Bürgerrechte, Datenschutz, German Politics, politics, privacy

Informationskontrolle

Ich erinnere mich,  daß ich es etwas kontraintuitiv fand, als ich im Skript zu einer Vorlesung über Organisation und Informationstechnologie die Aussage fand, daß Technologien, die Freiheit schaffen können, genauso zu ihrer Abschaffung eingesetzt werden können. Das war natürlich ein paar Jahre vor einem, hoffentlich nicht freudschen, Versprecher des Bundesinnenministers bei seiner Rede auf den 3. Berliner Medientagen.

„…und inzwischen eröffnen nun Computer und Internet ganz neue Austausch- und Informationskontrolle, äh, kanäle über die Grenzen hinweg.“

Hat tip Fefe. Und bei Youtube gibt es einen Ausschnitt aus der Phönix-Übertragung der Rede mit Bild, Ton, und anschwellendem Gelächter im Publikum.

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Bürgerrechte, Datenschutz, German Politics, politics, privacy

mini-he

Dieter Wiefelspütz, innenpolitischer Sprecher der SPD und einer der Hauptverhandlungspartner von Innenminister Wolfgang Schäuble in Bezug auf das nun wohl an einer fehlenden Mehrheit im Bundesrat scheiternde neue BKA-Gesetz hat laut der Süddeutschen zu Wolfang Schäubles Vorschlag, doch einfach die Abstimmungsregeln im Bundesrat zu ändern, wenn das gewünschte Ergebnis nicht zustande kommt, folgendes bemerkt –

SPD-Innenexperte Dieter Wiefelspütz erklärte dagegen, er könne sich mit dem Vorschlag „inhaltlich durchaus anfreunden“, kritisierte aber den Zeitpunkt der Veröffentlichung. „Wenn er aus tagesaktuellen Erwägungen gemacht wird, merkt jeder die Absicht dahinter“, sagte er Spiegel Online.

Nicht, daß noch irgendwer „die Absicht dahinter“ erkennt…

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Datenschutz, privacy

Google Chrome has a unique ID.

Apparently, just as Google Desktop Search, Google’s new browser, „Chrome“, has a unique ID. That basically means that if you are using chrome with any other Google service, like GMail, Google will be able to create a personalised history of browsing. According to Golem.de, Google say they don’t that. But they could. Easily. If you don’t want that, and there are important, very important reasons not to want it, don’t use Google chrome unless Google changes this ID policy. I will only use it locally to ensure cross browser compatibility for my webpages if it gains some non-trivial market-share. Luckily, the layout engine is based on WebKit, so there won’t be too many bad surprises in that respect.

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German Politics, privacy

Noch ein Schäuble-Klassiker

Via netzpolitik.org ein Clip, der wohl heute morgen im ARD-Frühstücksmagazin gelaufen ist. Dort gibt es eine Rubrik names „Kinderreporter“. Heute befragten die Kinderreporter Politiker zum Thema Überwachung. Am Ende des kurzen Beitrags mache ich mir vor allem Sorgen über die technische Kompetenz derjenigen, die für die gegenwärtig anstehehende Kodifizierung grundsätzlicher technischer Fragen des menschlichen Zusammenlebens verantwortlich sind. Und natürlich stelle ich mir die Frage, ob man von der Antwort des Innenministers Wolfgang Schäuble auf die Fragen der mit einer Minikamera spielenden Kinder („Wir wollten Ihnen mal zeigen, wie es ist, wenn man überwacht wird oder ausspioniert.“) auf sein Menschenbild bzw. Demokratieverständnis schließen kann.

“Wir tun aber die Leute nicht ueberwachen und ausspionieren. Nur wenn es ganz schlimme Boesewichter sind, wo die Polizei hingucken muss, aber so brave Kinder wie ihr ueberwachen wir nicht.”

Hier ist das Video –

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Bürgerrechte, Datenschutz, Political Theory

This is winning.

Via netzpolitik.org, I find a commentary by Rop Conggris about the new fundamental right to „privacy and integrity of information processing systems“ which was defined last Wednesday by the German Constitutional Court – Today, we’re all Germans.

„It would of course have been even nicer if the Germans had actually managed to elect a government that didn’t attempt to trample their most basic rights to begin with. But then constitutions are there as a safety-net for precisely this eventuality. They are written because the framers realized that when it comes to governments, shit (such as in the form of oppressive laws) sometimes happens.

