Supporter update - July 2009

Welcome to the latest Open Rights Group supporter update. In this edition:

- Community fundraising - - Two interception consultations - - Media makers meeting - - Advisory appointments - - Press -


  • Community fundraising: ORG needs you!
  • We're planning a supporter drive for September. For it to work, and for our campaign successes to continue, we'll need your help to convince your mates and colleagues that digital rights matter. Let them know that joining Open Rights is the best way to protect and extend their rights online. To help and thank you we'll post out a recruiter pack to existing supporters who offer to recruit a single person. Send a blank email with 'recruiter' in the subject line to supporters at openrightsgroup dot org if you're up for it.

  • Two interception consultations
  • We teamed up with the Foundation for Information Policy on two consultation submissions this month. Concerning the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (link to PDF), we proposed a series of controls based on international best practice that could give Britain a regulatory regime fit for purpose. On Intercept Modernisation (link to PDF), we firmly reject the claim that the security services' ability to collect intelligence and evidence is under threat. We also reject the assumption that a large IT project could be a helpful solution to such an ill-defined problem. Further, the use of deep packet inspection by a democracy would cause severe legal and political difficulties, without providing much - if any - benefit.

  • Media Makers meeting: 26 September
  • The UK Podcasters Assocation (UKPA) was founded in 2006 to protect podcasters’ rights and promote the culture of online media. It has been closely allied with ORG’s past campaigns for online media makers. As the shape and scale of online media has evolved, causing dramatic changes in how people create and consume media, the UKPA’s chairman and trustees - considering that there is greater strength in numbers - have decided that savvy podcasters and media makers should join forces with ORG. We now ask podcast producers and media makers to take the lead in a new Media Makers Group, which will be driven by supporters’ creative energies. Please join us for a meeting in September to work on these changes, and in particular plan for a new digital rights zine.

  • Advisory Council appointments
  • We've recruited eight new thinkers and doers to the Advisory Council, with a particular emphasis on campaigning and political nouse as well as copyright expertise. You can expect a public announcement about these exciting appointments towards the end of August.

Every week, we spend time talking to the media and connecting them with experts or giving an alternate point of view on current issues. Please see the press archive for more details.

  • New York Times - 'BT Decides Not to Adopt Internet-Based Ad System'
  • Phorm system was never popular with users so once website operators and regulators were opposed to the system, we didn't have to wait long before ISPs announced they would not implement Webwise.

  • ComputerWorld - 'TalkTalk follows BT and dumps Phorm'
  • TalkTalk were next to distance themselves from the least popular firm on the internet. Although we've not linked the story, Virgin were next in line. ORG chalked this up as a major victory for privacy campaigners.

  • Guardian - 'Our surfing is our business'
  • Jim Killock, Executive Director of Open Rights Group, boils down the case against Phorm.

  • ZDNet - 'Karoo changes file-sharer disconnection policies'
  • Hull became the latest front in the war between entertainment monopolists and netizens as it emerged Karoo would disconnect customers suspected of copyright infringement, without even the pretence of due process. But in record time - after ORG led calls for change - the firm softened their stance by introducing a series of warnings.

  • Telegraph - '118800: Has the privacy backlash already begun?'
  • Basheera Khan knocks lumps out of 118800, who caused the latest row over the 'ethics of consent' by cobbling together and publishing a mobile phone directory. ORG are on the record as saying the rising tide of privacy concerns will damage companies connected to this 'worst kind of weasel behaviour'.