The Open Rights Group has now become a provisional member of European Digital Rights (EDRi), a coalition of 21 privacy and civil rights organisations from 14 different countries. Says the EDRi site:
Members of European Digital Rights have joined forces to defend civil rights in the information society. The need for cooperation among European organizations is increasing as more regulation regarding the internet, copyright and privacy is originating from the European Union.EDRi also publishes EDRigram, 'a bi-weekly newsletter about digital civil rights in Europe' (you can sign up on their home page).
Some examples of regulations and developments that have the attention of European Digital Rights are data retention requirements, spam, telecommunications interception, copyright and fair use restrictions, the cyber-crime treaty, rating, filtering and blocking of internet content and notice-and-takedown procedures of websites.
European Digital Rights takes an active interest in developments regarding these subjects in all 45 member states of the Council of Europe.
EDRi is planning to have a General Assembly in Berlin early in September, when the current EDRi members will make their final decision on whether ORG can become a full member. We look forward to attending and to getting to know our European counterparts much better.
I think it's important too to keep an eye on what is happening not just across the water in the States, but also in Europe. Bad ideas, and bad legislation, has a habit of travelling, and the concept of geographically isolated policy is old and out of date. What happens in Ireland, or France, or Germany can happen here, and visa versa, so it's important that we become part of the wider digital rights communities.