EFF Pioneer Award

I am truly stunned and incredibly honoured to have been named one of the recipients of the 2008 Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Awards.  As the release notes, "since 1991, the EFF Pioneer Awards have recognized individuals and organizations that have made significant and influential contributions to the development of computer-mediated communications and to the empowerment of individuals in using computers and the Internet." The list of past winners is remarkable – Tim Berners-Lee, Linus Torvalds, Jimmy Wales, Eben Moglen, Yochai Benkler, Vint Cerf, and many more.  I'm amazed to be included in this group and delighted to be receiving the award with the Mozilla Foundation and Mitchell Baker as well as Mark Klein, a former AT&T technician who blew the whistle on the U.S. government's warrantless surveillance program.  The awards will be presented at the Emerging Tech conference in San Diego early next month.

Update: Many thanks for all the kind notes of congratulations as well as to the CBC and Toronto Star for their coverage. 


  1. Congrats!
    Congratulations Michael! It is very well deserved.

    You’re an inspiration to many.

  2. Congratulations! I think they chose well.

  3. Congratulations!

  4. Congratulations! You are ahead with the times.

  5. Congratulations!
    Michael, this award is richly deserved. Congratulations, and thank you.

  6. Harold Jarche says:

    Yes, you deserve it. You’ve raised a key issue for our country and society from relative obscurity to the mainstream. Well done 🙂

  7. Super work Michael! You ARE appreciated.

  8. Chris Bruner says:

    I wrote to you once before a couple of years back, after I discovered you through a slashdot article. I said you were my new hero, and you have lived up to my hopes!

    Keep up the good work.

  9. Doug Springer says:

    Congratulations on your well deserved and well earned honour, Michael!

  10. Cary Schwartzman says:


    Mr. Geist, if there is anybody who deserves this award, it’s you. Late last year, when minister Prentice tried to slip some potentially ugly legislation past THE ENTIRE CANADIAN POPULATION, it was YOU who said “excuse me, just what the fuck are you doing”. It was YOU who drew all this attention to what was previously overlooked. It was YOU who organized the Facebook group, it was YOU who wrote the 30 Days of DRM.

    Seriously. Can’t think of a better person.

    Thanks for being the first person to notice the problem and draw attention to it. Big ups for that! WOOO! 🙂

  11. Stephen Downes says:


  12. Mathew Ingram says:

    That’s quite the honour, Michael. Congratulations.

  13. Jason Crocker says:

    Congratulations Michael. Very well deserved.

  14. Stuart MacDonald says:

    Michael, well done and well deserved.

    Hope to see you at mesh08.

    – Stuart

    ps: Apologies if this is a duplicate post – I got an error on submission the first time.

  15. Congratulations, Michael. You deserve it for helping us fight for fair rules in Canada.

  16. Sweet, congrats, you deserve it! Thanks for representing Canada in such a positive way!

  17. Farrell J. McGovern says:


  18. Congratulations!

  19. Giordano Bruno says:

    Sapere aude!
    Congratulations! You are the pioneer of a new Age of Enlightenment.

  20. Congrats from Sweden!

  21. R. Bassett Jr. says:

    I had been thinking for the last few weeks that you deserved a nomination for some such award, so I am pleased to see that you have won just such a thing!

    As I have said before, you are the David Suzuki of Copyright. Thank you for your efforts and your integrity.

  22. Greg Sadetsky says:

    Congratulations, Michael. Well deserved!

  23. EFF beat me to it
    I was thinking of comming up with some kind of award myself, but I couldn’t find the right card… Congratulations!

  24. John Meadows says:

    Well deserved!
    Congratulations Michael! I can’t think of anyone more deserving!

  25. Paul Renault says:

    I\’ve recently finished listening to The Hacker Crackdown, as read by Cory Doctorow. From it I\’ve come to understand the origins, appreciate the worth of, and support the work that the EFF does.

    I\’m thrilled that they\’ve recognized your contributions to, well, humanity.

  26. Congratulations and well deserved!

  27. Yes!
    Well deserved, indeed! Keep up the good work, sir.

  28. Congratulations
    Congrats, you’ve done a great job and you are well deserving of it. 🙂

  29. >I am truly stunned


    Congratulations, you deserve it.

  30. Congratulations! With all of your insight, passion and skill, you have most certainly earned this honour. Under your leadership, Canadians have taken a stand on this issue, and we have developed an international reputation that we can be proud of. Meanwhile, our elected “leaders” have been cowering in the background.

    Thank you!

  31. Congratulations
    Your dedication to this important public issue has benefited all Canadians so this recognition is a fitting endorsement of your work.

    I would like to add my personal thanks for your tireless effort to present a balanced view and leadership.

  32. Ruben Benmergui says:

    Mazel Tov! to a true Tech Pioneer.