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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Mass Surveillance, Liberty & Activism talk

We’re kicking of our pre-general election campaign with a talk on the 24th February at MadLab :

ORG’s Executive Director Jim Killock will talk about mass surveillance, liberty and activism. He’ll say why mass surveillance is a danger to democracy and how we can work together to curb it.
This event is free and open to the public. You don’t need to be an ORG member to attend, just someone interested in an open and free internet.
If you don’t want to use Meetup you can email to RSVP.

Arrive from 7.15pm onwards for a 7.30pm start.

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Freeing the Internet: How hard can it be?

To follow up on Cory Doctorow’s recent talk, our next event is in November when award-winning journalist Wendy M. Grossman will join the Open Rights Group and Open Data Manchester to see how keeping the Internet free and open will require technology, law, and policy, working together.

Can it even be done? Come along and find out.

We’re in MadLab on Edge Street, November 6th at 6.30pm.

Tickets are free, but if you could sign up here it would be great to know when we’re full up:

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Press coverage from Don’t Spy On Us event

The Don’t Spy On Us event last month was very well attended, and was standing room only !

There’s a great review here from the BBC

Tom Watson told the meeting how he had not been aware of GCHQ’s alleged mass surveillance of email metadata revealed by Edward Snowden when he had been a defence minister, or when he had been at the Cabinet Office.

He said his colleagues in the Labour Party were deeply suspicious of his stance on mass surveillance.

“They think I’m some kind of crazy liberal idiot rather than a patriot who really cares about citizens’ freedom.”

I came across too.

The event overall was insightful and well worth attending, the Open Rights Group and other panel members groups aims are commendable.

Were you there ? Tell us what you thought !

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Come and see Cory Doctorow talk about publishing your work in the Internet

On Tuesday, October 7 at 7:00 PM we’re delighted to be putting on a joint event with the Manchester Literature Festival.

Credit :

Credit :

Author, activist (and ORG Advisory Council member), and journalist Cory Doctorow takes you through three simple rules for evaluating digital business models for creative people, and explains how the choices you make about your digital creativity resonate through the whole web of the 21 century’s electronic nervous system.

There will also be a chance to ask questions, and buy his books..



Tickets are limited, but I’ve managed to grab us a decent sized room in Waterstones on Deansgate.

Sign up for this free event here :

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