represents over 280 organizations from 105 countries across the globe.


In 2015, we launched the Access Now Grants Program, deepening and expanding our investment in global human rights. By the end of 2021, we had granted a total of 6.1 million USD to 124 grantees in over 50 countries. In 2021 alone, Access Now awarded 1,410,071 USD in direct financial support across 50 grants to 46 separate organizations and individuals, in 29 countries —  90% of which were granted to organizations and activists working in repressive contexts. Approximately 64% of organizations funded that same year had budgets of less than 200,000 USD. Each year, we support more organizations navigating ever more precarious terrain.


Our emergency response team grew into the Digital Security Helpline, which went public in 2013 to provide individuals and organizations most at-risk with 24/7 real-time technical support. Since then, the Helpline has assisted in more than 10,000 global cases of activists, independent journalists, and human rights defenders under threat. Our working languages and technical capabilities are ever-expanding, keeping us accessible and dynamic.


We launched the RightsCon Summit Series in 2011 in Silicon Valley, and we’ve since hosted it in Rio de Janeiro, Manila, Brussels, Toronto, Tunis, and online. The 2022 edition ran across all time zones, and attracted a record-breaking 9,329 registered participants from 162 countries, joining in over 560 sessions. Our RightsCon community continues to grow, sending a clear message: our community’s work is more important, necessary, and powerful than ever.


Access Now was formed in a moment of hope during the 2009 Iranian election, when the power of technology as a force for good changed the core of activism and civil society assembly. At this critical time, millions came together online and in the streets to organize, protest, and shine a light on human rights abuses, in the face of a government that was blocking internet access, censoring content, and undermining online security. Access Now began as an emergency response team of technologists working to help people get back online, and help ensure their safe communications. Still activists at our core, our mission today is far bigger.

Brett Solomon co-founded Access Now in 2009 and served as its Executive Director, Board Member and Board Secretary for 15 years from 2009 to 2024. In that time he also founded RightsCon, the world’s leading summit on human rights in the digital age.

Our global team

Access Now is made up of a diverse community of more than 130 team members working in centers of political power, tech innovation, and civic action around the world. We have registered offices in Belgium, Costa Rica, Tunisia, and the United States, with operations in more than 20 countries across six continents, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Germany, Ghana, India, Kenya, the Netherlands, Chile, the Philippines, Singapore, and beyond.

Meet the staff


Asia Pacific


Senior Coordinator, Accessibility and Community Support, RightsCon

Asia Pacific


Senior Coordinator, Accessibility and Community Support, RightsCon


Thanks to our Board

The Access Now Board is composed of individuals from around the world who provide high level governance, guidance, and strategic oversight to the organization’s vision and its mission. They do not determine Access Now’s operational program or policy positions, are subject to a conflict of interest policy as well as our code of conduct, and are free to hold personal positions and roles that may not always align with the organization.

Now it’s your turn

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