The 2008 Election Observers performed their duties to perfection earlier this month, keeping a watchful eye on the electronic count of the London elections. Their individual reports will be combined to produce our official report, which will be published in late June. Although the administration of the e-count was an improvement on the (near-disastrous) 2007 elections, our fundamental concerns around transparency remain.
We are delighted to announce new additions to the Open Rights Group office. Gavin Hill has been appointed as our new Policy Officer to work at the European level against copyright term extension and the "three strikes" agenda. We also welcome Daniel Ray for a two-month internship. He will be focussing on network neutrality issues - if you want to help him out please do so via the wiki or drop a line to daniel at openrightsgroup dot org. Meanwhile, our founding Executive Director Suw Charman is moving on from the ORG Board of Directors to concentrate on new projects, and Louise Ferguson is stepping down as Chair of the Board, although she will continue as a Director. Suw and Louise brought vast energy and expertise over the last three years and we cannot thank them enough for their contributions.
We're working towards two consultations this month and ask you to inform our submissions. If you care about how the public service obligations imposed on the BBC and other brodcasters are reformed for the digital age then please have your say on either consult or the wiki. The other ongoing consultation is a review of consumer protection regulation, whose remit includes regulation of DRM and the enforcement of intellectual property rights. Again, please respond through the wiki or consult.
Unfortunately we had to cancel the May volunteer meeting but are excited for the rescheduled meeting on 12 June. The main item on the agenda will be our network neutrality briefing pack, so anyone with a particular interest in that issue really should join in. As usual, we'll run the IRC channel to include those unable to join us in London. And if you'd like a conference call as well, please indicate on the wiki.
Every week, we spend time talking to the media and connecting them with experts or giving an alternate point of view on current issues. There are too many great press stories to link here, including mentions on Channel 4, ITV, the Daily Mail, the Telegraph and the Times. Please see our May 2008 press archive for more details.
The Sun - 'Beeb tries to extermi-knit' ORG scored major press exposure this month by helping out with a peculiarly British story of overzealous copyright protection involving the BBC's premier export, Doctor Who, and an allegedly infringing knitting pattern. See mini-links below for the full story. Colin Robertson's report seemed especially noteworth for being ORG's first mention in the 'nation's favourite newspaper'.
Experian Q&S / Data Quality News - 'Data Quality News on employees 'black list'' A database is in development for busineses to report dishonesty amongst employees, and for prospective employers to trawl for dirt on recruitment candidates. We're on hand to point out the database will encourage prejudice and abuse against workplace activits and whistleblowers.
The very best way to stay updated on ORG-esque events is with our Upcoming group. Here's some some particularly exciting events happening in the next month or so:
The Future of the Internet in Focus is an event we're co-hosting at the British Computer Society on 4 June, featuring Jonathan Zittrain and Bill Thompson. Unfortunately its fully booked now but fear not as we'll make an audio recording available.
Open Tech 2008 is "an informal, low cost one-day conference on technology, society and low-carbon living, featuring Open source ways of working and technologies." We're very excited that Danny O'Brien will be presenting on our behalf and hope to see many of you guys there.
Thanks to Daniel and Gavin for joining the party. Thanks to Mike, Lemon and Adam for fiddling with our website. Thanks to Caroline, Glyn, David and Louise for representing both ORG and No2ID at the Dulwich fair. Thanks to the 2008 Observers: Glyn, Stef, Suw, Robin, Gervase, Lucy, Rona, Daryl, Ian, Ben, Alex, Alex, Taylor, Adrian, Loretta, Caroline, James, Louise, Harry, Felix, Jonathan, AJ, Dave, Susanne, James and Chris. Thanks to Casbon for further efforts on SuppDB. Thanks to the newsbloggers: Glyn, Harry, Mark and Richard. Humble thanks to the Board and Advisory Council. And last of all, thanks to Becky, whose great efforts go largely unappreciated. Oh, and thanks to you for reading this far!