I’m planning on setting up a local ORG group in the North East of England. There has been a North East group at some point in the past and, for all I know, this is still running. But the latest post I can find about it dates from 2012. Still, I’m happy to join up with those guys if they are still around or to start a new group otherwise.
The Open Rights Group does this kind of stuff, with the main issues being:
- Mass Surveillance
- Data Protection
- Copyright Reform
- Web Blocking
- Section 127
- Open Data
- Open Standards
Organised activism on these issues has never been more important. We have governments trying to introduce broken encryption, nationwide firewalls and all manner of mass surveillance. We have companies using surveillance as their business model without honesty or customer choice. And we have a population understandably ill-prepared to take back our rights.
I’d like to see the group focus on education and practical organised activism. Inspirational talks are great and we’d have those, but I’d like to end each meeting with immediate plans for education and activism in some of the key areas and to keep track of progress and provide support with social media and regular virtual meetings.
It’s early days, but I’m expecting physical meetings to take place in Newcastle or Durham, since those are the most easily reachable places in the North East. I have some contacts in several of the local universities, mostly in the fields of computer science, social science, law and medicine. I (and many of those contacts) have industry ties which might also be useful. I’m in the process of contacting all these people to see if they’d like to get involved.
If you live in or around the North East and would like to join the group, let me know. If you live elsewhere in the UK or the rest of the world and would like to join in, that’s great too. All these issues are global and I’d like to learn from and contribute to other activism taking place around the world,
So if you’re interested in contributing or know anyone who might be, please let me know in the comments or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.