Digitalcourage supporters are the best.

Doing some more freelancing: Last week, I organised a supporter survey for Their crowd is impressive: More than 1/4 of their members replied to the survey. Less surprising: They really don’t like google, facebook amazon et al.

For me this was a good opportunity to learn some new statistic coding skills (RMarkdown is just the best!)

If you want to use some of those skills, let me know. Right now, I have some time on my hand.

Working with Investigate Europe

Nice: I just agreed with Investigate Europe that I’ll do several weeks worth of consulting with them over the rest of the year to build up their small donor fundraising.

How to fund high-quality journalism is one of the key strategic questions of our societies, so I am happy to get some first-hand experience. – And doing this with this amazing project and impressive and lovely team is just great. .

30C3: Glenn Greenwald’s keynote speech

Glenn Greenwald’s keynote at the Chaos Communications Congress in Hamburg was quite impressive. I found listening to it quite worthwhile, and highly reccomend it.

Some of Greenwald’s points I found particularly interesting:

How can we fight back against surveillance?

Greenwald discusses four main avenues how the surveillance state can be pushed back (my comments in italics).

  1. Public debate leading to legislative changes through the US Congress.
    Although, this is probably the option most mentioned, Greenwald doesn’t see a lot of chances that this will really change something. He mentions several examples where Congress’s and the administration’s reaction to public outrage was completely symbolic.
  2. A group of like-minded countries comes together and fights effectively back against US surveillance. Legally and/or technologically. He finds this much more likely.
    I’d say that mostly depends on the amount of pressure we can excert on our governments.
  3. US internet corporations might feel economic costs of their collaboration with the US government, and fight back.
    This is a very interesting thought. It’ll only work if consumers start to look more closely into their internet-related companies and boycott those, that, e.g., freely share their customer’s data with the US & UK gov. However, my experience with friends and colleagues has been that the understanding for the importance of this act is still very limited. 
  4. In the end, Greenwald says, the most important battle is the technological one. It’ll depend on the quality and integrity of software like TOR, OTR, PGP to determine how much freedom & privacy will still be possible on the internet.
    Greenwald of course strongly appeals to the Hacker’s conference’s audience. However, he does have a very important point.

One other very notable element of his talk is the surprising reluctance of media to believe that intelligence and law enforcement agencies will lie about their methods – although they have been proven to do it again and again.

Click on more to see the audio files. Continue reading 30C3: Glenn Greenwald’s keynote speech

The next months I’ll be fighting @ for renewable energy in Germany

One of the weakest points of the new German government is to slow down the transition to renewable energy and the growing support for the interests of the coal industry. However, there is still hope that the coalition agreement is vague enough that its consequences could be significantly ameliorated.

Continue reading The next months I’ll be fighting @ for renewable energy in Germany

Analysis of the Green Defeat in the 2013 Federal Elections

Here I copied a very interesting text from Ralph Obermauer about the Green’s defeat in this year’s election.

His main thesis is that the editorial departments of the most relevant media where opposed to the comparatively radical 2013 election platform of Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen.

Worthwhile reading!  – However, only available in German. :(.

Continue reading Analysis of the Green Defeat in the 2013 Federal Elections

Free again.

There is a major change in my professional life; I am free again for new challenges and opportunities.

The job at SumOfUs has emerged as something very different than I anticipated. I learned a lot there and I think SumOfUs is a very interesting project, and I wish them lots of success. However, it is currently definitely not the place where I want to work. This is partly due to the style of campaigning and partly due to the American organizational culture.

So now I have time again to read interesting articles, to attend conferences, to do something with friends to moderate events, to advise projects and organizations, …

In the coming months I will search my political project for the coming years. I am open to suggestions and ideas!

Why a blog?

There are two main reasons for me now to write / blog on my own website:

  1. Whoever wanted to know what I am doing, had to look at my facebook page. Most of its content is public, but I wanted to make it possible for people to read about me without giving their data to facebook. Equally important, I want to keep control over my own content – irrespective of future changes of facebook’s policies.
  2. I am looking for a new job/mission/task. It became clear that the work at SumOfUs was not what I imagined when I decided in May to change away from Doctors without Borders.