Joi Ito in Japan has recommended this report about privacy issues. It has special sections describing the situation in different parts of the world, including Europe. The European section seems like a really good overview of what’s going on here. I haven’t read it in detail, but it seems like a comprehensive overview. Be sure to post or email Joi with your comments on it, as he hopes to get the funding in place to revise the report on a yearly basis.
The Department of Justice has gone off and gotten a report written about how they should sort out the Irish law on defamation. Basically, defamation is when you say something bad about someone that you can’t prove to be true. At the moment, it is very easy to sue anyone involved (the writer, the newspaper, the publisher, even the newspaper seller) for defaming you. You can win big damages. It’s a big problem on the Internet, especially for people (like Tom Murphy at boards.ie) who run online mailing lists or discussion boards.
Basically, the idea is that a wide group of people spontaneously show up at a single spot. They hang around for 10 minutes or so, then scatter again. The whole thing is organised by email or sms. Like all the best things in life, there’s no profound point to it, it’s just for fun.
After the ISOC Ireland executive meeting last night, I happened to meet up with some of the boards.ie cabal. As you may know, boards.ie is one of the biggest websites in Ireland, with close on 3 million page accesses/month and more members than you can shake a stick at, and is run on a completely voluntary basis.