Last year, over a thousand people pledged a fiver a month to help us set up the Open Rights Group - an organisation to publicise and fight for civil liberties in the digital world.
So far, we have around 500 supporters who have been true to their pledge and are giving us a fiver each month. If you are one of those five hundred, thank you. That was enough money to secure our short term future and to begin laying the foundations for the group.
But we don't have enough funding to achieve all that we set out to do. In the next six months, we want to expand the work that ORG is doing, and go beyond these first steps.
If you haven't yet fulfilled your pledge to ORG, can I ask you to live up to your promise, and send us that fiver? Please become an ORG supporter, and one of the Founding 1000. We need your help to be able to expand and increase our campaigning power.
What have we been doing over the last six months? Working on a shoestring and a part-time staff, we've still managed:
With your additional support, we'll be able to expand our work. This year, the UK is facing some significant challenges in the online world:
- The criminalisation of many intellectual property rights infringements, in the form of the second EU Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive. Accidentally using copyrighted or patented materials in your own work? Under IPRED, you could end up in jail.
- The implementation of EU Data Retention legislation. Which ISPs are already storing your phone and internet usage on behalf of the police?
- Pushes to extend the copyright term for sound recordings. Cliff Richard may be all for it, but we think it's bad for music and musicians. We'll be publicising the benefits of public domain, examining the dangers of term extension, and lobbying for the term to remain the same.
- The introduction of Part III of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, permitting the government to seize private encryption keys. Will it stop terrorists? Or will it just compromise your security?
With your help, we can work to shine more light on these issues, bringing them to the attention of the media, the politicians and the wider public. Please support ORG with just a fiver a month
Your promise is what will let us fulfill ours.
But remember, it's not just your money that's valuable, it's you. To get more involved, please join the ORG Discussion list (sign up using the forms in the righthand sidebar) or visit the ORG wiki
And thanks again for your support.