Allie Funk

Research Director for Technology and Democracy

As Research Director for Technology and Democracy, Allie serves as an expert on human rights in the digital age, with a particular focus on free expression, privacy, surveillance, and censorship. She leads Freedom House's technology and democracy initiative, including Freedom on the Net, Election Watch for the Digital Age, and work related to protecting a free and open internet. She also represents Freedom House on the Freedom Online Coalition's Advisory Network, and her writing has been published in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, WIRED, the Hill, the Diplomat, and Just Security, among others.

Prior to joining Freedom House, Allie worked at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers on issues relating to U.S. surveillance, the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, and the right to counsel, and also worked with Human Rights First’s foreign policy team. She holds a master's degree in human rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a B.A. in philosophy and political science from the University of Louisville.

Featured Reports:

Freedom on the Net 2022: Countering an Authoritarian Overhaul of the Internet

Freedom on the Net 2021: The Global Drive to Control Big Tech

Freedom on the Net 2020: The Pandemic's Digital Shadow

False Panacea: Abusive Surveillance in the Name of Public Health

Information Isolation: Censoring the COVID-19 Outbreak

User Privacy or Cyber Sovereignty: Assessing the Human Rights Implications of Data Localization

Freedom on the Net 2019: The Crisis of Social Media

Social Media Surveillance

Digital Election Interference

Selected Publications:

What Twitter's lawsuit against the Indian government could mean for global free expression | The Los Angeles Times — July 16, 2022

How Elon Musk's Twitter Could Boost State Censorship | The Information — May 5, 2022

Russia's Invasion of Ukraine Accelerates Its Drive Toward Cyber Sovereignty | Tech Policy Press — March 8, 2022

Biden’s Democracy Summit Must Protect Internet Freedom – At Home and Around the World | Center for European Policy Analysis — December 8, 2021

On Internet Freedom, China and Taiwan Are Worlds Apart | The Diplomat — October 12, 2021

Governments are coming for Big Tech. Here’s what it could mean for your rights online | The Los Angeles Times — October 10, 2021

Apple's AirTag offers convenience but poses serious threats—and it's not alone | The Washington Post — May 13, 2021

In India, US Defense Secretary Austin Must Not Overlook Its Democratic Decline | Just Security — March 16, 2021

Myanmar is Experiencing a Digital-Age Coup - Tech Companies Must Push Back | Just Security — February 16, 2021

The pandemic's digital shadow: increased surveillance | The Hill — October 14, 2020

Fighting Covid-19 Shouldn't Mean Abandoning Human Rights | WIRED — April 9, 2020

Protecting Democracy during a Global Pandemic | The Bulwark — March 26, 2020

How the coronavirus could trigger a backslide on freedom around the world | The Washington Post — March 16, 2020

As Trump Returns from India, Others in U.S. Must Press Modi on Rights in Kashmir and Across the Country | Just Security — February 26, 2020

Iran Tensions Increase Social Media Surveillance at the Border | WIRED — January 9, 2020

I Opted Out of Facial Recognition at the Airport—It Wasn't Easy | WIRED — July 2, 2019

New US visa requirements threaten privacy and freedom of expression | The Hill — June 23, 2019

Citing ‘Fake News,’ Singapore Could Be Next to Quash Free Expression | Just Security — April 8, 2019

Taking No Chances, Thailand’s Junta Locks Down the Internet ahead of Elections | Just Security — March 21, 2019

Now streaming: censorship | openDemocracy — January 23, 2019