I just read an interesting piece at Bloomberg: The Hackers Russia-Proofing Germany’s Elections »
It’s about the German Chaos Computer Club – CCC – and its fight for a free, open democratic society with a free flow of information. At the end, member Jan Krissler is quoted saying…
»All the stuff will happen in the end.«
He then adds »Maybe I’m too skeptical about our influence.«
The looming questions. Are they winning? Are we losing? If so, what will the consequences be? Is it already too late to fight Big Brother?
For decades I have in one way or another been into politics and communication. One thing that I have learned is that you must be ridiculously persistent. You will be fed up repeating the same arguments over and over again – to people who are not interested or do not want to understand. They will ignore you, they will laugh at you and they will fight you.
Then you win. It has been done before. When the Internet stopped ACTA is one of a number of very real victories in the EU. It’s all about leaving your comfort zone – and give what it takes to win. Again. And again.
Because we must! A modern, slightly superstitious, politicized, high-tech Big Brother state will be insufferable. Orwell, meet Kafka.
This is about the power balance between citizens and the state. This is about upholding fundamental human rights. This is – ultimately – about democracy. And it is for real.
Bigbrotherism tends to be irreversible. When mass surveillance is in place, it is very hard to undo and will inevitably be followed by more. When civil rights are restricted, they might be lost forever. And we have absolutely no idea about who will be in power in the future. But it’s highly likely that – sooner or later – it will be some pretty nasty people. (As if today’s politicians aren’t scary enough.) Please, do not leave them tools of oppression and total control.
So, losing is not an option.
To win, I believe that we must stand on strong and unrestrainable principles. The UN, EU, and Council of Europe declarations on human rights. The fundamental pillars and the deeper values of liberal democracy. What the Germans (who learned the hard way, twice) call »Rechtstaat«. Division of power. Openness.
It must be commonly known that there is an ongoing battle, where peaceful activists passionately are defending democracy – and politicians and bureaucrats are trying to restrict it. This image must be reflected in the media and in the public mind.
Remember that action is the most powerful way to communicate – and necessary for anything to happen at all.
Trying to repress Democracy must come at an extremely high political price. If we don’t draw a red line, our overlords will find that there are, actually, no real limits to their power. (And having power over others does unfortunate things to people.)
Fight fair, endure, stand on a few exceptionally strong principles – and you will eventually win.
Finally, we cannot have all these different fights over and over again. This must come to some sort of horizontal, binding resurrection of privacy, civil rights and freedom of information.
(And whatever you do, do not allow politicians to »modernize« our existing human rights conventions. These should be very imposing and inconvenient obstacles – to prevent governments from doing whatever they want.)
Take this fight to national politics. Confront politicians and their functionaries. Give the media a wake-up-call. And let’s make all of this an Issue at the European elections – as much of today’s Bigbroterism originates in the EU.
May the Force be with you.