12 Apr 2018

We are looking for a new Executive Director

By Kirsten Fiedler

European Digital Rights (EDRi) is an international not-for-profit association of 35 digital human rights organisations from across Europe. We defend and promote rights and freedoms in the digital environment, such as the right to privacy, freedom of expression, and access to information. This job announcement is part of the upcoming leadership change and transition that we are currently preparing for.

The Executive Director provides overall leadership and management of the strategy, policy, resources, operations and communications of EDRi. The Executive Director is responsible for the management of the organisation and all aspects of its operations. S/he should be deeply committed to the organisation’s values and mission and drive forward a joint vision for the organisation in line with the organisation’s objectives. While the Executive Director is not expected to be a specialist in specific operations (campaigns, fundraising, HR, administration, finance, etc), s/he has a sufficient grasp of all domains to ensure that staff members can achieve their objectives and that they and the EDRi members can work well together to achieve the organisation’s mission.

We are an equal opportunities employer with a strong commitment to transparency and inclusion. People from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply and we strive to have a diverse and inclusive working environment.

Job title: Executive Director
Start date: 1 July 2018
Reports to: Board of Directors, the Executive Director’s work is evaluated by the Board on a yearly basis.
Line-manages: policy, advocacy, campaigning, communications, fundraising and organisational support.
Scope: staff members 7, annual budget of approx. 800k euro.


1. Leadership, organisation mission and strategy

  • steer the organisation in its learning, growth and development
  • provide leadership and management for the organisation
  • lead strategic planning processes
  • implement strategic plans and ensure rigorous evaluation
  • prepare general assemblies (GAs) and attend in an advisory capacity
  • support the Board, and prepare quarterly financial and narrative reports
  • formulate annual objectives for all work areas and evaluate them
  • represent the organisation at events
  • support development of policy strategy and taking of tactical decisions

2. Financial sustainability and oversight

  • prepare the yearly budget, oversee expenditure
  • oversee and contribute to the raising of funds from foundations corporations and individual donors
  • maintain good relations with donors and oversee reporting to them
  • oversee fiscal management operating within the approved budget
  • ensure that sound bookkeeping and accounting procedures are followed
  • ensure that the organisation complies with relevant legislation and grant contracts

3. Organisation operations

  • ensure the implementation of Board decisions
  • ensure that the Board is made aware of all matters requiring a Board decision
  • inform the Board of all developments of major significance to the organisation
  • hire staff members,
  • oversee internal human resources policies and ensure staff retention,
  • provide oversight of all staff and organise weekly meetings with staff,
  • foster effective team work and establish a positive work environment,
  • set up and evaluate the individual objectives with staff members,
  • undertake regular one to one meetings with all staff,
  • undertake annual appraisal and identify training needs and opportunities for staff, in order to develop their skills and ensure they do the same with the staff or interns/trainees they oversee,
  • sign contracts and other agreements on behalf of EDRi,
  • give or refuse final approval for any unforeseen use of resources.


  • A bachelor’s degree or higher
  • senior management experience would be a plus
  • solid, hands-on financial and budget management skills
  • strong organisational abilities, especially for planning, delegation and project management
  • ability to develop and convey the vision of EDRi’s strategic future to staff, Board, network and donors
  • ability to build trusted relationships with, and to collaborate with and oversee all staff
  • knowledge of EU policy-making processes
  • knowledge and/or experience in understanding the NGO sector
  • awareness and knowledge of the EU’s political environment
  • knowledge of the digital rights field and affinity with EDRi’s values and mission,
  • knowledge and/or experience in the field of human resources management
  • knowledge and/or experience in fundraising unique to nonprofit sector
  • knowledge and/or experience in conflict resolution
  • public speaking skills
  • ability to interface and engage EDRi’s main stakeholders


  • Passionate, idealistic, enduring, team player, diplomatic, discreet, patient, mission-driven, self-directed, and committed to knowledge-sharing and high-integrity leadership.


