ORG is just back from a weekend in Berlin planning digital rights campaigns with groups from across Europe.
European Digital Rights (EDRI) is an umbrella body for 25 groups (including ORG) from 16 countries that coordinate their work on European legislation affecting privacy, copyright and related issues. EDRI just held its general assembly and also co-organised a meeting of activists fighting data retention laws.
The main topics of discussion were the EU Data Retention Directive and how far it had been implemented in member states; EU progress on a new privacy framework for European law enforcement agencies; Internet filtering; and the current status of European attempts to criminalise intellectual property rights infringement. The UK is not alone in strong-arming Internet Service Providers into retaining information about their customers' communications, and blocking access to sites alleged to contain child pornography. Denmark and Italy are also leading government efforts in these areas.
The campaigners at the meetings discussed possible ways to fight back against Internet censorship and surveillance. One plan under consideration is to develop an ISP code of best practice on customer privacy, based on EDRI-member GreenNet's Privacy and Data Retention policy. EDRI plans to conduct a survey of ISP practices, national legislation and policies.
EDRI also welcomed the Electronic Frontier Foundation as a new member. EFF European Affairs Coordinator Erik Josefsson attended the meeting on EFF's behalf.
A fuller report on these meetings will be included in the next EDRI-gram, which is always a useful resource for news of developments in Brussels and across the Council of Europe.