Open Rights Group - Standing For the Board of Directors

by @edent | # # # # | 8 comments | Read ~128 times.

As you may know, I'm a supporter of the Open Rights Group. They're the campaigning group dedicated to protecting our online civil liberties. I pay them £5 per month, I think you should join them too.

Open Rights Group

I'm not just putting my money where my mouth is. I'm also standing for the Board of Directors. I was nominated by the wise and talented duo of Suw Charman-Anderson & Basheera Khan.

As part of the election, I have to produce a 400 word statement. I want to make ORG more member lead - and I'm starting as I mean to go on. Here's my first draft - I want your crowd-sourced contributions!

(BTW, If you think I'm talking a load of old rot, feel free to vote for Emma Byrne, Felix Cohen, Neil McGovern, or Christi Alice Scarborough. All of whom seem like fine people to me.)

This statement has to be ready by Tuesday 12th January - so get your oar in quickly!

ORG

The Internet is no longer a wild frontier.

The hurds of wild GNU have been safely corralled. Every uncharted port has been nmapped. Huge sums of money are being made in the 24 carat data-mines.

Where there's money, immorality and new ideas - Governments lay their heavy hands.

Our Problem

We have a technologically literate population - but we don't have a technologically literate governing class.

Like a teenager to pornography - Governments are irresistibly drawn to the Internet. In much the same way, they don't really know what to do with it once they get their hands on it.

Our Solution

Government in the UK is run by those who bother to show up. At the moment that's only the army of industry lobbyists and the 45% of the population who votes*.

I want to make sure we are listened to and our needs are met with Government action - or inaction.

The ORG must be seen as the de-facto commentators on digital life in the UK.

The "Taxpayers'" Alliance have managed to get their organisation into the front pages of the papers. I believe our digital civil liberties are just as important as how our taxes are spent.

Striking The Balance

I want the Government to get out of our way. I don't want to register my blog with the state. I don't want my traffic monitored on spurious pretexts.

I want the Government to keep us safe from [cr|h]ackers. I want tough penalties for spammers. I want those who breach our privacy to pay the consequences.

How do we reconcile these two opposing views? By being member lead. I want to see a much stronger community built around ORG.

I want to use you to shape our message and help us disseminate it.

Members should decide our priorities and be responsible for executing our campaigns.

0. Our Problem

We have a technology literate population - but we don't have a technology literate governing class.

1. Our Solution

We need to urgently redress this problem. Government in the UK is run by those who bother to show up. At the moment that's only the 45% of the population who vote* and an army of industry lobbyists.

ORG must be seen as the de-facto commentators on digital life in the UK.

I'm amazed at how The "Taxpayers' Alliance" have managed to dominate the front pages of British newspapers. I believe our digital civil liberties are just as important as how our taxes are spent.
We need to ensure our message is widely heard. We have to demand that our needs are met with Government action - or inaction.

10. Striking The Balance

How do we target our resources effectively? By being member lead. I want to see a much stronger community built around ORG. You fund it - you should have a strong say in how it is run and on what it campaigns.

I want to use you to shape our message and help us disseminate it. ORG will lobby Parliament & chat with civil servants if you write to your MPs & stick up posters in your workplace. Deal?

Members should decide our priorities and be responsible for executing our campaigns.

This means finding better ways to involve all of you. A members' web forum, open conference calls, and regular blogging where you can help shape the message.
ORG's website needs to be kept up to date and be seen as the premier resourse for journalists writing about digital rights.

Finally, I'd like to experiment with a member-get-member scheme. If you can help recruit people, we'll make sure you are rewarded.

11. About Me

My name is Terence Eden. I got my first 14.4K modem when I was 15. I never looked back.
I have a degree in Applied Computing from the University of East Anglia.
For the last 6 and a half years, I've been working for Vodafone. I currently look at mobile Internet trends.
My blog - https://shkspr.mobi/blog - covers a wide range of technology and political topics.
I am not a registered member of any political party.

*UK Voter Turnout 2005 - http://www.ukpolitical.info/2005.htm

8 thoughts on “Open Rights Group - Standing For the Board of Directors

  1. Denny says:

    I'd lose _all_ of the humour - the entire opening section, and the bit about teens and porn. Sorry, but I think it detracts from the well-articulated points you have to make, and I imagine you could use the room to make more of them.

    That said, I will very happily vote for you, regardless of the statement 🙂

    1. A good point. On re-reading, it's more of a reason to join the ORG, whereas this is targeted at existing members.
      Pity - I spent ages on those jokes. But, time flies when you're having puns!

  2. Spike says:

    Looks good to me Terence - I'd vote for ya!

  3. I've updated this based on your comments (and those emailed to me). Please let me know what you think.

    1. Denny says:

      Definitely an improvement. Cute numbering scheme to keep just a touch of humour in there, I see 🙂

      Something about this sentence bothers me: "We have to demand that our needs are met with Government action – or inaction."

      I do realise what you're saying - sometimes (often?) we want them not to do a Bad Thing, rather than wanting them to do a Good Thing - but campaigning for 'inaction' sounds weak, and that's what your sentence, paragraph and section end on, a weak note (imho). No immediate suggestions for rephrasing it though, sorry.

      In simpler news, I think you spelled 'resource' wrong - a general spellcheck might be in order - and the line spacing is scruffy - you've got gaps between some paragraphs and only line-breaks between others. Is the final section bullet points? Should it be?

  4. Saheb Raut says:

    Looks good to me Terence – I’d vote for ya!

    1. Thanks. Sadly, I came 3rd. Still - there's always next year!

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