  • fluency in written and spoken English,
  • fluency in written and spoken second language (ideally French or Dutch),
  • strong written and verbal communication skills,
  • budgeting (oversight, presenting, monitoring),
  • knowledge of free and open source operating systems and software are a plus.


To apply please send a maximum one-page cover letter and a maximum two-page CV (only PDFs are accepted) by email to julien.bencze[at]edri.org. Closing date for applications is 3 June 2018. Interviews with selected candidates will take place around mid-June, with a start date of (ideally) 1 July.


10 Apr 2018

We urgently need a policy intern to join our team of superheroes!

By Diego Naranjo

European Digital Rights (EDRi) is an international not-for-profit association of 35 digital human rights organisations from across Europe. We defend and promote rights and freedoms in the digital environment, such as the right to privacy, freedom of expression, and access to information.

Join EDRi now and become a superhero for the defense of our rights and freedoms online!

The EDRi office in Brussels is currently looking for one intern to support our policy team. This is your opportunity to get first-hand experience in EU policy-making and contribute to a change in favour of digital rights and freedoms across Europe. The selected candidate should be able to start as soon as possible. The contract will last until 21 July 2018. The internship is paid 750,- EUR per month.

Key tasks:

  • Research and analysis on data protection, privacy, copyright;
  • Monitoring international, EU and national related policy developments;
  • Organising and participating in meetings and events;
  • Assisting with writing of the EDRi-gram newsletter;
  • Assisting with preparing draft reports, presentations and other internal and external documents;
  • Assisting with preparing communication tasks;
  • Development of public education materials;
  • Find out more about internships at EDRi.


  • A demonstrated interest in and enthusiasm for human rights and technology-related legal issues;
  • Good understanding of European decision-making;
  • Experience in the fields of data protection, privacy, copyright would be an asset;
  • Excellent research and writing skills;
  • Fluent command of spoken and written English;
  • Computer literacy.

How to apply:

To apply please send a maximum one page cover letter and a maximum two page CV in English and only in .pdf files (other formats – such as doc and docx – will not be accepted) to diego.naranjo(at)edri.org.

We are an equal opportunities employer with a strong commitment to transparency and inclusion. People from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply and we strive to have a diverse and inclusive working environment.

The closing date for applications is 27 April 2018 but we will select candidates as soon as possible as we receive their submissions. Please note that due to scarce resources, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

10 Apr 2018

Stop the #CensorshipMachine!


In September 2016 the European Commission proposed a controversial Copyright Directive that, if accepted, will threaten our freedoms online.

The European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) is set to vote on the issue in June, and your action is needed to stop the “censorship machine”!

What can you do?

See the list of JURI Committee members and follow the instructions on savethememe.net to contact an MEP through the free calling tool.

Don’t know what to tell them? Use our script to have a few speaking points at hand when you make the call!

#CensorshipMachine – How will the decision be taken? (19.03.2018)

Time to stop the #CensorshipMachine: NOW! (30.11.2017)

The Civil Liberties Committee rejects #censorshipmachine (21.11.2017)

Proposed internet filter will strip citizens of their rights: Your action is needed! (28.03.2018)

Copyright reform: Document pool

Our Freedom of Speech Is Threatened by the European Copyright Proposal – Here’s How

Say No to Online Censorship in Europe! (09.03.2018)

5 Devastating Effects of the EU’s Copyright Proposal (29.03.2018)


06 Apr 2018

Fundamental Rights Agency report: The risks from biometrics and EU IT systems

By Intern

On 27 March 2018, the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) published a report entitled “Under watchful eyes: biometrics, EU IT systems and fundamental rights” . The report analyses the impact of technologies used for immigration and security purposes on the right to privacy and data protection.

Currently, three large-scale IT systems relying on biometric data exist in the EU: an asylum, a migration-management and a internal security system . In addition to this, there are advanced plans to set up three new systems for security and border management purposes. Furthermore, legislative proposals have recently been tabled by the European Commission to make these systems interoperable by creating a common search portal and by establishing a common repository with core biographic data of individuals whose data is stored in the different IT systems. The FRA report specifically analyses how large-scale IT systems and interoperability impact fundamental rights enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The FRA argues that use of large-scale IT systems presents both risks and opportunities for fundamental rights. On one hand, these systems allow for more robust and timely protection in the field of immigration and security, preventing identity fraud and theft. However, since individuals whose data are stored in large-scale IT systems are in a weak position (think of migrants or asylum seekers), there are many risks for fundamental rights.

