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Internet Address: http://www.cyber-rights.org/
E-mail: lawya@cyber-rights.org
Phone: + 44 (0) 7798-865116
For Postal Correspondence please write to but we prefer e-mail communications!
Mr. Yaman Akdeniz, CyberLaw Research Unit, Centre For Criminal Justice Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom.

Board Members: Mr Yaman Akdeniz, director (lawya@cyber-rights.org), Dr Brian Gladman, Technology Policy Adviser (brg@cyber-rights.org), Mr Nicholas Bohm, E-Commerce Policy Adviser (nbohm@cyber-rights.org), Professor Clive Walker, Deputy Director (lawcpw@cyber-rights.org), Dr Louise Ellison, Deputy Director (lawlee@cyber-rights.org).

Background information

Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) is a non-profit civil liberties organisation founded on January 10, 1997. Its main purpose is to promote free speech and privacy on the Internet and raise public awareness of these important issues. The Web pages have been online since July 1996. It should be noted that the organisation is not connected to the University of Leeds nor supported by the University of Leeds in anyway and all members of the organisation are acting in a purely personal capacity unless it is expressly stated otherwise.

Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) started to become involved with national Internet-related civil liberties issues following the release of the DTI white paper on encryption in June 1996 and the Metropolitan Police action to censor around 130 newsgroups in August 1996.

In May 1997, Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) encryption report was endorsed by a coalition of civil liberties organizations. The report proposed that UK encryption policy must strike a balance among improved online commerce, crime prevention, and civil rights, and must recognise the history and global nature of encryption policy development. It was published in response to proposals by the UK Department of Trade and Industry to regulate the provision of encryption services in the UK. See the full report: First Report on UK Encryption Policy and also the related press release.

Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) produced the Global Internet Liberty Campaign Submission on the Illegal and Harmful Use of the Internet to the Irish Minister for Justice in July 1997. The submission has been signed by 14 members of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign.

Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) recently criticised the attempts of the Nottinghamshire County Council to suppress the availability of the JET Report on the Internet. The group organised a successful mirror campaign to beat the attempted suppression of the availability of the JET Report on the Internet by the Nottinghamshire County Council. The report is now back to where it belongs. See the related pages.

In November 1997, Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) launched a new report entitled, Who Watches the Watchmen, on the implications of the use and development of rating systems and filtering tools for the Internet content. The report insists that the debates on regulation of Internet-content should take place openly and with the involvement of public at large rather than at the hands of a few industry based private bodies.

In February 1998, Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) produced the Global Internet Liberty Campaign member statement which criticised the possible introduction of "key escrow" or "key recovery" systems for the regulation of encryption services in the UK. The statement signed by 22 organisations world-wide concluded that "mandatory key recovery policies would make Britain a second-class nation in the Information Age."

In September 1998, Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) published the second in the series of its Who Watches the Watchmen reports. The new report entitled as "Accountability & Effective Self-Regulation in the Information Age" is available through the organisation’s new web site at http://www.cyber-rights.org. The report concluded that "Government inspired and enforced pre-censorship is no more different than government-imposed censorship. Such restrictions and complex regulations would make Britain, like any other jurisdiction that goes too far, a very hostile place for network development."

Also in September 1998, Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) released another report entitled "Wassenaar Controls, Cyber-Crime and Information Terrorism," which concluded that "far from hampering criminal and terrorist activities, controls on civil cryptographic products are promoting the evolution of a global information infrastructure that provides many easy targets for cyber-crime and information terrorism."

In February 1999, Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) published "Who Watches the Watchmen: Part III - ISP Capabilities for the Provision of Personal Information to the Police," which follows the development of a "privacy letter" from the consumer’s perspective, and an exchange of letters between Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) and the ACPO/ISPs and the Government Forum in December 1998. This report concluded that that "transparency, openness and accountability are important features of a healthy society. We believe it is now time for the Government through the Parliament to intervene in the activities of the ACPO/ISPs, Government Forum and clarify these matters including the laws in relation to interception of communications and the relevant procedures."

Following the submission of a Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) written Memorandum to the House of Commons Trade and Industry Select Committee on Electronic Commerce Inquiry, in February 1999, a team of Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) representatives (Mr Yaman Akdeniz, Director, Mr Nicholas Bohm, E-Commerce Policy Adviser, Dr Brian Gladman, the Technology Policy Adviser , and Professor Clive Walker, deputy director) gave oral evidence in front of a Trade and Industry Select Committee at the House of Commons, on March 9, 1999. The written memorandum is available through http://www.cyber-rights.org/reports/.

Furthermore, in February 1999, Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) issued a "Report on the Intel PIII Processor Serial Number Feature," written by Dr. Brian Gladman, (http://www.cyber-rights.org/reports/intel-rep.htm) criticised Intel for introducing security features on the new Intel PIII chip without adequate or timely public consultation. The report called for a change in policy for such features, which should in future involve open consultation on time scales which allow concerns about their operation and use to be resolved. This report was followed by the publication of the "Could New Chip Privacy and Security Measures Tie Users’ Hands?" in July 1999, a joint effort by Mr. Nicholas Bohm, E-Commerce Policy Adviser for CR&CL(UK), and Dr Brian Gladman, Technology Policy Advisor for CR&CL(UK).

CR&CL(UK) continued to produce responses to various consultation papers during 1999 (see for a full list, http://www.cyber-rights.org/reports/) and during 2000, the organisation spent a lot of time and produced several submissions in relation to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

A submission to the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union by Sub-Committee B (Energy, Industry and Transport) on e-Commerce: Policy Development and Co-ordination in the European Union, was made in May 2000 (http://www.cyber-rights.org/reports/crcl-hl.htm) This was published in the House of Lords Select Committee Fourteenth Report entitled E-Commerce: Policy Development and Co-ordination in the EU, August 2000.

Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) is regularly consulted by the national and international media and quoted in the New York Times ("Major Court Decisions Will Shape the Internet in 1999," January 1, 1999), the International Herald Tribune ("On-Line Censors Stepping Up Activity," December 24, 1998) and The Sunday Times ("Big Brother chip faces boycotts," 31 January, 1999).

Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) covers such important issues as the regulation of child pornography on the Internet and UK Government’s encryption policy. The organisation provides up-to-date information related to free speech and privacy on the Internet. Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) is a member of various action groups on the Internet and also a member of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign (see <http://www.gilc.org>) which has over 30 member organisations worldwide and advocates ‘allowing on line users to encrypt their communications and information without restriction.’

Policy Issues and Special Sections

Crypto Policy and Privacy pages Regulation of Child Pornography on the Internet Interception of Communications Enfopol and Echelon Freedom of Information Files Section
European Union Watch Official Secrecy and Cyber-Censorship Reports and Publications Broxtowe Case, 'The JET Report' and related materials
UK Police Ban of Newsgroups  CR&CL(UK) CensorWare pages Domain Name Policy Pages Documents, Case Reports and other publications of Interest
ISPs and Privacy Concerns Freedom of Expression and Cyber-Censorship Issues

Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) is a member of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign since April 1997.

We support the Campaign for Freedom of Information for a Freedom of Information Act within the UK

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