Supporter Newsletter


August 03, 2018 | Mike Morel

Supporter Newsletter - August 2018

While Parliament’s in summer recess Open Rights Group is readying to hit the ground running this autumn. We’re gearing up for another critical vote on the EU Copyright Directive, a reckoning with Age Verification technology, and we’re taking the Government to court.

Back to the drawing board

After an astonishing vote on 5 July the European Parliament rejected the fast tracking of the EU Copyright Directive, causing a major setback for industry proponents of Article 13 and it’s controversial upload filters. An amendment vote on 12 September is our next opportunity to prevent automated copyright enforcement from damaging free expression online. ORG activists are prepping campaign events across the UK and we’ll be travelling to Strasbourg the week of the vote to meet with MEPs face to face.

Age Verification’s privacy problems

The rollout of mandatory age verification (AV) for adult websites is being delayed while the Government mulls over final details. AV tech will create highly sensitive databases of the public’s porn watching habits, and ORG has warned that the Government’s proposed privacy protections are woefully inadequate. Their hesitation could be a sign they are receptive to our concerns, but we expect final guidance will still treat privacy as an afterthought. MPs need to understand what's at stake before they are asked to approve AV guidelines after summer. Since they’re not in their offices, try using our easy Twitter tool to get their attention.

Legal challenge update

After a successful CrowdJustice fundraiser, ORG and campaigners for EU citizens’ rights the3million are advancing preparations for a legal challenge to the 2018 Data Protection Act’s “Immigration Exemption”. Holding a different standard for the millions of immigrants living in the UK legally is bad enough, but make no mistake - the Exemption is so wide it has the potential to negate data protection rights for any UK resident. Hear from ORG’s Scotland Director Matthew Rice exactly what the Exemption is, and why it’s so important to challenge it.

QUICKFIRE NEWS

Scottish Gov opens biometrics consultation

Now’s your chance to weigh in on Government proposals to create a new commissioner to oversee the use of biometrics data by police in Scotland. ORG welcomes this development because Scotland stands alone among UK nations in lacking independent oversight. Read more about our position here.

Local organisers needed

ORG Cambridge and ORG Birmingham are on the lookout for more volunteer organisers. This involves conceiving, planning and promoting local events, networking with local allies, and spreading the word about ORG's activities. Local events include film screenings, expert talks, tech workshops and whatever else you dream up. No experience is necessary. All you need is an interest in digital rights and a desire to make a difference. If you are interested then write to volunteers@openrightsgroup.org and tell us a little about yourself.

ORG AROUND THE UK

ORG Cambridge

Monthly Meetup

We’ll be discussing campaign plans for the EU Copyright Directive. All are welcome!

Tuesday 7 Aug 2018,  7-8:30pm

The Castle Inn, 38 Castle Street

Cambridge CB3 OAJ

CORPORATE SUPPORTERS

ORG would like to thank our newest corporate supporter Top VPN Canada!

https://www.topvpncanada.com

@topvpncanada

 

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July 10, 2018 | Mike Morel

Supporter update - July 2018

From victory at the Supreme Court to success in the EU Parliament and the launching of a new data rights service, it has been a busy summer for Open Rights Group. We would like to thanks all our members and supporters who made these achievements possible.

MEPs to Article 13 - “Not so fast!”

In a major upset to industry lobbyists Members of European Parliament (MEPs) voted last week 318 to 278 to reject the current version of the EU Copyright Directive, foiling plans to fast track Article 13 and its notorious ‘upload filters. We won the day but the fight against automated Internet censorship is not over. We’ll be ramping up pressure on MEPs until the Directive faces a final vote in September.

ORG victorious at UK Supreme Court

In a victory against runaway web blocking, the UK Supreme Court ruled in favour of Open Rights Group’s intervention in the Cartier jeweller case. The unanimous decision means Internet  Service Providers ISPs (and hence consumers) will not bear the costs of blocking trademark-infringing sites. With the onus now on rights-holders to fund the blocks they demand, we’ve reduced the threat excessive overblocking poses to free speech online.

