Digital rights group hits support milestone

The Open Rights Group has found 1,000 contributing individuals to help protect civil liberties in the electronic age

A thousand people have backed the Open Rights Group, a recently formed collective of digital rights campaigners, which may be a sign of growing public concern about the improper use of data.

The Open Rights Group announced on Thursday that it has received 1,002 pledges of support from individuals — including journalists, politicians and activists. The list includes Cory Doctorow, European affairs coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Each individual agreed to pay £5 per month to the Open Rights Group, as long as 999 other people signed up as well. The 1,000 mark was reached earlier this week.

Suw Charman, executive director of the Open Rights Group, said the amount of support illustrated that the awareness of digital rights has grown considerably in the UK. "It shows there is a real concern among the UK population about digital rights issues," she told ZDNet UK.

The money pledged will go towards funding events, campaigns and part-time employees and interns, she added. "It's really important that we have funds available so we can achieve the goals we set ourselves," she said.

The Open Rights Group is based in London, and aims to increase awareness of digital rights issues and to preserve civil liberties. It was founded in September 2005.