After a fantastic two years working for the Open Rights Group, it’s time for me to step down as technical projects manager, and return to ORG’s grassroots.
I’d like to say thank you to my colleagues at ORG and the many volunteers, members, advisors and supporters who make possible what we do.
I’m going to miss being part of a team so committed to protecting, and enhancing, our digital rights. They have an enviable depth of technical, campaigning and policy expertise. They punch far above their weight, making an impact every day on corporations, governments, the media, and public opinion. They’re also a bunch of smart, funny, generous and good-hearted people. To Jim, Pam, Javier, Ruth, Ed, Lee, Lydia, Pol and Rachel: thank you. It’s been a blast.
Though I am leaving ORG’s employ, I remain a paying member, and I will continue to volunteer with them when time allows.
The most enjoyable part of working with ORG is talking to our supporters up and down the country on our mailing lists, at local-group meetings, conferences and during ORGCon. My role coordinating ORG’s technical-volunteers has introduced me to some fabulous, dedicated champions of digital rights, and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together – particularly with the Blocked project. We demonstrated that Cameron’s porn-filters block far more than just porn; helped website owners seek redress for filtering mistakes; and contributed hard data to the debate on web-censorship. The project is still going strong – check out the website if you want to get involved.
ORG needs our support now more than ever. This autumn, Parliament will begin overhauling the UK’s surveillance laws. It’s a huge opportunity to reassert our right to privacy online, however we need to make sure MPs do not instead increase the state’s surveillance powers, for example by increasing the scope of data that ISPs retain about us. The new Investigatory Powers Bill must not become another Snoopers’ Charter.
We need to put everything we’ve got into demanding transparent, proportionate surveillance-laws with effective, independent oversight while maintaining our right to communicate privately and securely. We won’t win if we don’t make our voices heard in every MP’s office and every media outlet. For that, we need your help, and we need it now.
The Open Rights Group succeeds on a shoestring. With your support it could do so much more.
Please join me, and thousands of others, in ORG’s grassroots movement today.
Photo (CC-BY-SA) Open Rights Group