-- Big Brother Awards Austria 2007 -- Datenschutz ist Menschenrecht --

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[bearbeiten] Business and finances

[bearbeiten] Heinrich Frey, Cab guild: Video surveillance in cabs

Probably there is no other trade where employees are monitored so closely as in the cab business. It all started with the radio data transmission, which already disposed of detailed personal data records of each individual driver, went then over GPS data of the vehicle’s movements, which are both transmitted live and stored durably, to the point of physical control of the drivers themselves, who are permanently monitored by infrared seat contact systems – a “bestseller” according to vendor RTS – whether they are still at the wheel or not.

And now RTS and the cab guild of the chamber of economics even achieved the implementation of video surveillance in the cabs. Only a few days after the funeral of a cab driver, who was murdered in January, the cab guild arranged a “information event”, which became a sales show of the company mentioned. “Inconspicuous, easily and discretely to install” a little digital recorder tapes everything that happens inside the car. Costs: Scarcely over 400 Euro including assistance with annoying formalities for the data protection commission. They assure that the data are deleted after 48 hours, but there a no guarantees for that. The jury considers this a notably glaring example how total surveillance is implemented step by step in a heretofore still very private sector.

[bearbeiten] Policy

[bearbeiten] Claudia Schmied [SPÖ]: Skandalkosmetik um die Bildungsevidenz

When they were still in opposition the SPÖ reviewed the education documentation law as “excessive, unacceptable” and an “absolute scandal”. Beside master data this “education evidence” contains also data such as expellings from school, attendance of ethics or religious education, need of remediation, as well as all “Nicht genügend”, Nachzipfe, entries in the class book and social anomalies.

Now, since the SPÖ places the responsible minister, the scandal is not resolved but obviously only beautified and umgeschminkt. The main points of criticism such as linking the data with the social insurance number, a storing time of sixty years and collecting sensitive data were not eliminated in the amendment existent since summer, but in fact degradations, particularly regarding the legal protection of pupils, are stipulated.

So far it was intended for social insurances, courts, federal institutions and school sustainer (=Schulerhalter) to access the data collection. The new draft law replaces this by the extendable term “administrative purposes”. Thus it is also possible for federal and state authorities and other bodies to obtain access. Instead of the Information and rectification right according to the data protection law only a noncommittal right to complaint at the data protection commission remains.

[bearbeiten] Authorities and administration

[bearbeiten] Peter van der Arend [KPN]: Data mining standards for Telecom traffic data in a Chinese kind of way

In the European Telecom Standards Institute, where - starting with fixed line networks and mobile telephony to UMTS - all valid standards for digital telephony were developed, a technical committee is exclusively occupied with making all these networks uniformly monitorable. The committee “Lawful Interception” [TC LI] provides the requirements of “criminal persecutors” [Law Enforcement] – thus police and judiciary – and pours it then into technical standards, which will be obligatory for all telecom equipment. Therefore surveillance is structurally integrated in all telephony networks in the first place.

Now in the committee LI work is in progress for a standard, which regulates how the individual-referred traffic data, collected in the context of “data retention”, are to be provided and handled. What privacy advocates have always feared and politicians have always denied is just being technically standardized: systematic data mining in the traffic data of all telephony subscribers.

Full searches including use of “Wildcards” on the entire volume of data are technically intended. In Austria, as well as in other EU states, such is [still] absolutely illegal, but it gets standardized anyway. The technical documents mark that after all ETSI standards are not only valid in Europe but far beyond it.

What is legally permitted to authorities in non-democratic states, is also included in the complex “Lawful Interception” and is normalized in the same standard. Consequently a technical set of rules is given, which contradicts the existing laws across Europe. The necessary restrictions by constitutional legislature are the exception of the coming ETSI standard.

As a chairman of the TC “Lawful Interception” in the European Telecom Standards Institute Peter van der Arend, of the royal Dutch Telecom KPN, gives the civil fig leaf (=Feigenblatt) for years now. Not even the term “police state” is appropriate, since understated. The defaults are not put by policemen or attorneys that is to say, but by the Dutch secret service PIDS in charge and the related standards are administrated by the British secret service MI5. The German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution participates likewise, as well as the company Verisign, who is closely connected with the military-electronic complex of the USA, and two Israeli companies specialised on telecom surveillance.

[bearbeiten] Communication and marketing

[bearbeiten] Anthony E. Zuiker, C.S.I.-author: Aushebelung of civil rights as a light entertainment programme

The C.S.I. series present criminal search, DNA analyses and the Aushebelung of civil rights in a uncritical, down playing and dangerously onesided way. It served as a prototype for a whole number of similar TV series over the last few years, in which they all picture the rights of citizens generally and the rights of suspects in particular as hindering for the investigation. The C.S.I. executives rather show how smart they handle their work by cold-shouldering these rights and/or systematically bypassing them.

In hardly one episode the authors – first of all the inventor and author of most episodes, Anthony E. Zuiker – could resist verifying automobile registration databases quickly with data of telephony operators, data of credit cards with those of handbag manufacturers, or consumer behaviour of Amazon users with databases of sexual offenders and presenting all these with concrete geo data. This supports the characters of the programme in defeating the bad guys and the mentioned invasive methods of investigation seem positive. Further the observers use all tricks in order to secretly securing themselves DNA and finger prints of the suspect, even by violating the rights of citizens.

In a sensitive and often highly emotional context civil rights are disrated to annoying appendages of the last century and means are justified by the end in the fight against terror and crime. This manipulation has accordingly fatal effects on the political discussion over the fight against terror.

Beside a whole set of private stations, the ORF airs this series also for years now. Despite its duty for education (=Bildungsauftrag) and its undertaking to objectivity, the electronic monitoring, biometry, civil rights such as privacy and data protection, which are getting out of hand, are hardly or not at all brought up for discussion in the TV channels of the ORF, who is governed by public law.

[bearbeiten] Life’s work

[bearbeiten] Hans Dichand: A life as the manipulator of the republik

In almost 50 years of regency he more than once manipulated the policy and the public opinion in Austria essentially with his newspaper. “Die Krone” reaches about every second person in the country. Therefore it is often the fuel behind people’s opinon. This media offers investigative journalism in a different kind of way: it reacts to sentiments and also roots himself – some people can tell you a thing or two about it. Opinion leaders or Wackelkandidaten try to get along with Dichand, who obviously knows the media business. Who of course would want to be the leading actor of a “well researched” reporting in “the newspaper for the people, with the people”?

An immense number of reports were solely launched, in order to support the strategic goals of their owner to reproduction (oder ist insistence gemeint?). People of public life, who didn’t suit the publisher, were denunciated and exposed in the gazette or their complete address and phone number were published. Issues, which could not be handled over the editorial office, were taken care of by the gazettes own “letter to the editor” writers.

[bearbeiten] Defensor Libertatis

[bearbeiten] Karl Korinek, President of the Constitutional Court

The president of the constitutional court, Karl Korinek, warned in September in conjunction with the fight against terror of becoming a total surveillance state. In the safety debate there is the danger that basic limits were exceeded. The desire for security displaces the fundamental rights such as the privacy of correspondence, the secrecy of telecommunications and the data security, which all protect private communications since the revolution of 1848. The sensitivity for the threats is obviously missing. “Sometimes I’m struck that we are just similarly strong monitored as the GDR citizens by the state security at that time.”

If the president of the constitutional court feels obliged to warn of general development there must be something wrong. Accordingly his statements attracted a lot of attention by the press in the following weeks. What most of the people didn’t understand: Surveillance is surveillance – all the same for which noble purpose and in which context. If the data are once received, their usage mostly becomes independent too.