ORG & IF present Data Rights Finder

ORG and Projects by IF launched a new service for the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) which makes it easier for the public to understand and use their new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) data rights. Want quick, clear answers about how a company stores your data, or whether they share it with third parties? Need to know exactly who to contact to make a subject access request? Data Rights Finder has answers.

Quickfire news

1. The Scottish Information Commissioner’s Office (SICO) published their intervention into the Scottish Government’s freedom of information (FOI) practice and performance. They concluded that the Scottish Government treated FOI requests from journalists differently from other requests. This was a betrayal of the ‘applicant-blind’ principle of freedom of information legislation according to the report.

2. A Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill is making its way through Parliament which seeks to criminalise the streaming of extremist content. Currently it is only an offence to download and store such material. Three or more views has been suggested as a threshold for offense, creating daunting free speech implications for journalists and academics studying terrorist propaganda.

ORG Events

ORG Cambridge

Plan for #SaveYourInternet Day

Discuss ORG’s plans to fight Article 13 when the EU Parliament reconvenes in late August.

Tuesday 7 August

7pm-8:30pm

The Castle Inn

38 Castle Street, Cambridge CB3 0AJ

https://www.meetup.com/ORG-Cambridge/events/fdpwknyxlbkb/

ORG London

Data Democracy Workshop

Learn from Ben Falk how to how to request your data from the Home Office, the NHS, Facebook and more.

Tuesday 24 July

7pm-9pm

Newspeak House

133-135 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 7DG

https://www.meetup.com/ORG-London/events/252434169/

ORG Manchester

Tech tools workshop

Learn how to use ORG’s tech tools Data Rights Finder and Blocked!

Monday 23 July

6pm-7:30pm

BPP University, St James Building

79 Oxford Street, Manchester M1 6FQ

https://manchester.openrightsgroup.org/2018/07/06/274/

ORG BRISTOL

Surveillance, policing & the law

Learn about your digital rights under the law and how to challenge corporate and government surveillance

Thursday 12 July

6:30pm-9pm

Kebele, 14 Robertson Road, Easton - Bristol

https://www.meetup.com/ORG-Bristol/events/251928679/

CORPORATE SPONSORS

We’d like to thank the following corporate supporters:

Open Data Services, My Private Network, IVPN, File Sanctuary and The Organization.

http://opendataservices.coop

https://www.my-private-network.co.uk

https://www.ivpn.net

https://www.filesanctuary.net

https://www.the-organization.com

 

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June 01, 2018 | Ed Johnson-Williams

Supporter Newsletter: June 2018

It’s been an extremely busy March in the world of digital rights so let’s get right into it!

It’s been an eventful spring. In a landmark victory for digital rights, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect. Unfortunately the Government decided to add an Immigration Exemption into the Data Protection Act 2018, which means that millions of legal UK residents won’t enjoy GDPR’s full benefits. ORG is preparing a legal action as the fight now moves to the courts, while other campaigns loom on the horizon. Never a dull moment!

Major data rights win!

There are many reasons to celebrate GDPR. Companies must now use plainly worded language to earn the right to process your data. GDPR also allows you to revoke consent and request your data be deleted or corrected if inaccurate. Other benefits include stronger safeguards against criminal hacks and increased transparency into data processing. Test your GDPR knowledge with the quiz that WON’T steal your personal data.

UK loophole to deny everyone access to immigration data

While GDPR brings many benefits, the UK’s new Data Protection Act adds new British loopholes, including an “Immigration Exemption”. This jeopardises the rights of millions of foreign nationals living legally in the UK. Now that the Exemption is law, Open Rights Group and the3million have teamed up to take the Government to court. Thanks to our supporters, we’re on the brink of reaching our legal fund target of £30,000! Help us cross the finish line with a donation or share.

Copyright checks for every EU upload

We’re less than a month away from a crucial vote on the EU’s Copyright Directive that could have major consequences for free speech online. The Directive contains Article 13 which requires platforms to use upload filters to check for copyrighted material and block it. Algorithms struggle to grasp context so are unable to reliably identify the vital legal exceptions to copyright that enable research, commentary, creative works, parody and so much more. Once in place, the Commission wants platforms to monitor for extremism and other things they think are illegal. There is still time to tell your MEPs to say no to Article 13!

