Positions Wiki



In this list you can find buzzwords for game-changing IT controversies in a semi chronological order. A click on each term shows you possible positions that the different players in society will typically adopt.

Disclaimer: This representation is a work in progress. Of course it’s strongly subjective and certainly not complete. Still  it may be useful as a general overview or as a first hint towards a subject. If you have remarks or interesting links to add, you are very welcome.




Problems <> Opportunities

•••  ••   ••  •••

Ethical conflict potential

!  !!

Explanations, buzzwords, links conservative, economic liberal or autoritarian positions liberal or progressive positions


! Technology inspires ... but shall not be used against us – ca. 1700

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!


See also: Swing Riots After initial scepticism, interesting products, markets and convenient functions are gladly taken up. As long as the traditional economy and the state are not endangered, everything will be fine.

“ A life like 1980, only with iPhone” is a deceptive longing. Some interests of the economy and the state stand in the way of our fundamental right to privacy. The liberal society must be defended by all means – but unfortunately these means are very limited.

Since experience has shown that everything that arises from technological development is used, it is important to find ways of stopping or restricting development worldwide (e.g. in the case of nuclear weapons).

We have no effective access to the progress of technological progress. The focus is on the analysis of benefits and risks.

Dystopies I: Incapacitation through totalitarian control – 1932

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Brave New World, 1984 (Orwell), Minority Report, Black Mirror u.v.a. It’s not gonna come that bad. Just imagine. Experience proves that man is capable of the worst – and so will be technology one day.
Laws of robotics – 1942

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Isaac Asimov et al. Let’s simply do things and see where it leads us! The laws have the right intention, but are being disregarded. See weapon systems, driving assistance, AI etc.
Artificial neuronal networks – 1943

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts describe connections of elementary units with which practically any logical or arithmetic function could be calculated. In 1947, they pointed out that such a network could be used, for example, for spatial pattern recognition. Graphic pattern recognition by AI offers many opportunities today (famous example: more reliable analysis of X-ray images than by doctors). This also results in various problems. See also Facial Recognition, 2011.
RFID – 1948

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Radio-Frequency Identification, technology for transmitter-receiver systems for the automatic and contactless identification and localisation of objects (badges …) or living beings (implant chips). Enormous rationalisation effect welcomed There were protests against the use of this technology, because one can be spied out with it (e.g. as a consumer).
Futorology: Which technology will prevail? – 1950

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!


Soundcloud: Zukunftssymposium Frankfurt (in German)
Vortrag Matthias Horx 

We need standards and planning security.

Controversies in industry are often carried out robustly.


Interaction: On the one hand, consumers are at the mercy of the developing companies, but on the other hand they also decide on success.

Cartels are undesirable, but functioning standards are very welcome.

Virtual reality, virtual embodyment – 1956

•••  ••   ••  •••    !  !!

Computers are increasingly simulating real-world environments. Everything is possible, from walk-in architectural models to telemedicine and role-playing games. In extreme cases it is possible to go beyond the simulated presence to full identification with an avatar (embodyment, immersion).

Soundcloud: Thomas Metzger (in German) 
Part 1Part 2


The creation of completely virtual environments creates distrust, the traditional “ordered” world view feels questioned. Computer games are met with scepticism – Europe reacts phobic to representations of violence, the USA to everything sexual. A broad spectrum from harsh rejection to enthusiastic approval. Where one fears a loss of reality, the other simply sees fun, pop culture or fantastic possibilities.
! Artificial Intelligence (AI) – 1960

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!


Deep learning: self-learning systems write code that people can soon no longer understand.

Learning systems have a big future. The increase in computing capacity and information density contribute to logarithmic development of the AI over time. Whether and what threatens us in the event of a final “singularity” is still the subject of debate.

Problem: There is no economic incentive to maintain a certain minimum of quality criteria. Low-cost suppliers of products bring anything possible into the world without caring about safety.

• Ray Kurzweil


• According to the conservative-Christian view, which emanates from a soul, it is difficult to imagine artificial intelligence, personality or even consciousness. The spark of human intelligence is missing.

• An increase in productivity is gladly accepted, otherwise the world may remain as it is.

• Fascination and horror face each other: If consciousness is a question of computing power and learning, then it could also arise artificially. Which properties and laws should it be subject to? Is our fixation on the human a chauvinism or is it legitimate? Who controls the exponential increase in power through AI?

• Warners: Precautions must be taken to prevent a hostile takeover by machines that is harmful to humans (singularity).

• Defeatists: The takeover of world domination (possibly on a cosmic scale) by machines is only a question of time. Mankind is just an intermediate step in evolution, which will continue on the basis of silicon.

• Sceptics: AI is limited, it is not capable of really creative achievements or feelings. In contrast to us, things and it’s own existence means nothing to the AI, that has not been programmed explicitly into it.


Whistleblowing, purchase of classified data – 1960

•••  ••   ••  •••    !  !!

Spiegel affair, Pentagon papers, Watergate, Snowden, tax CDs, doping, and much more. The data is stolen, and we have nothing to do with this. Whistleblowers deserve protection, because they open a corrective from fatal wrong developments. The illegal aspects are usually completely neglected compared to the benefits.
! Transhumanism: Cyborgs, neuro-implants and enhanced intelligence – 1960

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Augmented intelligence, implanted tools, brain scan & Co.

