ENDitorial: Dutch NGO Bits of Freedom resumes its activities

By EDRi · August 26, 2009

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Deutsch: [ENDitorial: Niederländische NGO Bits of Freedom nimmt Aktivitäten wieder auf | http://www.unwatched.org/node/1502]

When EDRi was established, its founders recognized that co-operation
between European digital rights organisations was essential for the
effective protection of digital civil rights in the years ahead. EDRi
would in the subsequent years indeed come to serve as an important
framework for this co-operation.

One of these founders was a Dutch digital rights organization called Bits of
Freedom (BoF). Not only has it helped establishing EDRi, but
it was also one of the first digital rights organisations in Europe.

Thus, it was highly unfortunate that Bits of Freedom announced in August
2006 that it would cease most of its activities. Both full-time
employees decided to leave, and the continuing uncertainty about financing
led to the conclusion that a relaunch at that time was not possible.

Of all the reasons which led to this conclusion, the lack of work was not
one, however: “a bottom-up civil rights movement in the Netherlands
seems more necessary than ever”, one of the former directors of Bits of
Freedom wrote in the EDRI-gram at that time.

Now, exactly three years later, we are happy to announce that Bits of
Freedom resumed its activities this month. A substantial initial grant
by the Dutch foundation Internet4All allows Bits of Freedom to start
again defending Dutch civil rights in the information society.

Bits of Freedom will focus on protecting privacy and communications
freedom in a digital age. It will do so by influencing government policy
and self regulation, not only on a national, but also on a European level.

And when doing so on a European level, Bits of Freedom still is convinced
that co-operation between European digital rights organisations remains
an essential part of effectively defending freedom in a digital world.
Bits of Freedom strives to make a meaningful contribution to that
co-operation in the years to come.

The new executive board of the foundation consists of Doke Pelleboer
(former CEO of Dutch ISP XS4ALL), Joris van Hoboken (researcher at the
University of Amsterdam) and Karianne Thomas (attorney at the Dutch law
firm Van Doorne). The organisation will be led by Ot van Daalen (former
attorney at the Dutch law firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek).

Bits of Freedom website

Press release on re-launch of BoF (only in Dutch, 14.08.2009)

EDRi-gram: End of activities Bits of Freedom (2.08.2009)

(contribution by Ot van Daalen, Director EDRi-member Bits of Freedom –