Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow

July 2, 2013

Monday July 1, 21:40 UTC

One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.

On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic “wheeling and dealing” over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.

This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.

For decades the United States of America have been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.

In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised – and it should be.

I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.

Edward Joseph Snowden

Monday 1st July 2013

Source (www.guardian.co.uk)

Europe and the EU need to offer political asylum to Edward Snowden now if we still care about Democracy!

And once more the most important part of the statement above:

In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised – and it should be.


Keeping this blog and my online media: JMStV v2010 stopped in NRW!

December 16, 2010

As netzpolitik.org reports the JMStV v2010 was unanimously stopped in NRW today. This is very good news for free speech and free access to information in Germany. As previously reported the consequences for bloggers, webmasters, artists and (new media) investors would have been pretty devastating with the JMStV v2010 in place.

So sanity has prevailed after all. It also seems that politicians are finally starting to understand the dynamics of the net and what the online generation can contribute to that ongoing experiment we call Democracy.

It still remains to be seen how a future version of the JMStV will be drafted and what it might look like: anyone planing an online project in Germany is well advised to follow closely all developments leading towards a JMStV v2011…

See also Scheitern des JMStV ist ein Sieg der Vernunft (ak-zensur.de)

Update:

See also JMStV vor dem Aus (www.heise.de/tp) for a critical look at the way the JMStV v2010 was drafted. The article basically says that the process was not an open one and that old media (TV) and its close ties to politics had a lot to say. Some of the comments to the article also question the motivation for stopping the JMStV and suggest mainly tactical reasons.

There are lessons to be learned for everyone, that seems pretty clear to me. For me personally one lesson is: even if you live in a supposedly free country like Germany there are certain values like free speech that constantly need to be tested and defended if necessary. JMStV v2010 had the potential of destroying (not only) wide parts of the German blogosphere. In the end sanity prevailed, but things could have gone the other way and this is something that I simply had not anticipated in this country in the year 2010. Everyone needs to keep their eyes of vigilance open at all times from now on.


ACTA, EU and WikiLeaks. And showdown for free speech, indie online media in Germany.

December 3, 2010

ACTA, EU and WikiLeaks

Julian Assange answers your questions (www.guardian.co.uk):

Do you have leaks on ACTA?

Yes, we have leaks on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a trojan horse trade agreement designed from the very beginning to satisfy big players in the US copyright and patent industries. In fact, it was WikiLeaks that first drew ACTA to the public’s attention – with a leak.

Recommended reading.

Showdown for free speech in Germany

As previously discussed it does not look good at all for blogging, online indie media, art and free speech in Germany. Next week might already tell if Berlin and Germany will still be a relevant place to be for new media, online art and anyone considering investing time and money in this country:

Berlin: Infoveranstaltung & Entscheidung zum JMStV (www.netzpolitik.org)

JMStV: Emails an Abgeordnete (www.netzpolitik.org)

And there is yet another potentially serious problem for bloggers in Germany, the Leistungsschutzrecht: think of it as software patents for snippets of words. Basically established media will have exclusive rights to certain phrases they “created”. The article says a website explaining the problem will go online in mid-December.

Ein neues Monopol mit irreführendem Namen (www.heise.de)

Update 1: This is related… One wonders if the same might not have happened in Germany in regards to the JMStV…?!

Wikileaks cables reveal that the US wrote Spain’s proposed copyright law (www.boingboing.net)

Update 2: The Wikileaks Copyright Cables: Confirmations Not Revelations (www.michaelgeist.ca)


31.12.10: Closing this blog, taking all my media offline and moving from Berlin…? Reason: JMStV

November 30, 2010

Be it a wicked plan to install some serious online censorship in Germany or simply corruption and incompetence, it now looks like the very controversial German Jugendmedienschutzstaatsvertrag (JMStV) may well be signed soon and could become binding law from January 1st, 2011 on. Blogs machen wegen neuen Jugendschutz-Regelungen dicht (www.heise.de)

The legal hoops for a small blog like mine with self produced media content (incl. links and “making available for free download” of my own feature film Vincent, 44 min., 16mm > 35mm blow-up, made in Austria in 1996/2003) seem too complicated, expensive and for sure too risky to take without legal advice, that I now seriously ponder about doing the following:

* remove my indiworks.wordpress.com blog
* remove my indiworks.blip.tv videoblog
* remove all my online videos from the Internet Archive (incl. Vincent and His Girl Friday – Between the lines edit (www.archive.org) as well as all my 3D shorts)

and

* move from Berlin/Germany to another EU country where I find political sanity and understanding of new media/online art/blogging etc.

