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Digital Rights Manifesto

Founded in 2005, Open Rights Group (ORG) is a UK-based digital rights organisation that campaigns to protect our rights to privacy and free speech online.

Digital technology, they say, has transformed the way we live and opened up limitless new ways to communicate, connect, share and learn across the world. But for all the benefits, technological developments have created new threats to our human rights.

They are fighting for human rights in the digital age, campaigning for a fair digital environment where technology supports equality, justice and freedom.

We raise awareness, campaign, lobby, go to court – whatever it takes – to challenge restrictions to our human rights. Our success is down to a movement of individuals and organisations committed to fighting for our cause.

And now, with the UK running up to a General Election, the Open Rights Group is asking asking all candidates in the General Election to protect digital rights in the next Parliament and has published a Digital Rights Manifesto. They have six demands:

Protect our right to send private messages.

Everyone – including children and young people – should have the right to use end-to-end encryption to ensure that our communications are safe, secure and private. The next government should protect not undermine encryption.

Provide migrants with digital sanctuary.

Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers need the safe data and privacy rights as everyone else so that they can keep their digital identity and information safe. The next government should commit to ending the digital hostile environment.

Ban the use of pre-crime AI by the police.

Predictive policing systems that use artificial intelligence (AI) to ‘predict’ criminal behaviour undermine our right to be presumed innocent and exacerbate discrimination and inequality in our criminal justice system. The next government should ban dangerous uses of AI in policing.

Defend our right to freedom of expression online.

Freedom of expression online is being undermined by age verification, content takedowns, social media censorship and unfair copyright claims. The next government should commit to protecting our right to freedom of expression online.

Strengthen our data protection rights.

We need strong data protection laws to make sure that governments and companies do not use our data to track, surveil and profit from us. The next government should strengthen our data protection rights and make sure that the data protection watchdog is fit for purpose.

End intrusive tracking by online advertisers.

Advertising companies track our internet use to build detailed profiles so they can target us with adverts. The next government should restrict intrusive tracking by data brokers and online advertisers.

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