UK Civil Society
Internet Rights Project (CSIR)
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This area will be updated regularily over the coming months so please do come back and visit us (last updated 12/04/02). WATCH THIS SPACE DURING MAY...

The Civil Society Internet Rights Project (CSIR) is a GreenNet sponsored initiative to provide knowledge, resources and tools for civil society organisations to safely and productively use the Internet as a means of increasing democracy and to campaign on social justice issues. We have recently received funding from the Joesph Rowntree Charitable trust to continue work in the UK.

The project involves working closely with our user community both here in the UK, and internationally with our member network, APC. We are particularly grateful to Paul Mobbs and Chris Bailey for their time and support during the preparation stages of the project. We are always very interested in working more closely with our user community so if you would like to contribute in any way, or simply want to provide feedback, please write to:

GreenNet's Pledge - The Civil Society and Internet Charter

Briefings and Resources

The following briefings have been produced to highlight citizens rights, and suggest how people can use those rights to further their own work in social and environmental causes. This is currently the list and will link through to the reports on May 1st.

Expression and defamation - Limits to the rights of expression on the Internet, especially the use of blocking software, censoring by service providers and termination of user accounts. In parallel, an outline of the laws on defamation (Defamation Act 1996), and the control of 'undesirable material on the 'Net.
Data protection - A briefing about the Data Protection Act 1998, and how to request information that data processor hold on you.
Encryption and electronic signatures - A review of the laws on encryption (primarily the RIP Act 2000), and the public's legal rights when using encryption. The briefing will also deal with the issue of electronic signatures, their use and registration (Electronic Communications Act 2000).
E-consumer protection - A review of the protection for people using the Internet to arrange services and buy products over the Internet (primarily the various Acts relating to the sale of goods and consumer credit).
Privacy and surveillance - The operation of surveillance and dataveillance utilising computers and computer networks.
Campaigning Online - An outline of the options for civil society campaigning via the Internet, from simple web pages, to the use of server scripting.
Intellectual property - A review of intellectual property rights in relation to material published or transported via electronic media (broadcast as well as the 'Net) under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Computer crime - An outline of the laws on computer crime and how they are used. Not just cracking (under the Computer Misuse Act 1990), but also other offences, such as 'disrupting networks' under the Terrorism Act 2000 and 'criminal damage' under the various cases brought under the Criminal Damage Act 1971.
Online Liability - The liabilities for those working or trading online, especially relating to the use of software, proprietary information, or because they undertake business online that affects people's rights or that opens up tax liabilities.
Employees rights - A review of the individuals rights in the workplace in relation to computers/the 'Net, especially those who are directly monitored as part of their work (net slaves, micro-serfs, call centre operators, etc.).
Media regulation and convergence - An outline of the law in relation to media ownership and convergence, especially as it relates to issues such as access to the 'Net via TV/'information appliances' etc. Also, issues relating to the more innovative use of ICT by the public, e.g. online broadcasting etc.
Civil rights and Internet regulation - Essentially, a discussion of the flaws in current regulation of the Internet in the UK, and the threats presented by recent/proposed legislative measures (RIP, but also the Cybercrime Convention).
Interception - Information around the issue of RIP and the maintenance of interception capabilities, but also of other liabilities under the RIP Act such as access to user accounts, server logs, etc.
Information and Server Security - Information about the operation of the Internet, the security threats the Internet creates, and methods of securing Internet-connected systems.
The Human Rights Act 1998, & the possibilities for change it enables.
A briefing on The Human Rights Act 1998 and the scope for its use by campaign groups
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