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  • #1
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 16,659 ✭✭✭✭ dahamsta

    Karlin Lillington kicked this round of "EFF For Ireland" off with her outraged articles in the Irish Times about Justice Minister Michael McDowell's plans to retain data for up to four years. She's put up a dedicated page on her blog outlining the issues, including locally hosted copies of her articles, a rundown of how your data can be misused, and links and other resources.

    The Electronic Freedom Foundation is ultimately what I believe the group Karlin has suggested should be modelled after. It shouldn't just task itself with lobbying and pressuring, like IrelandOffline and, it should also aim towards encouraging people in the legal profession who understand and respect the issues we are concerned with to defend abuses of electronic freedoms in a court of law, to set precendents that will make sure they don't happen again.

    Obviously this is a lofty goal, but ultimately it's the EFF and ACLU's legal battles and opinions that have made them such a force to be reckoned with; and we need a force like that in Ireland. If there aren't people in the legal profession interested in doing this now, we should be finding out why they're not interested, and showing them exactly why they shouldn't just be interested, they should care. Obviously though, this should be a long term goal, and we should have short term goals too, such as getting the ear of the Justice Minister.

    The The Irish Council for Civil Liberties is currently the only organisation in Ireland that comes anyway close to representing us when it comes to electronic freedoms, but they have a much larger mandate than what we're proposing here, and don't really have the resources to zone in on these issues. That said, they do have a dedicated "e-Rights Working Group", and have years of experience of dealing with the intracacies of Civil Liberties issues, and I would hope that we would be able to work with them for mutual benefit.

    The American Council for Civil Liberties is obviously the American equivalent of the ICLU, however the size of the United States and the fast-moving technology arena there has give the ACLU ample opportunity to develop a strong electronic freedoms section. Two in fact, they have separate sections on their website for Cyber Liberties and Privacy & Technology.

    As the title of Declan McCullagh's Politech mailing list suggests, it focuses on politics as they relate to technology (and vice versa), but because most of these topics are driven by electronic freedom issues, it can be a very useful resource for monitoring those issues. Declan is the Washington correspondent for CNET and a former Washington bureau chief for Wired News, so it can be a little US-centric, but he tends to pick up on issues worldwide.

    Bruce Schneier's Crypto-Gram is an email newsletter on computer security and cryptography. Bruce is the author of "Secrets and Lies" and "Applied Cryptography", and inventor of the Blowfish and Twofish ciphers, but don't let that scare you off -- he has an excellent understanding of security issues as they apply to electronic freedoms, and a wonderful way of explaining them in terms that anyone can understand. And he often covers issues months before they appear in mainstream technology media outlets.