Porn privacy threatened by useless "guidance"

The BBFC will issue their revised but toothless guidance on age verification tools soon for Parliament’s final say. This threatens the privacy of an estimated 20 million people who view legal adult material in the UK. We’ll need your help to raise the alarm when that happens, so keep a look out for important updates from us very soon. Learn more about what’s wrong with age verification for porn here.

Quick Fire News

ORG’s Executive Director Jim Killock recently spoke to the International Observatory of Human Rights about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the allegations of Russian interference in foreign elections, and about how social media users can protect themselves.

Jim also commented in a PBS NewsHour segment about the international effects of GDPR.

ORG Legal Director Myles Jackman spoke at the launch of Big Brother Watch's Face Off campaign, which aims to tackle the increased use of facial recognition in policing. 

ORG: Out and About

ORG Cambridge
Monthly meetup
Join us for a lively discussion about digital rights & ORG's campaigns on data protection & free speech.

Tuesday 5 June
7pm-8:30pm
The Castle Inn
38 Castle Street
Cambridge CB3 0AJ

ORG Glasgow
Let’s talk about Tor
ORG's legal officer Alex Haydock will be joining us for a special talk about the Tor browser, who uses it, and why you might want to.

Thursday 7 June
6:30-8:00pm
The Electron Club
350 Sauchiehall Street Glasgow G2 3JD

ORG London
Book Launch
Will the digital revolution give us info democracies or info empires? Rufus Pollock’s new book The Open Revolution – New Rules for a New Age - explores the question.

Tuesday 12 June
6:30-8:30pm
Newspeak House
133 Bethnal Green Rd
London E2 7DG

New corporate supporters!

We’d like to thank and welcome our newest corporate sponsors Data Cycle Ltd. and Pyramid WiFi!

ORG’s Corporate Supporters help us to fight for the rights to privacy and free speech. If you own or work for a company that shares our values and concerns, please contact pam@openrightsgroup.org

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May 03, 2018 | Mike Morel

Newsletter: The spring of digital discontent

From Amber Rudd’s resignation and the Windrush scandal to GDPR and Cambridge Analytica, today’s headlines relate to digital rights more than ever. We’d like to send a huge THANK YOU to all our supporters who’ve contributed to the growing wave of engagement and action this year.

Windrush’s lesson for the Data Protection Bill

The Home Office destroyed the landing cards of people who moved to the UK, erasing vital evidence to prove their status as legal residents. The scandal cost Amber Rudd her job, yet the Gov is about to make the same mistake for digital records. The new Data Protection Bill contains an Immigration Exemption, which would remove people’s rights to access their own data if it “would prejudice effective immigration control". This spells disaster for millions of EU nationals living in the UK required to apply for a new immigration status after Brexit. ORG is teaming up with the3million to challenge the Exemption in court if it becomes law. Meanwhile over a thousand ORG activists have told their MPs to oppose the Exemption. If you haven’t already, help prevent a digital repeat of the Windrush scandal!

Age verification technology consultation closes

Over 500 ORG supporters submitted detailed responses to the BBFC’s public consultation on age verification! Born of the 2017 Digital Economy Act’s requirement that pornographic websites must verify UK internet users are over 18 years, AV technology will create highly sensitive repositories of the public’s porn watching habits. Thanks to supporters like you, the BBFC were told in no uncertain terms that privacy must be a priority and not an afterthought for age verification. Read ORG’s most recent blog on AV, or our full 22-page consultation response here.

What is the Digital Charter?

From Bristol and Oxford to Leeds and Edinburgh, ORG’s local groups across the UK held a series of public events about new threats to free speech posed by the Government’s Digital Charter. ORG’s concerns include proposals for harsh fines on social media companies that fail to takedown extremist content within two hours because they will increase reliance on algorithmic filters to control what we see and say online. You can still sign our petition to Prime Minister May and the Home Office opposing this and other problems with the Digital Charter.