Soundcloud: Lecture by Stefan Lorenz, Zukunftssymposion Stuttgart 2016 (in German)

Fears of a dissolution of the traditional idea of the person or soul are awakened. However, experiments are being made, driven by economy. Rarely undivided euphoria, some fears of optimisation or superiority of a new caste. Nevertheless, the human-technology transition has long been blurry. What criteria do we have for evaluation? And who is even asking?
Dystopies II: Incapacitation through dependency on technology – 1968

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

2001 A Space Odyssey, Blackout (Elsberg), Black Mirror and many others


No worries, we can handle that.

• Our dependence is already immense and presents us with very practical questions. We must achieve higher security standards in order not to risk a complete breach of civilisation (e.g. concerning archives) in the worst case.

• It is possible that the transition to “machine domination” will be creeping and unnoticed by us.

Personal Computers, PC – 1976

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Megatrends such as miniaturization, increasing performance and easier use of computers are leading to the spread of PCs. Graphical user interfaces and increasingly mobile devices continue this trend. Increase in productivity Tools for creativity
CAD, databases, desktop publishing etc. – 1978

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Computer-based systems found their way into normal occupations and turned the working world of the people concerned upside down. Older employees often felt overwhelmed by the new methods. Everything that brings efficiency was welcomed, possible negative effects were negated. Initially, technology-sceptical and euphoric positions were opposed to each other. Many regarded computers as inhumane and a threat to employment. This phobia offered Apple the starting point for personal computers that could be operated more intuitively and ergonomically.
Cyberpunk – 1980

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Dystopic literature genre Wird stuff. Interesting …
Hackers – 1980

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Hackers make the Internet insecure and have to be hunted down. The Internet should become a clean place.

• Heroes: Without hackers we would be at the mercy of corporations.

• Criminals: an annoying evil, but that’s the way the world is.

Dragnet investigation, targeted profiling, microtargeting – 1980 / 2012

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Targeted addressing of certain groups of people (e.g. in a search or in election campaigns) according to characteristics. Enhanced by large data collections such as social networks or Google profiles. Permitted is what is useful. Problematic, especially if data is evaluated without consent.
Free cost mentality I: Microsoft – 1985

•••  ••   ••  •••    !  !!

Microsoft aggressively conquers market with crappy free applications. What pleases, prevails. The most common solutions are far from always the best. Alternative: Open Source or, at least, quality software.
Enforced globalisation, trade agreements – 1986<br />

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

WTO, TTIP, CETA, common markets etc. New opportunities are opening up for the economy. This is in favor of the common good. Good for emerging markets, but trade must be fair. Unilateral overreaching and special courts threaten the common good.
“Volkszählung”, national census in Germany – 1987

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!


Privacy rights vs. legally enforced delivery of private information

The benefits outweigh the concerns. The die-hard traditionalists are always against everything.

• Fight the beginnings! The state is not to be trusted, here it concerns among other things corporate and power interests.

• Sociological data are needed for development goals.



Open source code – 1987 / 2001

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!


The idea: Software code is disclosed and can therefore be verified. Volunteers can participate worldwide in optimizing solutions and closing security gaps.

Projects like
• Wikipedia
• opensource.org
• creativecommons.org


For various reasons the big players still get the contracts (administrations using Microsoft etc.) – what’s the problem?

Open source is safer, non-commercial, cuts costs, can comply with the demands.


Digital avantgarde, data dandies, bloggers, start-ups – 1990

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Suspicious persons

• A new lifestyle, new opportunities, freedom

• Distrust from the side of traditional left-wing and unions

The Internet goes mainstream – 1991

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

The new concepts (interactivity, global availability, hyperlinks instead of linear thinking, e-mail, newsgroups, …) are only slowly understood by many. But the effects are lasting and extend into the most private areas (partner search, games, friendships, finances, health …).

• The Guardian: How the internet was invented

This so-called Internet is highly overrated.

Many utopias are forged (global village, education for all, transparent democracy, effective administration) and partly implemented.

! Cultural struggle for an open web – 1992

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Restrictions on freedom of expression, the confidentiality of communications and net neutrality contradict the original credo of the early years of the Internet.

• Accessnow.org: Eight steps towards an open Internet (PDF)


The Internet has potential as a growth engine. However, uncontrolled growth must be prevented. Priority must be given to economic interests and the security responsibility of the state.

The Internet can make a decisive contribution to the dissemination of ideas, the democratisation of societies and the efficient management of resources. It must be open, uncensored and neutral as a medium.

Industries in transformation,<br /> with unpredictable consequences until today – 1995

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Concerns music and film industry, book trade, the press, job search, retail trade, banks, travel and tourism, taxi industry, restaurants, education, authorities and many more …

Interest driven positions from skepticism to euphoria. Often little imagination as to how a change can be tackled.

Openness to new ideas on the part of some, scepticism and resistance on the part of the “trade union wing”. Lifelong learning and flexibility become new virtues, sometimes even self-exploitation. New habits (killer apps) sometimes tear down very quickly.

Free-cost mentality II: Google – 1997

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

At first a search engine “only”, Google will soon show how to profit from the information it collects.

• At first: Great thing, but how are they ever gonna make any money?

•Later: How much does it cost to come first in the search?

• Great thing … and how do I get first place in the search?

• Later: Very practical …, but the company has too much power. (Break up Monopolies!)

• People develop too little awareness of what they are revealing with their data

Free-cost mentality III: Creative commons – 1998

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Photographers, musicians, 3D designers and many others make their works available under CC licences – according to taste for non-commercial projects, against naming, etc.

