Our Fight the Good Fight featured Internet hero today is Shaun Dakin, CEO & Founder at the National Political Do Not Contact Registry (NPDNC) and the source for news on privacy and privacy conferences worldwide.
In 2009 he founded a series of un-conferences called PrivacyCamp based on the barcamp model and open space technology. Today, PrivacyCamp has evolved to become the world’s primary event for business, academia, advocates and policy folks to get together to discuss privacy-related issues. In this capacity he runs the weekly #PrivChat, a Twitter discussion on privacy that takes place every Tuesday at 12:00 PM EST on Twitter.
In 2007, he started The National Political Do Not Contact Registry (non-profit) to fight for voter’s privacy rights and to alert the nation on political robocalls. Under his leadership, within the space of a year, the organization advanced to over 85,000 members.
Shaun is a very busy guy in the realm of privacy. In an email exchange we asked him a few questions about his involvement with PrivacyCamp, #PrivChat and the National Political Do Not Contact Registry.
You run a series of PrivacyCamp “unconferences or barcamps on privacy”; could you please describe what an unconference is?
Imagine showing up to an event with NO IDEA what the day’s agenda will look like ? Not easy for many people to do. But that is exactly what occurs and it is magic. -PrivacyCamp
Shaun: Sure! An un-conference is the opposite of a traditional curated and powerpointed event where there are key note speakers, panels, powerpoint, and people sitting listening to experts. Instead, an un-conference is simply an event where the agenda is created by those that attend and the conversation is driven by all those that choose to.
Imagine showing up to an event with NO IDEA what the day’s agenda will look like? Not easy for many people to do. But that is exactly what occurs and it is magic.
A Camp is usually a single day starting at 9 AM through 5 or 6 PM. The format is:
- Opening remarks and introductions (3 word introductions)
- Call for “topics” from participants where they stand up and say what they are interested in talking about or learning.
- The creation of the “grid” or the day long agenda
- Session one
- Session two
- Session three
- Wrap Up
- The After Party !
If you are interested in learning more about UnConferences, this is a great website: http://www.unconference.net. We are always looking for people to start one in their own city! You can also follow PrivacyCamp on Twitter.
Could you explain what Twitter #privChat is all about?
Essentially, however, a twitter chat lasts for 45 minutes and anyone in the world with access to twitter (via computer or mobile phone) can participate. -#PrivChat
Shaun: Sure! Every Tuesday at Noon ET we host (with the Electronic Privacy Information Center ) a chat or conversation about privacy issues using Twitter as the channel for communication. More details about the chats can be found at our website.
Essentially, however, a twitter chat lasts for 45 minutes and anyone in the world with access to twitter (via computer or mobile phone) can participate. We have participants from the US, Canada, Asia, and the EU contribute every week.
The format is pretty simple:
- We start off with introductions so that people know who is participating (if they want to do so)
- We then have four (4) questions that have been suggested by the twitter privacy community during the previous week. Each question is given approximately 10 minutes for discussion.
- We will be adding guest “speakers” soon to the format. When that occurs, guests will be approximately 20 minutes and then the regular Q and A will move forward after the guest is done.
- That is it!
If you are interested in seeing what we discuss, please check out our website at https://epic.org/privchat/ where the latest set of questions are located as well as a history of questions and transcripts from each week. We also have a Google Calendar set up so that people can subscribe to the calendar and never forget to attend!
Most Americans are outraged when they hear that Politicians wrote the DoNotCall legislation to specifically exempt political calls. -Shaun Dakin
As CEO and founder of the National Political Do Not Contact Registry what is your stance on robo-calls?
Shaun: I firmly believe that voters deserve the right to opt out of unwanted political communications, with robocalls being the worst offender. That is, like commercial organizations, political organizations, candidates and special interest groups should follow the wishes of most Americans who sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry.
Most Americans who register at DoNotCall.gov want all telemarketing to stop. Most Americans are outraged when they hear that Politicians wrote the DoNotCall legislation to specifically exempt political calls. It is yet another example of politicians thinking that they are above the rest of us.
So, to be clear, I am NOT calling for the banning of any form of political speech. I am calling simply for voters to be given the right to opt-out of political robocalls. If the voter raises their hand and says that they don’t want these calls (which they have done with donotcall.gov ) they should expect that their representatives honor that wish.
If you are interested in learning more please visit www.StopPoliticalCalls.org
Shaun Dakin is also Founder of Dakin & Associates and a Consultant at Webbmedia Group. Thanks to Shaun for his contributions to this blog post!