Open Letter to BETA e.V.

Freedom not fear demonstration in Berlin, 2013.
Freedom not fear demonstration in Berlin, 2013.

Dear Josef,

my Facebook account is blocked.

I am asking you again to be sure that there is no misunderstanding.

You want that I use a profile on a US enterprise network, where EU privacy standards are willingly and legally broken, censorship is performed (e.g. Turkey1), and data is abused to retain citizens of any country. They have still death penalty2 over there and use whatever is necessary to eavesdrop even international political conferences (NSA spying on Copenhagen climate talks3).

While the German data protection officers criticise the platforms for their illegal terms of use4 5 (e.g. real name obligation), and the EU is funding research projects6 on how to fight the American predominance of internet monopolists, you want to make a 2nd class participant, just because I don’t want to disclose my political engagement on Facebook7.

I strongly disagree with your decision. Unfortunately we don’t have means on Facebook. However, as your organisation (BETA e.V.) is registered in Germany, you have to stick to the German data protection laws.

I ask you urgently to revise your communication strategy.

Robert Riemann

On Monday 02 March 2015 15:31:06 you wrote:

Dear participant,

Thank you very much for your payment. Please treat this email as confirmation of it and as formal acceptance to MEU [simulation Model European Union, author’s note] 2015.

While we wait for payment of all participants to be finalised, please follow this link to add yourself to the MEU 2015 Participants Facebook group:

If you do not already have Facebook, you have my utmost respect. However, you are about to lose it as you will need a Facebook account to receive all the preparatory materials leading up to the conference. Easy come, easy go.

I look forward to meeting you in Strasbourg!

Best wishes


Update 8th March 2015

Apparently, some other participants have protested as well. So we got another mail:

Dear participants,

You have informed me that you do not wish to use Facebook in the run up to the conference in order to receive materials from us and to introduce yourselves to fellow participants. Having given it some thought, this is an entirely understandable viewpoint, particularly given that one of our mooted proposals is ‘the Right to be Forgotten’.