• Public domain, royalty-free content
• Unsplash
• Wikimedia.org


In the sense of cost optimization always welcome – but we oursselves insist on patents, rights etc.

• Against increasing self- and overexploitation in creative professions

• Everything should belong to everyone – and this is a great step towards this aim.

! Power and (im-)morality of the internet corporations – 1998

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

New mentalities and business models in the New Economy, “Don’t be evil” (Google), “Think different” (Apple)

Skepticism (dotcom bubble) and amazement, but also enthusiasm. Hopes for growth impulses, rationalisation effects and industry 4.0.

“The Internet is still uncharted territory (‘Neuland’) for all of us.” (Angela Merkel, 2013)

Openness to the new possibilities, mentalities and concepts, but also scepticism towards the breathtaking concentration of power of the market leaders.
! Ban on encryption<br /> or encryption as default? – 1998

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

“Hausmanisation”: The attempt to make the Internet controllable (after the creator of the Paris road network, which offered more control to the police, among others)

How much surveillance do we concede to a state?

• Cameron will Verschlüsselung bei chat apps verbieten
CCC fordert Verbot unverschluesselter Kommunikation
Einreisekontrollen – was, wenn jemand am Flughafen nach ihrem smartphone fragt

The state must have comprehensive access. We must not allow terrorists, criminals and other enemies to communicate undisturbed. Providers and providers must be held accountable and cooperate.

• Encryption is the technical equivalent of the secrecy of correspondence and the fundamental right to freedom of expression. Any uncertainty immediately triggers an internal censorship.

• Phil Zimmermann: “When encryption is outlawed, only outlaws will have encryption”

• Law enforcement authorities are not automatically the good ones (Inquisition, Gestapo, Stasi, Sharia police), in Germany and globally this is historically even the exception.

• Our standards must therefore be applicable worldwide in order to e.g. to protect and support NGOs, dissidents, humanists, dissenters …


!<br /> Redefining customer relationships – 1999

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

The Cluetrain-Manifesto Insist on linear and hierarchical communication channels. (Sender > Receiver, “What’s the point? Print this out!”) Customer communication will never again be a one-way street, consumers will gain power.
! Copyright: file-sharing, piracy, re-posting, snippets, plagiarism and memes – 1999

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Filesharing networks (Napster), YouTube, illegal streaming services (Kinox.to), software, unlicensed images and fonts, trademark rights, patents, Google News and much more.

• Piratenpartei: Urheberrechts-Dialog


Rights and patents must be respected without ifs and buts, otherwise there will be a legal warning. Internet companies must monitor the uploads of content accordingly.

Only copyright law creates incentives to create intellectual values at all. At some point the Chinese will understand that.

• Ideas and content shall flow freely, that was once the purpose of the Internet. And by the way – the unconditional basic income is coming soon.

• Many creative people refuse to share their laboriously developed content with everyone free of charge.

• Academic cheaters that plagiarized with their dissertation  are being uncovered with enthusiasm.


Web accessibility for all – 2000

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

With the increasing importance of the Internet in everyday life, the interest in letting everyone participate increases.

• Accessible Internet
• Easy language
• Make the Internet available everywhere
• interference liability


Accessibility to handycapped is a good goal, but is not always taken seriously in practice.

•Accessibility to handycapped is a good goal, but is not always taken seriously in practice.

• Remember to involve countries that are less industrialised and, for example, to take their transmission standards into account.

Safe Harbor / Privacy Shield – 2000

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Agreements with the USA on data protection standards There you go – everything’s fine. Fake, our rights are being widely disregarded. Data should not go to the USA at all.
! Security breaches in hard- and software – 2000

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Zero-Day-Expoits, “Heartbleed” (long-term vulnerability in SSL, Open-Source-Software), “Spectre” and “Meltdown” (in Intel-Chips), “Wannacry” (4.5 billion US-$ damage) and many more.

• NSA-Hintertüren in IT-Hardware

We are doing everything we can to provide the state with the most powerful instruments possible. Moreover, everyone should take care of their own security.

States and secret services must not use security holes for themselves or weaken hard-/software by backdoors. They have to be committed to the integrity of data technology systems.

E-books, new music- and movie licensing models - 2000

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Performance must be rewarded. Fine for me, as long as the prices are fair and the authors benefit. (The times of Napster were cool though …)
Terror and the reactions – 2001

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

… here regarded especially as a media phenomenon and as a reason for unfocused mass surveillance


• Interior minister Friedrich declares homeland security to be a “super fundamental right” (German)

• We must not allow ourselves to be unsettled by terrorists and must counter them with the most powerful instruments possible. Private rooms (encryption) must be made comprehensively accessible to the authorities.

• Investigation successes prove us right.

• Attacks are being misused/used as an argument for abolishing the free Internet.

• Uninitiated mass surveillance is a totalitarian instrument. The benefits for the general public are disproportionate to the damage caused by the state’s intervention in individual fundamental rights.

• Internal security is promised as a “super fundamental right”, which is impossible.

• Mass surveillance has proven to be ridiculously ineffective, which interested parties dismantle.

• Everyone is under surveillance except those who are really criminals who know how to evade it.

