Owen Blacker


Owen BlackerMy name’s Owen Blacker and I’m pleased to be standing for election to the ORG Board among such a wide range of excellent candidates. I am a founding member of the ORG Advisory Council, having handled membership management in the very early days of 2005 and helped with providing direction since those first few steps. There’s plenty for us to do over the next few years, with attacks — and opportunities — ranging from ACTA to snooping bills; allies like La Quadrature du Net and Lawrence Lessig; projects from the right to parody to running TOR bridges and darknet wifi.

I am also one of directors of mySociety and a trustee of the registered charity behind it. My work with mySociety involves providing guidance and supervision to staff, making sure we’re on top of the finances, funding agreements, partnerships with other campaigning organisations and so on. ORG has very similar needs and I believe my experience at mySociety over the last 11 years will allow me to help ORG meet its back-office challenges, ensuring that the staff can concentrate on the day-to-day struggle for our digital rights, without having to worry about where funding is coming from. The flip side, of course, is making sure those funds are spent wisely and the appropriate relationships — with governments, funders and other NGOs — are built and maintained to get the most out of our campaigns.

From 1998 to 2005, I was part of the team behind Stand.org.uk, where we campaigned against bad crypto law and bad data retention laws — the RIP Act and its Orders and attempts to neuter widespread crypto in the guise of protecting e-commerce. From Stand.org.uk, I wrote several consultation responses, including everything you could ever want to know about why the “Entitlement Cards” proposals were an unworkable assault on our civil liberties; this led to me getting people together from several organisations to set up NO2ID, where I was a board member for five years. (If you particularly want to read that document, it’s on Scribd: http://scr.bi/standidreport)

In my day job, I am a head of development, managing a team of coders at an advertising agency. I also help colleagues and clients understand digital rights issues, like the EU “Cookie Directive”. Outside the office, I’m an avid Wikipedian, mainly editing articles on mediæval history. If this kind of information matters to you, I live in Surrey with my spouse and three cats.