A tale of three cities: practitioners from London, Berlin and Amsterdam share their views on digital rights litigation in Europe

By Nani Jansen Reventlow, 9th November 2017

This summer, we started asking digital rights litigators and activists in Europe what they were working on and how DFF could support it.

What are the most pressing issues in digital rights and which of them can potentially be addressed through litigation? What threats and opportunities should we anticipate in the future when it comes to digital rights and how can we address them? What can DFF do to make good things happen for digital rights in Europe?

The individual conversations we had over the past months showed a committed and passionate field of organisations and individuals who – while differing in approach and emphasis of their work – shared a deep dedication to advancing digital rights in Europe, be it in the area of privacy, copyright, data protection, or other. There also was a clear wish to increase collaboration and information sharing across the field.

Last week, we visited London, Berlin and Amsterdam, where we asked local activists to share their views with us over a beverage. This yielded further insights in how we might all work together, on which issues, and how DFF could facilitate that.

In London, the conversation went deep into the issue of government surveillance and into the GDPR; what might the new EU Directive mean and what could possible strategies for both advocacy and litigation look like?

In Berlin, we discussed what could be considered a “good” or a “bad” court case and how litigation tied in with other efforts such as public campaigning and targeted lobbying. The Amsterdam conversation focused on the different funding models that would be helpful to the community, how to connect litigation with academia, and ways to encourage pro bono support from commercial law firms.

Numerous good ideas were floated and we look forward to further exploring with you what DFF’s priorities should be in the short, median and longer term. We will continue engaging with the digital rights community over the coming months, but please don’t wait for us to ask questions to share your views – get in touch with us.