TOR-network, darknet – 2002

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

allow anonymous use of the Internet or bypassing of public servers A hoard of evil – fight it! For dissidents in authoritarian states, but also here, free spaces can be vital (protection from harassment, harassment, violence), even if they can be used by fiends. Freedom of expression with clear names cannot be afforded by everyone!
E-Learning – 2002

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

The future of learning is constantly changing. Knowledge becomes less exclusive.
New forms of learning are emerging (microlearning, etc.).
Old elites are developing new mechanisms to differentiate themselves. “It’s not what you know, it’s whom you know.” E-Learning is a prime example of how the Internet contributes to democratisation and emancipation. Although many global problems are accelerating, there is hope that solutions will also be accelerated through the exchange of ideas.
Media literacy, e-skills – 2003

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Deutsche Bahn vs. Markus Beckedahl

People need to be taught what they encounter on the Internet and how they can for example protect their children from inappropriate content.

Some personal things just don’t belong in public.

Media literacy belongs to the responsible citizen and is the most effective weapon against fake news.

Data protection concerns everyone.

Programming is a cultural technique like reading and writing.

Freedom of press for journalists and bloggers, protection of sources – 2003

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Press is commonly acknowledged as the “4th power”. Yet, some despots strongly try to shape public opinion. Bloggers are becoming a tribe on their own, with some considered to be almost-journalists, while others are treated as bad as any critical opposition.

• The press must adhere to its standards (e.g. secrecy) and should not be too much of a drag to the rulers.

• Sources that betray secrets should be disclosed.

• Bloggers are private individuals and are not subject to special protection.

Freedom of the press and source protection are key to a functioning, pluralistic civil society. They must also apply to bloggers who write and research on their own behalf. Even error is to be tolerated. Fake news must be refuted with objective arguments and the interests behind it uncovered.
Social networks und shops:<br /> giving away data – at what expense? – 2004

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Post-privacy = Data exhibitionism, leads to an Internet with “total freedom of information”
(Merkel: wealth of data instead of data economy)
Just let the people do and follow their interests.
Though. personally, this is not for me.

• There is a rising inner need for self-promotion and -optimization.

• With information getting out of hand profiling becomes easy. In social media you get more information about job candidates than in any expensive assessment. At some comtries’ borders it’s already a common request to show your contacts and activities (e.g. books you ordered at Amazon).

Liabaility for open wi-fi / ceasing industry – 2004

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Especially in Germany for long it was an unbearable risk to run an open hot-spot. Only in 2018 the liability for possible violations was abolished. Anyone using the internet should have an ID. Only people with dark interests can dislike this idea. Free and unsuveilled access to the internet should be recognised as a basic right. Always and everywhere.. Those few criminals will for sure always find a way. („When privacy is a crime, only criminals have privacy“).

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Enriched Geodata, Museums, Print-to-3D, Pokemon Go … Crazy … Let’s See what the future brings us. Great opportunities, from virtual learning to online gaming.
Navigation systems – 2005

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Streetview, Google Earth, Nasa Mars military infrastructure Huge progress for individual mobility
Autonomous weapons – 2005

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Deutschlandfunk Kultur:
Deadly autonomous weapons (in German)

• Weapons are neither good nor bad – it depends on who uses them. (… and btw.: We are the good guys!)

• Weapon systems can be equipped with an “ethics module”.

• With a (partly) automatized decisions about life and death a we See a new quality in warefare. An ban as with B- and C-weapons would be indicated.

• A possible convention: Autonomous weapon systems may only be directed against things, not against people.

Online search / governmental malware – 2006

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

(Arguments see also data retention – 2007)

The state must have access – within a given legal framework, of course.

If the state profits from weakining teh digital infrastructure, instead of fixing it, it is not acting for the common good. Although the need is clear and a judicial review can be carried out, the process is very problematic and the proportionality is at question.

Net neutrality – 2006

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Companies want to see their online services on the fast lane, while other will be delivered more slowly.

• See also „Cultural struggle for an open Internet“


It is not understandable why certain services should not extend their offer accordingly – the customer has got benefits from it!

Net neutrality is a very important concept for maintaining the openness of the Internet. Once the principle is overturned, the payment services have the upper hand and the transition to censorship becomes seamless.
Government transparency / Freedom of Information Act – 2006

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

USA: Freedom of Information Act, 1966

• fragdenstaat.de


The subject is annoying and is gladly avoided. If addressed: freedom of information creates bureaucracy and hinders the exercise of power. Protect private data, use public data! It goes without saying that representatives of the people are accountable and that data created with tax money must be available – as is standard practice in the USA, e.g.
Wikileaks – 2006

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Whistleblower platform with a unique infrastructure

• wikileaks.org


Betrayal of secrets is a damnable crime of profile neurotic freaks. „They put lives at risk.“

Responsible whistleblowing has our sympathy and Wikileaks is the leading technical platform here. Meanwhile, Julian Assange seems to have an ambivalent agenda, which is why many people are turning away from him.

The question of the “cui bono” (for who’s benefit?) of revelations and their veracity must always be asked.

Internet of things – 2006

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Smart Home, Industry 4.0

• integrata-stiftung.de/projekte/q-siegel (in German)


Great growth impulses, rationalization, great new products, monitoring and control For many supposedly convenient functions, it is not worth giving up their own autonomy. if not, we must ensure that high safety standards are established. Otherwise there is a risk of abuse (by criminals or states) or an independent AI (see singularity).
AI for rent – 2006

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Amazon Web Services, Einstein, Intel Go, IBM Watson u.a.

• KI mieten, kaufen, entwickeln?


How can we manage to not miss the train?

