EDRi-member Iuridicum Remedium (IuRe) organised the Czech Big Brother Awards 2014, which marks the the tenth time the event has been held. The Awards ceremony took place in the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague on 25 February 2015.
The concept of the Big Brother Awards was created by Privacy International in the UK in 1998, and today the awards are given annually in about a dozen countries around the globe. The goal is to draw attention to violations of the right to privacy.
The Czech Office for Personal Data Protection announced a competition for children and youth in the context of the Personal Data Protection Day 2015. Young competitors may write a story, essay, or screenplay, they even may perform the invented story before a camera and produce a film or depict the narration in form of cartoon. Well-read children and youth will have the opportunity to write a text explaining in which book or movie they encountered the issue of privacy and personal data protection or what historic event reflects, in their view, privacy protection as a key element, regardless of how the event came off, well or badly.
Although there have been more than seven rounds of negotiations between EU, USA and Canada, the position of the Czech Government is somewhat uncertain. Based on several announcements and notes from government officials, the position seems to be rather positive. However, an official platform for discussion or information campaign has yet to be established. So far the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade, which is responsible for this agenda, issued only a few news announcements informing about achieved results. The ministry only passively seeks for invitation to any debates regarding both agreements.
In this perspective a Czech NGO Iuridicum Remedium joined the European STOP TTIP initiative. Iuridicum Remedium addresses issues of blanket infringements on individual rights in the fields of Social Exclusion; Human Rights and Technologies; and Human Rights and Public Administration.
While some other EU countries already react on the ECJ decision on abolishing the European Commission Directive 2006/24/EC on data retention by preparing steps towards abolishing their respective transpositions of laws in their national legislative, the Czech Republic seems to head in the opposite direction. The Czech police officials call for enhancing the data retention regulation. One of the novelties is that the Czech police want to have an access to data on the IP address and port of the target point of the connection. Moreover, there is no news that the politicians or government are in preparation of any amendments of the Czech data retention law or even appeal to the Czech constitutional court.
On 28 May, the Czech National Convent on the European Union made several recommendations for the area of the European Digital Agenda. Among others, the National Convent recommended to dedicate Digital Agenda policy to only one agency, to remove obstacles to cross-border online trade as quickly as possible, to adhere to the principle of digital by default, and to have open-source software requirement as a standard component of tenders. The recommendations and background paper are available in English at the end of this page.
A new bill that allows blocking gambling websites without a licence in the Czech Republic has been passed through the Czech Chamber of Deputies. The bill is in now the Senate who can suggest changes but these can be overridden by the Chamber of Deputies. Besides traditional reasoning of regulation’s opponents, the bill is controversial because the black list of websites will be created and maintained by decision of the Ministry of finance and not by the order of court.