Berkeley Institute for Free Speech Online

Mission: To ensure free access worldwide to information on the Internet through technical means.

The Berkeley Institute for Free Speech Online (BIFSO) was established in early 2011 to continue and broaden the work of the founder, who has been writing anti-censorship software since early 1996. While BIFSO currently focuses on updating and maintaining the popular open-source software known as CGIProxy, the ultimate goal is to support other anti-censorship software projects as well, and to engage in related research. BIFSO differs from other censorship-fighting organizations in its specific focus on software, rather than on legal, political, journalistic, or other aspects of censorship.

BIFSO is a 501(c)(3) organization, meaning all donations to BIFSO are tax-deductible.

Thank you for your interest in BIFSO!


June 15, 2016

BIFSO is seeking an experienced Outreach Coordinator. This is a half-time position (20 hours/week), and is eligible for benefits. Please see the job description for details, and contact Hayden Lilien for further info.

July 26, 2013:

Sorry we haven't updated this site in a while, but we've been busy working on CGIProxy ever since we got the DRL (State Department) grant. Many features have been added, and with today's 2.1.7 release, multiple languages are supported, with room for more when we get the translations.

IRS update: After about 2.5 years, we are still trying to get our 501(c)(3) status from the IRS. It looks like BIFSO was caught up in the recent over-zealous IRS screening, since "open source" was on the IRS' BOLO ("be on the look out") list that made the news recently. We still hope and plan to get our 501(c)(3) status.

December 9, 2011:

More great news-- we managed to update CGIProxy's Flash support much sooner than expected. Among other things, this means that YouTube works again through CGIProxy. Version 2.1 has just been released, and you can get it from the Downloads page.

October 10, 2011:

Great news-- a few days ago, BIFSO secured a major grant from the US State Department to develop and extend CGIProxy for at least the next 21 months! Work has already begun, and we plan to start releasing new versions soon.

Just so you know, all of the new features paid for by this grant are our own ideas. The State Department agreed to fund our ideas and suggestions, but they themselves didn't request any particular features.

We still don't have our 501(c)(3) status from the IRS, but neither have they rejected us. Long story short, if you ever want to start a non-profit organization in the US, prepare to wait a year or more for results from the IRS.

July 4, 2011:

Finally putting up this Web site!

Currently, we're still waiting on getting our 501(c)(3) (tax-exempt) status from the IRS. Our request has been expedited by the IRS, so we hope to have that status by the end of July.

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