Start up, Europe!

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Europe needs creative and innovative startups for a successful future. To foster a European startup culture the ‘Startup Europe week’ is currently taking place. Across Europe mini-events are organized in more than 200 cities. This alone is already a reason for celebration. In addition there will be even another one this year on 13 December. It will be the 200th birthday of Werner von Siemens.

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TPP – A digital policy failure for Canada?

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An interesting speech and panel about the TPP in Canada. Speaker is Michael Geist, one of the profoundest experts on digital law in Canada. It’s from November 12, 2015. Does someone know about similar events from the European perspective about CETA, TiSA or TTIP? Even though i understand that not all texts have been released until now. Feedback would be appreciated.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTrS1GeADQU

 

Restoring trust – an answer to President Obama’s NSA speech

  
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On January 17 President Obama started his speech about the NSA with remarks about the long history of US intelligence activities since the dawn of the American Revolution. He exemplified how intelligence has helped to secure the country and to support the military throughout American history.

History is often a good starting point for a speech, at least for a European citizen. However, in a discussion about the right balance between security and freedom the history of freedom should not be forgotten.

It is not easy to say where to start, but any deliberation of the matter should not neglect James Otis’ speech from 1761 against the writs of assistance. The writs were general warrants allowing officials of the British Crown to search for smuggled material within any suspected premises of the so called American colonies at that time. For James Otis one of the most essential branches of Liberty was the freedom of one’s house. In his speech he referred to Sir Edward Coke’s famous statement that “A man’s home is his castle – for where shall he be safe if it not be in his house?” This is much more modern than it sounds. In times of rapidly growing technological capabilities and of automatic industrial data collection the question is to whom personal data belongs and what government officials should be allowed to store? In Sir Edward Coke’s words: where does the house end in the twenty-first century? Is a smart phone with all its personal data and including the metadata of calls still part of a man’s house?

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