MEUS follow-up: Google is evil!

Google Android mascot: looking cute on purpose.
Google Android mascot: looking cute on purpose.

This is a follow-up comment for my dear friends that have been discussing with me the Proposal for the EU Data Protection Regulation. In our parliament simulation, we had the honour to welcome a very strong participant representing a Google lobbyist that was hard to deal with (hi Lois :wink:).

In my candidature, I chose the lobbyist role as my second choice, but I was eventually chosen to represent a British Conservatives politician in the ECR faction1. In this role, I mostly agreed with the Google lobbyists.

However, I’m a bit worried that some other participants might have been hoodwinked and really think that Google might be a honourable company that fights for freedom of expression and wants all the best for the Internet users.

Of course, there are cases where Google is doing a good job. One example might be the acquisition of the VP8 codec from On2 Technologies to release their intellectual property (in this case: source code) under a free software license publicly accompanied with a irrevocable patent promise. Until today, this is part of the most efficient widespread video file format that serves a free exchange of videos and thus a more open internet.

Unfortunately, this is not the end of the story. Last week, the EU commissioner “Margrethe Vestager unveiled a formal complaint against Google, marking the most significant tech case since Brussels took on Microsoft a decade ago” (source: Financial Times).

  1. That is the “European Conservatives and Reformists” with e.g. 20 Tories from the UK, and 7 deputies for the “Alternative for Germany”. ↩︎

Model EU Preparation Day 1

Warm-up during lunch break. Photo by Sara D.
Warm-up during lunch break. Photo by Sara D.

It’s Sunday. After the confusion last evening if we should present us in the hotel lobby by 8h or 8:30h, if we would get breakfast or not, it turned out for the best: 8:30h and breakfast provided at the revenue.

I use the unexpected half enough to blog about the arrival and to gather my equipment that I won’t be able to use the other days for security reasons when we are in the European Parliament building.

I’m 5 minutes to late in the then empty lobby and realise that against my intuition there is not even a trace of the ~100 people.

Model Simulation EU Strasbourg 2015 started!

The EU parliament in Strasbourg.
The EU parliament in Strasbourg.

Hello everyone,

during the following 7 days, I will be at Strasbourg for the simulation of the European Parliament in the European Parliament. The adventure started yesterday and I will try to blog here regulary if I find some time (could be the last post already :wink:) or tweet hashtag #MEUs2015.

Yesterday evening, we had our check-in, a short recap of important rules that have been distributed ahead of time per mail, but were assumed to haven’t been read, and finally the EuroFEAST, our international potluck.

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.