Montag, 8. April 2013

Introducing "OPEN: Outlaws and Pioneers of the Electronic Frontier"

The tone in the German debate about freedom of the net and its implications for politics are becoming more and more strange. If you really trust some German actors in that debate the "digital hordes" are already waiting to conquer the "real" life. These "hordes" will "ignore" elected majorities because they act "revolutionary". But we are so glad that there are some heroes that threatened these hordes and said to them: "Net community - you are going to lose this fight!". The author of this really strange written article in well known German Handelsblatt is proceeding in his text using expressions like "battle fog", "stumps that point to the sun", "digital blood", "digital Maoists" that strive to raise the "digital totalitarianism". He is member of the ruling party CDU/CSU.

This odd debate is a problem because protagonists have to address the need for an open net nowadays and not in the future. As the (in Germany) well known blogger Sascha Lobo has written some days ago we have to explain the topic in a way that can be understood more easily. He argued against the background that many activities in net politics in Germany the last months have really been no success from the net communities´ point of view. (govdata.de, Bundestag commission for the internet, no joining of the open gov partnership initiative).

In our country we have to cope with the challenge that many offliners have to decide something which is essential for most people and their daily life without knowing the implications of that decision. It is no coincidence that Germany is no model for building up a sufficient broadband capacity. Therefore that odd debate and the comment written by this member of parliament is so crucial. We have to look for alternative ways which explains the importance of net neutrality, freedom of speech, internet without barriers and the avoidance of any form of censorship for all people worldwide.

From my point of view the upcoming film project OPEN could be such an alternative. Birgitta Jonsdottir, Daniel Domscheit-Berg and Aaron Swartz are some of the activist who took part in that project so far.

2 years ago we had the opportunity to make an interview with Birgitta Jonsdottir about transparency as a precondition of participation and well informed citizens. At that time it was new to me that the financial crisis in Iceland and her activities for Wikileaks created a perfect combination of issues that was a first step towards the IMMI. Transparency, participation, engagement, empowerment and accountability are all parts of a bigger picture that describes the pillars of real democracy. Its still a long way to go.