Cameran Ashraf is an assistant professor at the School of Public Policy, human rights defender, and co-founder of international human rights and technology organization AccessNow. In recognition of his work, the European Parliament selected AccessNow as a finalist for the 2010 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, the European Union's highest human rights honor.
In 2009 Cameran assembled a team providing digital security and Internet censorship circumvention to democracy activists, journalists, and human rights defenders in authoritarian regimes. Cameran and his team defended critical websites from state-sponsored attacks, provided personal communications security to hundreds of vulnerable activists and journalists, distributed anti-censorship tools used by over 40,000 people daily, and enabled more than 3 million human rights video downloads from inside authoritarian states.
Cameran has been invited to speak at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, UC Berkeley, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and was an invited expert for the Kofi Annan Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age. He has appeared in the New York Times, National Public Radio, Wired Magazine, and Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
He has advised the International Criminal Court on digital security, given expert input to the offices of U.S. Senators Lindsay Graham and John McCain on global censorship policy, is a recipient of the University of California's Herbert F. York Global Security Fellowship, and awardee of a “Break the Blackout” grant from Avaaz.org.
Cameran continues to work for human dignity and freedom of expression through teaching, research, and meaningful engagement with students. To that end, he recently served as Deputy Director of the Open Society Foundations Internship for Rights and Governance, helping to prepare the next generation of human rights defenders. He completed his Ph.D. at UCLA on the geopolitics of Internet censorship and cyberwar.