Labour Friends of the ORG


Over lunch, I & Claude Moraes, hosted a meeting of the “Labour Friends of the Open Rights Group”. Claude spoke of the European Parliament’s response to the Snowden leaks and its defence of citizens ECHR Article 8 privacy rights. He also signposted the coming Digital Habeas Corpus which being that it’s European legislation will take some time. There was a keenness to take the policies of the ORG into the Labour Party. The countdown to the general election and the Party’s adoption of its Programme in September means that the opportunity for short term changes in the policy are limited however @LabourDigital which is a de-facto caucus is campaigning around its manifesto and the Shadow cabinet policy review is due to be launched on 25th November. We agreed to keep in touch and to use the original google group, founded after #orgcon10 to do so.  … » Read more …


Big Companies and Surveillance


This session started with an attack on F-Secure, one of the conference sponsors for over-promising on their adverts and then looked at the difference in response to the Snowden leaks between the US, UK and the rest of the EU. In the US, they are beginning to win the right to publish transparency reports even in the light of super-injunctions and while the so called Freedom Bill has hit a road block, US legislators on the whole are responding to the Snowden leaks by re-establishing citizen’s (constitutional) rights. The problem for the rest of the world is that the US Constitution only protects citizens and that excludes a lot of the US Datenkraken’s customers.   … » Read more …


Three Laws, Doctorow at orgcon14


Orgcon14 was opened by its keynote speaker, Correy Doctrow, one of the UK’s leading digital liberty campaigners. This presentation was a bit of a reprise although he concludes by addressing recent developments in the politics of surveillance in the UK.  … » Read more …


Professionally published again

Dave Levy @flickr 2014 CC BY-SA

I have finally been published on my employer’s web site blog. The article, Conflicting Data Requirements: Privacy versus Transparency ( looks at the countervailing tendencies by governments legislating for citizen privacy and tax transparency. The article concludes with a series of technical challenges to meet the needs of both political initiatives. The article was syndicated on the Tabb Forum, and you can read that here. The article was originally provoked by a Gartner Press Release which suggests that location and the need for specific jurisdictional compliance will reduce as costs and  … » Read more …


The Riot Dog dies

The Guardian reports that Loukanikos, a stray dog in Athens that had spent its time supporting the demonstrators against austerity has died. Here’s a picture of him, probably thinking of bones,

  … » Read more …


English Revolution


I have just seen the first of Melvyn Bragg’s documentaries in a two part series called “Radical Lives”. This was about John Ball, a radical priest in England who in 1381 supported the Peasants Revolt. The documentary does a fine job in describing the feudal economic and racist oppression by the scions of the Norman invasion. The original poll tax was levied at this time and the reaction from the peasantry was swift and violent. They rose up and marched on London, sacked the Tower of London and executed several leading government officials.   … » Read more …


Value, Solidarity and Exchange


A couple of thoughts provoked by my trip to Labour Party Conference, one on the value of copyright, one on solidarity and one on the unfinished Hargreaves Review reform, the establishment of a digital exchange.  … » Read more …


Left & Right Wing Rights


One of the big stories from the Tory Party conference is the resurrection of the proposal to leave the European Council’s Human Rights court. Several correspondents elsewhere question both the moral sense and the political tactics of pursuing this policy. David Allen Green has created a page on his blog to act as an index on the pro and anti views and includes links to the Conservative Party proposals and press release; the views of most lawyers are against the proposed reforms.   … » Read more …


Commoditisation killed Sun Microsystems


Eric Raymond,  wrote a short article on his blog, “Commoditization, not open source, killed Sun Microsystems”, which I commented on. This blog article says a little bit more than I felt I had room for on someone else’s blog, and I probably abused his hospitality there. I have thought long and hard about this, because I worked there and thought it i.e. the company was worth saving. Here’s what I said on Eric’s blog, and a bit more.  I start by saying that the first thing about Sun’s failure is that it all depends on where you want to start; Sun’s failure was baked in long before the 2000 fall from profit.   … » Read more …



red circuit board

I left Manchester and travelled home on Tuesday Morning, i.e. 23rd I reckoned I could catch up on Ed’s speech and the only fringe of any interest was the @LabourDigital policy launch planned for 4:00 p.m. I checked it out on the web, but it didn’t really come to my notice as anything other than a minority interest until it was reported in the Register on Sept 28th by Andrew Orlowski, not to be confused with Aleksandr Orlov , who seems to have picked up the territory. The @LabourDigital’s policy statement is here. It contains 82 recommendations, which they summarise with four headlines and seven additional teaser policies.  … » Read more …