Campaign for Error Code Transparency: Q&A with Open Rights Group

CGCS sat down with Ruth Coustick-Deal from the UK-based Open Rights Group (ORG) to discuss the civil society group’s new 451 Unavailable Campaign. 

What are the Open Rights Group (ORG) and the 451 Unavailable Campaign?

ORG is a UK digital rights campaigning organisation, founded in 2005, who works to defend civil liberties and human rights in the digital sphere. We campaign on issues such as freedom of expression, privacy and open government.

The 451 project is a response to one of these threats: the censorship of the Internet. It aims to increase transparency around what is blocked online and why, and help people challenge that blocking. We created our 451 campaign to create an internationally recognised error code, for legal blocks, which is known to help provide full information on blocking and to create an international expectation of good practice and transparency. We intend to put an end to secret blocking lists and to raise awareness of online censorship.

The project is very much in the early stages but we have already been successful in obtaining court orders in the UK related to one of the copyright cases. We’ve had good support from legal professionals and as the project develops, we’ll be working further with ISPs and other stakeholders.

Has ORG implemented censorship related campaigns in the past?

ORG has campaigned on issues relating to censorship of the Internet since…

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