First, these systems do not always provide information in an understandable and transparent manner. According to FRA researchers, individuals are not always fully informed about their data being processed and even in case they are, they face difficulties understanding how it is processed. In order to solve this, the FRA has issued three opinions emphasising the need to provide information that covers “all purposes of the data processing and must include information on the subjects rights, in an understandable and transparent manner”.

Second, industry needs to ensure the protection of fundamental rights when designing new solutions. As the state of the art of technology determines the options that the EU and its Member States have when creating new systems, industry and scientific research play a major role when coming up with technical solutions. Therefore, according to FRA, experts on personal data protection should be involved when designing new solutions, to make sure the principles of data protection are embedded in these technologies by design and by default.

Third, these systems need to have strong safeguards to prevent unlawful access to data. The use of IT systems to control irregular migration and to fight crimes and terrorism raises the risk of data being used for purposes not initially envisaged. The risk is even higher with interoperability between IT systems. Therefore, when personal data isbeing processed, the purposes of the processing have to be specified and explicitly defined. In FRA’s opinion, safeguards should be put in place to ensure lawful access to data stored in IT systems in the field of asylum and migration.

Fourth, sharing personal data with third (i.e. non-EU) countries can present risks for persons in need of international protection. In its opinion, the FRA suggests that Member States must “take measures to prevent information that a third-country national has lodged a claim for international protection from being shared with third countries”.

A careful evaluation needs to be done in order to assess the impact that law enforcement authorities access to data stored in IT systems may have on fundamental rights. Most of EU IT systems contain data about individuals who are not suspected of having committed any crimes. Therefore, the FRA suggests that the EU and its Member States should carefully assess the impact that law enforcement access to data stored in IT systems in the field of immigration may have on fundamental rights. The EU legislators should make sure that the “cascade system” safeguards, obliging Member States to first consult national databases linked to criminal investigations before consulting EU IT systems, is retained.

Data quality needs to be ensured. Mistakes in the IT systems used in the field of asylum and migration management can have damaging consequences for individuals. FRA research identified some inaccuracies. Therefore, in order to improve data quality, the FRA suggests that the Council of the EU should “continue to put data quality issues on the agenda to promote the implementation of best practices. FRA also suggests that EU Member States should involve the persons whose data are collected and used in verification procedures”.

Finally, rights of individuals need to be ensured. This means ensuring the effective exercise of the right of access, correction and deletion of personal data. Even though data quality issues are recurrent, complaints about incorrect or unlawful data use are rare. This demonstrates a lack of awareness and understanding of how to exercise the right of access, correction or deletion of inaccurate stored data. Furthermore, this may be exacerbated if IT systems are made interoperable. In this respect, the FRA suggests that EU Member States should raise people’s awareness on their right to access their personal data and that simplified procedures to access, correct and delete personal data should be put in place.

Under watchful eyes – biometrics, EU IT-systems and fundamental rights (28.03.2018)

EU wastes no time welcoming prospect of Big Brother databases (15.05.2017)

Norway introduces forced biometric authentication (26.07.201)

Swedish border control becomes a privacy nightmare for travellers (13.01.2016)

(Contribution by Margaux Rundstadler, EDRi intern)


04 Apr 2018

AptiRo, EFN & Alternatif Bilisim: Digital rights around Europe


Alternative Informatics Association (Alternatif Bilisim)

The Internet Ungovernance Forum, co-organised by the Turkish EDRi member Alternative Informatics Association (Alternatif Bilişim)  was a collective victory in many ways. Held in parallel with the controversial Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul in September 2014, it had symbolic value for Internet freedoms, giving inspiring input with contributions from celebrity technologists as well as renowned experts.