See “Open AI“, 2015

Data retention – 2007

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Befristetes Speichern von Verbindungsdaten im Telekommunikationsverkehr

• Die Entscheidung zur Vorratsdatenspeicherung und ihre Folgen


• Behörden müssen Zugriff haben, wenn nicht, um Verbrechen zu verhindern, dann zumindest um sie aufzuklären.

• Einspruch: Es ist nicht reaktionär, gegen Gangsterbanden polizeilich ermitteln zu können. Dazu braucht es Daten aus dem Telefonbereich. Die Polizei kann nicht auf Technik verzichten, die Mafiosi nutzen.

• Wann begreift ihr es endlich, dass die VDS ein totes Pferd ist? Diverse Urteile sind dagegen ergangen. Sie verstößt massiv gegen Grundrechte und das Prinzip der informationellen Selbstbestimmung.

• Staatsorgane sind nicht per se die Guten. Dies ist historisch sogar eher die Ausnahme, an die wir uns zu sehr gewöhnt haben bzw. wir machen uns etwas vor.

Mobile robots – 2008

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

diverse Branchen und unser aller Privatleben werden sich auf lange Sicht verändern. Die Akzeptanz im privaten Raum wird mit dem Angebot steigen. Das wird der nächste große Wachstumsschub. Und spart Personal ohne Ende. Werden wir jetzt alle überflüssig? Die Apparate werden von KI nur so strotzen – mit all ihren zweifelhaften Segnungen und Folgen. Wie etablieren wir Standards, damit sich das nicht gegen uns wendet?
Internet blocking and disconnection – 2009

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Sperren einzelner Websites (die als schädlich angesehen werden) oder des gesamten Internets (z.B. als Mittel der Aufstandsbekämpfung)

Landesweite Netzsperre in Syrien


Es muss sichergestellt sein, dass keine unerwünschten Inhalte ausgeliefert werden. Und wenn es brenzlig wird, muss man auch mal ganz abschalten. Die Gedanken sind frei und Netzsperren sind Zensur. Daher sind sie – selbst bei gutgemeinter Intention – nur allzu leicht zum Zweck der Machterhaltung zu missbrauchen.
The internet never forgets – 2010

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Streisand Effect

Be careful about what you are posting.

It’s noz just about a few posts and duckface selfies. Whatever is realeased into the world will never be retrieved. This can have negative effects on everyone (e.g. in combination with Big Data).

Personalisation, individualisation of products and services – 2010

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Ever better services and new impulses for growth. All well and good – but data protection?
Broadband internet<br /> – 2010

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

( > 2048 kBit/s ) We do need the broadband Internet. Until 2050. Should be available for everyone, comprehensive and worldwide. Germany e.g. is lagging behind, while prices are far above average.
Drones (use on a large scale) – 2010

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Unmanned flying vehicles challenge our environments and ethical standards.

War drones: Why should we put our boys’ lives at risk?

Other applications: The future will have drone highways.


The drone war is a crime.

Video and delivery drones are interesting.

Spy drones in the size of insects are creepy. (see autonomous weapons)

Bitcoin, blockchains – 2010

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Technology for anonymous but verifiable processing of transactions (e.g. money payments) and generation of a technically limited currency.

Cryptokitten: game with “genetically” unique cat pictures derived from each other

Explanatory video


Skepticism as to whether crypto currencies are stable in value.

Loss of control: Bitcoin is the currency of blackmailers and money launderers.

Crypto currencies are an opportunity to establish a completely new concept of money that works decentrally and avoids many disadvantages of controlled currencies.
Digital currencies, instant and mobile<br /> payment – 2010

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• Conservative: nice.

• Conspiracy theorists: The Rothschilds and Freemasons want to ban us from cash and then take over world domination.

• I don’t want all my purchases and payments to be accessible to others anywhere.

• It is practical and easy to manage.

– Conservative: chic.
– Conspiracy theorists: The Rothschilds and Freemasons want to ban us from cash and then take over world domination.

Research networks – 2010

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Bellingcat, Vroniplag, Syrian Human Rights Observatory, OpenSchufa …

• Bellingcat.com


Neutral. In response to attacks: Here the door is opened to lies / denunciation / slander.

An opportunity to create networked knowledge. Be prepared!

Autonomous driving systems – 2010

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Google Car, Robot taxis

Algorithmic Descision Making (ADM)


Great new product.

• Very useful as part of an integrated mobility policy.

• There is a lot of ethical work to be done here, because the self-driving systems decide, among other things, about life and death. They could even decide against their owner in order to save others.

• Consider the effects on social systems, the labour market and transport.

• Speed limit 30 or 80 km/h?

Snapchat – 2011

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The idea: short-lived messages that delete themselves

See also “the Internet doesn’t forget”.

Non-durability and forgetfulness free from pressure for self-optimization. Snapchat was in its original consequence an innovative contribution to this.

New authoritarianism, in Europe, US and elsewhere – 2011

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Belusconi, Putin, Kaczynski, Ukip, Front National, AfD, Erdogan, Orban, Trump, Duterte etc.

• Conservatives: We’re worried.

• Authoritarians: Our salvation! Finally someone tells the truth and stands up for our true interests. By the way: Elected is elected.

It turns out that even established democracies are not safe from slipping into authoritarian systems. This is a problem not only with regard to the data technology possibilities of the state.

The democratic state must uncover and prevent the mechanisms of authoritarian influence on social networks and democratic institutions.

Face recognition and other biometric procedures<br /> – 2011

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Mass recognition, profile building and search of persons on the basis of biometric data (e.g. face file of 64 million Americans by the FBI, Argus Drone, gait recognition, etc.)

