✍ Digital Liberty Activism

Ubuntu UK Podcast LogoA big hello to listeners to the Ubuntu UK Podcast, where I’m appearing as a guest on this week’s show.

In my interview in this episode, I focused on digital liberty issues, which I believe to be hugely important and becoming more so every day. If you’re ready to find out more about the issues I discussed, here’s a quick guide along with hints on taking action. I mentioned writing to your MP and MEP – there’s an encouraging guide to read if the idea makes you nervous.

BBC DRM

Driven no doubt by ‘input’ from their suppliers, the BBC have requested permission from the regulator OfCOM to be allowed to add digital restriction measures to their digital TV broadcasts. Many groups – including OSI – are concerned about this. OfCOM are seeking input on how to respond to this request. If you are a UK license-fee payer, you should write to OfCOM today and tell them how you feel about this. The Open Rights Group have everything you need to get started.

Digital Economy Bill

The Digital Economy Bill (or “#debill” to the Twittering classes) is a legislative pastiche covering a wide range of issues. There’s no doubt that the issues it addresses are important to British citizens. But the Bill seems to have been very heavily influenced (albeit with care) by lobbyists from media industries and lacks adequate protections for the rest of us.

It has been framed along the lines of “stop pirate downloaders robbing Cliff Richard of his pension” but it contains many badly considered measures that will affect our digital liberty. Worse, there has not been time spent in Parliament considering this problem. Worst of all, the Bill looks certain to be waved though on a nod and a wink following an inadequate second reading on April 6th in a big rush to avoid the election.

So what can you do?

ACTA

ACTA is the so-called Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (although it covers far, far more than just the creation of counterfeit goods). This is a big topic I’ve written about here a few times. The best primer on ACTA is probably the Wikipedia page. My illustration about fungus came from a blog post of mine a while back, and you’ll like the LQN summary and the blog by Michael Geist I mentioned.

To take action, start with the action summary I suggested after my visit to FLOSS Weekly.

UK Elections

Geeks Vote Too ShirtAs political issues become more and more technology-dependent, it’s important that we ask out political representatives to get educated and pay personal attention rather than just listening to lobbyists. They are, after all, supposed to be representing us human citizens and not the interests of abstract legal-fiction corporations. Both DeBill and the surveillance society in the UK come from listening to to too many lobbyists and not enough voters. They need to know that geeks vote too.

What can you do?

  • Why not join in with the Vote Geek community? There’s no better way to focus attention on digital democracy than to ask informed questions about it.
  • Upload election leaflets at The Straight Choice to help create transparency over election tactics.

Thanks for listening and for visiting my web site – why not subscribe and follow me on twitter?  🙂

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6 Responses

  1. […] the BBC DRM, the UK Digital Economy Bill, and ACTA. You can read more from Simon on these issues here and at the links […]

  2. […] the BBC DRM, the UK Digital Economy Bill, and ACTA. You can read more from Simon on these issues here and at the links […]

  3. […] the BBC DRM, the UK Digital Economy Bill, and ACTA. You can read more from Simon on these issues here and at the links […]

  4. […] the BBC DRM, the UK Digital Economy Bill, and ACTA. You can read more from Simon on these issues here and at the links […]

  5. I learned very interesting information on your interview with the Ubuntu UK podcast team, and I’m very grateful for your insight and the links like 38 degrees and write to them.com
    I wish you the best in the open source initiative and I’m sure you will inject new energy and enthusiasm into it.

  6. […] ✍ Digital Liberty Activism In my interview in this episode, I focused on digital liberty issues, which I believe to be hugely important and becoming more so every day. If you’re ready to find out more about the issues I discussed, here’s a quick guide along with hints on taking action. I mentioned writing to your MP and MEP – there’s an encouraging guide to read if the idea makes you nervous. […]

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