June 1, 2022—Data & Society is pleased to announce that Cindy Cohn, a prominent civil liberties attorney specializing in internet law, has joined its board of directors. Cohn is the executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), leading the organization in its advocacy for civil liberties on the internet. A fierce defender of free speech online, she battles illegal surveillance and champions freedom-enhancing technologies for society.
Cohn’s appointment to Data & Society’s board raises the number of board members to six.
“I am honored and delighted to join Data & Society as a member of the board,” Cohn said. “The organization has been a leading voice in identifying and parsing the stakes of data, automation, and emerging technology, and I look forward to working with the other distinguished members of this board to further those urgent efforts.”
Cohn is a leading expert on legal issues arising from secretive government surveillance programs. In the mid–1990s, she successfully led a First Amendment challenge (Bernstein v. the Department of Justice) to the U.S. government’s export restrictions on cryptography. Cohn has been recognized by the National Law Journal, The NonProfit Times, and Forbes as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the United States, a mover and shaker in the legal tech field, and one of America’s top 50 women in tech, respectively. She is a recipient of the 2012 James Madison Freedom of Information Award and the 2010 Intellectual Property Vanguard Award.
“We are thrilled to welcome Cindy to our board at a pivotal moment for understanding and addressing the social and cultural implications of evolving technologies,” said danah boyd, board chair and founder of Data & Society. “Her deep expertise and commitment to justice in tech and her deep experience in leading a successful nonprofit organization make her a tremendous asset to Data & Society.”
Cohn received her law degree from the University of Michigan and completed her undergraduate work at the University of Iowa and the London School of Economics.