mailing list archives
Re: Standing Up Against German Laws - Project HayNeedle
From: "Sysman" <sysman () vsnl com>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2007 13:03:57 +0530
Dear Paul and Timo,
(I am responding to separate mails from both of you. Please forgive me for
Thanks for your maturity of thought and respecting other's opinion. This is
the essential essence of any democracy. We agree to disagree on some issues;
And agree of others. Today, we may disagree on one issue but tomorrow, I may
be one of your biggest supporter (may be more loyal than the king) on
Yes, time and space, cultural, social and political background plays a big
role in forming a specific opinion.
My respect for you has gone up.
Further, I have been watching Germany since Chancellor Billy Brandt in 70s.
I have read lot on third reich. I admire the rising of Germany after WW2 and
reunification act of 1989. I am also learning more about Germany in your
posts, specially from Timo Schoeler. I feel, Germans are handling affairs in
a very matured manner. Democracy may not be the best system but it is still
better than others, And, it needs lot of discipline.
Yes, Germans have not faced any big terror attack since Munich Olympics. So,
I can understand the less appreciation of George Orwell's 1984. But,
should/can we not learn from other's experience especially Estonia and
recently attack on German network (probably by) Chinese? It was your
Chancellor Bismarck, who said about 200 years back that wise man learn from
I fully agree with you that if powers are given to (or taken by) the
government (servants), there is a potential to misuse these. Power corrupts
and absolute power corrupts absolutely. You (and the world) have seen the
same in 1932-45. We still see the same in many countries/nations. So, there
must be due checks and controls, else the risk of the Third Reich repeating
Let us face it. As the law have been passed by Bundestag, can you do
something to reverse it? I do not know the German constitution, but normally
the answer should be a big NO. So, what do you do? Thus, now, in my view,
your objective must be to work on, to define the robust technological and
social checks and controls on the implementation of act. This may-be/is one
of the options. There may be other options also, which you need to explore
by brain storming.
rakesh () sysman in
PS - I am a technocrat-business-owner, with specialisation in IS Security,
IT related laws, Encryption and Forensics. I am not a politician or
historian or sociologist.
From: Paul Sebastian Ziegler [mailto:psz () observed de]
Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2007 7:39 PM
To: rakesh () sysman in
Cc: bugtraq () securityfocus com; 'full-disclosure'
Subject: Re: Standing Up Against German Laws - Project HayNeedle
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even though I do not share your opinion, I still respect it and thank
you for telling me about it. People having different opinions is what
makes life interesting.
To answer your question:
Gemany (at least east Germany) has a history of data retention that got
out of hand immensely. This is one of the reasons why there are several
rights that were supposed to never let something like it happen again.
Among those is the right of informational self-determination.
I know that you will probably tell me that as long as they don't collect
the data itself, this right is still untouched. That is a valid opinion.
I just don't share it. Tracking the phone connections (and to emphasize
this once more: HayNeedle doesn't do anything against that) along with
the locations allows the government to trace almost every single
inhabitant over time. If your IP is linked to your persona and
anonymizers are taken out of business, then you can not access
information anonymously anymore.
There have been several laws during the past few months that have taken
more and more rights away. And I simply don't think this is a good thing.
I completely agree with you that Germany is presently a fine democracy.
And I would like it to stay this way. Even if I would trust our current
government's competence and goals, I still don't think they should have
the 'capability' of turning oppressive. I don't think any government
should have that, since no one knows who will be in power next.
This is my opinion, which is of course, also questionable and by no
Germany has never been a country of friendly distance among people of
opposite opinions. Most people favor to express their thoughts directly
and aggressively. So what I do might seem a little harsh. But I don't
think it is. I wouldn't want the world to be ruled by people like me. It
would probably end disastrous. There need to be people to push the
surveillance factor. And there need to be people to stand up against it.
Either extreme is not good. But we can only reach an appropriate
solution, if both sides show up and actually do something.
I don't think my solution is perfect (not even close). I don't think
their laws are good, but that is just my opinion. I respect your opinion
as much as you apparently respect mine. And that is a great thing. By
the way, I am also engaged in other activities that you consider more
Let me end by saying the following to everyone on the lists:
We all know that political debates on international lists tend to get
out of hand and cause flames. We see it every second day. I think it is
great Rakesh expressed his opinion, and since he asked about it
publicly, I gave you mine. As I said, it is not perfect by any means and
far be it from me not to respect people who think otherwise.
However, for the sake of sanity, I ask you not to write any more
opinions regarding this matter to the lists. Of course you are still
free to do that, but I won't react on any. The fact being that we have a
pretty diverse background and the chances of actually reaching an
agreement are more than slim.
Paul Sebastian Ziegler
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- Re: Standing Up Against German Laws - Project HayNeedle, (continued)