Group to defend Irish civil liberties in digital age


10 Oct 2005

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A new Irish civil rights organisation is to be formed in the coming weeks along the lines of the Electronic Frontier Foundation to defend and protect the rights of Irish citizens in the digital age.

Siliconrepublic.com has learned that the group, which will be known as Digital Rights Ireland, will include on its board e-voting campaigner Colm MacCarthaigh and Ireland Offline campaigner Damien Mulley, University College Dublin law lecturer TJ McIntyre and lecturer and journalist Bernie Goldbach.

According to sources, the organisation is currently in the process of formation and its objectives will be to “promote, defend, educate and campaign on civil liberties in a digital age”.

It is understood the articles of association for the non-profit company are currently in the process of being registered with the Companies Registration Office.

The company will tackle head-on issues such as data protection and laws governing the retention of electronic communications data such as emails and text messages by internet service providers and telecoms firms.

Sources say that not only will the group have an Irish focus but it will also focus on international issues and will model itself on international digital rights advocacy pioneer, the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It is understood the group will link with other groups, such as European Digital Rights and Privacy International.

It is understood the group will formally reveal its statement of intent at next Saturday’s Techcamp event on 15 October at the Northside Civic Centre in Dublin, where Irish technology entrepreneurs will gather to address the perception that Ireland is falling behind the US in grassroots technology innovation.

By John Kennedy