Bits Of Freedom is an independent Dutch digital rights foundation, which focuses on privacy and communications freedom in the digital age. The foundation protects the right for privacy and the right to communications freedom in the Netherlands. Bits of Freedom started in 2000 and had a break between 2006 and August 2009 due to lack of funding. On August 14, 2009, Bits of Freedom continued its activities with funding provided by the Internet4All Foundation.
Bits of Freedom organizes the Dutch version of the Big Brother Awards, initiated European cooperation between digital rights watch foundations in European Digital Rights (EDRI) and collects information about data leaks in the Netherlands to raise awareness of the potential dangers of increasing collection of data.
The Multatuli Project, subtitled ISP Notice and take down, was the title of an experiment done by members of the Bits of Freedom group in the summer of 2004.The group uploaded excerpts from Multatuli to websites hosted at 10 different Dutch ISPs, content which has been in the public domain since 1957. They then sent a complaint about the content from a Hotmail account posing as a legal advisor to the 10 ISPs; seven of them complied and removed the site, one within just three hours, without investigating the legality of the matter, or asking questions about the dubious background of the requester.
To raise awareness of privacy-related issues, Bits of Freedom holds annual Big Brother Awards. This prize is awarded to businesses, governmental institutions and persons who have harmed privacy or increased civilian surveillance in the past year. The award is named after the character "Big Brother" from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four .
The winners of the Big Brother Awards 2011were the National Police Services Agency (in the category "governmental institutions") for the use of spyware and hacking of hacking victims, minister Edith Schippers (in the category "people") for forcing a restart of the Dutch Electronic health record, in spite of it not being supported by the Netherlands Senate, Facebook (in the category "business") for going to the stock market without safeguards for user privacy and finally minister Fred Teeven (in the category "popular vote") for further harming privacy legislation.
The Chaos Computer Club (CCC) is Europe's largest association of hackers with 7700 registered members. It is incorporated as an eingetragener Verein in Germany, with local chapters in various cities in Germany and other German-speaking countries. Since 1985, some chapters in Switzerland have organized an independent sister association called the Chaos Computer Club Schweiz (CCC-CH) instead.
XS4ALL is the sixth-oldest Internet service provider (ISP) in the Netherlands, after NLnet, SURFnet, HCC!hobbynet, Knoware and IAF. The name is a play on the English pronunciation of access for all. XS4ALL was the second company to offer Internet access to private individuals, since 1993. Founded in 1993 as an offshoot of the hackers club Hack-Tic by Felipe Rodriquez, Rop Gonggrijp, Paul Jongsma and Cor Bosman, while based in Amsterdam. Initially only offering dial-in services via modem and ISDN, today it offers dial-up access as well as ADSL, (bonded) VDSL, and fiber-optic (FTTH) services as well as mobile internet.
The Information Commissioner's Office in the United Kingdom, is a non-departmental public body which reports directly to Parliament and is sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It is the independent regulatory office dealing with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 across the UK; and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and, to a limited extent, in Scotland.
Freedom of information is an extension of freedom of speech, a fundamental human right recognized in international law, which is today understood more generally as freedom of expression in any medium, be it orally, in writing, print, through the Internet or through art forms. This means that the protection of freedom of speech as a right includes not only the content, but also the means of expression. Freedom of information is a separate concept which sometimes comes into conflict with the right to privacy in the content of the Internet and information technology. As with the right to freedom of expression, the right to privacy is a recognized human right and freedom of information acts as an extension to this right. Lastly, freedom of information can include opposition to patents, opposition to copyrights or opposition to intellectual property in general. The international and United States Pirate Party have established political platforms based largely on freedom of information issues.
Center for Democracy & Technology(CDT) is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen individual rights and freedoms by defining, promoting, and influencing technology policy and the architecture of the Internet.
