About

Open Rights Group is the UK's only digital campaigning organisation working to protect the rights to privacy and free speech online. With almost 3,000 active supporters, we are a grassroots organisation with local groups across the UK.

Digital technology has transformed the way we live and opened up limitless new ways to communicate, connect, share and learn across the world. But for all the benefits, technological developments have created new threats to our human rights. We raise awareness of these threats and challenge them through public campaigns, legal actions, policy interventions and tech projects.

We challenge:

  • Threats to privacy by both the government through the surveillance of our personal communications and private companies, who use our personal data to increase their profits.
  • Threats to free speech through the criminalisation of online speech, online censorship and restrictive copyright laws.

Founded in 2005, ORG is a non-profit organisation. You can see some of our successes over the last ten years here.

Find out how to become a member. If you run a business or organisation, find out how to become a Corporate Supporter.

The society we want to see

As society goes digital we wish to preserve its openness. We want a society built on laws, free from disproportionate, unaccountable surveillance and censorship. We want a society in which information flows more freely. We want a state that is transparent and accountable, where the public's rights are acknowledged and upheld.

We want a world where we each control the data our digital lives create, deciding who can use it and how. We want the public to fully understand their digital rights, and be equipped to be creative and free individuals. We stand for fit-for-purpose digital copyright regimes that promote free expression and diverse participation in culture.

We believe people have the right to control their technology, and oppose the use of technology to control people.

How we work to achieve our aims

We uphold human rights like free expression and privacy. We condemn and work against repressive laws or systems that deny people these rights.

We campaign, lobby, go to court — whatever it takes to build and support a movement for freedom in the digital age. We believe in coalition, and work with partners across the political spectrum to support an informed population of Internet users who understand and fight for their rights in the digital age.

We scrutinise and critique the policies and actions of governments, companies, and other groups as they relate to the Internet. We warn the public when policies — even well-intentioned ones — stand to undermine the freedom to use the Internet to make a better society.

The values that guide us

  • We believe in human rights.
  • Our work is based on evidence.
  • We are accountable to our supporters, and operate with integrity.
  • We believe in the importance of empowered people defending digital rights.
  • Our work must be accessible and inclusive.

People

  • ORG has a core staff based in London, headed by Jim Killock, Executive Director.
  • We have over 3,000 members who inform our work and help us to carry out our campaigns. We also have local groups that are open to all, based in towns and cities around the UK. We also depend on a network of campaigning volunteers, including interns working in our office.
  • Our Supporter Council advises on the Open Rights Group community and campaigns, and represents the voices of the local groups.
  • Policy is informed by an Advisory Council, consisting of a large group of technology experts, academics and activists who, collectively, have a wealth of experience.
  • The running of ORG is overseen by a Board of Directors, two of whom are elected every two years by our paying supporters. None of our Advisory Council members or directors are paid.
  • Our Legal Panel includes barristers and solicitors who help us with our work. We may also pass on relevant requests for legal assistance to this panel.
  • Our Corporate Supporters support our work and help us to campaign more effectively. In particular Bytemark help us host our servers and AAISP support our Blocked project.
  • We also depend on a network of campaigning volunteers, including interns working in our office.

Donors and Finances

Our financial statements are published in our annual reports.

Affiliations

EDRi logoORG is a member organisation of European Digital Rights (EDRi).

EDRi is a network of 36 civil and human rights organisations from 21 European countries. Their goal is to promote, protect and uphold fundamental human rights and freedoms in the digital environment. EDRi's offices are in Brussels. They campaign at a European level and co-ordinate members including ORG on Europe-wide work.