More filters, more problems

Our MEPs will vote on the EU’s Copyright Directive soon. If Article 13 passes into law, an algorithmic upload filter will decide whether the content you upload is seen or blocked. Filters struggle to grasp context, so are unable to reliably identify the vital legal exceptions to copyright that enable research, commentary, creative works, parody and so much more. From academics and journalists to casual videos that happen to have a popular song in the background, Article 13's upload filter would impact professional and ordinary content creators alike. There is still time to tell your MEPs that Article 13 is a terrible idea.

QUICKFIRE NEWS

  1. ORG Policy Director Javier Ruiz and Legal Director Myles Jackman attended the House of Lords to give evidence to the Communications Committee on possible future paths for internet regulation. You can watch the livestream here.

  2. The UK High Court made an important ruling on Liberty’s challenge to the Investigatory Powers Act. ORG Legal Officer Alex Haydock explains the merits and limits of the ruling.

  3. Watch ORG Scotland Director Matthew Rice tell Victoria Derbyshire why the Data Protection Bill should be amended: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09yrymf/victoria-derbyshire-11042018

ORG AROUND THE UK

ORG Aberdeen: Cryptonoise

Discuss digital rights issues that are in the news. Learn how you can help to protect your rights in a digital world. Bring a smartphone or laptop and browse the web anonymously, learn about these technologies and chat about the reasons we need them.

Thursday May 31st 6-9pm

57North Hacklab

35a Union Street, Aberdeen AB11 5BN

https://www.meetup.com/ORG-Aberdeen/events/xnffxlyxhbpc/ 

ORG Norwich: Free speech event planning session

The focus of this meeting will be on final preparations for our publicity stall at Hayhill on Saturday 12th May.

Thursday May 3rd 7-9pm

Neontribe

21 Colegate, Norwich NR3 1BN

https://www.meetup.com/ORG-Norwich/events/250188677/

 

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March 29, 2018 | Caitlin Bishop

Supporter Newsletter: March 2018

It’s been an extremely busy March in the world of digital rights so let’s get right into it!

Cambridge Analytica

Easily the biggest story from this month has been revelations around the relationship between Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. Facebook’s dubious understanding of consent has led to an understandable sense of betrayal - leading to calls for people to #deleteFacebook. 

If you want to delete your account, our Legal Officer Alex Haydock has contributed some tips here. Or if you don’t want to delete just yet but do want to better manage your relationship with Facebook tactical tech have some useful tips here.

Revelations are still continuing to emerge about the scandal, but there is one thing the government can do fairly quickly - and that is adopt Article 80(2) in the Data Protection Bill.

As it stands if your data was given to Dr Aleksandr Kogan through your friend’s use of an app, you have to know that that has happened, and then instruct an organisation like ORG to act on your behalf. If the government implement Article 80 (2) - then organisations will be able to challenge bad data protection practices without first being instructed.

This won’t resolve these issues, but it is a valuable first step.

Age Verification Delayed and Consultation opens

This month brought the good news that implementation of age verification is being delayed until ‘by the end of the year’, in order to give the BBFC time to consult on their guidance for AV. It is deeply concerning to us that the delay came just two weeks before implementation was supposed to happen. It has been apparent for a long time that AV would not be ready in time, but the Government kept pushing ahead until the very last minute.

The BBFC’s consultation is now open, you can find it here - ORG will be issuing a response to the consultation as soon as possible, along with guidance for you if you want to respond.

The deadline to respond is 23 April 2018.

E-Voting

Today is the last day of the Scottish Government’s consultation on e-voting! Over the past month over 100 of you have told the government exactly what you think of e-voting.

E-voting fails the fundamental tests for any electoral system - it is not secure, anonymous, verifiable, and it falls down in terms of public trust. Here at ORG we’ve been working hard to make our concerns clear to members of parliament in both Scotland and Wales, asking them to drop their proposals for e-voting!