If you happen to be a new media investor, blogger, artist, film maker etc. planning to move to Berlin/Germany (as I did in 1999) because you’ve heard of a vibrant, off-mainstream (online) art/media scene:

* you may want to think twice now and keep a close look at the events unfolding in the days and weeks to come and opt for another location than Berlin/Germany for your investments and business to be

* it may well be that we now only have 31 days left until a de facto censorship law will make it easy for (big media) lawyers to either get rid of your work or to force you into classifying your work with a (from) “18″ (years on) label

I do hope that EU commissioner Neelie Kroes (and her staff), who recently held a vibrant speech for a copyright reform (europa.eu) will recognise these established media tactics for what they are: force indie content provider (self made, original works!) to shut down distribution of their e.g. Creative Commons licensed works using laws like the Jugendmedienschutzstaatsvertrag (JMStV) that is really only going to be there to help big media widen it’s existing monopoly-like position.

Not only copyright law needs to be reformed but Europe also needs to protect art and artist from hidden censorship like the German Jugendmedienschutzstaatsvertrag (JMStV).

In other words: even if you are trying very hard to abide to the already very restrictive copyright and “intellectual property” laws (e.g. doing remix works with Public Domain footage like myself) you may still get into expensive legal troubles or have to label your work with only for “18″ in order to be on the safe side. I’d rather move to another country. Thank you very much Greens for betraying us (parlamentarische-zwaenge.de)! Yet another reason for only voting Pirate Party in all future elections!!!

So this in short is why I now soon may have to say:

Goodbye to Berlin

Meine Damen und Herren, Mesdames et Messieurs,

Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome

Im Cabaret, au Cabaret, to Cabaret

Update(s):

see also:

http://t3n.de/news/neuer-jmstv-286977/

http://www.schockwellenreiter.de/blog/2010/11/30/jmstv-und-weiter/

http://yuccatree.de/2010/11/jugendmedienschutz-staatsvertrag-bundeslander-beschliesen-juristisches-chaos-fur-blogger/

http://blog.pantoffelpunk.de/brechmittel/wieder-neue-wahlplakate-der-gruenen-geleakt

http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/netzpolitik/0,1518,732060,00.html

http://www.netzpolitik.org/2010/wider-das-grose-blogschliesen-wegen-des-jmstv/

http://www.netzpolitik.org/2010/jugendmedienschutz-wende-nach-dem-shitstor/

http://www.netzpolitik.org/2010/jmstv-in-berlin-parlamentarische-zwange-auch-bei-der-linken/

http://www.golem.de/1011/79772.html

http://ak-zensur.de/

and some first legal analysis (found via http://blog.fefe.de/):

http://blog.beck.de/2010/11/30/jugendmedienstaatsvertrag-und-altersfreigabe-im-internet

yet more…:

http://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland/2010-11/gruene-nrw-internet-jugendschutz

http://www.testspiel.de/archives/2010/11/30/linksammlung-zum-jugendmedienschutz-staatvertrag-jmstv/ (more links, some listed here some not)

http://berlinnow.org/?p=737

http://www.robertbasic.de/2010/11/jmstv-novellierung-herkunft-und-gruende/

http://www.indiskretionehrensache.de/2010/11/deutschlands-parteien-unwahlbar-eine-wutrede/

http://itspublique.de/archives/8795

and don’t forget:

https://twitter.com/gruenenrw/status/9305356467445760:

Wir sind weiterhin gegen den #JMStV, die Fraktion hat sich aufgrund parlamentarischer Zwänge anders entschlossen.

some more links:

http://pressetext.at/news/101201003/internet-jugendschutz-geht-an-realitaet-vorbei/

http://diepresse.com/home/techscience/internet/614762/Jugendschutz_Deutschland-droht-die-InternetWueste

and not much more to say than that one…

http://www.fischfresse.de/2010/11/jugendschutz-medien-der-neue-jmstv-satire-jugendmedienschutz-staatsvertrag/

31.12.10: Closing this blog, taking all my media offline and moving from Berlin…? Reason: Jugendmedienschutzstaatsvertrag (JMStV)

 

Be it a wicked plan to install some serious online censorship in Germany or simply incompetence or corruption, it now looks like the controversial German Jugendmedienschutzstaatsvertrag (JMStV) may well be signed next Thursday and could become binding law from January 1st, 2011.

