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With a focus on open source and digital rights, Simon is a director of the UK's Open Rights Group and president of the Open Source Initiative. He is also managing director of UK consulting firm Meshed Insights Ltd.

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WYWO: Digital Rights

While you were out over Christmas, things kept happening that affect your digital freedoms. Here's a round-up of some of the stories that caught my eye.

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A post-Christmas miscellany of things you may have missed:

  • The Open Rights Group (ORG) reached its goal to hire a legal expert. This is an important step that allows them to intervene in UK legal issues and help set norms by steering case law. I'm told that if another 150 people were to sign up as supporters, the resulting income would allow the position to be made a permanent staff post.
  • The European Court of Human Rights decided that the Turkish Court decision to block the whole of Google's Sites web hosting facility breached the European Convention of Human Rights. This decision sets an important precedent throughout Europe.
  • The UK Parliament's proposals to modernise copyright law to catch up with reality a little have emerged. While the copyright industries are predictably outraged at any change, ORG says the changes look balanced and reasonable, even if they could go further.
  • Although not headlined as such, the Wikimedia Foundation has responded to last year's controversy in its UK chapter with new conflict of interest guidelines - discussion is now open.
  • Finally, while not strictly on-topic, Dan Lyons suggests that the US government's decision to end anti-trust action against Google is an epic fail for Microsoft who he compares to Captain Ahab. Dan says "Microsoft’s obsession with Google doesn’t just border on crazy. It is crazy, and not just a little tiny bit crazy but full-blown, bunny-boiling, Ahab-versus-the-whale nutso."

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