So the people of Germany seem to be successfully defending themselves against their government. What’s wrong with the rest of the world? There have been plenty efforts in many other countries to defend the notion of privacy, but the Germans have simply been provided with better and sharper tools for defending themselves. Their sharpest tool by far is this federal constitutional court. Without it, I fear Germany would have long been in the same sorry state as my own country. I hope all Germans realize that the judges and support staff that make up this court are the one single thing that stands between today’s Germany and a police state.“

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Datenschutz, German Politics, Germany, internet, privacy

„The privacy and integrity of information processing systems“

Striking down state (Land) legislation from Nordrhein-Westfalia that allowed the use of trojan software to spy on individual’s computers, the German constitutional court (Bundesvrfassungsgericht) has derived from the fundamental legal premises of the German constutiton a new basic right to „privacy and integrity of information processing systems“ (my quick and dirty translation). As a basic right, it can only be infringed given very specific circumstances – in this case, the court explicitly mentioned „specific“ threats to the life and liberty of individuals, or „concrete“ threats to the state.

It will obviously depend on legislative interpretations of the court’s ruling to see whether it’s possible to speak of a „loophole“ in the basic right, as Spiegel Online English does. My guess is not, as politicians will not want to get slapped in the face by the Constitutional Court again, and the court will rule on two more privacy related cases soon.

While the court’s ruling will have to be studied in detail to understand its intentions more clearly, this is clearly a landmark decision with respect to the question of how to balance the state’s desire to gather information to protect its citizens and ensure the rule of law with the citizens‘ right to privacy.

The Chaos Computer Club’s Andreas Bogk’s, who serves as an expert at the court, likenes the verdict to the census ruling in 1983, which derived a basic right to informational self determination and paved the way for privacy protection legislation.

Netzpolitk.org (German) has everything and then another link and quote regarding the verdict and the unfolding media coverage.

Some more links in English – BBC, WSJ, Bloomberg.

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Bürgerrechte, Datenschutz, German Politics, internet, privacy

Stasi 2.0 – DEMO IN WIESBADEN

Der Flyer sagt eigentlich alles. Aus der Ankündigung –

„Parallel zur Großdemonstration in Berlin initiiert der Chaos Computer Club Mainz einen Protestmarsch in der Hessischen Landeshauptstadt Wiesbaden. Gemeinsam wollen die Demonstranten zeigen, dass sie nicht mit der “Sicherheits”-Politik hierzulande einverstanden sind. Sie Protestieren gegen den Bundestrojaner ebenso wie gegen die Vollprotokollierung der gesamten innerdeutschen Kommunikation.“

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internet, privacy

The un-googleables of bygone days.

After reinstalling Windows, I just reattached a hard drive with a few hundred scanned childhood picturs and watched Picasa index them. At some point I started googling the names of some of the people on the pictures I haven’t been in touch with for at least a decade, only to find that Google is usually totally oblivious of their existence, which, to my own surpise, surprised me.

So I’m wondering – has it already become unusual to not have a googleable online identity?

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technology

Alpha Geeks

Tim O’Reilly of the O’Reilly Network gave a keynote address titled Watching the „Alpha Geeks“: OS X and the Next Big Thing at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in May this year. It was a speech about the concept of watching, well, Alpha Geeks‘ [first in the digital foodchain ;-)] and hackers‘ personal hard- and software innovations and analysing these as „weak signals“ to catch a glimpse of the technological future.

One example he referred to was the story of a hacker-slash-developer, who is using speech synthesis (a basic version of which is included in WindowsXP) to listen to chatroom discussions while coding. O’Reilly concludes:

„Now I’ll guarantee that lots of people will routinely be converting text to speech in a few years, and I know it because the hackers are already doing it. It’s been possible for a long time, but now it’s ripening toward the mainstream.“

Ripening towards the mainstream? Get this: the furture is here already. Last week an older (and I’m talking 45 here, at least!) guy at my gym asked me about my mp3 player. Today he showed me his new iPod-like acquisition, which even includes a small (but optically magnifiable) screen to watch video.

But his main interest, he told me, is to listen to scientific documents while running on the belt. I am slightly impressed, I have to say. When’s the last time you listened to a .pdf-file at 13 km/h?

I guess running will lose the reputation to free your head rather quickly now…

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