Testlauf zur Gesichtserkennung wird verlaengert (German)
Software can recognize homosexuals from Photos (Ger)

• How face ID works
Demonstration video (Ger)


Great opportunities that make life much safer. Finally, we know who does what. Very invasive technology when it comes to person recognition. It may not be used for the causeless creation of motion profiles without judicial permission.
Cloud and streamings replace personally owned carriers – 2012

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PCs are delivered without a CD drive, mobile devices are synchronized automatically. Cloud and streaming services are growing. It’s convenient. It’s unacceptable that all our data should go overseas and be sent Cc. towards the NSA. Effectively encrypted solutions and our own servers are used too little.
Vectoring instead of glass fibre – 2012

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With vectoring we achieve an increase in performance with existing infrastructure. This is only conditionally the case. Competition is also being prevented. Instead, the fibre-optic network should be expanded.
Big Data – 2012

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„Data is the new Oil.“

Frankfurter Zukunftssymposium 2016: Vortrag zum Beispiel Gesundheitswesen/ Krankenversicherung (Ger)


If there’s anything we can do, we do it. People shouldn’t be like that. They are not as interesting as they think as individuals.

Big Data exponentiates and points out all the problems we see with data protection. Information plus computing capacity creates control. Detailed profiling of individuals and groups become a decisive instrument of power. There is no reason to entrust it to anyone.

But – what possibilities do we have to prevent this?

Snowden revelations,<br /> expansion und legalisation of intelligence practices – 2012

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Western secret services also do everything that is technically feasible, without hesitation.

Michael Hayden: „We kill people based on Metadata.“

• Federal intelligence investigation committee – the conclusion (Ger)


• Secret services must be there, and we must not be worse equipped than our opponents.

• It is treason to make our instruments known to our enemies.

• Smear, we keep to the rules, the control works.

• We are the good guys, we are allowed to do that.

• We should have clarified better before, now we are legalising the existing practice.

• Our worst concerns are actually true – and worse. We cannot imagine a bigger breach of trust.
• Everything that is technically feasible is being made. Constitutional rights are broken or circumvented.
• Everything we have ever accused the totalitarian systems of (Nazi-Germany, GDR, China, Iran, Turkey …), we (Five Eyes, FRG, …) do it – only more perfect.
• The secret services form a dangerous state within the state. They have blackmail potential for considerable influence on people and decisions.
• The reactions of the state are pathetic and quite meaningful. There is no hope of clarification and improvement in sight.
• Next to individual precautions, our options are limited – aren’t they?

Right in informational self-determination versus „Super basic right on security“ – 2012

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The two terms formulate competing ideologies. The former has been legally documented since 1983, but is often ineffective, while the latter has become a reason of state.

The Internet is totalitärian (ger)


Our security is the highest concern. It has absolute priority. Our freedom is the highest concern. It has absolute priority.
Rising productivity – who benefits? – 2013

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Continuing rampant productivity growth leads to a reassessment of work, education, participation and social redistribution.

Through participation and non-participation (capital) in rationalisation, the social divide widens more and more – if we let it go.

• On basic income (ger)
• Why doesn’t Google pay us a user fee? (ger)


Performance is still the yardstick – and, honestly, we do perform great!

• Is the 20-hour week coming? Or the unconditional basic income?

• Growth through new quality requirements (sustainability, social standards, etc.)

• Growth through new business models and needs (virtual goods such as information or entertainment, social needs, …)

• How do we distribute profits as social as possible?

Right-wing and conspiracy theorists penetrate social networks – 2014

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Rechtsextreme und verschwörungstheoretische Kampfbegriffe werden salonfähig. („Lügenpresse!“)

Gezielte Desinformation vs. Meinungsfreiheit: Meinungs- und Wahlbeeinflussung durch Verschwörungstheorien, Trollfabriken,
Breitbart News, Epoch-Times u.v.a.

Es wird für Laien schwerer, die Glaubwürdigkeit von Inhalten zu beurteilen.

• Recherche- und Aufklärungsseiten wie Correctiv.org

• Sascha Lobo, Manipuliert.de: 

Film anschauen


• Michael Schmidt-Salomon: Die Grenzen der Toleranz


• Extrem Rechte sehen eine Verschwörung der liberalen Presse, weil sie selbst in ihren Echokammern mit Gerüchten und Propaganda bombardiert werden.

• Die konservative bürgerliche Mitte ist schockiert über die Erosion des vernunftgesteuerten Diskurses. Hier muss notfalls steuernd eingegriffen werden, etwa durch Löschungen. Die Betreiber der sozialen Netzwerke sollen in die Pflicht genommen werden.

• Die Mechanismen sind verstanden (mangelnde Medienkompetenz, selektive Wahrnehmung, Filterblase, kognitive Verzerrungseffekte …) allein das Gegenmittel fehlt. Wer sich gegen Aufklärung immunisiert ist nur noch schwer erreichbar.

• Zensur und Einschränkung der Meinungsfreiheit sind keine Option. Die Betreiber der sozialen Netzwerke dürfen nicht so abgestraft werden, dass sie anfangen ”präventiv“ zu löschen.

• Wahrheit ist subjektiv, Fakten nicht. Jenseits der täglichen News-Stories muss es einen überprüfbaren und rationalen Maßstab für Entscheidungen geben.

