From Stasi to NSA


Jeff Jarvis about Anke and her new book about walls and their effect on democracy.

Anke Domscheit-Berg grew up in East Germany. As a student in the South-East of the former German Democratic Republic she hadn't all the possibilities like today. Censorship was a daily situation, e.g. she was not allowed to write about Glasnost in the GDR. Anke was concerned about it and in November 1988 the Stasi started to observe her, and her entire life. They found out about her father, a physician, the only income of the family, payed by the state. Innocent information?

There's no innocent information in the world. Every information can be used against you!

The Stasi tries to hire her as an IM (informal member) to spy on her friends and other students - and they started to use the information about her family to increase the pressure on her. As long as human rights are manipulated or undercut by someone, the someone is not a good guy. Today, Anke's father has lived the shortest part of his life in a democracy, and he's not trusting the system of today. Why should he trust it? He saw the "Dritte Reich" and the GDR with their totalitarian systems - Democracy might not last forever.

Well, why should we trust the NSA as "good guys"? Every single control of the security systems like NSA or BND failed, they are out of control, stretch laws, et cetera.

For Anke, Democracy has three fundamental points:

1. free elections

2. fundamental human rights in its constitution

3. no use of totalitarian methods

What are the lessons we've learned?

1. alle things which has happened left the ground of democracy

2. democracy is maybe not here forever, we have to fight for it!

3. we have to fight for it as we did it in 1989, the same way!

But instead, a lot of people chose a self-censorship. Anke run two petitions on and got a lot of response. Often like: we are sharing it, but we will not sign the petition because we want to go to the US one time. Is this the freedom of speech anymore? No, this is a scissor in your head.

"The censorship in your head belong to the system. It's a fucked-up system!"

Now it's time to fight, and as Germans it is our historical job.

*"We have no time to loose!"

Yes, security is important, but what has been done in the name of security and in the name of security is wrong. We as the people have the mission to ask questions, to ask for evidence to prevent further generations for a totalitarian system. There's a need to act right now, later might be too late.

Mentioned in this live blog

Jeff jarvis quadr
Jeff Jarvis
CUNY Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism
Professor & Director
CUNY Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism
Basking Ridge, NJ
Anke domscheit berg web quadrat
Anke Domscheit-Berg
Deutscher Bundestag
Bundestagsabgeordnete, DIE LINKE
Deutscher Bundestag

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