The U.S. Department of State and USAID jointly spent $76 million between 2008 and 2011 on "Internet freedom" programs and have committed an additional $25 million for 2012.
The U.S. government funds millions of dollars of research in privacy technology each year through various agencies, including at the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the Department of State. However, agencies do little to coordinate their funding efforts or develop a common vision for privacy R&D. In addition, comprehensive data on the amount and focus of privacy research do not exist. Many countries have created R&D roadmaps for various industries including automotive, cybersecurity, photovoltaics, health care, nanotechnology and unmanned systems to better align R&D activities with strategic objectives. An R&D roadmap for privacy could help ensure that privacy research funded by the U.S. government addresses critical needs of the public and private sector. In addition, funding agencies should start identifying the research they fund on privacy-related topics so that policymakers can better evaluate existing efforts and ensure that privacy research is adequately funded.