Privacy International (PI) is a UK-based registered charity that defends and promotes the right to privacy across the world. First formed in 1990, registered as a non-profit company in 2002 and as a charity in 2012, PI is based in London. Its current executive director, since 2012, is Dr Gus Hosein.
Digital rights are those human rights and legal rights that allow individuals to access, use, create, and publish digital media or to access and use computers, other electronic devices, and telecommunications networks. The concept is particularly related to the protection and realization of existing rights, such as the right to privacy and freedom of expression, in the context of digital technologies, especially the Internet. The laws of several countries recognize a right to Internet access.
Electronic Frontier Finland (Effi) is a Finnish on-line civil rights organization founded in 2001 by Herkko Hietanen, Ville Oksanen and Mikko Välimäki. It had about 1 600 members at the end of 2014. While not formally affiliated with the U.S.-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, the two organizations share many of their goals. Effi is a member of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign and a founding member of European Digital Rights (EDRi).
European Digital Rights (EDRi) is an international advocacy group headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. EDRi was founded in June 2002 in Berlin by ten NGOs from seven countries. In March 2015, the European Council adopted a proposal that may compromise net neutrality, a major concern of EDRi.
Source protection, sometimes also referred to as source confidentiality or in the U.S. as the reporter's privilege, is a right accorded to journalists under the laws of many countries, as well as under international law. It prohibits authorities, including the courts, from compelling a journalist to reveal the identity of an anonymous source for a story. The right is based on a recognition that without a strong guarantee of anonymity, many would be deterred from coming forward and sharing information of public interests with journalists.
The Internet in Serbia is well developed. The Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Serbia is .rs and .срб. (Cyrillic)
The Winston Smith Project is an informational and operational project for the defence of human rights on the Internet and in the digital era. It was started in 1999 as an anonymous association and it is characterised by the absence of a physical reference identity.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is an international non-profit digital rights group based in San Francisco, California. The foundation was formed in July 1990 by John Gilmore, John Perry Barlow and Mitch Kapor to promote Internet civil liberties.
Graduated response is a protocol or law, adopted in several countries, aimed at reducing unlawful file sharing.
La Quadrature du Net is a French advocacy group that promotes digital rights and freedoms of citizens. It advocates for French and European legislation to respect the founding principles of the Internet, most notably the free circulation of knowledge. La Quadrature du Net engages in public-policy debates concerning, for instance, freedom of speech, copyright, regulation of telecommunications and online privacy.
Internet censorship in South Africa is a developing topic.
The Clean IT Project is an online project initiated by the European Union, aiming to reduce or discourage online terrorism and further illegal activities via the internet. They aim to create a document that commits the internet industry to help governments discover content that incites acts of terrorism. The main facilitators that undertook this project were the Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium, and Spain. There are many more supporting EU members such as Hungary, Romania, and recently, Italy, but the main countries that have started the project are the 5 listed above.
On June 4, 2012, the Netherlands became the first country in Europe and the second in the world, after Chile, to enact a network neutrality law. The main net neutrality provision of this law requires that "Providers of public electronic communication networks used to provide Internet access services as well as providers of Internet access services will not hinder or slow down services or applications on the Internet".
Journalists rely on source protection to gather and reveal information in the public interest from confidential sources. Such sources may require anonymity to protect them from physical, economic or professional reprisals in response to their revelations. There is a strong tradition of legal source protection internationally, in recognition of the function that confidential sources play in facilitating 'watchdog' or 'accountability' journalism. While professional journalistic practice entails multi-sourcing, verification and corroboration, confidential sources are a key component of this practice. Without confidential sources, many acts of investigative story-telling—from Watergate to the major 2014 investigative journalism project Offshore Leaks undertaken by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)—may never have surfaced. Even reporting that involves gathering opinions in the streets, or a background briefing often relies on trust that a journalist respects confidentiality where this is requested.
This list of Internet censorship and surveillance in Europe provides information on the types and levels of Internet censorship and surveillance that is occurring in countries in Europe.