Association for Technology and Internet (ApTI)

Romanian EDRi member Association for technology and Internet (ApTI) led public debates regrading controversial proposals from the Romanian government and the Romanian Intelligence Agency (SRI) regarding the right to privacy. The public debates and actions led to four decisions in the past ten years by the Romanian Constitutional Court that agreed with the organisation’s position.

Electronic Frontier Norway (EFN)

The Norwegian EDRi member Electronic Frontier Norway (EFN) made its breakthrough in national media around 2001-2002 thanks to the “DVD Jon” court case. Jon Lech Johansen was sued and arrested for decrypting a DVD copy control system to view DVDs on the Linux operating system and for writing the programme that enabled the availability on the internet. EFN advocated for his acquittal and full redress.

2015 Internet Report on Turkey released (24.02.2016.) https://edri.org/2015-internet-report-on-turkey-released/

New data protection law in Turkey (20.04.2016.) https://edri.org/new-data-protection-law-in-turkey/

State of emergency worsens digital crackdown in Turkey (16.11.2016) https://edri.org/state-of-emergency-worsens-digital-crackdown-in-turkey/

Icing on the cake: Romanian cybersecurity law unconstitutional (28.01.2015.) https://edri.org/romanian-cybersecurity-law-declared-unconstitutional/

Romania: After PNR, a proposal for retention of tourist data (09.09.2015.) https://edri.org/romania-after-pnr-a-proposal-for-retention-of-tourist-data/

Romania: Culture Ministry rallies copyright lobbyists (24.01.2018.) https://edri.org/romania-culture-ministry-rallies-copyright-lobbyists/

Norway: no more court cases for DVD-Jon (15.01.2004.) https://edri.org/edrigramnumber2-1dvdjon/

Member Spotlight: Electronic Frontier Norway (23.08.2017.) https://edri.org/member-spotlight-electronic-frontier-norway/




04 Apr 2018

Modern Poland Foundation: protecting access to culture and knowledge

By Modern Poland Foundation

Modern Poland Foundation, EDRi’s member organisation from Poland, is working for the protection of open access to culture and knowledge. This article highlights their most notable successes.

The Modern Poland Foundation built the most popular Polish free online library Wolne Lektury  which has gained an audience of 5,7 million users. Since its launch over 4400 literary texts were published. Tools for digitizing and releasing books in various formatsand via mobile applications, an OPDS catalog, the OAI-PMH protocol and its open API are constantly being developed. All of the software is freely available under the GNU AGPL licence. The library hosts public domain works, edited and adapted for the modern audience, as well as contemporary works acquired for distribution under free licenses.

Between 2012 and 2015, the Foundation was involved in strategic litigation in the area of the public domain. A court decision was sought regarding the term of copyright protection for the works of Janusz Korczak, a Polish-Jewish children’s books author (King Matt the First) and pedagogue. Although his death in 1942 was well documented, some post-WWII laws on missing persons were used to prolong the copyright term of his works to 2017. The court’s decision put an end to this practice, and recognised the Foundation’s reasoning.

Another important intervention by the Foundation was the case of da Vinci’s “Lady with an Ermine”. In 2012, the Polish government paid one million Polish Zloty for using the image of the painting, which is already in the public domain. A FOIA requests was filed by the Foundation to the Ministry of Culture and the Wawel Castle, and brought considerable media attention to the case. The case was used in subsequent interventions in consultations regarding copyright and state involvement in culture.

