Why We Support ORG
22 February 2021
The Open Rights Group is an organisation founded in 2005 which protects the digital rights of people in the UK, a mission which includes the protection of privacy and free speech online. Their stated aims are:
- to collaborate with other digital rights and related organisations;
- to nurture a community of campaigning volunteers, from grassroots activists to technical and legal experts;
- to preserve and extend traditional civil liberties in the digital world;
- to provide a media clearinghouse, connecting journalists with experts and activists; and
- to raise awareness in the media of digital rights abuses.
In the last 15 years ORG have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to lobby on domestic and international issues on behalf of people living in the UK. Campaigns undertaken by the Open Rights Group have involved cases which sought to defend the right to parody, prevent the giving of undue power to Internet Service Providers, and fight against unlawful mass surveillance. They feature amongst their founding members technology journalist and civil liberties activist, Danny O’Brien, and science fiction author and activist, Cory Doctorow.
Organisations like the Open Rights Group spend their time identifying problematic actions occurring within both the public and private spheres, and utilising the depth of expertise that they have access to in order to fight against and prevent these actions.
Amongst their many successful campaigns, ORG can count:
- the scrapping of plans to use a centralised model for the NHS’ Covid-19 tracker app, with the government instead opting for the decentralised model that was long advocated by ORG;
- an appeal which resulted in the restriction of the scope of data collection undertaken due to the UK’s Investigatory Powers Act (Snooper’s Charter); and
- changing UK law in order to protect citizens against unsettling tracking by BT, Virgin, and TalkTalk through the advertising technology tool Phorm.
It is important to understand the fight against suppression of the open Web, and against data malpractice, as a collective effort undertaken by a varied ecosystem of concerned citizens and experts.
This nexus of energetic, forward-looking activists, coupled with a long history of campaigning for digital freedoms and against dystopian overreach, is why we recently became one of the Open Rights Group’s corporate supporters. We are happy and keen to work together with people and organisations like ORG who are fighting for a brighter and better networked future.
22 February 2021