A new human right

Since the highest court in Germany, the Bundersverfassungsgericht, has told the german government they can’t do online searches without proper reasons and at the same time given birth to a new human right, it’s a good time to remember that one doesn’t always have to take the crap handed down by the government. So, for starters, the new human right:

Aus dem allgemeinen Persönlichkeitsrecht leiten die Karlsruher Richter ein Grundrecht „auf Gewährleistung der Vertraulichkeit und Integrität informationstechnischer Systeme“ her. Eingriffe in dieses Recht sind sowohl zu präventiven Zwecken als auch zur Strafverfolgung möglich – aber nur in engen Grenzen. Damit werden Online-Durchsuchungen unter Auflagen ermöglicht.

Which roughly translates as a right to an assurance of trustworthyness and integrity for information technology systems. Pretty cool, isn’t it? But I’m holding my horses until I see how it plays out in reality.

And in the same vein, a decent article by security guru Bruce Schneier in a recent issue of Wired.

 “Google has records that could help in a cyber-investigation,” McConnel (government official) said. Giorgio warned me, “We have a saying in this business: ‘Privacy and security are a zero-sum game.'”

I’m sure they have that saying in their business. And it’s precisely why, when people in their business are in charge of government, it becomes a police state. If privacy and security really were a zero-sum game, we would have seen mass immigration into the former East Germany and modern-day China.

A good thing to remember, by the way, since Switzerland isn’t really a paragon for the protection of privacy…


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