call +44 20 7096 1079

Press releases

Press releases


December 06, 2012 | Jim Killock

BPI's PromoBay.org ban lifted

Yesterday, the BPI told the Open Rights Group that they had written to ISPs to remove the website PromoBay.org from their ban list. However, the list of IP addresses and websites on the list remains unpublished and set at the discretion of the BPI, representing music labels.

Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group said:

"The BPI intend to obtain blocking orders for some 50-100 websites. Each order allows the BPI to create a ban list of clone sites or IP addresses.

"These ban lists could end up blocking perhaps 500 or more domains and IP addresses, all the at the behest of the BPI.

"There is a clear need for transparency, as mistakes are already being made, and are only being corrected because of public pressure. We call on ISPs and the BPI to publish the blocking lists in the name of legal transparency and public accountability."

[Read more]


November 29, 2012 | Jim Killock

Conservatives must join calls to drop Snooper Bill

Jim Killock said:

"We urge Conservatives to voice their opposition to the Snooper's Charter. Labour too need to repair their record on civil liberties and reject this plan for mass surveillance."

 

[Read more]


November 29, 2012 | Jim Killock

Newzbin dies

Jim Killock said:
"Newzbin were rightly pursued through the courts and found to be encouraging infringement. That is the right approach.

"However, censorship and block orders are disturbing and we think unnecessary given the success in tackling the businesses and payment mechanisms involved.

"Web blocking is a blunt instrument and is a dangerous practice. We wish copyright owners the best in enforcing their rights and building their businesses, but urge them not to resort to further requests for censorship."

[Read more]


November 28, 2012 | Jim Killock

Richard O'Dwyer decision

Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group welcomed the decision to drop the extradition request made for Richard O'Dwyer.

He added: "It's great that the extradition request will be dropped. But we must remember that without this deal, he was due to be sent to the USA for an alleged crime apparently committed in the UK.

"Is the UK government happy for the US to assume jurisdiction over every UK Internet user? The government would do well to take a long hard look at its extradition arrangements with the USA."

[Read more]


November 27, 2012 | Jim Killock

Facebook privacy changes

Reacting to the new changes announced by Facebook, Jim Killock said: 

"Facebook are lobbying the UK government to weaken new data protection laws and reduce our legal rights.

"They claim that the right to have our data back or to destroy it would be unworkable. But then Facebook go and show exactly why UK citizens need new, stronger personal data laws."

 

[Read more]


November 23, 2012 | Peter Bradwell

Sobering lessons for the government from the latest Ofcom research on copyright infringement

Reacting to Ofcom's new research into online copyright infringement, Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group said:
 
"Only 16% of respondents said they would stop unlawful file sharing if sent a letter by their ISP. 

"The Government hoped the Digital Economy Act would reduce filesharing by 70%. This calls into question how effective these measures will be. 

"These are exactly the sort of questions that Government should have looked at properly before passing the law. Instead, they stuck with guess work. DCMS admitted to us that they had no evidence of their own when they wrote the Digital Economy Act. 

"This is a mess of a law: expensive and likely a waste of time, as well as threatening to infringe our fundamental rights. It should be repealed."
 

[Read more]


October 23, 2012 | Jim Killock

ORG urges caution over web blocking orders

In response to the BPI's call to block three websites before Christmas, Jim Killock Executive Director of the Open Rights Group said:

"Web blocking is an extreme response. The orders are often indefinite and open ended, and will be blocking legitimate uses. The BPI and the courts need to slow down and be very careful about this approach.

"The BPI seem to be trying to speed things up and that is not good. It will lead to carelessness and unneeded harms.

"As an approach, censorship is a bad idea. It leads to more censorship, and is unlikely to solve the problem it seeks to address.

"Digital music is going through a period of real growth because it is trying to innovate: this is a much more effective approach than copyright crackdowns."

The sites are Fenopy, H33t and Kickass Torrents

NOTES

According to the IFPI, digital album sales in the UK were up 27% in 2011. See also the Telegraph.

[Read more]


October 16, 2012 | Jim Killock

ORG congratulates CNIL

Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group, said:

"It's good to see European data protection authorities take action so that users gain control of their data.

"This must be backed by strong new data protection powers, for fines based on turnover, and rights to retrieve and to delete your data."

NOTES

CNIL: Google's new privacy policy : incomplete information and uncontrolled combination of data across services

http://www.cnil.fr/english/news-and-events/news/article/googles-new-privacy-policy-incomplete-information-and-uncontrolled-combination-of-data-across-ser/

ABOUT ORG

The Open Rights Group, founded in 2005, is supported by 34,000 activists and funded by 1400 subscribers. It works to defend civil liberties in the digital world.

[Read more]


October 11, 2012 | Jim Killock

Neelie Kroes is right to demand DNT action

Jim Killock, who is an invited expert on the W3C panel for Do Not Track (DNT), welcomed Neelie Kroes' demands for DNT to be rich and meaningful.

"We have seen attempts by advertisers to stall, water down and even exclude ad tracking from the new standard.

"Do Not Track is a great idea, but could easily be meaningless. If it fails to protect our privacy, then advertising profiling companies are likely to come under renewed attack from legislators. The ad groups who are pushing to make DNT full of holes should realise they are damaging their own industry in the long run."

[Read more]


September 14, 2012 | Jim Killock

Demos Data Dialogue report

Reacting to the Demos Data Dialogue report, Jim Killock said:

"The government needs to pay close attention to this report's finding that 70% of people want a "right to delete" and a "right to retrieve" their data.

"These rights are in the EU's draft data protection regulation, but UK officials have been arguing to water down or remove them, after pressure from business.

"But the Demos report shows that businesses need customer confidence, which relies on these strong new protections." [1]

Notes

[1] http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/thedatadialogue Finding 6 page 15 shows there was high demand for a variety of reassurance measures overall. Of particular value was the 'ability to withdrawm data' (73 per cent) and to 'see what information is held on me' (70 per cent).

[Read more]