ORG policy update/2018-w03

This is ORG's Policy Update for the week beginning 15/01/2018.

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ORG’s work

  • ORG have started fundraising to recruit more permanent members of our legal team. Join ORG today to help out!
  • ORG launched a new petition against printer manufacturer Epson's attempts to get eBay to remove listings of third-party ink cartridges from their marketplace.
  • ORG is running a petition against the Government’s misguided proposals threatening fines for internet companies who do not rapidly censor extremist material shared on their platforms. Sign the petition here!
  • ORG have been hard at work updating the court ordered blocks section of the Blocked! tool to display clearer and more accurate information about court ordered blocks.

Planned local group events:

  • Join the newly-reformed ORG Norwich on 22 January for their revival meetup and to discuss their plans for the future.
  • See ORG's legal director Myles Jackman speak at an ORG London event on 24 January. Come along to hear about ORG's past legal successes and plans for the future.

Official meetings

  • Jim Killock spoke at the Westminster Forum about Internet censorship in the UK
  • Jim Killock met with the Alliance for Intellectual Property to discuss web blocking.
  • ORG's Advisory Council met to discuss ORG's current work and future.
  • Jim Killock met with the Intellectual Property Office, Sky, Lumen and Oath (AOL/Yahoo!) to discuss censorship.
  • Slavka Bielikova attended an Open Internet Forum meeting, where the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport outlined their plans for net neutrality post-Brexit.

UK Parliament

Data Protection Bill Progresses to House of Commons

The third and final reading of the Data Protection Bill took place in the House of Lords this week.

ORG have been campaigning for the removal of the so-called "Immigration Exemption" from the Bill, which is drafted to exclude a number of critical safeguards from data when it is being processed for immigration purposes. During the Bill's progression through the House of Lords, Peers voted to adopt a Government-drafted amendment to the Bill which would aim to reduce the negative impact of the immigration exemption. However, ORG, the3million have outstanding concerns - namely that:

  • The exemption for immigration-related data is still too wide and would continue to disproportionately interfere with fundamental rights of privacy, data protection, equality and non-discrimination of millions of UK foreign residents.
  • This exemption seems to conflict with the narrower provisions in the GDPR for restriction of rights and fundamental principles. Such conflict will weaken the prospect that the UK will get a green light from the European Commission for personal data transfers after Brexit.
  • The proposals are being introduced as millions of EU citizens face dealing with the new process to register their residence after Brexit. Trust in the Home Office is already very low given the numerous mistakes it has made, including sending threatening deportation letters to lawful European residents.
  • The proposed measures risk making promises made by the Government void. The promise to the EU citizens residing in the UK that their rights will be irreversible and enshrined in international law could end up being impossible to enforce in practice. We would expect that the European Parliament will look at this proposal when it considers the final Brexit deal.

Lord Clement-Jones said that the Liberal Democrat Lords also found the Government concessions to be unsatisfactory.

The Bill has now progressed to the House of Commons, with the first reading taking place on Thursday 18 January. You can read the latest version of the bill, as brought from the House of Lords on the Parliament site here.

Commons Health Committee Inquiry into NHS Data Sharing

The House of Commons Health Select Committee has launched an inquiry into a data sharing deal between the NHS and the Home Office that allows patient data to be shared with the Home Office for immigration enforcement purposes.

The data sharing deal was made public for the first time in early 2017, and is currently subject to a legal challenge launched in November 2017 by the Migrants' Rights Network.

The first meeting of the Health Committee took place on Tuesday 16 January 2018, and details of the inquiry can be found here.

International developments

CJEU to rule on whether Facebook must proactively remove hate speech

Former leader of the Austrian Green Party, Eva Glawischnig, is currently involved in a case involving that questions whether Facebook have a responsibility to proactively seek-out and remove hate speech posts from the platform.

Courts in Austria have previously held in Ms Glawischnig's favour, ruling that Facebook was obligated to take down hate speech postings around the world. The Austrian Supreme Court has now asked the CJEU whether Facebook must actively seek out and remove similar postings to those complained about by Ms Glawischnig.

Questions in the UK Parliament

Question about hate speech on online gaming platforms

Hywel Williams asked the Secretary of State for the DCMS a series of questions on whether the Government is taking any action to ensure that operators of online gaming platforms remove "hate speech" content and ban offending users.

Margot James responded, referring Mr Williams to the Government's Internet Safety Strategy green paper, noting that it "considers options for working with online platforms, game publishers, game developers and with agencies such as the Video Standards Council Rating Board, to continue to improve online safety in games."

ORG media coverage

See ORG Press Coverage for full details.

2018-01-14-Daily Star-Porn law changes: How people allowed to watch it will be TRANSFORMED from April
Author: Anthony Blair
Summary: Jim Killock quoted in a story outlining how age verification will work.
Topics: Privacy
2018-01-15-Metro-New porn laws due in April will force porn sites to ID everyone – here’s what you need to know
Author: Rob Waugh
Summary: Jim Killock quoted in a story outlining how age verification will work.
Topics: Privacy
2018-01-17-BBC News-Kitty Perry and the copyright lessons for seven-year-olds
Author: Brian Wheeler
Summary: Jim Killock quoted in story about the Government introuducing intellectual property lessons into the Key Stage 2 curriculum.
Topics: Intellectual property
2018-01-18-The Inquirer-UK gov uses cartoon series to show kids the 'fun side' of intellectual property
Author: Chris Merriman
Summary: Jim Killock quoted in story about the Government introuducing intellectual property lessons into the Key Stage 2 curriculum.
Topics: Intellectual property
2018-01-18-TorrentFreak-UK Government Teaches 7-Year-Olds That Piracy is Stealing
Author: Ernesto
Summary: Jim Killock quoted in story about the Government introuducing intellectual property lessons into the Key Stage 2 curriculum.
Topics: Intellectual property

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