Quick Fire News

The Independent Advisory Group on the Use of Biometric Data in Scotland have produced their report, you can read it here

Christopher Wylie, former Research Director for Cambridge Analytica, gave some shocking evidence to the Parliamentary inquiry into fake news - you can watch here

We, along with Privacy International and 26 other privacy organisations, sent an open letter urging European governments to strengthen privacy protections in the new ePrivacy reform - find out more here

ORG: Out and About

ORG Glasgow: Monthly Meet-Up

Join ORG Glasgow and Paul Mason to discuss the GDPR, and an event they are planning in May!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

ORG Leeds: Modern Threats to Free Speech Online

Could new plans to make Britain "the safest place in the world to be online" have unintended consequences? Hear from ORG campaigns manager Mike Morel and legal officer Alex Haydock about how the Government is working with social media companies to decide acceptable standards for online content

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

ORG Edinburgh: Modern Threats to Free Speech Online

Learn how heavy fines encourage the use of not-so-smart filters that can silence free speech, and how murky definitions of 'harmful content' give social media companies unprecedented control over free expression. No experience is necessary to attend this FREE event.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

We’re pleased to announce 5 new wonderful corporate supporters:

  • London Trust Media/ Private Internet Access

  • Paul A Young Chocolatier

  • LC hosts

  • Ravex

  • Open Data Services Cooperative

ORG’s Corporate Supporters help us to fight for the rights to privacy and free speech. If you own or work for a company that shares our values and concerns, please contact pam@openrightsgroup.org

 

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March 01, 2018 | Caitlin Bishop

Supporter Newsletter: February 2018

It's been a big month for ORG - we've got a lot going on! Read on to find out everything that has been happening, and how you can get involved.

Tell your MP - the Immigration Exemption Must Go

On Monday the Data Protection Bill will be getting its Second Reading in the House of Commons. The Bill contains an immigration exemption, which if passed, would remove your right to data protection if it is likely to “prejudice effective immigration control”. If you don’t know what “prejudice effective immigration control” means - then you’re not alone, the phrase is deliberately opaque.

In reality the exemption removes the obligation on the Government to process personal information fairly and transparently, and would severely undermine important rights for millions of people living in the UK.

The Home Office's attempt to undermine data protection in this area demonstrates how easily threats to privacy can seriously impact a person's life. 

The Data Protection Bill is supposed to protect your data, but this immigration exemption ensures it will do anything but. That’s why we’re asking you to write to your MP and tell them the immigration exemption must go.

If you are a member of an ORG local group, find out how your group can get involved with our campaign here! 

Scotland is better off without E-voting

The Government’s new push to introduce electronic voting to Scotland would be a big step backwards for democracy.

There is no version of e-voting which meets the basic standards of a voting system:

Secure - Your vote has to be secure, steps must be taken to make sure it can’t be tampered with; but also
Anonymous - Your vote can’t be traced back to you, protecting you against coercion; but also
Verifiable - It has to be shown that one person cast this one vote, and didn’t cast another to be counted, but also continue to be secure and anonymous.
Some activities are better left offline, and voting is definitely one of them.

The Scottish Government is holding a public consultation on electoral reform that ends Monday March 12th. If you live in Scotland, we’re asking you to write in and tell them why you think Scotland is better off without E-voting.

Accessing GDPR

This month we launched our new project with IF - to make proof-of-concept for a tool that helps people understand their digital rights. We had some fantastic submissions and we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who submitted their thoughts! We are now working with IF to start the creation process.

Quick Fire News

A case between the US and Microsoft with significant implications for email privacy had its hearing at the US Supreme Court on the 27th - find out how ORG is involved here

Liberty has been in court, challenging the Snooper’s Charter, which must now be rewritten, find out more

Amber Rudd announced a new Government tool to identify extremist material, find out all the reasons we think this is a mistake here

ORG out and about

ORG Cambridge: Monthly March Meetup

Join us in our monthly meetup to discuss: the current state of digital rights, what we've done in the past month, and what we are planning to do in the upcoming months. 

March 6th
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

ORG North East: Take control of your online life 
A Newcastle Libraries and Open Rights Group North East event to help you get the digital security and privacy skills you need to make the most of the internet and your mobile phone.

