Victories

Since its inception in 2005, Open Rights Group has earned a reputation for a long list of victories in defence of our civil liberties in the digital age.

We campaign to change laws to protect our digital rights. Our mission is to protect our digital privacy and free speech online and to campaign against Government surveillance. We fight to make the internet more free and just. Our victories speak for themselves.

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Our Victories

NHSX scraps centralised model for Covid-19 app

In a huge win for digital privacy, in June 2020 the UK Government scrapped plans to use a centralised model for its Covid-19 tracker app, opting for the decentralised model long advocated by Open Rights Group (ORG).
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NHSX scraps centralised model for Covid-19 app

Government drops risky age verification plan

Open Rights Group (ORG) has been warning about major privacy risks in plans for age checks on adult websites since they were proposed in the Digital Economy Act 2017.
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Digital censorship averted as UK shelves Copyright Directive

Nearly a year after passage of the EU Copyright Directive, which opened the door to automated upload filters that damage free speech, the UK Government decided not to implement it.
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Court Rules UK Mass Surveillance Programme Unlawful

In 2013, following Edward Snowden’s disclosure of information about major national mass surveillance programmes, the Open Rights Group teamed up with Privacy International, English PEN, and Dr Constanze Kurz, a German computer scientist, to mount a legal challenge against the UK Government’s mass surveillance of the internet.
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Victory on Supreme Court web blocking judgement

Open Rights Group intervened in a legal challenge in which French jeweller Cartier sought court injunctions ordering ISPs to block websites which sell counterfeit Cartier products.
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Court of Appeal rules surveillance data should be restricted

In January 2018, the Court of Appeal delivered judgment in a case regarding the Government’s “Snooper’s Charter” provisions, found in the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014, and in the Investigatory Powers Act 2016.
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ORG Scotland Launched

Our members told us there were specific Scottish concerns over digital rights that we couldn’t address properly from London.
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Winning the right to parody

July 2014 Reform of outdated copyright laws has been a major campaign focus for ORG from day one.
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Exposing online censorship

With the Blocked project we did groundbreaking research on the impact of web filters.
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Announcing the Department of Dirty

With a professional comedy video highlighting what happens when you just want to look for classic Spotted Dick, we raised awareness of the problems caused by filtering the Internet in the UK.
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Winning Human Rights Campaigner of the Year

In 2012, our succesful campaigning against the Snoopers’ Charter was recognised when we won the Liberty award for Human Rights Campaigner of the Year, jointly awarded with 38 Degrees.
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Victory against ACTA!

April 2012 ACTA was an international treaty which would have imposed extraordinary constraints on fundamental values such as free speech and the right to privacy.
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Challenging the Digital Economy Act

From 2010 – 2011 we fought against a law which proposed disconnecting whole households from the Internet on the basis of allegations of copyright infringement.
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Changing the law on tracking

In 2008 BT, Virgin and TalkTalk signed up to a new technology called Phorm, tracking users’ online habits to target them with ads.
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Creating the first ORGCon

In 2010 we launched our national digital rights conference, ORGCon, attracting over 400 people.
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Exterma-knit: Defending creativity

May 2008 – July 2008 ORG spearheaded resistance in the media, when BBC lawyers tried to shut down a knitting blogger who shared her Doctor Who cuddly Daleks and Ood designs on her site.
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Preventing online voting fraud

Concerned about the risk of fraud in electronic voting, one of our early campaigns was deploying volunteer teams of technical experts in 2007 and 2008 to produce analyses of the e-voting systems used in both trial and live elections.
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