The IPKat has come across the Open Rights Group (ORG for short), a newly formed UK-based group that claims that it will “fight for your digital rights”. How exactly it’s going to do this it outlines in its manifesto:

The Open Rights Group is committed to protecting your digital rights, to fighting bad legislation both in the UK and Europe, and to fostering a grassroots community of volunteers dedicated to campaigning on digital rights issues. Your civil and human rights are being eroded in the digital realm. Government, big business and industry bodies are taking liberties with your digital liberties, actions they could never get away with in the "real" world. Our goals are:
  1. to raise awareness within the media of digital rights abuses

  2. to provide a media clearinghouse, connecting journalists with experts and activists

  3. to campaign to preserve and extend traditional civil liberties in the digital world

  4. to collaborate with other digital rights and related organisations

  5. to nurture and assist a community of campaigning volunteers, from grassroots activists to technical and legal experts
Your right to privacy is being eroded by the government's ill-conceived ID card scheme, by biometric passports and the threat of vehicle tracking systems. Your right to free speech and freedom to use digital media is under threat from corporations who believe that 'fair use' of copyrighted works should exist only at their sufferance. Your right to private life and correspondence is under threat from a proposed European directive to log traffic and geographical data for every call you make, every SMS you send, every email you write, every website you visit. It is essential in this time of international tension and uncertainty that we vigourously defend our digital civil liberties, ensuring that the our hard-won freedoms are not taken away simply because they've moved to the digital world.

The IPKat thinks "Great rhetoric chaps, but this all sounds rather shrill, and a bit on the scare-mongering side". While the IPKat is as unkeen as the next cat to have his rights stamped all over, he’s not happy about a self-appointed group claiming to represent him, or worse still, paternalistically doing things “for his own good”. Merpel suggests forming a counter-group of hardline IP lawyers to nurture and assist those who wish to correct inaccuracies on the part of the digital rights lobby.
UK EFF EQUIVALENT LAUNCHED UK EFF EQUIVALENT LAUNCHED Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, September 08, 2005 Rating: 5


Anonymous said...

Seems the ipkat is telling ORG to EFF off ...

geeklawyer said...

No at ORG is appointing themselves to anything. They do not assert they speak on behalf of the public but in the public's interest.
Nor would I say it is particularly shrill, amny of their concerns are well founded.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they would appreciate IPKat on their board to balance things out? If they manage to give anyone in government a clue about a information technology, and help prevent draconian legislation they're a Good Thing <&trade>.

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