Nick Charlton

ORGCon 2012

On Saturday, I was at the Open Rights Group Conference at the University of Westminster in London. It was a very good day, full of interesting talks from the likes of Cory Doctorow, Wendy Seltzer and Laurance Lessig. It was the first time I’ve seen these talk in person (Lessig was notably impressive - especially with his slides.) Below are some of the notes I made.

Cory Doctorow: The Coming War on General Purpose Computing

This was about the progression towards specific computers - not ones which can crunch any numbers that you throw at it, but tailored and locked down to a specific purpose.

This talk was an updated version of a previous one, and also an article on BoingBoing.

Wendy Seltzer: Organising for the Open Net

Panel: Is all this data doing us any good?

This session was a panel, with Chris Taggart of OpenCorporates, Rufus Pollock (of Open Knowledge Foundation) and Heather Brooke (who worked on uncovering the MP’s expenses scandal). It was split into questions, but some notes ended up merged into others.

Who are ”we” empowering?


Opening Up Data

Ross Anderson: How Secure is the Anonymisation of Open Data?

This session was given by Ross Anderson, a Security Professor at Cambridge Computer Lab. It mostly focused upon medical data, and the information than can be inferred from disparate data sets.

Mozilla: Do Not Track

My initial thought with this was about it’s “opt-out” nature and requirement that organisations implement it at their end. The well-behaving organisations are likely happy to be involved and implement it - but they’re probably already not doing crappy things with data collected from our browsing sessions.

You can read more about Mozilla’s Do Not Track Project here.

The Upcoming Data Protection Act Changes

Laurence Lessig: Recognizing The Fight We’re In

Lessig is a fantastic speaker. This talk was an outcry to release how important the fight for which the ORG stands for is. It spreads from the model of spectrum allocation for managing radio standards to corruption in modern politics.

You can watch the video of Lessig’s talk here.