• Die Geschichte zeigt: Was heute als Irrtum gilt. kann später einmal als richtig gelten. Pluralismus muss erhalten bleiben, den Grenzen der Toleranz muss aber mit Augenmaß Rechnung getragen werden.

Fake news – 2015

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

neues Wort für Lügen und Propaganda.
„Alternative Fakten“ als offensive Formulierung

Definition: „Nachrichten in Form von bewusst unwahren Tatsachen­behauptungen … bei denen die Falschheit hinreichend offensichtlich ist.“

• „alternative“ Medien unterbieten etablierte Standards der Berichterstattung

• „Deep Fakes“ sind noch smarter: technischer Fortschritt ermöglicht computergenerierte „Beweis“-Videos, gefälschte Stimmen etc.

„Alternative Fakten“ als
• Unwort des Jahres 2017


Regierungen entwickeln ein machtstrategisches Verhältnis zu Fakten:
Es gibt eine Wahrheit (was wir sagen) und Lügen (was die anderen behaupten und uns nicht in den Kram passt).

• Was uns in den Zeiten von Social Media an Behauptungen um die Ohren geschlagen wird, ist unsäglich und dabei nicht immer leicht zu widerlegen (Beweislast).

• Was heißt „offensichtlich“ und wer bestimmt, was wirklich „Fake News“ sind? Meinungen sind von Fakten zu unterscheiden.

• Eine staatliche Definition von “Wahrheit” kommt Diktaturen entgegen, das kann es nicht sein. Auch Medien müssen sich ihre Vertrauenswürdigkeit verdienen.

Pokemon Go – 2015

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Augmented Reality wird massenwirksam, Verflechtung von Topografie und Virtualität Ein lächerlicher Hype – aber immerhin, die Leute gehen mal raus. Erste durchschlagende Anwendung von Augmented Reality, gibt einen Eindruck davon, was möglich ist
Open AI – 2015

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

KI-Kritisches Projekt zur Entwicklung einer sicheren und allgemein zugänglichen KI, initiiert von Elon Musk, der u.a. vor den Gefahren einer starken KI warnt.

• https://openai.com


• Die Entwicklung von KI muss dem Gemeinwohl verpflichtet sein.

• Die tatsächliche Gefahr durch starke KI wird unterschiedlich eingeschätzt, mit Tendenz zur Entdramatisierung.

• Schwache KI ist als Markt- und Machtfaktor nicht zu unterschätzen. Hier ist ein Korrektiv willkommen.

Smart home consoles, VPA – 2015

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Amazon Echo, Google Home Warum nicht? Die Geräte bieten tolle Funktionen, z.B. können sie das Licht dimmen und einem sagen, in wie vielen Tagen Weihnachten ist. Die Geräte sind hochproblematisch. Sie sind Datenschleudern und weiten eine potenzielle Überwachungssphäre auf den kompletten Privatraum aus.
Election manipulations with hacks and propaganda – 2016

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Die unlautere Beeinflussung von Wahlen wird bei Despoten immer beliebter. Das Spektrum reicht von Mediensteuerung über Schnutzkampagnen bis zu regelrechten Trollfabriken. Auch Akteure, die nur auf Klicks durch emotionalisierende Fakes erpicht sind, spielen eine Rolle.

Auch Wahlmaschinen erweisen sich immer wieder als anfällig gegen Hacks.

• Rechtsextreme: Wir sind gegen  Etablierte und Systemmedien, Putin wird immer gleich verteufelt, es steht einem selbst offen, was man glauben soll.

• Konservative: Fake-News gehören verboten. Wahlmaschinen sind sicher und sehr praktisch.

Dies Gefährdet unsere Demokratien, allein schon als Frage der Glaubwürdigkeit. Vorsorge: Medienkompetenz, Verzicht auf Wahlmaschinen. Vorsicht bei Zensur.
Algorithmic Descision Making (ADM) – 2016

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Verantwortung wird an Algorithmen abgegeben. 

Problem: Für den hohen Aufwand einer gründlichen Analyse, gesellschaftlichen Mitsprache oder Einhaltung von Gütekriterien fehlt ein ökonomischer Anreiz.

an Beispiel Fahrassistenten u.a.
• Vortrag Eric Hilgendorf, Frankfurter Zukunfts-Symposium 2016

Algorithmen-Regulierung im kontext aktueller Gesetzgebung


Wir müssen darauf achten, dass ethischen Grundlagen gewahrt bleiben. Wir sind zuversichtlich, das in den Griff zu bekommen, zumindest in vertretbarem Maße.

Die Algorithmen sind oft geheim, (zumal selbstlernende) undurchschaubar und fehlerbehaftet.

Hier geht es of weniger um Datenschutz als um zu eindimensionale Schlussfolgerungen. Das Design der Analysen kann Zirkelschlüsse und Diskriminierungen enthalten, die schwer nachzuweisen sind. Beispiele: Börsenhandel, Preisfindung, Stellenvergabe, Studienplatzvergabe, Kreditvergabe, Versicherungsprämien, Bildanalyse in der Medizin, Logistik, Entscheidungen bei selbstfahrenden Autos, Vorhersagende Polizeiarbeit, Waffentechnik, Besserbehandlung von Influencern.

Es kann sein, dass unser Wertesystem unbemerkt verrutscht.

Letztlich müssen natürliche oder juristische Personen für automatisierte Entscheidungen geradestehen (z.B. verklagbar sein).


Rise of paywalls – 2016

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Newspapers and othe media install paywalls as an urgently needed funding model.


