ORG elections 2012: who am I and what do I think?

I already mentioned that I’m standing for election to the Open Rights Group board. I wanted to tell you a little more about my geek credentials and outline what I think the board should be offering to supporters.

I’ve been an activist for the Open Rights Group since 2006, volunteering variously as a copywriter, recruiter, wiki fettler and editor of the newsblog (before the ‘zine was launched).

I was heavily involved in the campaign against the Digital Economy Act, and I also helped with local efforts to support Paul Chambers in his fight against his conviction for sending menacing messages via Twitter – the so-called Twitter Joke Trial. I’ve recently taken an interest in the case of a student at my local university, Richard O’Dwyer, who is being extradited to the USA to stand trial on copyright infringement charges just because he used a .net domain name.

I have experience volunteering with similar organisations to ORG. I helped to run the computing society at Sheffield University during my time there. I was a member of the local NO2ID group and I’m a regular at GIST – a local community of grassroots technology activists and social hackers.

I’m proud of the Open Rights Group and the impact it’s had on the UK digital landscape. I want that to continue and increase. My starting position for this election campaign is that of a supporter. In that capacity, I want the following four things from the ORG board:

  • Maximum effectiveness per pound donated
  • Sustainability
  • Two-way communication
  • Encouragement to engage

To these, I would add that in the past some supporters have felt that ORG is too London-centric, myself included. I’m based in Sheffield, and I’m fairly well connected to the geek community here, so if I’m elected I intend to champion regional groups and encourage people to get involved actively wherever they live.

Do you think I’m crazy? What do you think the ORG board should be doing? Do you want to help? Please drop me a line or leave a comment with your thoughts.