March 10th
2:30 PM to 3:30 PM

ORG Birmingham: What the Digital Charter Will Mean for Free Speech Online
Join for a relaxed discussion about the Digital Charter and what it means for freedom of speech online.

March 26th
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

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January 31, 2018 | Caitlin Bishop

Supporter Newsletter: January 2018

We've been working on a little bit of everything this month, from Government surveillance and e-voting, to data protection and patent law!

Government Surveillance Ruled Illegal

Just yesterday the Court of Appeal handed down their judgement in a case we have been working on for the past 4 years. It’s official, to the shock of absolutely no-one, the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA) was illegal.

DRIPA may no longer be in force, but much of it was incorporated into the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA), which must now be amended to reflect the court’s opinion. The Government already knows this, this is why they opened their consultation on the IPA earlier this month, but the proposals they announced did not go far enough, and created some new problems in and of itself.

The Court of Appeal judgement is not a panacea, the Court completely swerved some of the most important aspects of the IPA. They said, for example, mass data retention and notification were for other people to deal with.

But a victory is a victory. DRIPA was illegal and now the government has work to do. You can find the full judgement here and for more information about ORG’s position head here

We want to expand our legal department to make sure we can keep winning in cases like these. In 2018, join ORG and help us to keep taking the Government to court.

E-voting in Scotland and Wales is a Bad Idea

E-voting fails to meet the basic standard for a democratic election: that it be free, safe, and secure. But in Scotland and Wales it's back and as dubious as ever. We’ve seen a lot of different e-voting systems but, as yet, we haven’t seen any that can solve it's fundamental problems. An election must be both anonymous and easily verifiable, but e-voting machines are opaque. Scotland and Wales should not go ahead with trialling online voting. Turnout goes up when voting make a difference. Trying to fix participation with technology is a dangerous distraction from the fundamental issue, that elections need to be meaningful to voters if engagement is to improve.

Find out more about ORG’s history with and position on e-voting here.

Epson - Stop Killing Compatibles

Have you ever heard the often quoted fact that printer ink is more expensive per drop than champagne? Unsurprisingly Epson want to keep it that way, and eBay are helping them do it. eBay has a programme called the ‘Verified Rights Owner’ programme - this allows Epson, and other big companies, to lodge a complaint of patent infringement that leads to other sellers being taken down with no evidence and no chance to defend themselves. This sets a highly dangerous precedent - find out more and sign our petition here.

Immigration Exemption Not Yet Dead

This month the Data Protection Bill made it through the House of Lords and despite significant lobbying from us and many other human rights organisations, the immigration exemption remains part of the draft bill.

The government have softened it slightly - allowing people to retain their rights to portability and rectification when it comes to their immigration data. Both of these ‘concessions’ do nothing to change the fundamental force of the exemption, which would prevent people from being able to challenge Home Office errors, which are worryingly commonplace in immigration cases.

The Bill will be back in Parliament at the end of February - and so will we, telling the Government this exemption must be removed.

Quick Fire News

NHS Digital released guidance approving off-shoring patient data, read all about the move and our concerns here.

Theresa May says ‘technology companies employ some of the brightest minds in the world’. We don’t think that means they should be doing the job of censors - tell the Government what you think bysigning our petition.

The official text of the Digital Charter has been released - read all two pages of it here.

ORG: Out and About

ORG Glasgow monthly meet-up
Join ORG Glasgow and Matthew Rice, ORG's Scotland Director, to discuss future plans for ORG in Scotland and how you can get involved!
February 1st
6:30 - 8pm

Electron Club, Centre for Contemporary Arts, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow
G2 3JD

ORG Cambridge Monthly meet-up
Join ORG Cambridge to discuss the current state of digital rights, and their plans for the upcoming months!
February 6th
7pm - 8:30pm

The Castle Inn, 38 Castle Street, Cambridge, CB3 0AJ

Take Control of Your Online Life
A Newcastle Libraries and Open Rights Group North East event to help you get the digital security and privacy skills you need to make the most of the Internet and your mobile phone. March 10th
12:30pm to 3:30pm

Newcastle City Library, Charles Avison Building 33 New Bridge Street West, Newcastle, NE1 8AX

 

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November 02, 2017 | Mike Morel

Supporter Newsletter: November 2017

This autumn ORG has been busy challenging the Government's heavyhanded approach to online extremism, fighting for stronger online privacy protections, and documenting thousands of cases of wrongful internet censorship. We're also gearing up for ORGCon 2017 on November 4th & 5th and expanding our London staff! Thank you for staying engaged and supporting ORG’s campaigns to protect our digital rights.

