Suspect continent, Stasi 2.0

Posted on:April 30 2007

Maybe you've heard about the British documentary 'Suspect Nation (google video)' which shows how the UK government changed civil liberties laws in the last years to turn UK citizens into suspects, where every step people are doing is being watched and recorded.
It's shocking what's going on there on that isle (Airstrip one, anyone?) But to be honest, that's not my problem. I live in Austria and have nothing to do with that. Right?

Wrong. The problem is that last year, the EU has created the EU Directive 2006/24/EG which now forces every state of the EU to spy on its citizens. Ireland has started a nullity suit against this, but other countries like Germany and Austria are already implementing that directive. How are they going to spy on us? Just like this: For at least six months, they'll store with whom, how long and when you communicated with someone, regardless of the type of communication: email, fixed network, cellular calls, SMS as well as internet phoning. For cellular phones and SMS, they also store where you've been. Anonymizers will be forbidden. So basically, in a country like Austria where fixed network is dead and every austrian has an average of 1.08 cellular phones currently, they can look up what you've done during the last six months. And that's just the minimum requirement for the EU directive, every country may decide to store more data about you, like the websites you've been visiting.

In a constitutional state, they have no right to do this. In a constitutional state, you have a right for privacy. It's not ok that any f*cking fat civil servant may take a look at what I did during the last 6 months. And that's just the beginning, don't think they'll stop there, as statements of some german politicans reveal. And what's even more shocking: I feel like at least in this country, nobody is doing anything against this. In Germany, some small resistance is starting up. But what's with Austria? And the rest of Europe? If you talk to people and ask them about it, they've not even heard about this! WTF. If we don't stop those politicans, we'll soon have something like the Stasi, the secret police of East Germany. So let's do something against it. If you don't know what, maybe you could start with a Stasi 2.0 T-Shirt (german link).


does austria has a constitutional privacy right? i am not familiar with the laws there. If so maybe that could be legal grounds for a challenge...In the USA we have a right to privacy which is *implied* by the bill of rights, but has regardless been generally upheld by SCOTUS. This does seem really out of line. I really have no idea why they abide it in the UK. Wasn't the EU supposed to be mostly an economically-concerned body?? I didnt think it was their purpose to make this sort of law for the nations they represent....
2007-04-30 19:26:00

At least in the EU they are letting you know what they are doing. Dubya et. al. collect the same information in secret, not even content to get permission from an established "secret court".

I really liked the Stasi 2.0 shirt.
Brian C. Ladd
2007-04-30 19:33:00

Sorry to here something like that is happening. buhatkj has a point. Is there any ground in the Austrian Constitution that can challenge it?

The spying sounds to me like what I was reading in one of my history books with the Cheka in 1920s. Spying on their citizens and then secretly get warrents to arrest them.

what is this world coming to?
Jonathan Snyder
2007-04-30 19:41:00

There is ground in the German constitution that could challenge this, and I would bet good money there is similar ground in the Austrian constitution, too. Problem is, that these politicians are also changing (or at least planning to change) the constitution to make this legal. Yes, you heard right. I mean, that is what a constitution is for, right? If you want to pass a law that would be outlawed by the constitution, the constitution needs to be changed.

2007-05-01 13:09:00

IMO this is the price we'll have to pay in this world becoming more and more advanced and complex. Eventually the world will be ruled by a few mighty companies and politicians. Ever since technology becomes available to create such situations, those kinds of situations WILL be created! No matter what happens, we depend increasingly on technology and that technology in turn is controlled by companies and governments, no matter what you do. It's a scary future if you really think about it. Think of RFID, they'll be able to track anything without you even knowing it! Sure, it has good applications, but it has at least as much bad applications as well! The world is shrinking and there's nothing you can do about it. If they don't control you in public, they'll do it without you beeing aware of it.
2007-05-01 13:28:00

Well, if they will be able to control us in that way, it's our fault. Because we let them to do this.
Think just little bit about all of this. Today we have internet and we are all connected in a way we could only dream before. And now, instead to use this wonderful connection between us to get us stronger, we allowed them to get stronger.
Isn't ridiculous that we all have to vote for politicians once in a for year in old fashioned way using a paper? Why do we have internet? We could vote almost about everything on a daily base. We could all stop every bad decision for us they make. And even more, we could participate in a discussions even before decision is made.
All what we have to do is to make a P2P decentralized software which will allow this. At the first stage, this software could be used only for verification. For example, we could check if election results are matching people's votes in P2P network. And we could verify how far or close are they decisions regarding people's opinion.
No matter what they do or say, one day they will have no other choice than to accept such system. After all, we can always vote for a political party which is ready to push such system into parliament.
2007-05-01 20:09:00

Or you could just move out of Austria. Just be careful not to get the government against you - we still want updates to Irrlicht. :D
2007-05-04 13:01:00

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