National Pupil Database and census

We’re delighted to have DefendDigitalMe talking about the National Pupil Database and child census projects on March 1st.

For more details, please head over to

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Get Data Smart : Cryptoparty

We’ll be hosting a Cryptoparty event as part of the council’s Get Data Smart day on March 17th.

You can register and

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Festival of Social Science : Digital activism

This event is a great opportunity to discover how new technologies are changing our communities. With talks from local campaign groups, technologists and academics, this event will give you the chance to engage with pertinent issues: How is technology changing the ways we live and work? Which new innovations are soon to transform our communities? In what ways can new technology empower our communities?

Come to ‘Digital Activism’ to find out more!
The event is on Friday, November 11, 2016 from 10AM to 4PM

Please book directly via the festival site’s Eventbrite page :

More information is on the festival site :

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Three showings of tense Orwellian thriller about the surveillance society

On the 14th, 15th and 16th there is an award-winning, tense Orwellian
thriller about the surveillance society playing in Manchester.

More details and tickets can be found at

I will also be having a Q+A session after the Friday show if you’d like to attend that
too. Please purchase a ticket from

and I’ll see you there !

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Movie night and debate

We will be showing the short (20 minutes) film ‘The
Haystack’ as an introduction to a wider debate about current events that
effect you both on and off line.

The trailer for the film is here :

On our panel for the night will be

• Gary Herman from the National Union of Journalists
• Gary Hough from local ISP Zen Internet
• Loz Kaye from Open Intelligence

Plus special guests!

It’d be great to say you are coming on:
and we’ll see you on the 9th, at 1830 in MadLab.

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Interview with Mancunian Matters

ORG Manchester organiser Tom was recently interviewed by Mancunian Matters

The proposed legislation will also introduce a ‘double-lock’ on ministerial approval of interception warrants, with a new panel of seven judicial commissioners.

But the ‘double-lock’ will not apply in ‘urgent cases’ and security services will be able to spy on the content of people’s conversations and messages without a court-approved warrant.

Read the whole article here and if this fires you up to talk to your MP about it, why not come along to our next event on the 16th December :

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Speaking to your MP : results and feedback

Last time we were talking about ways to explain your concerns to people like your local MP. For the final event of the year we want to get your feedback on how that worked out – did you manage to speak to your MP (how could it be made easier ?) and if you did manage it, how did it go.

It’s on Wednesday, December 16 at 6:30 PM at the MMu’s new Birley campus, room BR G.16.

We’re trying a new venue as well, so please check the event’s detail pages on for details, or to make a small donation even if you can’t attend so we can continue to offer these events in future.

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Snooper Charter Strikes Back event success

Jim Killock talkingEarlier in the week we had the pleasure of entraining Jim Killock, ORG’s executive director, ahead of a workshop on talking you MP about intrusive surveillance.

Continue reading

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Episode V: The Snooper’s Charter Strikes Back!

After the huge success of a packed out hustings the Open Rights Group have two
great events in one fantastic evening for our October Manchester Meetup.
Please spread the word.

A talk AND workshop about fighting the Snoopers’ Charter! Both are free to
attend, donations on the night are welcome.

Both events are on the evening of October 5th, in MadLab, Manchester. More details are on MeetUp.

6.30 to 7.30pm
Talk + Q&A: Open Rights Group’s Executive Director Jim Killock – ‘Fighting the
Snoopers’ Charter’

Break: 7.30 to 7.45pm

7.45 to 9.00pm
Workshop: Talking About Surveillance
We’ll be running a workshop on how you can talk to your MP.

You’ll come away from the workshop ready to talk to anyone about surveillance!

Please do let us know if you will be there, it makes our roles as organisers
much easier to know how many to expect. You can do this either on MeetUp or just by emailing
manchester -at- openrightsgroup -full stop- org

You are welcome just to turn up on the night of course, so see you there !

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Photo’s from mass surveillance, liberty & activism talk

Jim KillockLast nights very well attended talk covered an introduction to some of the worst abuses of our rights and privacy conducted by the UK and other governments, from hacking into the computers of our allies to indiscriminatingly recording every Yahoo video chat.

There’s an extensive write up from the Pirate Party on their web site, but some of the key takeaways were that

  • We must defeat mass surveillance at the political level, or it becomes a technology arms race with no end or winners
  • The Snoopers Charter is about giving police the same power GCHQ already has, and look how well that worked
  • If you can use mass surveillance to spy on everyone, why bother sorting out child poverty or other issues abroad?


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