ORG parliamentary and policy update/2014-w27

< ORG parliamentary and policy update

Top Stories:

  • Open Rights Group launches second version of, finds nearly one in five sites overblocked by onine filters
  • Google removes links from the Guardian and the BBC from search results

This is ORG's Parliamentary and policy update for the week beginning 30/06/2014.

If you are reading this online, you can also subscribe to the email version.

Official Meetings

Jim Killock gave evidence on Wednesday to the House of Lords EU Sub-Committe on Home Affairs, Health and Education, into an inquiry of the CJEU's ruling on the 'right to be forgotten'. The evidence session is available online. On Friday he met with Ros Lynch, Copyright and IP Enforcement Director, to discuss copyright and IP enforcement.

On Tuesday, Javier Ruiz met with Eleanor Saitta, former Principal Security Engineer at the Open Internet Tools Project (OpenITP) and attended a panel discussion at the Internet Governance Forum. On Thursday he had a meeting with the Information Commissioner's Office.

Consultations and departments

A full list of open consultations and Parliamentary events can be found on our Events

Department for Business releases latest information security breaches survey

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has published their latest survey on information security breaches. Some of the key findings were:

  • 81% of large organisations had a security breach
  • 60% of small businesses had a security breach
  • 73% of large organisations suffered from infection by viruses or malicious software in the past year

You can view the whole report online.


Inquiry into Google's 'right to be forgotten' ruling

The House of Lord's EU Sub-Committe on Home Affairs, Health and Education have launched an inquiry into a ruling issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in May 2014, regarding the 'right to be forgotten' (

The first oral evidence session took part on Wednesday 2 July, attended, among others, by ORG's Executive Director, Jim Killock. You can view the witness statements on (Parliament TV).

Culture, Media & Sport Committee publish reports on Online Safety

On 19 March 2014, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee published their sixth report on Online Safety. Since then, Ofcom (the regulatory authority covering the telecoms, broadcasting and postal industries in the UK) and the government, have issued their responses to the initial report. The Committee has now published their responses online.

They are all available on the parliament's website.

Debates, questions and speeches

Question on the progress of the Computer Emergency Response Team

Francis Maude MP answered a question concerning the progress of the Computer Emergency Response team (also known as CERT-UK). Mr Maude outlined the Team's mission and said it was one of the government's top four security priorities (Hansard).

Law and Legal Cases

Internet Service Providers from four countries launch legal case against GCHQ

Internet Service Providers from the United states, the UK, Netherlands and South Korea along with Privacy International have filed a legal complaint over allegations the British communications agency, GCHQ attacked their network infrastructure and gathered information on their customers (BBC).

Commercial Stakeholders

One in five websites overblocked by service provider's adult filters, ORG project finds

For an official press release see our website.

On Tuesday the Open Rights Group relaunched, a free online tool that allows users check if their website has been blocked by Internet Service Providers. The project has tested over 100,000 websites and found that over 19,000 - nearly one in five - are blocked by one ISP or another.

The purpose of the project is to assess the impact of web filters. ORG's Executive Director said "Different ISPs are blocking different sites and the result is that many people, from businesses to bloggers, are being affected because people can’t access their websites" (The Telegraph).

See our blog for an explanation by our Executive Director on how the statistics are calculated.

ORG launches second version of

A first version of 'Blocked' was launched in May 2012, where users were invited to submit the URLs of websites that had been blocked. The new version of our website, allows users to check if a website is being blocked and by which ISP.

Head over to blocked, to check if a website is being blocked by ISPs network filtering.

Developments with Google's implementation of the right to be forgotten

Following a court ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union, search giant Google is now obliged to remove search results following requests from private individuals. Since the ruling in May 2014, Google has received 50,000 requests.

Both the BBC and the Guardian have received notices that their articles have been removed for search results. Google reinstated some links from the Guardian it had removed earlier in the week (BBC).

Users searching with Google may be given a warning that some of the search results have been removed (The Guardian).

You can view an image of what this will look like online.

Facebook conducts 'psychological experiments' on their users

Facebook conducted an experiment on their customers to see how they could make them 'happier or sadder'. It was conducted on nearly 700,000 users and concluded "Emotions expressed by friends, via online social networks, influence our own moods, constituting, to our knowledge, the first experimental evidence for massive-scale emotional contagion via social networks." (The Guardian).

ORG Media coverage

See ORG Press Coverage for full details.

2014-07-02 - The Independent One in five sites blocked by the UK's over-zealous 'pornography filters'
Author:James Vincent
Summary: The Independent's take on the webpage discussing the idea that the webpage only tests the most rigorous settings. With quotes from Pam Cowburn.

2014-07-02 - Wired A fifth of all websites blocked by web filters
Author: Olivia Solon
Summary: An article on what is being banned, specifically mentioning post-pregnancy sites.

2014-07-02 - The Guardian Internet filters blocking one in five most-popular websites
Author: Juliette Garside
Summary: An article on the website and the news that one in five websites are blocked. With a quote from Jim Killock.

ORG contact details

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