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Where is the British EFF? Just Around the Corner! 205

Drachan writes "A seminar at the UK's (BBC sponsored) technology conference 'Open Tech 2005' (organised by the fantastic 'Need To Know' (NTK) team as a follow on to last year's "Notcon 2004"event) posed the question 'Where is the British EFF?' The answer, as prompted by those attending the seminar was, of course 'Nowhere! so... uhh.. well... why don't We create it?' A PledgeBank page was set up within a few hours (available here) which states that the pledging person will donate £5 (GBP) per month to the support of a British EFF-style organisation provided that 1000 others also agree to do so. There is considerably more information at Danny O'Brien's Oblomovoka. Maybe this is a step in the right direction, after all the controversy over ID cards, the Anti-Terrorism Bill and general UK political disaster?"
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Where is the British EFF? Just Around the Corner!

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  • ID Cards Refuseniks (Score:5, Informative)

    by Baljet ( 547995 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @04:11AM (#13163313)
    There's been a fair bit of recent noise comming from pledgebank for example the No2ID campaign: resist/ []
  • by bvdbos ( 724595 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @04:12AM (#13163314)
    Of course there's the European Digital Rights-EDRI ( []) which is the joint organisation for digital rights in Europe. In the UK the
    * Campaign for Digital Rights-CDR ( [])
    * the Foundation for Information Policy Research-FIPR ( []) and
    * Greennet ( [])
    are members. I would suggest consulting them first.
  • by master_p ( 608214 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @04:23AM (#13163342)
    In my country every citizen has to have an Id card from the age of 15. But I see no problem with this. Even without the Id card, government agencies already know about any person.
  • by dances with elks ( 863490 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @05:05AM (#13163449)
    I hope it works because our MP's aren't looking out for our rights. My own MP eak [] Tom Tevitt, always votes the party line never rebels or sponsors a bill and costs us >£100000 a year in expenses (not including salary).
  • by ColdGrits ( 204506 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @05:09AM (#13163457)
    Actually, it DOES work as was shown in Scotland where a relaxation of the drinking laws saw a reduction in drink-related disorder for precisely the reason you dismiss - no need to cram those last 4 oints down your neck and then head into the street with hundreds of others when the pub remains open for hours more.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @05:14AM (#13163469)
    I'm not sure it's the idiot John Major, more the spectre of Thatcher looming large. Not helped by people like Michael Howard and David Davies. If Davies is elected leader this October, I can see the Tories not getting in for another 10 years simply due to alienation of everyone who's not as right wing as he is. Hopefully with the euro-constitution on ice they'll come to there senses and elect someone a bit more voter friendly and we can get back to having an opposition in the Commons rather than the Lords.

    It seems like we're stuck in the rut like we were in 80's - better the devil you know and all that. The only difference being that in the 80's the Tories were elected by more than 21% of the electorate.

  • Re:Good luck! (Score:3, Informative)

    by BenjyD ( 316700 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @05:16AM (#13163474)
    No, the important pictures are of the second group of bombers - the ones who forgot to keep their explosives in the fridge and therefore didn't meet quite the 'glorious' end they were hoping for.
  • by Jon Chatow ( 25684 ) * <> on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @05:31AM (#13163503) Homepage
    The Conservatives [...] when they were in power (when Margaret Thatcher and later John Major were leaders) they very nearly crippled the country with severe mismanagement.

    Surely you jest? (Old) Labour are the party of the Winter of Discontent, what with their inability to deal with the unions. The British economy was improved almost immeasurably by the Thatcherite reforms (even if the attempted social reforms left something to be desired). I really can't understand how this myth is perpetuated (except, perhaps, by disgruntled former coal-miners who wrongly feel that the loss of their jobs was neither necessary nor unpreventable); yes, people lost their jobs at the same time that Thatcher was reforming the industry, but there is not a causal link - they were both symptoms of globalisation and so economic competition from the Far East.

    And, before you go accusing me of being a Tory, I'm a Lib Dem. :-)

  • by ntk ( 974 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @05:37AM (#13163513) Homepage
    Ian Brown of EDRi (and ex- of FIPR) was on the panel which inspired this. CD-R has given it their support.

    The idea would be to act (initially at least) as a one stop shop to redirect media inquiries to the right experts, and direct publicity to other groups. There's not much else you can do for 60K -- but there is enough spare to start seeking out extra funding for bigger co-ordinating efforts.
  • Re:Why not FFII? (Score:3, Informative)

    by GozzoMan ( 808286 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @06:25AM (#13163617)
    As far as I know, there do is a local UK group which is part of the bigger-picture FFII: []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @07:09AM (#13163752)
    Jeez! Some people need to stop and think about knee-jerk political responses...

    The authorities (and credit agencies etc.etc.etc.) will assume that the ID card biometric data is correct and that you, the holder must conform to the card. How do you verify the biometric data matches you, the card holder? Only by having expensive, robust and accurate fingerprint and iris scanners in every institution (eg: bank) or building (eg: town hall) accessing a central database.

    Is that going to happen? No. So anyone who gains, steals or clones your card will be able to run amok and you, the real, valid card holder, will have to jump through flaming hoops to get your identity back.

    Which will actually never completely happen once a number of databases have been updated with your now, bad debt and possibly criminal background. These mistakes are almost impossible to eradicate. Google for people who have suffered even simple identity theft.

    Who are you anyway 617929? Are you just masquerading as a number?
  • signed up (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cederic ( 9623 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @07:13AM (#13163763) Journal

    I prefer to avoid signing up to things, especially when they want money.

    However, Danny O'Brien is that rarest of beasts, a journalist I trust. I've also experienced a lot of his work in this arena in the past (or, more accurately, been informed by him of the work being done by and with people he knows).

    Some of the other names mentioned are also ones I've recognised, and a couple of the people I've met.

    I may not agree with everything they propose, but I do agree with their general aims, and I'm happy to do a little to help it. Since I'm a lazy sod (rarely doing much more than writing to my MP/MEP and posting on slashdot) contributing a small amount to help fund someone to do my campaigning for me sounds like a fine idea.

  • by Shaper_pmp ( 825142 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2005 @08:20AM (#13163981)
    If you want a government-backed ID card then sign up for a Citizen Card [] (yeah, the website sucks). These are photo ID, require references to apply for one, and are supported by the Home Office.

    Importantly, they're also optional, administrated by a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, and have to conform to strict Data Protection laws, none of which apply to the ID card if the government decides otherwise.

    With options like these available it seems like simple ignorance or laziness to support the ID card scheme. You have your option. You have your benefits.

    Leave our rights and privacy alone.

    Apologies if this post seems somewhat terse, but you've just advanced the most intellectually lazy and unashamedly self-serving reason I've ever heard for supporting a national ID card scheme.

User hostile.