Within the Prawo Kultury (Law of Culture) project, the Foundation led information campaigns and educational activities on the topic of copyright. These activities included:

  • running a social campaign “I have the right to…” aimed at raising awareness in the area of copyright and to educate the general public about their freedoms regarding limitations and exceptions specified in copyright law
  • organising the annual CopyCamp  conference about copyright since 2012 with the aim of fostering a balanced and multi-sided debate about copyright in its political and social contexts.
  • offering a copyright law help desk
  • helping citizens understand copyright and free licences by running an information website, including a comprehensive guide on copyright
  • organising trainings for non-governmental organisations, public institutions, businesses as well as for artist and student groups
  • editing and publishing a textbook for first year university intellectual property classes together with ready to use slides for download and use by university teachers, under a CC-BY-SA license
  • regularly publishing texts (including translations) crucial to the debate on the shape and changes to the copyright law (including such international authors as: Philippe Aigrain, Eben Moglen, Cory Doctorow)
  • hosting a research project “Right to Culture: Future Scenarios” for the development of scenarios for future creation, sharing and use of culture and the assessment of its impact on the state of society, culture, education, creative sector and copyright system in Europe in the perspective of 2040.

Commission claims that general monitoring is not general monitoring (10.01.2018) https://edri.org/commission-claims-that-general-monitoring-is-not-general-monitoring/

Is anti-plagiarism software legal under EU Copyright legislation? (29.11.2017) https://edri.org/is-anti-plagiarism-software-legal-under-eu-copyright-legislation/


04 Apr 2018

IT Pol: Activism made it to the museum

By IT-Pol

In 2005, Danish EDRi member IT-Political Association of Denmark (IT-Pol) successfully advocated for a resolution (B-103) for open standards in IT systems used by the government, which the Parliament adopted unanimously.

In 2007, IT-Pol produced a Linux Live CD containing the Tor anonymity network software combined with encryption and privacy tools (similar to Tails today), that was used in the campaign against the Danish implementation of the Data Retention Directive. While campaign itself was not successful, the CD Polippix gained media attention. A Danish trade union for IT professionals distributed the CD to its members. The distribution of the CD was criticised by the Minister of Justice but nevertheless, years later the CD is still on public display in the Danish Telecoms Museum.

In 2013, a proposal to introduce e-voting (trials) in Denmark was dropped after public criticism from IT-Pol and other organisations at an expert hearing in the Danish Parliament.

No anonymous Internet usage in Denmark? (29.06.2011) https://edri.org/edrigramnumber9-13anonymous-internet-denmark/

Denmark: Our data retention law is illegal, but we keep it for now (08.03.2017) https://edri.org/denmark-our-data-retention-law-is-illegal-but-we-keep-it-for-now/

Denmark allows massive retention of location data for mobile internet (28.06.2017) https://edri.org/denmark-allows-massive-retention-of-location-data-for-mobile-internet/



04 Apr 2018

Wikimedia: A licence for success

By Wikimedia Deutschland

In 2014, EDRi member Wikimedia created guidelines on recommended standard licences, datasets and charging for the reuse of public sector information documents – while they are “only” guidelines, they contain strong rules. Wikimedia is now trying to make them the basis for the upcoming reform of the Directive on Public Sector Information (PSI Directive).

Moreover, Wikimedia worked for the new copyright exception in Belgium, freedom of panorama. The same exception was also added to the Armenian copyright law and is now discussed in the Ukrainian, South African, Swedish and European parliaments.

Recent contributions by the organisation to the defence of digital human rights include:

  • Wikimedia switched its sites from http to https, which had the effect that all articles are now available in Iran (which was blocking some before that).
  • Wikimedia is currently suing the NSA over surveillance and the court ruled that we have “legal standing” (a first small victory).
  • Wikimedia celebrated a court decision in Germany about leaving the birthday of a public figure in the article (which might be considered good or bad, depending where one stands).

French intelligence wants Wikipedia to delete online content (10.04.2013)

Swedish Supreme Court rules against Freedom of Panorama (6.04.2016)



04 Apr 2018

SHARE Foundation: Sharing Serbian successes

By SHARE Foundation

SHARE Foundation is a Serbian non-profit organisation founded in 2012, with the goal to fight for the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights.

