2017 was a long year – for most working in the human rights sector, but particularly for digital rights.
In our second year of operations, we launched a national awareness project in our ‘Get a VPN Day’ to draw attention to the introduction of Australia’s mandatory metadata retention scheme, ran events at festivals, universities and institutions and made several detailed submissions to both domestic and international bodies on key digital rights issues.
The continued operation of the mandatory metadata retention scheme became the focus of our work as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival, where we put Professor Gillian Triggs’ personal metadata footprint on display for all to see.
The fight to save encryption looks to become our battleground for the year ahead, with the Australian Government determined to push ahead into a very worrying area of law enforcement that threatens to destroy the viability of encrypted technology for all of society. Rest assured that Digital Rights Watch will continue to hold the line against this.
We were also sad that 2017 saw the departure from the Australian Senate of Senator Scott Ludlam, a tireless advocate for digital rights and privacy.
There is still much to be done to ensure that there is an understanding, respect and willingness to act when it comes to digital rights in Australia, but we’re committed to continuing that work, in partnership with others in the human rights space.