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Vice Chair's Foreword

Foreword: Harry Metcalfe, Vice Chair

 

When the Open Rights Group was founded five years ago, we knew the UK needed a strong, independent voice for digital rights. But since then it’s fair to say that ORG has exceeded our expectations, as have the attempts by others to restrict our rights and freedoms online.

 

ORG has had an incredible year. Thanks to the hard work of our staff and volunteers we have delivered some superb campaigns and seen strong growth in the numbers of supporters making regular donations to ORG. On the back of this core support we have been able to grow ORG, run our campaigns and keep winning grant applications from major funders.

 

This past year was also a challenging one for digital rights. We saw the Digital Economy Act being railroaded through, endless negotiations on the ACTA copyright treaty, the possible return of the Intercept Modernisation surveillance programme and a host of online privacy issues arise. On the other hand we’ve seen the ID cards programme abolished and a series of transparency initiatives launched by the new government.

 

What remains certain is that digital rights remain a fast moving area fraught with risks for consumers. As online behemoths race to compete for market share, and legislators struggle to keep up whilst corporations continue to lobby hard for their interests, our digital rights are often very much at risk.

 

I believe ORG’s role is more relevant than ever. Thank you to everyone who has helped this year and in previous years. We hope you’ll join us for the work that lies ahead in protecting our digital rights. There is much still to do.

 

Harry Metcalfe

Vice Chair