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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
I am trying to link my blog to facebook so that my posts appear (in a readable form) on fb. The plugin “Jetpack” is able to do this, but then I have to give the names of my fb friends to wordpress.com geben.
Is there a more privacy-conscious method?
Yesterday a quote of mine on the Gates foundation in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, today an interview with Deutsche Welle on the same topic. Being without a job doesn’t feel that relaxing yet…
The quote comes across more positively than intended, but “being too cozy with big Pharma” is still in .
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!
There are two main reasons for me now to write / blog on my own website:
- 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.
- 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.