big brother

Freiheit statt Angst - Demo against the current Surveillance and Data Retention madness, October 20, Bielefeld, Germany



This demo is initiated and backed by a number of organizations in Germany, among others the Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung, Chaos Computer Club e.V., FoeBuD e.V., STOP1984, Attac AG Wissensallmende, Indymedia Germany, and the German Pirate Party.

Place: Bielefeld, Germany (exact meeting place)
Time: 15:00 o'clock on Friday, October 20, 2006
Motto: Freiheit statt Angst (Freedom instead of fear)

Goals and Demands

  • Reduce the pervasive surveillance in Germany!
    No public video surveillance, no automatical face-recognition, no data retention, no RFID and biometry in passports, no "Lauschangriff" etc.
  • In-depth investigations of current surveillance laws by independant organizations/experts!
    Find out how effective (or rather not!) currently implemented surveillance laws have been, and what their downsides, problems, and dangers are for democracy in Germany.
  • Stop all plans for further surveillance laws!
    Any further surveillance laws, "anti-terror"- or "security"-laws must be halted immediately! Their implications are extremely dangerous for privacy and democracy in Germany!

Materials: Banners, flyers, mottos for transparents and more are available in the wiki of the site. Donations are possible and welcome, too.

Demo participants can visit the Big Brother Awards 2006 right after the demo (for free).

If you value your privacy and democracy in this country, now is the time to speak up and let the whole world (and especially the German politicians) know! This surveillance-madness has to stop!

EU adopts Big Brother data retention directive, ignores industry and civil society [Update]

Heise (and many other sources) report that the EU parliament has voted for the abysmal data retention directive, simply ignoring objections from the industry and the civil society.

The EU has turned into a police state where more than 450 million citizens are treated as criminals by default now! 1984 is a joke compared to this. We're all fucked! Bigtime!

Please, someone go out and sue the shit out of the fucking idiots who are responsible for this kindly remind the responsible politicians that this directive is a really bad idea!

Update 2005-12-15: OK, so I might have overreacted. My first answer to the accusations would probably be (abusing an unrelated quote from Jonathan McDowell): "I exaggerate for effect". But honestly, while it's not as bad as 1984, I really do think that this law will bring us all a big step nearer to a 1984-type horror scenario.

(via netzpolitik.org)

EFF cracks the DocuColor Tracking Dot code

If you haven't yet read about it, some printer brands place tiny, almost invisible yellow dots on every page you print. These dots encode certain information (date, time, printer serial number, or similar things). I think you can easily imagine the security and privacy implications. The EFF has now cracked the DocuColor Tracking Dot code.

They have also written a program which decodes the dot patterns. The code is released under the terms of the GPL.

(via Boing Boing and CCC)

Paranoid? I'm not paranoid! Which of my enemies told you this?

Scary, funny, and old, but this ACLU pizza ordering video makes you start to think. For example, it makes you start to make an educated guess at how much of this is already possible today. I'm not liking the results of my guess...

(via 37signals)

Cell Phone Tracking Paranoia

Nothing really new for most of you, but still some good food for thought:

Cell tower records can pinpoint a phone owner's location for police, whether the phone is used or not.

Cell phone trails snare criminals, call or no — a nice article which tells us that several murderers were convicted using (among other things, I guess) cell tower records. Police could often pinpoint the location of the accused within a few blocks and thus "prove" they were lying in court about their location at a given time (i.e., their alibi was smashed).

Of course, this is not a reliable method in all cases. A murderer could give someone else his cell phone to create an alibi in the first place. I can easily imagine lots of other ways to abuse this.

While probably useful in some cases, this is pretty scary stuff. Authorities can track where you are at a given time, and where you are going in realtime. Combine this with Google Earth and you've got some pretty Big Brother style surveillance. This is inacceptable in general, but even more so if performed without probable cause (as has happened already). The EFF has some more information.

Issues like this always make me wonder whether I'm too paranoid or not paranoid enough...

(via Bruce Schneier)

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