Quality has it’s price, even if no one really likes to pay.

 Quality has it’s price – still we can’t afford to pay everywhere. Paywalls scare people off who should have free access to quality information, leaving them behind in echochambers of social media.

Communication moves to private platforms – 2016

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!


Die protokoll-offene E-Mail wird zunehmend durch private Chat-Plattformen ersetzt, SMS durch Whatsapp usw.  Wo ist das Problem?

Diese Tendenz vertieft die Monopolstellung der betreffenden Anbieter. In der Wahrnehmung vieler Nutzer ist es einfach praktischer, über die grundsätzliche Fragen machen sie sich kaum Gedanken.

Die Konsequenz muss ein: Eine Zerschlagung oder Demonopolisierung der Anbieter, indem sie gesetzlich verpflichtet werden, ihre Protokolle für Drittanbieter zu öffnen.



Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz (Network Enforcement Act) – 2017

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Nimmt soziale Netzwerke in die Pflicht, „offensichtlich rechtswidrige“ Inhalte zu löschen.

Zu Maas’ Definition von „Hate Speech“ gehört auch “wer öffentlich oder durch Verbreiten von Schriften den Inhalt des religiösen oder weltanschaulichen Bekenntnisses anderer in einer Weise beschimpft … die geeignet ist, den öffentlichen Frieden zu stören”

Russland kopiert Netzwerk­durchsetzungs­gesetz

Rasterfahndung in Vorratsdaten


Es muss ein Kontrolle der veröffentlichten Inhalte geben (Hatspeech, Urheberrechtsverstöße, Kinderpornografie …), die Sozialen Netzwerke müssen hier in die Haftung genommen werden.

• Die Meinungsfreiheit ist ein zu kostbares Gut, sie darf nicht gefährdet werden. Private Unternehmen dürfen nicht zu Richtern gemacht werden und vorauseilend juristische Urteile fällen (Overblocking).

• Algorithmen sind fehlerhaft (Ironie, Satire, Humor, Kunst, freie Meinungsäußerung, Provokation) und Menschen sind den Netzwerken zu teuer. Das Gesetz ist durch und durch fehlerhaft.

• Finanzinstitute sind verpflichtet, bei verdächtigen Überweisungen eine Meldung an die Kriminalämter zu machen. Wäre das eine Blaupause?

• Aufruf zu Gewalt und Volksverhetzung sind nicht vom Recht auf Meinungsfreiheit gedeckt. Die Verantwortung für öffentliche Äußerungen muss klar sein.

EU Basic Data Protection Regulation – 2017

•••  ••  •  ••  •••    !  !!

Ringen um die Verankerung weitgehender Selbstbestimmungsrechte in der Europäischen Gesetzgebung:
1. Keine Datenverarbeitung ohne Einverständnis: Daten und Metadaten dürfen nur dann kommerziell verwertet werden, wenn betroffene Nutzer ihr Einverständnis geben.
2. Einfacher Schutz vor Online-Tracking: Einstellungen einfach und rechtsverbindlich, Tracking-Walls werden verboten.
3. Privacy by Default: Do-Not-Track-Einstellungen ab Werk.
4. Grenzen für Offline-Tracking. Eine Erstellung von individuellen Bewegungsprofilen wird verboten.
5. Recht auf Verschlüsselung: Anbieter werden verpflichtet, die Kommunikation ihrer Nutzer nach dem aktuellsten „Stand der Technik“ vor unbefugtem Zugriff zu schützen – explizit auch durch Kryptographie. Entschlüsselung durch Dritte wird verboten. Eine Verpflichtung zu Backdoors wird ausgeschlossen.
6. Mehr Transparenz über staatliche Zugriffe

• Sechs Gründe warum die E-Privacy-Verordnung für dich wichtig ist


Datenschutz ist überbewertet, bürokratisch und behindert den Fortschritt. „Digital first, Bedenken second.“ Geld verdienen ist ein legitimes Anliegen zur Datenerhebung. Wir können heilfroh sein, wenn ein starker Datenschutz gesetzlich verankert wird. Er ist eine wichtige Grundlage einer freien, pluralistischen Gesellschaft.
Trump rules via Twitter – 2017

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Aus Misstrauen / Missgunst gegen etablierte Medien sucht er den ungefilterten Weg in die Öffentlichkeit.

Trump-Fans: Er zeigt des etablierten, wo der Hammer hängt.

Gemäßigt Konservative: Er geht zu weit, das ist gefährlich.


Das sprunghafte Verhalten des US-Präsidenten ist unverantwortlich, er lügt wo er geht und steht.
Social Credit Scores – 2017

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Ein Punktekonto sie alle zu kontrollieren

Marc-Uwe Kling
• Qualityland (satirische Dystopie)


Föderierte Identitäten


Letztlich nichts anderes als die Schufa, man muss halt wissen, mit wem man es zu tun hat.
Ermöglicht neue Anreizsysteme zur sozialen Kontrolle.
Ein Alptraum! Allein die Auswirkungen auf die Privatsphäre sind fatal, von politischer Gefügigmachung ganz abgesehen. Hier wird der Weg in den totalitären Orwell-Staat konsequent fortgesetzt.
Click-workers’ working conditions – 2018

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People in low-wage countries doing the sweeping work to erase potentially harmful content from social media platforms, often under terrible psychological working conditions. Can’t this be done by AI? That’s weird and we need to do something about it.
#Work in Progress

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