Lars Trebing

Lars Trebing

Posted on 11/21/2007

Photo taken on November  6, 2007


Surveillance state
Wolfgang Schäuble
Freiheit statt Angst
Stasi 2.0

Authorizations, license

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Privacy is not a crime

Privacy is not a crime
Recently the German Bundestag had to decide about a new law to introduce comprehensive telecommunications data retention in Germany. On Tuesday night before this, there were demonstrations themed »Freiheit statt Angst« (“freedom instead of fear”) in 43 cities and towns in Germany against this big step towards a surveillance state. The one in Munich had about 2,000 participants (officially confirmed) despite the nasty cold and rainy weather. There were also a few speeches by various people (a judge at the Bavarian Constitutional Court; a leader of the local Green Youth section; a member of a big trade union, who somehow missed the point and ranted against capitalism instead; and finally an entrepreneur and member of the liberal party).

It didn’t help much though. Out of 613 Bundestag members, 366 (all of them members of CDU, CSU or SPD) voted in favor of the new law, 156 (including 11 dissenters from those parties) voted against it, 2 abstained and 89 didn’t participate at all.

A constitutional complaint is now being prepared, currently counting over 13,000 participants. Wolfgang Schäuble, the German Minister of the Interior and the leading actor in this “anti-terrorism” surveillance campaign, reached a new peak of impudence when he compared the constitutional complaint with Adolf Hitler: »Wir hatten den ›größten Feldherrn aller Zeiten‹, den GröFaZ, und jetzt kommt die größte Verfassungsbeschwerde aller Zeiten« (“We had the ‘greatest commander of all times’, the GröFaZ, and now we’re getting the greatest constitutional complaint of all times.”) By the way, a way more detailed and substantiated comparison (in German only, sorry) shows frightening similarities between Wolfgang Schäuble and Adolf Hitler. I still hope that Hanlon’s razor applies to this case though.

(This photo is also available on Flickr.)