In November 2016, EDRi member SHARE contributed to derailing a Draft Strategy on Intellectual Property 2016-2020 by the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development. The proposed document contained measures such as the removal of “disputed” websites, without distinguishing different types of the content, it proposed seizures and takedowns of domain names of websites facilitating copyright infringement, collecting data on transactions from online payment service providers and online advertising providers, seizing of property, and so on. It also included plans for an intelligence database for information regarding locations and suspicious persons, accessible to all state institutions authorised to enforce “intellectual property” rights. SHARE Foundation gathered civil society, the IT and startup community, cultural and scientific institutions, entrepreneur associations and media organisations to stand against this draft, which was not adopted in that form.

In November 2015, the Ministry of Justice presented a problematic Draft Law on Personal Data Protection. It proposed a very wide range of possibilities to access citizens’ personal data without adequate control mechanisms and failed to regulate numerous forms of personal data processing, such as video-surveillance, biometric data processing, and direct marketing. The Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection, together with SHARE Foundation and civil society, media and human rights organisations heavily criticised the draft, which was eventually dropped. In late 2017, the Ministry of Justice published a new Draft Law on Personal Data Protection for public discussion, based on the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In late 2014, a proposal to amend the Gambling Law was introduced in the National Parliament of Serbia. It contained a provision which would compel Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block access to gambling websites which did not have permission of the Serbian Gambling Administration to provide gambling services. Had it been adopted, this provision would effectively introduce national internet filtering, with numerous consequences for internet freedoms. SHARE Foundation wrote a legal and technical analysis of this dangerous legislation and called all relevant actors to join the fight against the proposed amendments. The Government of Serbia soon pulled the proposal from the parliamentary procedure.

In December 2014, in the biggest personal data leak in history of Serbia, names and unique personal identification numbers of more than five million citizens of Serbia, almost entire adult population, were publicly available on the official website of the Privatization Agency of Serbia. SHARE Foundation found out about the database, notified the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection, and the access to the database was promptly disabled. After the database had been disabled, SHARE Foundation notified the public in order to prevent further abuse of personal data.

During public discussions on new media laws, SHARE Foundation proposed that social networking pages and profiles, personal websites, blogs, forums and other online platforms are not considered media by law, unless they willingly register as media in the Media Registry, kept by the Agency of Business Registers of Serbia. Law on Public Information and Media, adopted in 2014, Article 30, paragraph 2 specifically states that “…media, in the sense of this law, are not: platforms, such as internet forums, social networks and other platforms which enable free exchange of information, ideas and opinions of their members, nor any other independent electronic publication, such as blogs, web presentation and similar electronic presentations, unless they are registered in the Media Registry, in accordance with this law.”

Member in the spotlight: SHARE Foundation (19.04.2017) https://edri.org/member-spotlight-share-foundation/

SHARE Foundation honoured with a certificate of gratitude (8.02.2017) https://edri.org/share-foundation-honoured-with-certificate-gratitude/

Info warfare in Serbia: The hidden hand of internet interventionism (30.11.2016) https://edri.org/info-warfare-serbia-hidden-hand-internet-interventionism/

Online freedoms in Serbia still under threat, analysis shows (27.08.2014) https://edri.org/online-freedoms-in-serbia-still-under-threat/



04 Apr 2018

ISOC BG: Big speeds, Big Brother, big Bulgarian activism

By Internet Society Bulgaria

Bulgarian EDRi member Internet Society Bulgaria (ISOC Bulgaria) organised several Big Brother Awards, in cooperation with the Access to Information Programme. By spreading the word about abuse of privacy and digital rights, they managed to raise awareness in the country among a broader audience.

In 2012, its member of the Board Dimitar Ganchev published an article “We may be planting potatoes, but we have the fastest Internet”, in which he criticised the European Commission regarding the inaccuracy of their data on Bulgarian internet connectivity.

ISOC Bulgaria was also part of a number of European ISOC chapters to address the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) (read more here and here), and was part of the movement against Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

Big Brother Awards 2013 Bulgaria (13.02.2013) https://edri.org/edrigramnumber11-3bba-bulgaria-2013/

Update ISOC Bulgaria (09.02.2005) https://edri.org/edrigramnumber3-3bulgaria/

ISOC Bulgaria criticises report US Trade Representative (02.06.2005) https://edri.org/edrigramnumber3-11isoc/