About the Digital Citizens Alliance
Digital Citizens is a coalition of consumers, businesses, and Internet experts focused on educating the public and policymakers on the threats people from all walks of life face on the Internet. Digital Citizens also works to make the Web a safer place by engaging key Internet stakeholders: individuals, Internet companies, and civic leaders. Based in Washington, DC, the Digital Citizens Alliance counts among its supporters - private citizens; the health, pharmaceutical, creative, and other leading industries; online safety experts; and other communities focused on Internet safety. Every day, stories unfold that underscore the importance of making the Internet a safer place to engage, learn, and do business:
- Designers on Etsy complain that unscrupulous overseas companies steal their designs, and then mass-produce them.
- A newly married couple, thrilled to have the opportunity to marry, sees their iconic photo of a kiss under the Verrazano Bridge lifted and used without their permission in an anti-gay marriage mailer.
- YouTube producers finding their creations—and investments—taken and distributed without their permission.
- A teenager downloads a “cheap” version of a recently released feature film and unknowingly exposes his parents’ computer to spyware, resulting in their becoming victims of identity theft.
- A senior citizen donates online to what she thinks is a fundraiser for victims of a natural disaster, only to have her credit card number stolen and sold on the black market.
The Digital Citizens Alliance is made up of everyday citizens who know that a truly free Internet, like any truly free community, is one where people can engage in legitimate activities safely, and where bad actors are held accountable. Our goals are simple, to make the Internet:
- Free of scams and fraud, including identity theft and misleading advertising
- Free of dangerous drugs sold online to unsuspecting individuals
- Free of illegal movies, videos, music, images, and other content that steal from our citizens and put consumers at risk
The Digital Citizens Alliance is an active voice in promoting a better and safer Internet, working with security experts, the businesses that operate the Internet, policymakers, and civic leaders, as well as empowering individuals to secure their own safety online.
Digital Citizens has seen significant growth during its first year of exposing the dangerous practices occurring across the Internet—some in dark corners and some right out in the open. We have reported on rogue elements preying on innocent consumers, and our research has delivered startling findings to the American people, including:
- Just how easy it is to buy illegal steroids and prescription drugs online. Our investigators were able to find both real and fake versions of dangerous drugs that could be purchased easily by teens.
- The extent of counterfeiting internationally. Using hidden cameras, we revealed a department store-sized shop in Beijing selling nothing but illegal counterfeits of some of America’s best-known brands.
- The surprisingly high number (35%) of young adults saying they ordered gifts online and didn’t receive them. That's double the number seen in the entire population (18%).
- The hundreds of millions of dollars content theft sites make each year through advertising alone, many of them aligning their activities with well-known commercial brands to make their activities seem legitimate.
- The number of Americans who believe major Internet companies like Google aren’t doing enough to stop the spread of online crime.
Our research has been featured in reports on ABC World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and in the Washington Post, as well as on dozens of local television stations and in newspapers around the country.
We want to make certain the voices of America’s families, small businesses, and communities are heard when it comes to ensuring that the Internet is a place we can trust.