 

The legal hoops a small blog like mine with self produced media content (incl. links and making availabel for free download of my own feature film Vincent, 44 min., 16mm > 35mm blow-up, made in 1996/2003) seem to comlicated, expensive and for sure risky to take without legal advice, that I now seriously ponder about doing the following:

 

* remove my indiworks.wordpress.com blog

* remove indiworks.blip.tv

* remove all my online videos from the Internet Archive (incl. Vincent and His Girl Friday – Beetween the lines edit as well as all my 3D shorts)

* move from Berlin/Germany to another EU country where I find political sanity and understanding of new media/online art/blogging etc.

 

If you happen to be a new media investor, blooger, artist, film maker etc. planning to move to Berlin/Germany (as I did in 1999) because you’ve heard of a vibrant, off-maistream (online) art/media scene:

 

* you may want to think twice now and keep a close look at the events unfolding in the days and weeks to come

 

* it may well be that we now only have 31 days left until a semi-corporate-fascist supported law will make it easy for (big media) lawyers to either get rid of your work or to force you into classifying your work with a (from) “18″ (years on) label

 

I do hope that EU commisoner Croes, who recently held a vibrant speech for a copyright reform http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=SPEECH/10/619&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en will recongnise the established media tactics for what they are: force indie content provider (self made, original works!) to shut down distribution of their e.g. Creative Commons licensed works because of laws like the Jugendmedienschutzstaatsvertrag (JMStV) that is really only going to be there to help big media widen it’s monopoly like position.

 

In oder words: even if you are trying very hard to abide to the currently already very restrictive copyright and “intelectual property” laws (e.g. doing remix works with Public Domain footage like myself) you may still get into expensive legal troubles or have to label your work with only for “18″ to be on the safe side.

 

Good-by to Berlin

 

Corporate Fascism is about to start in 31 days.

Meine Damen und Herren,

Wilkommen, Bienvenue…

Au Cabaret, au cabaret, au cabaret…

 


Software patents have almost arrived in Germany

May 20, 2010

FOSS patents reports that the German high court declares all software potentially patentable (19.05.10, fosspatents.blogspot.com)

“After a landmark court ruling, the German perspective on the validity of software patents is now closer than ever to that of the US.”

When looking at the financial situation in Europe we should ask ourselves if we can afford these dangerous kind of situations. The H.264 licensing fiasco will probably go on for a while and might cost some (Apple…?) more than they would like to.

Update 1: Bundesgerichtshof ebnet Weg für Softwarepatente and BGH-Urteil zu Softwarepatenten stößt auf viel Kritik (www.heise.de)

Now what if political instability (due to the financial situation in Europe) is the next thing…? If my to be founded company will suffer in the future thanks to this (I live in Germany) I will remember that it were Microsoft’s FAT patents that brought us to this. Will those people ever learn? Will they ever be held responsible for their greed? This is the second time within a few weeks that Microsoft’s actions/patents are potentially threatening my future as an independent artist/filmmaker (first the H.264 licensing fiasco and now this).

Update 2: The discussion on Slashdot German High Court Declares All Software Patentable (yro.slashdot.org)

Entry for this particular patent, Xa ZB 20/08 (a Siemens patent), in the End Software Patents Wiki (en.swpat.org)

The part that worries me: (from the second http://www.heise.de article above)

“So gehen sie etwa bei der “Verbesserung des Kontrastes” eines Bilds oder bei der effizienteren Aufteilung von Arbeitsspeicher durch eine auf einem Computer laufende Software von einem “technischen Effekt” aus, der schutzwürdig sein könne.”

In short this basically says that enhancing the contrast of an image might be “a technical effect” that could be patentable…

Seems like an invitation to patent trolls, maybe from the video codec department…? At least we’ll have a very public discussion about why one would (not) want to use an H.264 camera…!

From a comment on http://www.heise.de (user B-E-N):

“Er hat, was es Computersoftware betrifft, ein
Urteil im Sinne von “Alles unter der Sonne ist patentierbar”
getroffen. Damit sind wir selbstständigen Softwareentwickler und
kleinen Firmen im Abmahnland Deutschland juristisch gesehen tot,
beziehungsweise alle mit einem Bein im Knast. Der gesamte Kampf um
die Softwarepatente in Europa ging gestern für das größte und
wirtschaftlich bedeutendste Land der Union verloren.”

The user basically says that now “anything under the sun” could be patented, de facto a legal disaster for all small shops/software developers.

On a personal level this is just extremely disappointing, and having followed patent troll cases on Slashdot for the last ten years or so I now also have to consider the options of:

* leaving the country

* going back to analogue film/video

or

* changing profession and

* becoming an atheist monk in the Himalayas

Well done ladies and gentlemen from all those institutions/companies/corporations in this world that hold patents on software, well done!

You made my day.


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