Welcome to the latest Open Rights Group supporter update. In this edition:
- Do your MEP candidates care about your digital rights? - - Advisory Council nominations - - All-Seeing Eye video - - Volunteer meeting: Stalls workshop - - Consultations: APComms and INSPIRE - - Press -
- Do your MEP candidates care about your digital rights?
- Advisory Council nominations
- All-Seeing Eye video
- Volunteer meeting: Stalls workshop
- Consultations: APComms and INSPIRE
Does your privacy, fair copyright, data retention and keeping the internet open matter to your MEP candidates? We’ve asked the main candidates what they think about four issues ORG campaigns on. You can see how the parties have done – both how many have responded, and what they have said. You can then judge for yourself who deserves your vote. You can also help by asking candidates who haven’t responded to give us an answer, which we will then display on the website. All the candidate details are publicly available from party or campaign websites, and where we have found them, we have also added these to our site. If you do contact a candidate, please remember to be polite and helpful.
We are looking for nominations to our Advisory Council. Appointments are for two years, and involve a quarterly meeting, and regular email advice and discussions on ORG policies. We are particularly seeking expertise in copyright. Individuals with very good knowledge of a major UK political party would also be useful, as would experienced campaigners. Individuals with expertise in other areas of concern to ORG, including digital regulation, privacy and open knowledge would also be welcome. Nominations need not include the agreement of the individual concerned, as we will approach them after reviewing nominations. Please send suggestions to advisory at openrightsgroup dot org by the end of 30 June 2009. Nominations will be reviewed by the Advisory Council and approved by the Board of Directors.
May kicked off with a talk by Cory Doctorow and Charlie Stross. The speakers covered a lot of ground, from how to protect your privacy online to the future battlegrounds for digital rights activists. The event video is now available in .ogg and .mov. If you have suggestions for speakers or topics for future events, hit reply and let us know. Thanks a lot to David, Gavin, Felix, Glyn, Sheila, Annie and Harry for helping on the night.
Stalls at tech and related conferences help spread the word on digital rights. Glyn will be helping us run a workshop the evening of Thursday 18 June for volunteers interested to support ORG by representing digital rights at a conference. If you are interested to help then please indicate on the wiki or by reply that you plan to come along.
We produced two consultation submissions this month. The All Party Parliamentary Communications Group has asked 'Can we keep our hands off the net' with an investigation into the role for Government over Internet traffic. Our submission (link to PDF) discussed a number of issues, from 'bad traffic' to behavioural advertising and network discrimination. Our INSPIRE submission (link to PDF), produced in colloration with Open Knowledge Foundation, argued for - amongst other things - reduced constraints on re-use of Public Sector Information, allowing for open competition in added-value services.
- ZeroPaid - 'European Parliament Shuts the Door on Three Strikes Law' Drew Wilson writes that graduated response proposals in the Telecoms Package have been voted down for a third and final time. Open Rights played a lead role in the Blackout Europe coalition, which secured recognition that access to the Internet is a fundamental right.
- ITPro - 'Government agency denies tech monitoring plans' Jennifer Scott reports denials from GCHQ and the Home Office that they have been developing technology for blanket monitor of all UK phone and Internet use, including social networks and VoIP applications. ORG is not reassured, replying that black boxes for deep packet inspection may still be installed for interception purposes without Parliamentary or judicial oversight.
- Guardian - 'What does the state know about you?' Jim Killock, Open Rights' Executive Director, explains the changes in public policy - data leaks, internet data retention, plans for increased surveillance on your everyday communications on the net - that show public policy is ignoring public concern for digital rights. If you haven't seen http://www.statebook.org.uk/, check it out and forward across your netwoks.
- Edinburgh News - 'Fringe pair stay trapped in 4ft diameter pods to raise cash for show' Gemma Fraser covered the Edinburgh University Theatre Company fundraiser for which William Green and Matt Wieteska spent 26 hours curled up in an 'escape' pod. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to ORG! For more information, look at this.
- Computer Active - 'Behavioural advertising under the spotlight' Dinah Greek recounts concerns expressed by ORG, at the recent Westminster e-Forum on behavioural ad targeting, that Phorm is still not committed to collecting personal data on an opt-in basis.