This autumn ORG has been busy challenging the Government's heavyhanded approach to online extremism, fighting for stronger online privacy protections, and documenting thousands of cases of wrongful internet censorship. We're also gearing up for ORGCon 2017 on November 4th & 5th and expanding our London staff!

Thank you for staying engaged and supporting ORG’s campaigns to protect our digital rights.

Fighting online censorship

ORG's new petition to the Home Office opposes plans to criminalise online viewing habits and impose heavy fines on internet companies for not removing illegal content quickly enough. These proposals hurt online speech by encouraging the use of highly inacurrate filters that take down the good along with the bad. ORG's newly upgraded censorship detection tool Blocked! demonstrates how automated ISP filters meant to block terrorist propaganda and child pornography are also blocking thousands of innocent websites. There's still time to sign the petition!

Tune into ORGCon 2017

If you can't make it to ORGCon this year, be sure to tune in online during Day 1 on Saturday November 4th. Hear our amazing lineup of speakers streamed live on ORG's YouTube page, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for live updates.

We’d like to say a massive thank you to Private Internet Access who are helping ORGCon to happen through their generous sponsorship. Private Internet Access offers high speed anonymous VPN services, enabling encrypted communications and access to blocked websites.

Tickets are still available. We hope to see you there!

Improving data protection 

With the aim of putting data protection rights on par with traditional consumer rights, ORG has been lobbying the House of Lords as they consider the Data Protection Bill. ORG has been advocating for the inclusion of Article 80(2) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into the DPBill, which would allow qualified privacy organisations like ORG to challenge data abuse independently. So far the Lords have reacted positively with cross party support. 

In October hundreds of ORG supporters contacted their MEPs and urged them to ban cookie-walls and eliminate corporate loopholes in the ePrivacy Regulation, which is a compliment to the GDPR. Despite heavy pressure from companies like Facebook and Google to weaken the Regulation, the European Parliament has voted to negotiate with the Council of the European Union.

ORG is hiring!

ORG is hiring a new Chief Operating Officer. We are looking for an experienced and successful organiser with strong project management skills to join our team to help us reach the next stage of our development. We are looking for someone with a proven interest in digital rights and wants to see us succeed.

In order to successfully develop our grants, the successful candidate will guide the team through new, more complex project delivery, and apply project management techniques to move existing projects forward.

The deadline is this Friday! Apply here.

Quick Fire News

ORG signs open letter against Article 13 of Copyright Reform

Read the letter to EU officials. The vote in the European Parliament on Copyright Reform is scheduled for November.

ORG's Policy Director at UK Parliament

On 31st October Javier Ruiz presented to the Artificial Intelligence Committee regarding AI and data protection. View his testimony here.

Epson deletes competing Ebay ink listings citing patent claims

Find out from ORG’s policy officer Slavka Bielikova about the negative implications this has for consumers.

ORG publishes briefing on the Data Protection Bill. 

Read about ORG’s take on the Data Protection Bill, including what’s wrong and how to fix it.

ORG around the UK

ORG London presentation on the Cryptobar

Fabio Natali will be giving a presentation on the Cryptobar installation, a project aimed at spreading the word about privacy (and privacy-enhancing technologies) in an artistic and accessible way. 
Monday December 11th
7pm
Newspeak House

ORG Cambridge Monthly Meetup

Join us to discuss digital rights & our plans for the future.
Tuesday Nov 7th
7:00-8:30pm
The Castle Inn

ORG Glasgow Monthly Meetup
Join us to discuss digital rights & our plans for the future.
Thursday Nov 2nd
6:30-8:00pm
Electron Club

Thank you for supporting digital rights.



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